Music and Poetry in the Early Tudor Court

Overview

First published in 1962, John Stevens' book examines the complex interplay between lyrical and musical compositions in the courts of Henry VII and VIII. One of the persistent problems for the reader of an English lyric is this: was the poem meant to be sung? and if so, how did music affect the writing, and how should it affect our reading of the poem? Stevens aims to answer these questions by challenging the notion of a traditional union between music and verse. He examines late medieval ideas about music and ...

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Overview

First published in 1962, John Stevens' book examines the complex interplay between lyrical and musical compositions in the courts of Henry VII and VIII. One of the persistent problems for the reader of an English lyric is this: was the poem meant to be sung? and if so, how did music affect the writing, and how should it affect our reading of the poem? Stevens aims to answer these questions by challenging the notion of a traditional union between music and verse. He examines late medieval ideas about music and poetry and the impact of the Reformation on them, and uses the social information about music and musicians to interpret the evidence of the early Tudor songbooks. This book is supplemented by four appendices containing the texts of all the poems in the three main Tudor songbooks together with information about musical settings and related poems, an index of selected songs, a list of sources, and a bibliography of relevant books and articles. It is hoped that this volume will appeal to practising musicians and scholars, as well as anyone for whom music is a continuing intellectual interest and a pleasure.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'John Stevens has opened up a virtually new field, not simply by his study of the musical and literary texts ... but also by his original inquiry into the relationship between their words and music; the social meaning of the courtly lyric; and the state of music and musicians in the society of the period. Enriched with the fullest references and scholarly apparatus, it is a deeply interesting book, lucidly written, on a subject new to nearly all of us.' Musical Times

'Dr Stevens' work is of permanent importance to literary and historical scholarship; it transcends the boundaries of musicology as narrowly understood. It is a fine achievement.' Medium Aevum

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521294171
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/21/1979
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Music Series
  • Edition description: Reprinted with corrections
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction; Part I. Music and Poetry: 1. The problem - assumptions and distinctions; 2. The tradition and the divorce; 3. Popular songs; 4. Ideas and theories, medieval and humanist; 5. The Reformation; 6. Music and the early Tudor lyric, I: song-books and musical settings; 7. Music and the early Tudor lyric, II: the 'literary' lyric and its tunes; Part II. Courtly Love and the Courtly Lyric: 8. Introductory: 'a new company of courtly makers'?; 9. The 'game of love'; 10. The courtly makers from Chaucer to Wyatt; Part III. Music at Court: 11. Music in ceremonies, entertainments and plays; 12. Domestic and amateur music; 13. Professional musicians; Epilogue; Appendices; Index.

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