Shakespeare's Songbook / Edition 1

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A remarkable work that recovers the songs Shakespeare's audiences actually heard and brings them to life through performance.Winner of the Claude V. Palisca Award of the American Musicological SocietyShakespeare lovers have long lamented that so few songs in his plays survive with original music; of about sixty song lyrics, only a handful have come down to us with musical settings. For over 150 years, scholars have aspired—without success—to fill that gap. In Shakespeare's Songbook, Ross W. Duffin does just that.
Eight years in the making, Shakespeare's Songbook is a meticulously researched collection of 155 songs—ballads and narratives, drinking songs, love songs, and rounds—that appear in, are quoted in, or alluded to in Shakespeare's plays. Drawing substantially on the unmatched resources of the Folger Shakespeare Library, Duffin brings complete lyrics (many newly recovered) and music notation together for the first time, and in the process sheds new light on Shakespeare's dramatic art. With performances by leading early-music singers and instrumentalists, the accompanying audio CD brings the songbook to life. Shakespeare's Songbook is the perfect gift for lovers of Shakespeare and an invaluable reference for singers, actors, directors, and scholars.
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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
“A wonderfully concise and informative guide to the songs and ballads. . . . The first complete collection.”
Library Journal
In this obvious labor of love, Duffin (music, Case Western Reserve Univ.) outlines the historical context for songs used or alluded to in Shakespeare's plays and provides an alphabetical rundown of these pieces (predominantly ballads), with complete verses, suggested tunes, and a discussion of their role in the plays. The author has an affinity for his topic and uses his expertise in medieval and Renaissance musicology to good effect, though the book is geared to general readers with little musical background. A pronunciation guide is especially helpful, and the wide-ranging documentation prompts further exploration. While works of a similar nature dating back to at least the mid-19th century have paired texts with tunes (many written long after Shakespeare's time), this is one of the first to match song texts with tunes contemporary to the plays' original productions. The accompanying CD has engaging and idiomatic performances by renowned early-music specialists (with more verses and other songs to be available at; period engravings and facsimiles add to the charm of this tome. Highly recommended. [For an interview with Duffin, see "The Bard Remastered," p. 97.-Ed.]-Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Lib., Oxford, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393058895
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/19/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 790,207
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ross W. Duffin, the Fynette H. Kulas Professor of Music at Case Western Reserve University, is the author of the award-winning Shakespeare's Songbook. He lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
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Table of Contents

Foreword 11
Prologue 15
Acknowledgments 43
The Songs 45
App. 1 Ground Bass Melodies 481
App. 2 Shakespearean Pronunciation 482
Source List 488
Index of Titles, First Lines, and Refrains 509
Index of Names and Places 516
Index of Citations 521
CD Contents 525
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