David Starkey is the author of Elizabeth, Henry: Virtuous Prince, and Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII. He is a winner of the Norton Medlicott Medal for Services to History, and of the WH Smith Prize. He is well-known for his historical television series focusing on the Tudors, monarchy, and Britain, and for his radio appearances. Katie Greening is a writer, journalist, and television producer. She worked on the development and production of David Starkey's Music and Monarchy.
David Starkey's Music and Monarchyby David Starkey
For the kings and queens of England, a trumpet fanfare or crash of cymbals could be as vital a weapon as a cannon. Showcasing a monarch’s power, prestige, and taste, music has been the lifeblood of many a royal dynasty. From sacred choral works to soaring symphonies, Music and Monarchy looks at how England’s character was shaped by its music. To David Starkey and Katie Greening, works like Handel’s Water Music and Tallis’s Mass for Four Voices were more than entertainment—they were pieces signalling political intent, wealth, and ambition. Starkey and Greening examine England’s most iconic musical works to demonstrate how political power has been a part of musical composition for centuries. Many of England's current musical motifs of nationhood, whether it’s the Last Night of the Proms or football terraces erupting in song, have their origins in the way the crown has shaped the national soundtrack. Published to coincide with a major BBC series, Music and Monarchy is not a book about music. It is a history of England written in music, from the UK's leading royal historian.
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