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Trends in the development of English music in the seventeenth century

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A Thesis
Presented to
the Faculty of the School of Music
The University of Southern California
In partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree
Master of Arts
Mabel A. Murphy
January 1940
UMI Number: EP61738
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T h is thesis, w r i t t e n by
u n d e r the d i r e c t i o n o f h.QT. F a c u l t y C o m m i t t e e ,
a n d a p p r o v e d b y a l l it s m e m b e r s , has been
presented to a n d accepted by the C o u n c i l on
G r a d u a t e S t u d y a n d Re search in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l ­
m e n t o f the re q u ire m e n ts f o r the degree o f
D a te
1 9 4 0 ..
F a c u lty Com m ittee
C hairm an
INTRODUCTION.......... . .........
STRIVING FOR OPERA................
S U M M A R Y ...................
. . .
BIBLIOGRAPHY. ./..........................
Periods of great activity have been of such universal
interest to historians that those periods of apparently
lesser accomplishment are sometimes comparatively ignored.
They evidently had little appreciation of the "silence that
precedes the note’- and were content to characterize the
entire period with sweeping statements based upon not un­
prejudiced and sometimes inconsistent accounts of historians
too close to the period to be able to make an absolutely
fair evaluation.
Recently there has been a growing appre­
ciation of the activities within the years following the
death of Elizabeth to the Restoration.
There was no
greatest composer to challenge comparison; no illustrious
form sprung, Minerva-like, into full flower; no isms
divided musicians into rival camps; indeed, superficially,
nothing seemed to happen.
A closer scrutiny was necessary
to reveal the vital and pregnant effects of this gradual
secularization of music.
Here was the first deliberate
attempt to use music on a large scale for secular pur­
poses, the beginning of a conscious personal expression.
In typical British fashion the change was made so conserv­
atively that two centuries passed before there was a critical
recognition of its value.
More specifically, this period of transition effected
a recognition of a harmonic system in contrast to the purely
contrapuntal basis of the previous century, the creation
and development of the art-song, the rise of instrumental
music, and the increasing popularity of music among all
classes of people.
During the greatly maligned Puritan
regime there was a great increase in the musical publica­
tions, music teachers abounded in the cities, and music
houses and concerts grew in popularity.
With the Restoration,
because of the abandonment of the quasi-feudal household of
the nobility and the rise of the commercial class, London
became more definitely the music center of the country.
Closer contact was maintained with the music of the Con­
tinent, particularly in France and Italy, by a more or less
continuous stream of musicians and music-lovers who traveled
to Paris and Yenice returning with news of the latest pro­
The absence of accurate records, the difficulty in
finding much of the music, the probable destruction of some
of the music in the Great Fire of 1666, the general in­
accessibility of the music that has survived, and the almost
immediate intrusion of foreign styles and manners alien to
the British character and temperament may be responsible
for the slow realization of the importance of this seven­
teenth century.
An ever increasing interest in its possi­
bilities, resulting in continued research to make more
material available, will result in a keener appreciation of
those years when England, musically, held a position that
she has never since excelled.
As Elizabeth lay down her sceptre a nation mourned
her death; a nation that during her reign had acquired a
patriotic pride in its ability, that had risen from a
secondary position among the European powers to a level with
the mightiest continental powers, whose composers, musicians,
poets, and dramatists were unexcelled, and whose adventurous
spirits had circumnavigated the globe.
Beginning her reign
with the country in so critical a condition that thoughtful
foreign observers were convinced of its impending ruin,
Elizabeth began at once to develop the national life of her
people in every aspect of which she was aware.
of purpose though with many shifts in plans and little
questioning of method, proud and imperious, she controlled
her nation with a firm hand.
An English church, strictly
national in character and organically related to the state,
survived the attacks of the Puritans.
War was avoided with
France and postponed with Spain until the English navy was
able to defeat the Armada.
Political plots in England
resulted in the death of those reputed to be connected with
them, even to Mary, Queen of Scots, or Essex, favorite of
the queen.
The industrial activity of the people received stim­
ulus from the skilled workmen driven from other countries
by war and persecution.
An expansion of commerce took
English merchants to ports in far places.
A water route
to China and India and an interest in colonization were
incentives for voyages of discovery.
Sir Erancis Drake, the
first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe, shared with
his queen the booty that he had taken from the Spaniards
surprised in the ports of the Pacific.
Sir Walter Raleigh,
handsome and witty courtier, attempted a colony in the new
Returning, he brought tobacco and England taught
the world to smoke.
The expanding national life, with an increasing
freedom of the individual, greatly stimulated an apprecia­
tion of literature, drama, and music.
Edmund Spenser with
Eaery Queen became the second great English poet and
William Shakespeare today remains unexcelled as lyric poet
and dramatist.
The theater was the most popular of all
public amusements though the Puritans were making pointed
criticism of the excessive vulgarity.
The English poets
took the Italian masque and, in collaboration with the
English musicians, fashioned an English institution.
Written for private production, members of the court in
disguise acted out a mythological or fanciful story, com­
bining dancing, elaborate scenic effects, and much singing
and incidental music*
Court masques, always most compli­
mentary to the sovereign, were staged at great expense, an
ancestor, perhaps, of the more modern extravaganza.
ing the Italian madrigal, the English composers soon excelled
all others.
The madrigal became a characteristically English
expression, gaining such popularity that every good English­
man was expected to be able to sing a part at any social
Music was, indeed, in such universal cultivation
that he "who felt not, in some degree its soothing influences,
was viewed as a morose, unsocial being whose converse ought
to be shunned and regarded with suspicion and distrust."!
Thomas Morley, equally gifted in all forms of com­
position, published the first English treatise on musie ever
printed in England.
Among the numerous patents bestowed by
Elizabeth, Thomas Tallis, often called Father of English
Church Music, received the first musie patent ever granted.
There was a growing interest in instrumental music, stimu­
lated, no doubt, by Elizabeth’s proficiency upon the vir­
The English composers, familiar with all forms both
secular and sacred, could, take their place with the dis­
tinguished composers of the Continent.
Writing of the London
lwilliam Chappell, Old English Popular Music,
of that time, Sir George Buck, master of the Bevels, be­
lieved that "here be also the best musicians of this
kingdom, and equal to any in Europe for their skill either
in composing and setting, or for playing upon any kind of
Inheriting the sceptre, indomitable in the belief
that the crown was inalienable and indefeasible, James I
was crowned the king of a nation conscious of its own
strength and developing a faith in its own destiny.
usually fine education and limited intelligence resulted
in James becoming a conceited pedant with unlimited con­
fidence in his own powers.
An inferiority complex and
uncontrollable covetousness developed in his youth in
Scotland, governed most of his actions.
His refusal of
the slightest concessions to the Puritans, excepting the
one resulting in the King James* translation of the Bible,
only intensified the tension between the religious factions
A meager royal revenue and the indiscriminate extravagance
of James necessitated many duties levied solely upon royal
These ever increasing royal duties, the extrava
gant and immoral life at the court, and the slight favor­
itism toward Catholicism, aroused strong resentment in the
2John Murray Gibbon, Melody and the Lyric, p. 76.
Culturally, England was now at the crest of a creative
wave with momentum sufficient to carry through the reign of
There is, however, no evidence of any great atten­
tion paid to music during this time.
There are no records
of royal concerts or of any royal interest in anything
musical except the masques which were performed for the
amusement of the king and his family.
The Queen was pas­
sionately fond of masques and frequently represented the
principal character herself.
As music was still dependent
on the patronage of court or church, nearly all of the
recognized composers were ’Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal1,
the religious establishment of the sovereign in which
membership was a coveted distinction.
An increase in
salary was granted to the members of the Chapel early in
the reign, at least an acknowledgment of the importance of
their position.
Masques continued their popularity, pro­
viding not only entertainment but also color to the court,
according to the memoirs of Honorable Roger North;
. . . in the performance of masques at court; which
being at once balls and operas, found employment for
a great number of professors, who appeared in the royal
theaters in a splendid uniform, composed of silk
mantles and scarfs of various colours, with rich caps^
In 1604 James incorporated the musicians of the city
of London into a company, in a way reviving the first
^Charles Burney, History of Music, Vol. II, p. 268.
charter granted to musicians by Edward IV in 1469,
ing to eighteenth century historians this company received
no praise "by real professors who have regarded it as an
institution as foreign to the cultivation and prosperity
of good musie as the train-band to the art of war."4
than a century later, however, the organization was thought
to show a "businesslike and wise regard for the interests
of its members, their proficiency in their art, and also
for the training and morals of the apprentices."5
This was
a time of general cultivation of music among the educated
classes and every palace or great house could supply its
guests with instruments or part-books that all might par­
ticipate in the evening’s entertainment.
They also believed
that music would bring great spiritual and physical bless­
ings, asserting "the physitians will tell you, that the
exercise of musicke is a great lengthner of life."6
universities, Oxford and Cambridge, were centers of musical
Particularly in their dramatic productions,
frequently seen by the Court, music was given an important
A greater interest in drama seems probable as in
h b i d .. p. 285.
Arthur F. Hill, "Musicians’ Company," Grove’s
Dictionary, 3rd edition, Vol. Ill, p. 591.
o c .
1609 a patent was granted to provide and to train a school
of children to produce plays at court.
They were to he
designated ’Children of the Revels to the Queen within
In 1615 further grant was issued to create
a new playhouse, hut, in almost modern fashion, when the
building was nearly completed the project was opposed hy
civic authorities and all construction was destroyed.
Succeeding James in 16S5 was his second son, Charles,
who married the Catholic princess, Henrietta Maria of France.
Charles I evidently had a pleasing appearance, and was
sincere in his love for his family and his friends.
ability as a player of the viola <3*a gamba gave him a greater
interest in musie and the arts than that shown by his father
though he was by no means as well educated.
achieved a greater popularity, if possible.
Though most of
the court masques were written by Ben Jonson, unofficial
poet-laureate, in 1658 Cornus was produced with lyrics by
John Milton and music by Henry Lawes.
In 1639 a more ex­
tensive charter was granted by Charles to the most eminent
musicians of that time, evidently intended to counteract
the authority of the charter secured from James, as Charles
said, "by unlawful suggestion."7
7Burney, op. cit., p. 306.'
According to this charter
no one was to be permitted to practice the arts of music
without securing a license from this company.
In 1626 an endowment was made toOxford to
study and practice of music.
insure the
Three offices were established
Professor, to teach the theory of music, and Chorogus and
Coryphaeus to supervise the practice.
Instruments were
to be furnished to the students and all necessities were
provided to make music one of the academic studies.
ever there must have been a shadow of doubt as to the inter­
est that might be shown as a provision was made,
"If no one
shall attend the meetings in the Music School, then the
Chorogus himself shall sing with two boys for at least an
The improvement in modes of travel, the establishment
of regular inland posts and the appearance of regular
weekly newspapers aided in making a more unified nation.
In 1630 several thousand men of education, culture, fortune,
and position left their English homes that they might wor­
ship God as they chose.
By 1642 the remaining Puritans
were strong enough in parliament to interfere with popular
sports and pastimes and to enforce Sundaj observance.
this time, too, there was a more definite identification
of the church schism with, the political schism.
®Charles Alan Fyffee, "Choragus,” Grove, op. cit.,
3rd edition, Vol. I, p. 636.
extravagances of the court continued unabated and the king1s
intolerant policy of having his own way in spite of the
prejudices or preferences of the people resulted in eleven
years of arbitrary tyranny.
In 1642 began the great civil
war resulting in the high court of justice on January 2,
1649, declaring Charles Stuart to be a tyrant, traitor,
and a public enemy of the nation and ordering his execution.
The astounded world saw a nation defy its ruler.
With all
of this political and social turmoil, there was little time
or effort to be spent upon things cultural.
With the execution of the king, however, there was
no settlement of the troubles of the hour.
Crime and violence
increased steadily and murder and robbery were common events
of daily life.
Almost in desperation the nation made Oliver
Cromwell its Lord Protector.
In an age of fanaticism he
was a man of religious and political toleration who, in
addition to his hunting and riding, loved music, delighted
in art, and enjoyed the company of intelligent and educated
Acquiring controlling power, the Puritans achieved
many objectives for which they had long been striving.
Contrary to early historians, however, the Puritans had no
objection to all music.
In fact, Cromwell and nearly all
of the leading parliamentarians did their best to prevent
the actual destruction of instruments or music carried out
by a small group of fanatics.
They confined their prohi­
bitions to secular music on the Sabbath, to the use of
organs and choirs in the churches - - no objection was
made to its use outside the church - - and to stage plays.
The general attitude was expressed by Prynne in his
Histriomastix, published in 1633:
But now-adayes musieke is growne to such and so
great.licentiounesse, that even at the ministration
of the holy sacrament all kinde of wanton and lewde
trifling songs, with piping of organs, have their
place and course. As for the divine service and
common prayer, it is so chaunted and minsed and mangled
of our costly hired, curious, and nice musitiens (not
to instruct the audience witha.ll, nor to stiree up
mens mindes unto devotion, but with a whorish harmony
to tickle their ears:) that it may justly seeme not
to be a noyse made of men, but rather a bleating of
bruite beasts; whiles the coristers ney descant as
it were a sort of colts; others b e l l o w a tenour, as
it were a kennell of dogs; others rore out a treble
like a sort of buls; others grunt out a base as it
were a number of hogs; so that a foule evill favoured
noyse is made, but as for the wordes and sentences
and the very matter it selfe, is nothing understanded
at all; but the authority and power of judgment is
taken away from the mind_e and from the eares utterly.^
The Puritans evangelical belief that the psalms
were the only proper ^worship songs spread the knowledge of
musical notation and sightsinging in the middle and lower
The use of psalm singing in ordinary social life
became almost univeral and was not, by any means, confined
Percy Scholes, The Puritans and Music, p. 218.
to the Puritans,
Apparently everybody did it, though per­
haps the Puritans overdid it, Musie continued to hold its
place in educational circles.
Anticipating by two and one
half centuries the modern idea of children making their own
instruments, Sir William petty in 1648 suggested "that all
children, though of the highest ranke, be taught some gentile
manufacture in their minority such as , . . making musical
John Milton, then Latin Secretary to Cromwell,
gave a definite place to music in his tractate on Education,
published in 1644,
Degrees were conferred by the universities
as usual, some even recommended by the Puritan government
There are authentic records of at least four
♦Weekly Music Meetings;* ancestors of the Oxford Music
Societies, meeting as early as 1656 and attended by an en­
thusiastic group of amateurs.
Teaching music and dancing
evidently were at least tolerated by the Puritans as in 1659
John playford, publisher, advertised the school of which his
wife was mistress, including both in the curriculum.
several of his publications references were made to teachers
of instruments or voice whom he could recommend.
Music was
so prevalent that, except for church and stage, it almost
seems as though one could harbour any political or religious
10Ibid, p. 167.
opinion if it were set to music.H
The eleven years of the Commonwealth proved a dis­
appointment both to the Puritan and to the Cavalier.
ing from one form of autocracy to another, the Puritan was
frustrated in his attempts to legislate morality while the
Cavalier, the political minority, was thwarted in his desire
to enjoy an abundant life, an
expensive ambition even then.
The ban upon music in the church and upon stage productions,
coincident with the plague of 1642, acted
secular composition.
an-incentive to
After the theaters were closed, music
flourished in the taverns, the only public place in which
it could be heard.
The coffee houses that were inaugurated
during the Commonwealth also provided their patrons with
Pepys tells of meeting his friends "in a room next
to the water” where he heard ”a variety of brave Italian and
Spanish songs and a canon for eight voices which Mr. Locke
had lately made.”12
Of more importance to us, perhaps, was
the loss of patronage by the musicians.
Without the support
of church or state they were forced, as usual, to turn to
teaching as a means of livelihood.
Music publications, how­
ever, increased rapidly in number, the list of musical and
Hlbld. p. 141.
0. F. Morshead, editor, Everybody*s Pepys, p. 9.
general book publications far exceeding any list that could
be made of any preceding period.
The nation weary of the gloomy and tyrannical
government of the Commonwealth, turned with delight to the
return of the Stuarts with the entrance of Charles II
into London in 1660.
Tall, dark, fascinating in manner
and brilliant in speech, concealing a perfect talent for
intrigue and a shrewd ability to read and to use men,
Charles, had he any corresponding moral sense, might have
made one of the greatest rulers of England.
But the court,
perhaps in a natural reaction to the stringent regulations
of the preceding years, became madder and more dissolute
than ever.
It was
a happy, thoughtless age, when kings and nobles led
purely ornamental lives; when the utmost stretch of a
morning* s study went no farther than the choice of a
sword-knot; and beaux and belles, enamored of themselves
in one another's follies, fluttered like gilded butter­
flies, _in giddy mazes, through the walks of St. James's
At the court there was "coarse wit and loud laughter, clever
talk, dancing, duelling, dining, theater-going, cardplaying, horse-racing, and amusement raised to the dignity
of a fine art."^
l^paul R. Lieder, Robert M. Lovett, Robert K.
Root, editoirs, British Poetry and Prose, p. 297.
14M. B. Synge, Short History of England, p. 219.
Though 11an age which has Dryden for its critic,
Purcell for its composer, Wren for its builder and Newton
for its scientist is not particularly in need of defense,
yet it appears to us as a curious mixture of barbarity and
There was a development of the intellectual
culture that was inherited from the Elizabethan age.
love of beauty and splendor in literature, music, and
architecture accompanied scientific experimentations and
an interest in philosophy.
John Milton, retired from
political activity and aerimonius pamphleetering, pub­
lished in 1667 his great epic Paradise Lost.
This was
followed in 1671 by Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes.
Renewed theatrical activity developed a new type of play,
the heroic drama, in which Dryden was the prominent figure,
though the greatest contribution of the Restoration drama
was in comedy.
An elegance in dress and manners, almost
foppish, gave color and dignity to Loh&on life.
At the
same time there was a coarseness in the enjoyment of
animal pleasures and a callousness towards human life that
compared to savage barbarity or to the third decade of the
twentieth century.
Whatever might be the moral condition of the court,
the social relations between the aristocracy and the artistic
15Willard Thorpe, Editor, Songs from the Restoration
Theatre, p. 1.
world became more elastic.
The common people, as well as
the members of the court, played and sang to an unbelieva­
ble extent, owned musical instruments, and received instruc­
tion upon them.
Pepys writes frequently of playing with
his friends or learning something from their servants,
and of the time that he spent in practicing.
typical of the times is his entry:
Long with Mr. Berkenshaw in the morning at my
musique practice, finishing my song of ’Gaze not on
Swans’, in two parts which pleases one well, and I
did give him B5 for this month or five weeks that
he hath taught me, which is great deal of money and
troubled me to part with it. 16
Instruments were again kept in barber shops that
waiting customers might entertain themselves.
The coffee
houses increased rapidly in number and in importance.
There is a suggestion that one might have had a woman
Pepys writes that he and his friends went to
one of the taverns featuring music and Ttsaw the simple
motion that is there of a woman with a rod in her hand
keeping time to the musique while it plays, which is
simple, me thinks.”17 Music was a source of great pleasure
to people of all classes, great or small, who seemed to
■*-%[orshead, ojd. cit., p. 1 2 0 .
17 Ibid,, p. 95.
have an inherent desire for musical expression.
Charles was musical by nature and was evidently
able to estimate and appreciate a good voice.
With his
great delight in music, though h© inherited a burden of
debt, he spent enormous amounts (or at least contracted
enormous debts) for music alone.
In one year the sum of
all expenditures for music amounted to more than L9,400,
though how much of this was actually paid it is difficult
to know.l®
This included such items as repairs of in­
struments, new instruments, musicians salaries, liveries,
care and education of the chapel boys, and pensions for
old musicians.
The greatest incentive to music during the last
half of the seventeenth oentxiTj occurred during the reign
of Charles II.
Gloomy and bigoted, James II had no in­
terest in encouraging liberal arts.
The political fer­
ment resulting in his flight from England was an effective
hindrance to musical activity.
During the reign of
William and Mary, political machinations again monopolized
the attention of the nation, leaving little vitality for
cultural productions.
Both monarchs were too indifferent
to music to provide any positive influence upon it.
18 Bessie A* Gladding, "Music as a Social Force
During the English Commonwealth and Hestoration," Musical
Quarterly, October, 1929, p. 511.
With the centralization of fashionable life in
London there was an abandonment of the country houses and
the fquasi-feudal * households of the nobility.
The ex-
pansion, economically, by colonial and overseas trade
led to the establishment of a commercial class that was
definitely bourgeois.
The musician, now forced to seek a
means of livelihood in London, no longer worked for a
His only royal recognition could be the Chapel
He must sell his music like any other merchandise,
writing to order or depending upon the services of the pub­
lisher or of the concert.
The composers began to experience
the excitement of popular success or the disappointment
of public failure and, consciously or unconsciously, to
shape their writing to the desired result.
The concert,
at which a passive audience came to hear music for which
it had paid admission, necessitated an executive artist
to present the music as well as a concert manager or pro­
It may be that the suppression of the organs in the
churches during the Commonwealth led to the first real
development of any sort of concert life in England.
beginning of these ■♦consorts1, characteristically English,
has been attributed to several sources.
made some contribution.
Doubtless each
It may have grown out of the
fashion of producing odes set to elaborate music for com­
bined voices and instruments whenever a festival of any
sort was to be celebrated.
No doubt the astonishing
amount of music given in the theaters before the Civil
war, causing .some complaint that the play was not so much
the thing as the music, created a public for musical pro­
Before the curtain rose, there were usually no
fewer than three musical numbers and music was used exten­
sively throughout the plays.
In fourteen comedies of
Shakespeare there are only two or three in which he has not
introduced singing.
It may have been the case that the
music lovers went to the theater almost as much for the
music as for the play.
If so, it is easy to understand
how annoyed they must have been when, by the closing of
the theaters in 1642, they were deprived of this enjoyment.
After the Restoration this custom was revived as in 1669
an Italian visitor in England wrote:
Before the comedy begins, that the audience may
not be tired with waiting, the most delightful symphonies
'* '
persons come early to
During the Commonwealth, too, a great deal of music was
produced that required frequent meetings for the practice
op. c i t ., p. 1.
of instrumental music, the taste for chamber music main­
taining its hold in various forms.
It has been suggested
that Cromwell inaugurated the practice of public concerts
where audiences assembled to hear skilled musicians.
Many of the taverns had taken the organs that were dis­
mantled and, making a special feature of music, presented
fine programs in the well-equipped rooms established for
that purpose.
Unquestionablly the new professionalism of
the Restoration encouraged the practice of listening to music
by a wider public than that of the court and aristocratic
To John Banister probably belongs the honor of
having instituted the first public concerts, as we under­
stand the term, in all Europe.
In the ’London Gazettef of
December 30, 1672 was the following advertisement:
These are to give notice, that at Mr. John Banister’s
house, now called the Music-school, over against the
George taverne, in White Fryers, this present Monday,
will be Musick performed by excellent masters, beginning
precisely at four of the clock in the afternoon, and
every afternoon for the future, precisely at the same
One of the best violinists of the day he had been leader
of the King’s band of twenty-four violins until the King’s
desire for French direction was too strong to be resisted.
Burney, op. cit., 368
His venture, begun in his apartment in Whitefriars, differed
from the taverns and musie-houses in having paid admission
and. definite programs.
The music performed included both
"vocal and instrumental" with the "first day of each
month" devoted to "new musick."21
The concerts continued
for six years and. with, an admission of one shilling evidently
were sufficiently well-supported at least to pay their way.
The setting for the concert and the type of program
were described in North’s Memoirs of Music:
Banister having procured a large room . . . and
erected an elevated box or gallery for the musicians,
whose modesty required curtains, the rest of the room
was filled with seats and small tables, ale-house
fashion . • . • There was very good Musick, for
Banister found, means to procure the best hands in
London, and some voices to assist him. And there wanted
no variety, for Banister, besides playing on the violin, wonders on the flageolet to a thro’base, and several
other masters likewise played solos.%%
Beginning in 1678, Thomas Britton soon attracted a
large and influential group of music-lovers to his rooms
in Clerkenwell.
A *small-coal man,1 he was a man of wide
interests and culture, loved and respected by all who knew
His concerts, in spite of the modest surrounding in
which they were held, did. much to keep the English music
21Hugh Arthur Scott, "London’s Earliest Public
Concerts," Musical Quarterly, October, 1936, p. 454.
Burnfy, op. cit., p. 369.
lover in touch '-with the latest masterpieces from the Con­
The annual subscription to his series was ten
At first the public concerts were very simple in
At a house near St. Paul’s Cathedral "there
was a chamber organ that one Philips played upon, and some
shopkeepers and foremen came weekly to sing in consort, and
to enjoy ale and tobacco”;
no charge was made except for
the drinks "and after some time the audience grew strong*!^
The ’Gentlemen’s Meeting’ which began with the pri­
vate practice of instrumental music, became so popular that
they moved to a tavern in Fleet Street.
After this group
disbanded, the tavern owner continued to give concerts with
professional players.
Inspired by their success, these
professionals had a concert hall established for them in
York Buildings, Villiers Street, which soon became the
principal musical center in the city.
The first mention
of these rooms is contained in the following advertisement
which appeared in the
London Gazette,
November 25, 1685:
Several Sonata*s composed after the Italian way, for
one and two Bass-viols with a Thorough-Basse, being,
upon the request of several Lovers of Musick (who have
already subscribed) to be Engraven upon Copper Plates,
are to be performed on Thursday next, and every Thurs­
day following, at Six of the Clock in the Evening at
o p . cit. , p. 44S.
the Dancing School in Walbrook, next door to the Bell
Inn; and on Saturday next, and every Saturday following
at the Dancing School in York Buildings, At which places
will also some performance upon the Barritone, by Mr,
August Keenell, the Author of the Musick. Such who do
not subscribe, are to pay their Half a Crown, toward
the discharge of performing it.24
The reaction of at least one member of the audience was
expressed in the Memoirs of North:
Now a consort, then a lutinist, then a violino solo,
then flutes, then a song, and so peice after peice, the
time sliding away, while the masters blundered and swore
in shifting places, and one might perceive that they
performed ill out of spight to one and other.
In 1683 in these rooms was the first celebration of
St. Cecilia*s Day, November 22.
Directed by a G-roup known
as fThe Musical Society,/' a distinguished poet was eommiss
sioned to write an ode in praise of music and a distinguished
musician to compose the music for the ode.
With few excep­
tions this was an annual event for twenty years.
the last ten years a special morning worship service was
added with © choral service with orchestral service and a
sermon usually in defense of cathedral music.
The poets
writing the odes included Dryden, Congreve, and Addison.
Among the composers were Blow, Turner, and Purcell.
Destined to be the most popular of the early concert-
2%iugh Arthur Scott, •"London1s First Concert Room,"
Music and Letters, October, 1937, p # 380.
A. Westrup, Purcell, p. 101.
rooms, Covent Garden was first mentioned in 1689.
support was received by 1691, at least, as indicated by
the advertisement in the 'London Gazette:'
The Consort of Vocal and Instrumental Musick in
Charles-street, Covent Garden, by their Majesties
Authority will be perform1d on Thursday next, the
23rd Instant, and so continue every Thursday by
The third concert room in existence in London at
this time was Hickford’s whose first advertisement appeared
in 1697.
A variety of language and instruments to suit
all tastes was promised:
These are to give Notice to all Lovers of Musick,
and the Art of Singing, that Mr. James Kremberg is
lately come out of Italy, and shall keep a new Consort
of Musick by very great Masters, of all sorts of
Instruments; with fine singing in Italian, French,
English, Spanish, German, Dutch, and Latin after the
newest Italian and French Manner, at Mr. Hickford’s
Dancing School in Panton-street, near the Hay-Market,
or in James-street, over against the Tennis-Court,
Just by the Blew-Posts, there being a Door out of each
street to the Room. This Consort wpll begin on
Wednesday, the 24th of this Instant at Eight a Clock
at Night and will continue weekly the same day; always
with New Compositions. Price Half a C r o w n , 27
In these earliest days of the concert room the
practice seems to have been to have regular weekly concerts,
usually by the same performers, under the same management.
Not until about 1698 was there any record of a concert
"London’s First Concert Room,” c>p. c11.,
p. 380.
27Ibid, p. 382.
given as a separate venture by individual artists.
also, was met the earliest use of that afterwards constantly
recurring formula "for the benefit of."
At this time it
meant merely that the person named was the giver of the
A few years later began those ’last’ concerts
when the artist continued to sing ’last* and ’positively
last’ concerts from year to year.
Concerts, then as now,
served as one means of entertaining visiting dignitaries
and royalty.
The concert given in February, 1698, for
the entertainment of Peter the Great during his visit to
London was an event of great interest.
Music for the church in England in the seventeenth
century experienced troublous times.
A transition from
the modal polyphony to verse-anthems with instrumental
accompaniment was begun during the first quarter of the
Further development was halted by the crusading
zeal, combined with political authority, of the puritans,
and their belief in Psalms only*
The concentration upon
secular compositions during the Commonwealth was reflected
in the music for the church following the Restoration.
The great popularity of psalm-singing and the in­
fluence that it wielded is hard for the modern generation
to comprehend.
Everybody did it - - and did it with
To the EnglifSh royalist at the siege of York
in 1644 the singing of psalms was a thrilling experience.
According to Thomas Mace, In his book published in 1676
when he was one- of the clerks of Trinity College, Cambridge,
this singing
V . • was the most excellent that has been known or
remembered anywhere in these our latter ages. Most certain
I am that to myself the very best Harmonical Musick that
ever I heard; yea far excelling all other private or
publick Cathedral Musick, and infinitely beyond all verbal
expression or conceiving.
How here you must take notice, that they had then a
custom in that church . . . that always before the sermon,
the whole congregation sang a Psalm, together with the
quire and the organ; and you must also know, that there
was then a most excellent - large - plump - lusty full - speaking organ which cost . . . a thousand
This organ . . . being let out, into all its fulness
of stops, together with the quire, began the Psalm.
But when that vast-conehording unity of the whole
congregational-chorus, came . . . thundering in, even
so, as it made the very ground shake under us; (oh the
unutterable ravishing soul’s delight I) in the which
I was so transported, and wrapt up into high contem­
plation, that there was no room left in my whole
man . . .f or any thing below divine and heavenly
To appreciate the influence and power of psalmody
the seventeenth century it is well to glance briefly
its origin and development during the last half of the
The Calvinistic idea of ’the Bible only,' even
in the songs of the ehureh, eventually forced the Church
of England to combine a metrical Psalter with the Prayer
The aim of these early versions was to express the
substance of the psalm in English verse that could be sung
by the entire congregation.
Beginning about the middle of
the sixteenth century various editions of metrical psalms
included some tunes probably imported from Geneva and others
that seem to have been originally English.
The earliest
music that is known at the present time was issued in 1549.
In the ’Epistle to the Reader’ the music is described as
1Charles Burney, History of Music, Vol. II, p. 58
A note of song of iii parts, which agreth with
the meter of this Psalter in such sort, that it serveth
for all the Psalmes thereof, conteyninge so many notes
in one part as be syllables in one meter, as.appeareth
by the dyttie that is printed with the same.
In 1553 an edition by Francys Seagar contained
music written'in four parts, instead of the usual three.
There were only two different tunes in the volume, one
repeated twelve times and the other seven.
The example
below is very similar to a motet, the interest apparently
in the contrapuntal .association of voices and not in a
2H. E. Wooldridge, "Psalter," Grove Dictionary,
3rd edition, Vol. IV, p. 268.
^Ibid, p. 269.
The Sternhold and Hopkins edition of 1562, known
also as Old Version, was more popular, and therefore more
influential, though musically it may not be considered
the equal of the Scottish Psalter issued in 1564.
contrast to the limited number of tunes found in the Old
Version, not more than forty tunes all written in common
meter, the Scottish Psalter contained approximately one
hundred and forty tunes written in a much richer, more
varied style.
An edition printed in 1567 or 1568 but
never issued contained a number of hymn tunes in four
parts by Thomas Tallis which might have established the
high quality of English part writing had they been known.
Four part writing became more, usual during the later years
of the century.
In 1573 a four part 1setting of the church
tunes* was issued in four volumes, one for each voice.
Este's edition in 1596 showed a great advance in
harmonic sense with an occasional upper voice so melodic
that it might almost be called a t.une.
Probably the best
edition of the sixteenth century was printed by William
r '
Barley, the fasigne of Thomas Morley* in 1599.
accompaniment was furnished for lute, orpharyon, citterne
or bass viol, singly or in ensemble.
By the beginning
of the seventeenth century the standard edition had become
the Sternhold, with Estefs edition and the Scottish
Psalter close competitors.
Though never satisfying to
a musical ear, Sternhold continued to maintain its hold
with the masses for several centuries.
In the earlier editions notes of equal length were
used for each syllable whether long or short, eliminat-
ing all traces of rhythm, then considered an essentially
secular trait.
The eighteenth century seemed quite positive
that the psalms
. . . when sung in this drawling manner, not only
afford the ear no pleasure, but become unintelligible^
With succeeding editions there were developed cer­
tain characteristics that were found in most of these
'Among others these included the long note on the
first syllable that gave a broad and dignified effect, and
the frequent use of the meter of the old ballads that soon
was known as ’common meter.’
One of the many contributions
of Tallis, published before 1600, illustrates these char­
acteristics as well as a certain flexibility of rhythm
and the use of the melody in the tenor.
In 16S1 Thomas Ravenscroft published a collection
that included the most popular tunes from previous psalt­
ers as well as several new ones.
This edition is historic
ally valuable as it named the composers of the new tunes,
those who harmonized, and gave the origins
of those borrowed from other countries.
It contained a
melody for every one of the one hundred and fifty psalms,
many continuing in use through the eighteenth century.
These were simple in rhythm, the accent of the music fre­
quently followed that of the words, and the melody was
still placed in the tenor.
A tendency toward modern four
part writing gave evidence of the transitional period.
f t =
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. . -I'
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^William R. Vaughan, editor, The English Hymnal, p. 5.
An unsuccessful attempt was made to introduce the
Geneva tunes complete in 1632.
The anglicized paraphrases
would not match the tunes.
The influence of continental ideas was very evident
in the Sandys edition of 1638 with music by Henry Lawes.
Understanding the principle of -the Italian school, Lawes
wrote these two-part compositions apparently following
the usual outline of the Psalm-tune.
His feeling for
harmony, his use of consecutive thirds and tenths, and his
conception of the possibilities for melodies in the new
system of tonality, made these compositions actually the
opposite of any previous edition.
Though a trend toward
a more definite style is clear, there was no definite
change from the subjective devotional music of the six­
teenth century.
The Puritan revolt was necessary to break
the traditions and to cause the composers to express more
emotional reactions in their music,
The Puritan objection to the liturgical music was
not a sudden outburst.
As early aslo36 organ playing
was listed as one of the *84 faults and abuses of religion.f
Queen Elizabeth* in injunctions for -the clergy in 1559 had
issued certain regulations in regard to music that formed
an intelligent compromise between those desiring music
and those averse to it:
. . . that there be a modest and distinct song, so
used in all parts of the common prayers of the church,
that the same may be plainly understood as if it were
without singing; and yet nevertheless, for the com­
forting of such as delight in musick, it may be per­
mitted, that in the beginning or in the end of common
prayer, either at morning or evening, there may be
sung an hymn, or such like song, to the praise of
Almighty God, in the best melody and musick that may
be conveniently devised, having respect that the
sentence of the hymn may be understood and perceived.^
Continuing their efforts, in 1562 they proposed
that the Psalms should be sung 1distincly* by the con­
gregation and that the use of the organ should be dis­
This proposal lost by only one vote.
issue continued to be the subject of debate, a vindica­
tion of the use of music in the church found in the last
volume of Hooker1s Ecclesiastical Polity published in
The growing secularization of the service only
served to increase their criticism.
, p. 26.
John Earle, in 1628
in his Mi'crocosmography, wrote:
The common singing men in the cathedral churches
are a bad society, and yet a company of good fellows,
that roar deep in church, deeper in the tavern - their pastime or recreation is prayers, their exercise
drinking, yet herein so religiously conducted that
they serve God oftest when they are drunk - - their
skill in melody makes them the better companions
abroad, and their anthem abler to sing catches.8
The Puritan congregations clung tenaciously to
their beliefs and customs, prohibiting any use of artistic
With no atom of the mystic in his blood, the Puritan
demanded hard distinct definition in his pious expression
just as he did in his argumentation.
The vagueness of
musical utterance and its appeal to indefinable emotion
were in exact contradiction to his stern belief as to the
nature of true edification.
He believed that the only
proper worship song was that provided of God once and for
all in the Book of Psalms, and that the singing should be
in unison and syllabic.
There was usually little poetic
beauty as all that was desired was a version as near as
possible to the original, metrically arranged so that it
could be easily sung.
The policy regarding the tunes
seemed to be:
. . . tunes for the Psalmes I find noe set of God;
so that each people is to use the most grave, decent
and comfortable manner of singing that they k n o w . 9
8John Murray Gibbon, Melody and the Lyric, p. 153.
9Percy Scholes, The Puritans and Music, p. 258.
Particularly were the Puritans averse to any instru­
ment in the church service, not a new idea then and not
a strange one today*
They believed, according to the
eminent writer of that time, Jeremy Taylor, that instru­
ments may
. . *add some little advantages to singing, but
they are more apt to change religion into aires and
fancies and take off some of its simplicity. Instru­
mental music does not . . . make a man wiser or in­
struct him in anything.
Following the ban upon the use of music or instru­
ments in the church, a number of organs were destroyed
and others were moved to private homes or to many of the
taverns in the cities.
Though modern musicologists agree
that the damage done to instruments was greatly exaggerated
by eighteenth century historians, all seem to concede the
loss of a great amount of music.
No doubt part of this
destruction was deliberate, but it is possible that lack
of interest and use might aecount for some of the loss.
Forbidden the use of music in the church the com­
posers turned to secular composition.
In the field of
vocal music their main interest was solo-songs, a type of
music almost exclusively English.
This was not entirely
a new venture as the early seventeenth century composers
had received recognition for their ’Ayres.’ Many volumes
10 Ibid, p. 218.
of these Ayres were published, some written for solo voice
with accompaniment and others for several voices.
they combined a simple melody with a simple harmonic
accompaniment, though a few experimented with a melodic
recitative style in a slight resemblance to the Italian
The ideal in writing Ayres was expressed by the poet*
musician, Dr. Thomas Campion, when he wrote;
I have aymed chiefly to couple my words and Notes
lovingly together, which will be much for him to do
that hath noe power over both.H
An acute sense of timing, a gift for melodic line, the
strength of repetition, a descending chromatic note to
emphasize mood - - all are typical characteristics of the
style attempted, though unquestionably Campion was the
greatest exponent.
F -f - r ‘ p—
uc.t j:
» j - + /an
" ate?
,j»iri wiv'sH 1
^Miles M. Kastendieck, England* s Musical Poet,
Thomas Campion, p. 141.
One of the "greatest song-writers, not only of his
own country but of all countries, not only of his own time,
but of all time,,,ls John Dowland carried the glories of
English song to the continent where he travelled before
accepting a position at the court of Christian IV of
His melodies were rich and varied; his harmonies,
daringly experimental, were interesting and expressive,
giving his music an amazingly modern sound.
In his songs
can be found the foundation of the modern art-song.
The secular songs of the Commonwealth were evidently
written for amateurs more interested in the poetry than
in the technic of singing.
People with little voice could
satisfy their musical ajabitions by ’singing1 poems in a
semi-recitative style,
fhere was usually at least a slight
melodic line with the rhythm determined by the words.
They were obviously not highly artistic but were, typically
a serious expression of their day.
Indirectly they in-
x Ibid, p. 169.
13Caeil Gray, History of Music, p. 111.
fluenced the anthems of the later part of the century as
it was here that the composers gained some of their ex­
perience in the secular expression that determined their
stylo of writing.
The church music of the Restoration is one of the
most interesting phases of that period.
The combination
of political and musical circumstances that influenced its
development resulted in a product that seems to belong to
a world of its own.
The ban upon church music during the
Commonwealth prevented the natural development during
those years and turned the composers to secular forms.
With the demand for anthems at the Restoration they were
accustomed to the new styles and were unable, had they
desired, to use the old.
Before the Commonwealth there had been experiments
with a new type of anthem, known as
verse-anthem, in-which
the old vocal polyphony was partially replaced by music
for solo voices or for voices with instrumental accompani­
As early as 1610 Byrd used the term ’Versusr as
applied to some of his anthems in which a solo voice
alternated with chorus.
This was definitely the main
interest though there was a gradual introduction of more
rhythmic interest and a slight attempt at related key
His sensitivity to the words and his careful
habits of composition resulted in an emotional strength
unexcelled by any other musician*
As he expressed it:
There is a certain hidden power in the thoughts
underlying the words themselves; so that as one
meditates upon the sacred words and constantly and
seriously considers them, the right notes, in some
inexplicable manner, suggest themselves quite spon­
taneously. ^
This careful consideration of words, at a time when words
received little attention from the composers, paved the
way for the musicians of the Restoration.
More attention continued to be given to solo
passages with a very gradual departure from strict contra­
puntal style.
Child’s volume, Choise Psalms for three solo
voices, published in 1639, was in many ways a bridge to
the anthems of the Restoration.
The music was essentially
declamatory but always avoided anything that was too
obviously secular.
Certain attempts were also made toward
realism in this transition music
14Basil Maine, The Glory of English Music, "p. 26.
*^5 C. Hubert H. Parry, Oxford History of Music. Vol.
Ill, p. 207.
As one of the most conspicuous prototypes of modern
fashionable society, Charles II insisted upon being amused
even in the music for the church service.
This type of
service he required, however, only when he attended*
decided extrovert, he desired pleasing and skillful solos,
the sound of the violins, and instrumental interludes with
an easy rhythm to which he could beat time.
these interludes were so long and so unrelated to the
rest of the anthem that the congregation must have found
it difficult to realize the intended connection.
soon the characteristic form included an instrumental
introduction, similar in style to Italian and French over­
tures, sections for solo voices, and a brilliant finale
for full chorus.
As the tastes of Charles coincided with the musical
movement of the time, his encouragement of the new style
merely^ facilitated an inevitable trend.
As early as 1660
a tendency was evident to disregard the ancient tradition.
In the Humnus Eucharist! cus,composed by Benjamin Rogers
when Charles II dined at Oxford.^ the initial long note was
absent, the melody was. in the soprano and there was more
rhythmic, and harmonic interest.
This hymn is annually
sung on top of the tower of the college at five o’clock
on the morning of May-day.
Serving a now thoroughly secularized church, the
composers had 'all the advantages of variety and effect
afforded by the combination of choir, soloists, and or­
They showed the complete change from the old
devotional music by their use of histrionic methods.
Typical of the day, Pelham Humfrey was sent to Prance by
Charles to study composition with Lully, the most eminent
operatic composer then knowp, and returned to England to
write anthems for the church.
The solo music, in Italian
declamatory style, made no pretence of being tuneful, the
main idea being to declaim passages of scripture in such
a way as to drive home their meaning and make them im-
Vaughan, o£. cit., p. 462.
The combining of several solos," a peculiarity
of the English verse-anthems, demanded great ingenuity1 ,
to contrive suitable declamatory passages without resorting
to mere imitation.
The introduction.of instruments on an equal basis
with the voices brought subjective religious music to ah
Their use developed rapidly, the later anthems con­
taining large amounts of purely instrumental music.
music was only a secondary consideration at first, growing
in popularity as composers began to see the possibilities
of utilizing all the materials of composition.
The music
all showed/ both intelligence and musical ability as well
as the highest artistic ideals that could be expected in
that age.
It is impossible to feel, however, that these
anthems were intended solely for jthe glory of God.
is an element? of ostentatious magnificence about them that
indicated an interest in the approval of men.
The change from the subjective quality of the old
devotional music to a more critical attitude required more
attention to the matter of form by the composer.
gradual development of the formal element paralleled the
growth of the intellectual response to the religious
There was a continued.change from the vocal
polyphony to a homophonic style with more emphasis upon
a melodic line.
The earlier composers had adopted the
melody to the words, hoping to impress them upon the con­
Beginning about the time of Pelham Humfrey
there was a tendency to make the tune more important and
to clarify the design by.the repetition of passages and
the reiteration of phrases.
a complete solo passage.
The chorus frequently repeated
The continual use of repetition
necessitated a more definite phrase construction coupled
with strongly marked melody and rhythm and new chords
and progressions, a distinctly secular development.
Influenced by the Italian, the English composers
began to use a much more florid style.
The English passages,
however, are generally relevant to the thought expressed
by the words instead of being entirely decorative in the
Italian manner.
This was, undoubtedly, a gesture, however
unconscious it may have been, to hold the attention of the
Other devices for the same purpose included
the frequent use of consecutive sevenths, descending pas­
sages of augmented or diminished intervals, and the nonharmonic appoggiaturas.
Some of the harmonic experiments
were so radical that in the next century they were used
as glaring examples of "crudities•
Burney, op>. cit., p. 353-5.
These crudities
really reflect credit upon the composers who dared to ex­
periment beyond the accepted mode of writing.
They may
sound more normal to the modern ear than to that of any
other period.
The demands made upon musicianship of the
singers is illustrated’ by an example from Purcell;
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Closely related to the solo music in the anthems
are the compositions for solo voices set to sacred words
but not intended to be used in the church.
was not a new idea.
This, also,
In the many volumes of Ayres pub­
lished during the early years of the century there were
many sacred lyrics with accompaniment for lute or viol.
The characteristics of these were similar to those of the
secular Ayres.
The melody seemed to be suggested by the
inflection of the words as the rhythm followed the flow
. cit.,
p. 277.
of the words as spoken
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The compositions of the later part of this century,
hear some resemblance to the dialogues that formed part
of the popular entertainment earlier in the century.
rather evident relation to dramatic tendencies is con­
sistent with the secular trend of the day.
As in the
songs of their predecessors, these latter composers, Purcell,
in particular, pkrhaps because he was a musician w&° sang,
displayed a constant care for the rhythmic qualities of
- « ■
Kastendieck, o£. cit., p. 159.
the English language, never creating a formal structure
to which the verse mus^ fit.
As the greatest composer
of the lest half of the century, as well as one of Eng­
land’s most famous musicians, he combined most effectively
all the characteristics of the day.
His music has re­
tained a sense of modernity even to the present day.
effective combination of chromatic harmony and the use of
appoggiaturas in the melody is shown in this example.
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Because of the lack of music to supply the press­
ing needs of the Restoration churches, the first adapta­
tions from the music of foreign composers were made.
There remain today many volumes of arrangements made to
the music of Carissimia, Palestrina, Vittoria, and others.
In practically every case the English words were forced
to the rhythm of the music.
Since the Chapel Royal had been disbanded during
the time of the Commonwealth it was necessary to start
The appointment as ’Master of the Children’ was
A. Westrup, Henry Purcell, p. 170
given to Captain Henry Cooke, a bass in the Chapel Royal
of Charles II and a boy in that organization in the court
of Charles I.
This was not a very cheerful prospect for
a musician as there were only five former members, no
books, and the Order of Service was so forgotten that no
two organists played it alike.
Cooke, however, after
receiving his commission and serving in the army of the
royalists in the Civil war, had made his living during
the Commonwealth by teaching music.
He was an excellent
lutenist and published some of his compositions during that
As an assistant to D ’avenant in his !Operas
as composer and as actor-singer, his exact contribution
is uncertain.
He claims
that he was fain to direct Sir W. D'avenant in the
breaking of his verses into such and such lengths,
according as would be fit for musick, and how he used
to swear at D favenant, and command him that way,
when W. D favenant would be angry and find fault with
this or that note.
With military precision Cooke established disci­
pline among the boys and reinstated the old pressgang
warrant whereby he might take any boy that he desired from
any choir in the country.
He strengthened the voices with
instruments, usually with cornets, and instituted a com­
prehensive curriculum.
As a result his boys had extra-
21william Nethercot, Sir William D* avenant, p. 314.
ordinary skill:
they could read anything at sight, could
sing well in Italian, knew Latin, and could play on violin,
lute, organ, and harpsichord.
This was accomplished in
less than three years and stamped Cooke as the greatest
choir director of the country.22
These 1first children
of the Chapel1 must have worked hard as they made a defi­
nite contribution to English music.
Youth seemed to be no
handicap as Wise was organist of a Cathedral at the age of
twenty, Humfrey was recognized composer at nineteen, and
Blow was organist of Westminister Abbey at twenty-one.
Stimulated by the interest of Charles I, the com­
posers of the latter part of the century, and especially
the court composer, had a steady demand for odes.
the frequency of the performance of musical rejoicing
were any genuine criterion, the later Stuarts might be
inferred to be among the best-loved monarchs ever known
to the country.
Welcome songs followed every movement of
the royal family; birthday odes celebrated each natal day;
occasional 'odes cared for any other need.
Here was found
some of the finest choral music of the period.
As a rule
choral music received little attention from the composer,
perhaps, because at that time elaborate ensemble music was
22J. C. Bridge, TtCooke, Captain Henry,” Grove
Dictionary, 3rd edition, Vol. I, p. 710.
considered old-fashioned. - This necessity of writing to
order did not always result in the finest music.
times it was good but often it seemed, closely akin to a
certain pedestrian quality characteristic of many of the
In form they might be called choral cantatas,
written for solo voices and. chorus with instrumental ac­
They are undoubtedly the predecessor of the
Handel cantatas and oratorios of half a century later and
their popularity was partially responsible for the great
Handellian vogue.
After the Restoration it was necessary to revive
the congregational participation in the service, either
in melodic psalmody or in hymn-singing.
Playford, in 1671,
issued a volume containing many of the old psalm tunes with
some new ones.
The reason for publication as given in the
preface is almost a brief history of psalmody through the
seventeenth century.
For many years, this part of divine service was
skillfully and devoutly performed, with delight and
comfort, by many honest and religious people; and is
still continued in our churches, but not with that
reverence and estimation as formerly; . . . trans­
lation . . . and music . . . need reforming. Those
many tunes formerly used to these Psalms, for excellency
of form, solemn air, and suitableness to matter of the
Psalms, were not inferior to any tunes used in foreign
churches; but at this, day the best, and almost all the
choice tunes are lost, and out of use in our churches;
nor must we expect it otherwise, when in and about
this great city . . . . there is but few parish clerks
to be found that have either ear or understanding to
set one of these tunes musically as it should be^3
Six years later he published another collection
with simpler harmonies, that held its place as the musical
standard for the following century.
It contained;
. . . usual Hymns and Spiritual Songs, and all the
ancient and modern tunes sung in Churches, composed
in three parts, Cantus, Medius, and Bassus. In a more
plain and useful method than hath been heretofore pub­
The last edition of the century was made by Tate,
Poet Laureate, and Brady, Royal Chaplain, in 1696.
was a much richer literary form of the psalms, attempting
to make them more lyrical.
The metrical paraphrases,
adapted to current tunes, provoked many years of contro­
versy but aided in an eventual recognition of the use of
poetry in.public worship.
The Supplement to this New
Version, issued in 1708, contained three tunes of Dr.
William Croft that are familiar to modern congregations St. Anne, perhaps now known better as f0 Cod, our help in
ages past;’ Hanover, *0 Worship the King;* and St. Matthew
fThine arm, 0 Lord, in days of old.1
During the later part of the century there was a
more spontaneous desire for hymns.
According to available
S3Wooldridge,'o£. cit., p. 280.
records there were only sporadic attempts prior to 1660.
In 162 3 The Company of Stationers was ordered by King
James to bind with every copy of the Metrical Psalter a
copy of George Wither*s Hymnes and Songs of the Church.
The Company refused and won the case in court.
might have been a different sequel if Wither had been
willing to cooperate with the remarkable group of devo­
tional poets -writing at that time.
The list probably would
have included Quarles, Herrick, Herbert, Crashaw, Traherne,
Vaughan - - a group who might have originated hymns of
great merit and popularity.
Though this renewed interest in hymns was more
evangelical than liturgical there were attempts to revive
the Office hymnody.
It could not be as formal as the
earlier Office sentences but must make more definite
appeal to ^congregational singing.
Among others, Bishop
Ken, using old tunes, wrote many morning, noon, and evening
hymns that are found today in the modern hymnals.
before 1700 Isaac Watts, a Congregational!st, began his
great hymn-writing career.
The vast stock of hymns, how-
ever, was a contribution of the next century.
Opera in England has always had a chequered career.
The introduction of the term itself occurred during the
Puritan regime, the only time at which opera in England
has achieved any genuine popularity with English audiences.
The first faint intimations, however, were found prior to
the efforts of Peri and his friends in Italy when the
English composers had conceived somewhat the same idea.
In Elizabethan days in the simple tragi-comedies acted
by the children of the royal chapels comparatively elabo­
rate songs were sung by the principal characters at moments
of emotional crisis.
To the Englishman generally, however,
music was a thing apart, not an emotional self-expression
as it wes to the Italian.
The highly-developed drama,
apparently more adaptable to the English temperament, was
too deeply rooted to permit him to consider music as a
normal language of dramatic expression.
It must be re­
stricted to the. gods or to the weak in mind.
An Italian
critic of the time felt that
Music is not the natural means of expression for
the Englishman to the same extent as it is for the
Italian. He regards it as something higher than a
mere vehicle of the emotions and passions; and this
explains why in England music remained in a subor-
dinate position to drama.1
The germ of English opera is to be found in the
masque, a favorite amusement of the English court which
achieved its greatest brilliance and popularity during the
early years of the Stuarts*
This development was due to
the personal taste of James and his Queen whose passion
for magnificent display, equalled that of Elizabeth but
lacked her balancing economical scruples*
They could com­
mand the services of the finest musicians and writers who
worked together as equal collaborators.
However, the elabo­
rate productions probably gave more importance to the scenic
producer, Inigo Jones, the greatest English architect of
his day*
The music, vocal and instrumental, was performed
by the court musicians.
Because of these extravagant pro­
ductions that could be financed only by the court, the
production of masques became limited almost exclusively
to the royal palace.
Theoretically the principal feature of a masque was
the dancing of the ’masquers,f eight, twelve, or sixteen
dancers of either sex chosen from royalty or nobility*
Dressed in gorgeous costumes these dancers appeared alone
in stately figure dances which they had carefully rehearsed
1J. A. Westrup, Purcell, p. 111.
and in .the revels, livelier dances which they danced with
partners of opposite sex chosen from the audience*
was always a traditional dancing finale in which the
audience joined.
After the final chorus
with severall ecchoes of mu'sicke and voices * . . .
At the end whereof the Masquers putting of their
visa.rds, and helmets, made a low honour to the King
and attended his Ma: to the banquetting place.
The allegorical characters of the masque, some­
times played by members of the court, were introduced and
explained by a poet.
An antimasque in lighter vein pro­
vided contrast as well as accentuated the main idea of
the masque.
Soon the antimasque began to develop into
elaborate scenes of low comedy, becoming so popular that
the audiences demanded more.
Beginning with one for each
masque they gradually increased in number, the seven that
Carew used in Caelum Brittanicum in 1634 far exceeded by
D ravenant with twenty in ‘Salmacida Spolia in 1639.
antimasques were danced by professionals, usually their
only participation in the production.
By 1613 definite
characteristics of the masque included the dance finale,
the transformation scenes, the use of music to drown out
the stage 'machinery, and the antimasque.
2 .,
Miles M. Kastendieck, England's Musical Poet,
Thomas Campion, p. 194,
Some suggestion of dramatic interest was shown before
the close of the sixteenth century, but a definite dramatic
development was evident in the first decade of the seven­
The general trend during the early years of the
century placed the emphasis upon the festival idea with
the dramatic value placed secondary.
It is possible that
the audience might have been more impressed by the dancing
and the music as there were always musical accompaniments
during the dances and songs between the dances, songs usually
concerned with the noble qualities of the masquers.
concluding songs warned of the approach of morning and
summoned the dancers to depart.
Campion, in Lord Hayes
Masque, presented In 1607, devoted so much attention to
music that the masque seemed to be all song and dance.
One important innovation, believed to be original with
Campion, was the use of songs in the form of dialogue,
having to us an obvious similarity to opera.
At the beginning of the century the scenery followed
the standard form of the sixteenth century.
A mountain at
the back of the stage, at one side toward the front a
temple, and a cave on the other side made an inconvenient
arrangement taking up too much space and becoming monotonous
to the audience.
In 1605 Tones used a modification of the
fscena parapettatar in which the flats were set practically
at right angles to the proscenium.
For some time the only-
way to change scenery was by removing one pair of flats to
disclose a new pair behind it.
About 1612 Jones began to
use the proscenium arch,'decorated with figures symbolical
of the play presented.
In the later masques interchangeable
flats were placed parallel to the proscenium where rapid
changes of scenes could be accomplished by the use of side
shutters running in grooves.
In his operas in 1656
D ’avenant used scenes with wings and a backdrop painted in
Three years later there was a trend toward
realism when he ingeniously managed to illustrate the dia­
logue by the motion of parts of the painted sets.
realistically an amateur ventroliquist gave a voice to the
lookout painted on the backdrop.
The lighting equipment,
in comparison to our modern switchboard, was very meagre,
including only candles, oil lamps, colored glasses, cloth,
paper, and liquids.
However, by the use of direct and in­
direct radiation, transparencies, and a reflection of
streaked and blended colors, particularly striking effects
were achieved.
In the earlier masques the use of a stage divided
into an upper and lower part made possible the performance
of the most elaborate scenic ideas.
Campion’s description
in the Lords Maske gives some idea of the spectacular effects
usually expected:
In the end of the firs part of this Song, the
vpper part of the Scene was discouered by the sodaine
fall of a curtaine; then in clowdes of seuerall colours
(the vpper part of them being fierie, and the middle
heightned with siluer) appeared eight Starres of extraordinarie bignesse, which were so placed, as that
they seemed to be fixed between the Firmament and the
According to the humour of this Song, the Starres
mooued in an exceeding strange and delightfull meannr,
and I suppose few haue euer seene more neat artifice,
then Master Innigoe Iones shewed in contriuing their
Motion . . . . About the end of this Song, the Starres
suddainely vanished, as if they had been drowned amongst
the Cloudes, and the eight Maskers appeared in their
The interest of lames. I in dramatic display gave
impetus to the shift of emphasis from musical to literary,
particularly evident with the entrance of Ben Jonson into
court circles.
Beginning with his masques there was a
definite increase in literary value with the music re­
ceiving secondary consideration.
His first consideration
was for a libretto with a dramatic idea and a slight di­
dactic tone.
He believed that a masque should be not only
for amusement but also for instruction.
Conscious of the
musical enthusiasm and of the dramatic possibilities’in the
use of the songs, he used music to introduce his characters
and as much as possible to establish moods a s .an aid to the
Instead of writing both words and. music as Campion
did, he left all problems except the libretto to talented
5Ibid., p. 187-188.
musicians, usually Alfonso Ferraboscc Jr. or Nicholas
Lanier, and to the stage director, Jones.
As might he
expected, the masques lost that innate unity so evident in
those of Campion.
There could be little development in a form in which
the songs, dances, ensembles and incidental music were all
so independent that several different composers might con­
tribute to the same masque.
Any change could be found only
in the quality and style of each inidividual number.
the masque was usually an entertainment for a special
occasion and was not often repeated, there could be no test
of frequent criticism.
The customary seasons for performances
were Christmas and Shrovetide, the festivities preceding Lent,
though special performances were given for the entertainment
of visiting celebrities.
The true masque period ended during
the turmoil of the closing years of Charles I.
After the
reopening of the theaters in the Restoration the great in­
terest in dramatic production limited any interest in masques
except as incidental to the play.
Borne influence upon the development of opera was
exerted by the dramatic jig, so often used as a coda to
the drama.
From the middle of the sixteenth century through
the seventeenth they were performed at fairs, at various
sorts of entertainments, in the taverns or even in the
The characteristic jig was always 0 brief farce
which was sung and accompanied by dancing.
There w?ere at
least three characters to develop some complications of
a plot, usually conceived with a realistic or a burlesque
version of love or a satirical presentation of the latest
They were a favorite entertainment not only
in England but achieved great popularity when featured by
English companies on tour on the continent-.
It was not altogether religious fanaticism that
aroused the Puritans against the theaters but a combination
of moral and material opposition.
Years before, acting had
passsed from the clergy to itinerant companies of proved
immorality and doubtful honesty who, because of their roving
manner of living, helped to spread disease and to shield
It was only natural that plays and players should
become the target of those who were interested in civic
improvement as well as of those who were, fanatically or
not, interested in spiritual welfare.
The final closing
of the theaters, however, was not due entirely to religious
fervor but in some degree to the plague of 1642.
As pre­
ceding epidemics had not often coincided with a wave of
religious enthusiasm, the former closings had been for a
shorter period of time with less publicity.
The suppression
of the drama by the Puritans gave added impetus to the pro-
duction of masques, particularly in schools and in pri­
vate performances.
These school masques were of great
importance as it was for such an occasion that Purcell
wrote Dido and Aeneas.
Paradoxically, the suppression of
the drama stimulated the production of opera - - a result
entirely antithetical to the Puritan objective.
There was a surprising amount of dramatic activity
during the period that the theatres, theoretically, were
Pamphleteering and the printing of plays were
legal and there were both public and private productions
when it was thought perhaps the authorities had grown
sufficiently lethargic to ignore infractions of the law.
Sir William. D favenant, poet laureate to Charles I, TtQ,uandam governor of the Cockpit and near builder of London’s
largest theater”4 unsuccessfully attempted a public per­
formance in a theater which he would construct.
his idea by decorating the dialogue and action with music,
he presented his production as a semiprivate one in his
own home, Eutland House in 1655.
The whole thing was
rather amateurish but it showed' his irrepressible devotion
to his one aim and interest, the re-establishment of some­
thing like a theater in England.
By combining ’Musick
^Arthur H. Nethercot, Sir William D yavenant, p. 300.
and Declamations after the manner of the Ancients1 with a
fConsort of Instrumental Musick after the French Composition1
to present ’moral representations,1 D ’&venant, under the
name ’opera’ united the hated masques with the new1 Italian
and French developments in composition.
Avoiding any connection with the contaminating
professional stage, D ’avenant cast his characters from
Though some of these were well trained as musi­
cians he cautioned the audience in the prologue that they
were not experienced and that loud laughter or unkind re­
marks might cause them to forget their lines.
Such a
statement could not have been entirely valid as in the east
were Captain Henry Cooke, Matthew Locke, Henry Persill,
Edward Coleman and his wife, all prominent musicians of
the day.
In addition to Locke and Cooke the composers
included Henry Lawes, George Hudson, and Dr. Charles
Coleman, equally outstanding.
The instrumental music was
expected to establish the moods of the various characters,
the songs and choruses filled in the interludes.
mental supervision could not have been very strict as the
main point of the show was a debate, in the form of two
monologues, between Diogenes and Aristophanes on the question
of public entertainment.
Digenes, the cynic, condemned
’publiek entertainment by Moral Representations’ but was
thoroughly confuted hy Aristophanes1 arguments for the
In both speeches the audience was repeatedly
told of all the joys that they were, missing.
Today, the
speeches seem long and tedious but then there may have
been favorable comparison with the lengthy Puritan sermon.
This The First pays Entertainment at Rutlandhouse, by
Declamation and Musick:
after the Manner of the Ancients
was, in many ways, similar to a modern lecutre recital
with perhaps more elaborate costumes and scenery.
Though the attendance was not equal to his expecta­
tions and the admission price of five shillings was perhaps
a little high, D ’avenant considered his production with
its ten day run sufficiently successful to follow with
In 1656 he presented The Seige of Rhodes in a
much more ambitious production.
It seems evident now that
this was first written as a play and then to allow pro­
duction was adapted as ’opera* by inserting songs and
choruses and giving a musical accompaniment wherever pos~
Some of the problems encountered and his satis­
faction in his solutions are expressed by D ’avenant in the
As these limites have hinder’d the spendour of our
scene, so we are like to give no great satisfaction in
the quality of our argument, which is a story very
copious; but shrinks to a small narration here, because
we could not convey it by more than seven persons;
being constrain’d to prevent the length of recitative
musick, as well as to conserve, without incumbrance,
the narrowness of the place. Therefore you cannot
expect the chief ornaments belonging to a history
drammatically digested into turns and counterturns,
to double walls, and interweavings of design.
You may inquire, being a reader, why in an heroick
argument my numbers are so often diversify*d and fall
into short fractions; considering that a continuation
of the usual length of English verse would appear'
more heroical in reading! But when you are an auditor
you will find that in this, I rather deserve approbation
than need excuse; for frequent alterations of measure
(which cannot be so unpleasant to him that reads as
troublesome to him that writes) are necessary to
recitative musick for variation of ayres.5
The seige of Rhodes was undeniably a success, the
musical setting for once at least the equal of the libretto.
A consistent emotional level was maintained and a sense of
seige was skillfully suggested and maintained.
Assisted by
the same group of composers as in The First Days Entertainment,
D ’avenant, in his preface to the libretto refers to them as
"the most transcendent of England in that Art, and perhaps
not unequal to the best Masters abroad."
There was a
revival after the Restoration, in which another female chart-acter was added, and a sequel written in which this new
character played an important part.
The second part was
nearly twice as long and was written much more in dramatic
^Edward 1. Dent, Foundations of English Opera, p. 64-65
^Nethercot, op. cit., p. 312.
than in operatic style#
Nothing is known about the music
for it except that it was almost all recitative.
only was this first real English opera, written-.and sung
in English, a favorite of the public but it apparently was
the only one in English to receive a command performance at
In 1658 D ’avenant reopened the Cockpit in Drury Lane
for his ■
'opera, * The Cruelty of the Spaniards in Peru,
Exprest by Instrumental! and Vocall Musick, and By Art of
Perspective in Scene?, &.
??ith. ample space and equipment
he combined good propaganda with a variety show.
were six ’entries,’ an obvious avoidance of the theatrical
terms ’acts,’ each a monologue in costume on the history
of Peru,
Each speech was declaimed in recitative by the
Priest of the Sun, and each was followed by a song,
with chorus, sung apparently by a special lyric group17
By disguising a couple of rope dancers and a talented tum­
bler as Peruvian apes and an attendant of the Priest of
the Sun, he cleverly camouflaged forbidden attractions.
The reopening of the theaters with the return of
Charles II in 1660 removed the necessity for any subter­
fuge in connection with the drama.
^Ibid., p , 327.
The majority of the
public evidently wanted plays, and, an important considera­
tion, actors and actresses were much more easily found than
were dramatic singers.
Though productions under D ’avenantfs
direction at the Duke’s Playhouse, one of the two given a
monopoly by Charles in 1660 and one of the most influential
houses, were known as ’opera. f it was primarily to distin­
guish the two houses.
D ’avenant’s influence was definitely
more literary than musical yet to his efforts are due the
beginning of English opera.
An evaluation of his contri­
bution and the circumstances affecting it were given by
Bryden later in the century in the prefatory essay to The
Conquest of Granada;
. . . for heroic plays, the first light we had of
them, on the English theatre, was from the late Sir
William D ’avenant. It being forbidden him in the
rebellious times to act tragedies and comedies, because
they contained some matter of scandal to those good
people, who would more easily dispossess their lawful
sovereign than endure a wanton jest, he was forced
to turn his thoughts another way, and to introduce
the examples of moral virtue, verse, and per­
formed in recitative music. The original of this music,
and of the scenes which adorned his work, he had from
the Italian operas. . .
One of the chief demands of Charles II and his
courtiers was the Introduction of women to the stage as
had been accustomed to seeing them on the continent..
For private performances there was plenty of precedent in
Percy Scholes, The Puritans and Music, p. 204.
the court masques for acting by women but public and pro­
fessional performances were another matter.
D ’avenant,
in his productions,, had presented a ’female* in his theater
and had charged admission for it, but she was not con­
sidered a professional actress.
With the Restoration
there was in a few years an apparently unlimited supply of
more or less talented actresses.
Where men had acted
women1s parts, women in men’s clothes were soon the fashion.
By 1664 whole plays were given by women only, plays as in­
decent as any that age produced.
Towards the end of the
century little girls of six or eight were introduced to
sing a particularly vulgar song, the contrast between the
apparent childish innocence and the most filthy innuendo,
apparently proving an attraction to the theater.
Opera in the Restoration became a sort of hybrid
form- - drama and music combined, a type of romantic play
with music that was a consistent development from Elizabethan
English audiences were more interested in the
theater than in the opera but they had no wish to be deprived
of the music they enjoyed.
To satisfy this desire, the drama
was often distorted merely to provide an excuse for the intro­
duction of music which often was of no assistance dramatically
and at times even bore little relation to the mood of the
D ’avenant, searching for and sure hits,
’edited’ the plays of Shakespeare, adding ideas of his own
and pruning the original wherever he desired.
features were introduced whenever possible, new characters
invented if necessary for song or dance.
In the revival
of Macbeth in 1663 there were new songs and speeches for
the witches, four new scenes for Lord and Lady Macduff,
and a corresponding mutilation of the original writing.
The music of the first production was retained and addi­
tional music was written by Locke,
Unfortunately only a
few fragments of this music are known.
The play was
extremely popular, scenery, music, and dancing contribut­
ing to its* success.
Other revivals followed in 1682 and
1689 with incidental music now rather definitely decided
to have been written by Purcell.
Though this music was
not great dramatic music, it successfully strengthened the
dramatic effect.
The theory of English opera in the later part of
the century was expressed by Dryden in the preface to his
Albi on and Albanius in 1685?
An Opera is a Poetical Tale, or Fiction, represented
by Vocal and Instrumental Musick, adorn’d with Scenes,
Machines, and Dancing. The suppos’d Persons of this
Musical Drama, are generally Supernatural, as G-ods and
Goddesses and Heroes, which at least are descended
from them, and are in due time to be adopted into their
^George Saintsbury, John Dryden, Vol. II, p. 223.
The first original attempt at opera was made byLocke and Shadwell with their production of Psyche in 1673.
Though Shadwell was not particularly interested in writing
a poetic libretto, he valued highly his abilities as a
In his preface, after acknowledging the borrow­
ing of some i'deas from the French play by the same name,
he continued:
In all the words which are sung, I did not so much
take care of the Wit or Fancy of ’em, as the making of
’em proper for Musick; in which I cannot but have some
little knowledge, having been bred, for many years of
my youth, to some performance in it.
I chalk’d out the way to the Composer (in all but
the Song of Furies and Devils, in the Fifth Act'}' having
design’d which Line I wou’d have sung by One, which by
Two, which by Three, which by Four Voices &, and what
manner of Humour I would have in all the Vocal Musick.
Undoubtedly his understanding of music made him an able
collaborator with Locke for whom he expressed the most
sincere appreciationf
And by his excellent Composition, that long known,
able and approved Master of Musick, Mr. Lock (Composer
to His Majesty, and Organist to the Queen) has done me
a great deal of right; though I believe, the unskilful
in Musick, will not like the more solemn part of it,
as the Musick in the Temple of Apollo, and the Song of
the Despairing Lovers, in the Second Act; both which
are proper and admirable in their kinds, and are
recommended to the judgment of able Musicians; for
■^Dent, op. cit., p. 110.
those who are not so, .there are light and airy things
to please t h e m ^
Psyche was definitely a play with as much incidental
music as could be used.
There was a definite unity, com­
parable to the Wagnerian manner, in the play, the machines
and the music.
The songs, however, gave no differentiation
of character, any song fitting one character as well as
Locke, however, was not unique in this character­
istic as it was prevalent throughout the musical world.
psyche is important as the first systematic attempt at a
musical and dramatic scheme.
Though the principal char­
acters did not sing, the whole drama was developed in an
atmosphere of music.
Each character was consistently
brought into contact with the music which was used to the
extent of the ability of the day to heighten dramatic effects.
Independent in spirit, unhampered by experience or
routine, indifferent to any conventional style, Blow achieved
more nearly a real operatic form in Venus and Adonis.
duced about 1687 as a ’masque for the entertainment of the
King;’ it showed French and Italian influence.
There was
an overture that led straight into the prologue, the plot
continuing in song and dance.
With a story so familiar,
attention was focused on the definite personalities success­
lllbid., p. 111.
fully expressed in the music.
Blow’s indifference to the
accepted modes and his individual mode of expression, fre­
quently referred to by contemporary and succeeding historians
as •crudities,
would be certain to prevent any great popu­
Essentially English in character, though undoubtedly
indebted to French and Italian sources, conforming to no
traditions, Purcell, in Dido and Aeneas, introduced'. several
original features.
A more positive stage sense was evident,
particularly in the use of the chorus as a positive factor
in the drama.
A clearer and more definite form was always
subordinate to an artistic expression of a wide emotional
Because of its dramatic insight into human emotions,
it has retained a sense of freshness even to a modern
Technically sure of himself, Purcell achieved
more vivid characterization than is found in similar music
of the period.
A unique sense of unity was achieved by a
sure rhythmical balance and a sense of key relations superior
to any of his contemporaries.
Dramatic intensity resulted
from the concise expression of each thought.
"For concen­
tration of energy Dido and Aeneas stands alone among operas
of all time.12
12Ibid., p. 194.
Purcell’s only opera in the strict sense of the
word, Dido and Aeneas was .composed by request for production
in a private school for girls about 1690.
This was the only
performance, except when used as a masuue in an adaptation
of Measure for Measure in 1700, for over two hundred years,
the reason probably for its lack of influence upon the com­
posers following Purcell.
It is now considered the most
significant contribution in the field of opera by any
English composer of the seventeenth century.
The classical example of typical English -opera
was King Arthur, produced by Dryden and Purcell in 1691.
Extremely patriotic, it was given a magnificent production,
the expenses of the singers and dancers arousing the
jealousy of the actors.
The main interest was centered
on the music, though, again, the principal characters did
not sing.
The combination of the supernatural and music
gave a premonition of Wagner and the Nibelungen Ring.
was true to the English idea that only gods or devils or
creatures subject to their powers, as lovers and madmen,
should express their emotions musically.
Considered from
a nationalistic standpoint, it is possible that there was
an emotional reaction from the audience similar to that
from Cavalcade in the twentieth century. 13
op. cit., p* 73.
In the preface, Dryden referred to a more active
influence that Purcell may have exerted upon the lyrics?
There is nothing better, than what I intended, but
the Musick; which has since arriv’d to a greater
Perfection in England, than ever formerly; especially
passing through the Artful Hands of Mr. Purcel, who
has Compos1d it with so great a Genius, that he has
nothing to fear but an ignorant, ill-judging Audience . .
In many places I have been oblig’d to cramp my
Verse, and mal^e them ragged to the Reader, that they
may be harmonious to the Hearer. . . . a Judicious
Audience will easily distinguish betwist the Songs,
wherein I have comply*d with him, and those in .which
I have followed the Rules of Poetry, In the Sound and
Cadence of the Words. ^
Recitative, one essential characteristic of opera,
never became a natural mode of expression for the English.
The spectacular masques of the early part of the century
lacked only this one element to claim a distinct relation
to opera.
An attempt at recitative may have been made by
Campion in the Lord* s Maske in 1613 when, following an
exciting dance by the antimasquers, the music modulated to
a slower tempo and played very softly while Orpheus spoke.
Four years later Jonson* s Lovers Made Men was set in
*stylo recitative, * the first reference made to the Italian
None of the music is known but judging by the
lyrics there was no metrical distinction between aria and
This distinction was more,evident in The Vision
Ibid., p . 7S.
of Delight produced at the close of the same year.
perhaps because of his greater literary interest,
D ’avenant used
To avoid any
actual theatrical connection the speeches in his pro­
ductions were declaimed instead of spoken.
Epithalamium upon Marriage of Lady Mary, Daughter to his
Highness, with the Lord Viscount Ffaleonbridge, written
in 1657, as well as the Second Part of the Seige of Rhodes,
were set entirely in recitative.
It is unfortunate that
his music was lost as it would be interesting to see the
way in which recitative was used so extensively.
D ’avenant
may have expressed only his personal conception of the use
of recitative in The Playhouse to be Let, but it is probable
that he reflected the general idea of his day.
Recitative Musick is not composfd
Of matter so familiar, as may serve
For every low occasion of discourse.
In Tragedy, the language of the Stage
Is rais’d above the common dialect;
Our passions rising with the height of Verse;
And Vocal Musick adds new wings to all
The Flights of poetry. ^
In Dryden’s Albion and Albanius, Grabu used recita­
tive freely.
By this time there was an acknowledged
differentiation between aria and recitative as Dryden ex­
plained in the preface.
The recitative was to take plaoe
15Dent, op. cit., pages 71-72.
of tlie "lofty, figurative, and majestical language that
would normally be employed in a spoken play on such a
subject;" the aria or "Songish Part was to please the
hearing rather than to gratify the understanding.”16
By the time of Purcell, English recitative had be­
come more tuneful and definite in form than the Italian.
This style was sufficiently different from the Italian
use that the English form is frequently called ;quasi­
recitative. *
English composers considered recitative a
continuous and logically constructed composition.
Because of their sense of form and an innate desire for
some melodic line, it is doubtful if they would have adopted
the Italian recitative had they had all opportunities to
hear it.
The mode of expression was foreign to their nature.
Observing strict time and key relationship, Purcell, excell­
ing all others, subtly expressed every emotional reaction
in his recitative.
Only in Dido and Aeneas, however, did
he use it in place of the part usually spoken in the plays
with music or in much of the so-called seventeenth century
This example, sung by Dido near the close of the
opera, is typical of Purcellfs expressive recitative, a
form in which he was a worthy predecessor of the great
Saintsbury, op. cit., p. 224.
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The parodies on the operas w ere?’frojm either a
purely literary or musical point of view, most contempt­
But they are representative of the reaction of
1?C. Hubert H. Parry, Oxford Hi story of Music,
Vol. Ill, p. 298.
seventeenth century audiences in the same way as the bur­
lesques of the modern drama and opera are representative
of the theater1of today.
erudite as a
TomD'Urfey, classified by the
vulgar hedge-poet' was probably the most
prolific producer and delighted his public with such
productions as a burlesque of Locke’s Psyche, rather ,
typically titled Psyche Debauch’d.
One of the most popu­
lar Tinpan-Alleyists, his songs were sung by all classes.
With-the Restoration the masque again became the
most popular form of entertainment among court circles.
These were private extravagant performances produced with
a lavish display of which the general public knew? only by
Expense was no concern of the court, in 1674 the
dancers and musicians, vocal and instrumental alone, en­
gaged for Crowne’s Calisto costing over 1.220.
The music
by Nicholas Staggine, master of the king’s music, is not
known today, but Crowne wrote:
Mr. Staggines has not only delighted us with his
excellent composition, but with the hopes of seeing
in a very short time a master of music in England
equal'to any France or Italy have produced^®
Whether this was professional honesty or professional
courtesy can not be known.
He is generally regarded as
a mediocre musician whom Charles TT forced Cambridge to
xoWestrup, 0£. cit., p. 113.
accept as its first Professor of Music.
Following the example of their royalty, the peoplefs
demand for the masque resulted in many masques in the
Restoration drama, sometimes superior to the drama with
which it was connected.
The masque by Purcell' in Dioclesian
is considered by his biographers to be the finest part of
the work.
There is fresh and breezy vigor about it that
is characteristically English.
The introduction of masques
in some of the plays and semi-operas undoubtedly was a con­
cession to public taste but'a desire for spectacular effects
must have been responsible for the succession of masques
that made up the Faery Queen, a mutilation of Midsummer
Night *s Dream.
A contemporary has given an apt descrip­
The Baroque fancey of century did not achieve anything
more delightful. Fairies, shepherdesses, nymphs and
drydeds, divinities and seasons, monkeys and human beings
mingle in the successive masques in most amiable and
inconsecutive fashion. A Chinese garden, complete with
proper flora and fauna, discloses in final/ scene one
dazzling marvel after another until its orange trees
move to the front of the stage and the whole revue
ends in a grand dance, a chaconne and a chorus.
Usually the masques in the plays had-no connection with the
No definite story was attempted, no particular idea
was presented, except that the subject usually was Love
19Willard Thorp, Songs
from the Restoration Theater,
p. 91.
in some form.
The growing popularity of music in the plays and the
semi-opera made it necessary to add more musicians to the
the a lei- staff.
Changes in their location^relation to the
stage followed.
In 1607 Campion arranged his instruments
more to achieve the best balance of tone than to have an
effective picture.
. . . on the right hand (of upper stage) whereof
were consorted ten Musitians, with Basse and Meane
Lutes, a Bandora, a double Sackbott, and an Harpsicord,
with two treble Violins; on the other side somewhat
neer the skeene were plac’t 9 Violins and three Lutes,
and. to answere both the Consorts (at it were in a
triangle) sixe Cornets, and six Chappell voyces, were
seated almost right against them, in a place raised
higher in regpect of the pearcing sound of those
D ’avenant in 1655 placed his musicians in a small room
above the stage in Elizabethan fashion.
Because of his
reference in the preface to the Seige of Rhodes to "places
of passage reserv’d for the musick"
it is possible that
a small group was crowded, in behind the scenes.
As early
as 1633 experiments were mad.e with the musicians in the
modern position, but it was not until 1690 that they were
established there permanently.
The practice of using a
large number of instruments in the masque was not adopted
^Kastendieck, o£. cit., p. 188.
0 £.
cit., pages 71-72.
in the first tentative opera productions.
The limited
space could care for only those essential to the per­
By 1674 the number had increased to twenty-four
for the performance of The Tempest.
With the growing
habit of placing the orchestra in the pit larger orchestras
and more varied instrumentation developed.
Toward the close
of the century a full orchestra was customary, including
strings, flutes, hautboys, trumpets, and trombones.
Whether it was the influence of the court, a desire
for novelty, or an inherent taste for music, by the end
of the century a large percentage of the dramas contained
songs and. other incidental music, sometimes to such an
extent that the drama seemed to exist mainly for the songs
worked into the scenes.
As early as 166S the Italian
Count Magaiotti wrote:
Before the comedy begins, that the audience may
not be tired with waiting, the most delightful
symphonies are played; on which account many persons
come early to eng.oy this agreeable amusement.
The incidental music was a true transcript from life,
finding its origin in the society of the day.
There were
tavern catches, serenading songs, musical preludes to
seduction, soft airs to quiet suffering hearts, healths
to majesties, musical abilities of witty servants - 22
Thorp, op. cit., p. 1.
everything to which* the good English public was accustomed.
One curiosity of the period was the rmad songs* in which
phases of temporary insanity were represented by varia­
tions in tempo and style.
The songs of the theater were developed fr o m the
masque influenced somewhat by the traditions of popular
Thus in all the attempts at musical drama of
whatever sort, the language used was always English.
these as in the solo songs, the subject matter was mainly
subjective, for it was an age when poets and musicians
revelled in the "languorous accents of sophisticated
passion." 23 So universal was the theme that, whether it
was the cruelty of a reluctant mistress, the bitterness
of a relentless fate, or man1s humility before God, the
same melodic and harmonic progressions supplied them all.
When the poet relaxed there was a frankness that often
went beyond the bounds of a polite society.
To these the
musician, however, responded with.light-hearted, Irrespons­
ible melodies.
The interest of Charles II in continental affairs,
political and artistic, gave a decided incentive to the
beginning of foreign influence in the dramatic field.
2^Westrup, op. cit., p. 162.
In 1660 he granted a royal license to Guilio Gentileschi
to establish a house for Italian Opera in London, the
company to be known as His Majesty’s Servants.
A mono­
poly was granted for all musical performances for five
years, but apparently no subsidy accompanied the grant
as there is no record of any performance.
Other attempts
were made in 1664 and in 1667 but the public was not in­
In 1672 Cambert, a popular composer in France,
came to England to be director of music for Charles.
years later he produced Perrin’s popular French opera
Ariane with music by Grabu, performed at the Theater
Royal by the
Royal Academy; of Music,
an obvious copy of
the French organization.
The only attempt at English opera in the French
style was made by Dryden in collaboration with Grabu, then
Master of the King’s Music, in Albion and Albanius in 1685.
Its failure may have been due to the political situation
but there has been consistent criticism of the music.
Grabu’s inadequate knowledge of English, his inability to
sense the lithe rhythmic flow so characteristic of Dryden’s
verse, resulted in absurd melodic outlines.
This might not
seem a vital criticism today to an audience usually un­
concerned with understanding opera, but the seventeenth
century Englishman was accustomed to enjoying opera in his
own tongue*
In additon the music was considered dull and
poor in quality and the entire work classes as *?vapid and
Dryden in the preface acknowledges that
this work does not conform to the proper scheme; that the:
. . . fable of it is all spoken and acted by the
best of Comedians; the other part of the Entertainment
to be perform’d by the same Singers and Dancers, who
are introduec in this present opera. It cannot
properly be called a Play because the Action of it is
supposed to be conducted sometimes by supernatural
Means, or Magick^ nor an Opera because the Story of
it is not s u n g .
A year later the only other attempt to give a complete
opera in London brought little success to a French company
presenting Lulli's Cadmus et Hermione.
The taste of the
theater-going public could not be interested in pure and
undiluted opera.
Italian music was gaining popularity in
the concerts, but Italian opera did not begin to gain its
strangle hold upon the English audience until early in the
next century.
24Parry, op. cit*, P* 296.
2^Saintsbury, op. cit., p. 230.
One of the most important achievements of the com­
posers of the seventeenth century was the establishment of
the foundation of modern instrumental music and the dis­
covery of essentially instrumental forms and styles.
no less appreciation of the importance of vocal music, the
composers began to visualize the possibilities of instru­
Brought up in the polyphonic vocal composition it
was to be expected that they would make their first
attempts at instrumental composition in the same style.
It took some time for them to realize the unique technical
and musical possibilities of the instruments.
The period
of development of the instrument would not be one of in­
spiration to the composers, but with improvement in the
construction of instruments and the achievement of an
adequate technic for performance, they were able to find
a satisfactory expression of their musical ideas.
Instruments had been in use for many years, replac­
ing song as the accompaniment for the dances early in the
sixteenth century.
They were, however, first admitted
into good society to re-inforce the voice-parts in the
performance of madrigals.
Some instrument was used to
supply the part of a missing voice and soon independ-
ent instrumental accompaniments were discreetly used.
was not difficult, from an accompaniment, to use the in­
struments without voices, eventually developing a form
essentially instrumental.
The most popular Instruments
at the beginning of the century were the lute and the
Included in the list of furnishings of a household
was usually a chest of viols, composed of a set of six.
Though probably introduced into England in Tudor times,
the violin was not recognized professionally until after
the Restoration,
Developing a new technic, the earliest European
instrumental style, England excelled particularly in the
compositions for the stringed keyboard instruments in­
cluded in the term ’virginal,*
Begun in the sixteenth
century and reaching its heighth in the first half of the
seventeenth, the music written for the virginals includes
the whole source of modern keyboard technic.
The plain-
song pieces, as In Nomine and G-loria, had been used for
organ early in the sixteenth century.
With this expanding
interest in instruments, these pieces were adapted to the
virginal, continuing the contrapuntal style but changing
the accompaniment to include repeated notes and a semblance
of broken chords.
Another type was more rhythmic in char­
acter, based upon national folksong, showing an unbelievable
anticipation of modern keyboard technic.
Byrd seems to
have been the first to have realized the possibilities
of this more melodic style.
He untilized folk-tunes, popu­
lar airs from the streets, dance music from the court - any tune that attracted his interest.
In attempting to write pieces of some length the
most natural form to use was the variation.
Great ingenuity
was Tshown in devising brilliant .passages though to us they
seem extremely limited harmonically.
The development of
the themes was purely technical as anything like an
emotional expression, especially in instrumental music,
was practically unknown.
Frequently the variation began
before the melody was complete.
If there were two strains
to the melody, sometimes a varied repetition was given
after each one.
This made the theme seem much more elabo­
rate and, of course, twice as long.
A sense of continuity
often was achieved by having several sections run into
one another in a typical modern manner.
There were all
types, grave and gay, brilliant and serious, and all pro­
saically called a dance of some kind.
Variations upon
folk and popular tunes became the rage, the theme at times
practically achieving the ultramodern ambition of a varia­
tion without a theme.
It was impossible to make any accent upon these
keyed string instruments but there was substituted for it
an extraordinary sensitive appreciation of time-values.
The musicians of that day were able to present the most
intricate work, full of modern syncopation, without the
use of measure bars or a sense of the modern beat.
keyboard music of the first quarter of the century in
many ways was superior to that of the last half.
out the development of harmony, modern notation, and regu­
larity of beat, the music of the earlier period had a
greater freedom of expression without any loss of musician­
We find in the keyboard music of the second half of
the 17 century practically none of these features
which characterized the work of Byrd, Bull, and
Farnaby. However admirable may be the keyboard works
of Locke, of Blow, and of Purcell, they have not that
freshness, that spontaneity, and especially that in­
dependence which we admire in the masters belonging
to the preceding generations. Continental influences mostly French - - - found their way into the British
Isles, and subjected these later men to forms more
strict, more dejailed, and less propitious to freedom
of inspiration.
The attempts at other forms of composition for the
stringed keyboard instruments were more experimental,
pieces called Preludes were usually merely a casual running
up and down the keyboard or a rambling series of chords.
However, this utilized scale figures and developed the use
^Margaret H. G-lyn, Elizabethan Music and Composers,
p. 223.
of arpeggios and broken chords, not so interesting alone
but a useful trick in composition.
Program music was not
very successful though Byrd gave an effective description
of a series of different-sized bells in his piece called
The Bells.
The all-absorbing interest in music for stringed
instruments caused a neglect of the keyed instruments until
towards the end of the century.
The suites written for J
harpsichord at that time show a very definite relation to
the. French and English suites of Bach.
They usually began
with a flowing allemande and continued with a lively
courante with some rhythmic interest, and a more serious
sarabande, and frequently closed with a rapid jig or horn­
Occasionally there was a prelude in contrapuntal
playfordfs Lessons for Musicks1 Handmaid, published
in 1689, was one of the first collections for the harpsi­
chord of music that intentionally was attractive, melodically
and rhythmically.
Though almost all of the music was written
in suites, a few individual pieces achieved a certain popu­
larity in England and the Continent.
A Toccata by Purcell,
very long and elaborate for that time, was included in a
German edition of Bach’s works as one of his early composi­
Following the concentration upon music for the vir-
ginal during the first part of the century, the composers
turned their enthusiasm to a form called ’Fancy* or 1Fantasia.f
The name was given, about the middle of the sixteenth cen­
tury, to pieces that were original with the composer, show­
ing no connection with plain-song, popular tune, or dance
The style is comparable to the purely symphonic music
of the following centuries.
The music was usually written for
a consort of viols though other combinations were possible.
By the time of the Commonwealth a Fancy was "the most unfanciful artistic product ever devised by man.”
The essence of style was imitation in all its pos­
sibilities, employed in every conceivable ingenious com­
Frequently when one theme had been developed
to the limit of its possibilities, another theme was intro­
duced and all the ingenuity, of the composer was utilized
These imitative sections were forerunners, though
perhaps not ancestors, of the eighteenth-century fugue.
The chief contribution of the Fancy was to teach the com­
posers the characteristics and idiosyncrasies of the in­
struments and the possibility, if not the desirability, of
a less strictly contrapuntal style of writing.
Like the madrigal the Fancy appealed more to the
performer than to the listener.
The ever-enthusiastic
2'C; Hubert H. Parry, Oxford History of Music, Vol.
Ill, p. 321.
Thomas Mace expressed his reaction:
Yet what I can best speak of them shall be only
to say that they have been to myself and many others
as divine raptures, powerfully captivating all our
unruly faculties and affections for the time, and
disposing us to solidity, and gravity and a good
temper, making us capable of heavenly and divine
They are now quite unanimously considered dry and mechanical
to an extraordinary degree.
If the boredom of Charles II
and his refusal to listen to them discouraged the composers,
"the world has reason to be grateful."4
Purcell, however,
took the form and with his genius wrote essentially English
Much more imaginative than the earlier compositions,
his compositions utilized modern harmony and bolder experi­
ments in composition.
The violin undoubtedly was introduced into England
during the reign of Elizabeth but could not compete with
the popularity of the viols.
By the seventeenth century it
was used probably merely as the treble of a group of viols.
Discovering the possibilities of the instrument the composers,
usually performers also, slowly developed its style and
technic, achieving before the end of the century a popu­
larity that has never been lost.
Even during the Common­
wealth, Cromwell used forty-eight violins at the marriage
3Basil Maine, The Glory of English Music, p. 43.
4parry, op. cit., p. 326.
of M s
At the beginning of the Restoration
Charles II organized his band of twenty-four violins for
his personal entertainment.
Added incentive to the study of the violin was given
by the playing of Thomas Baltzar* of Lubeck, the first great
violinist that was heard in England.
Coming to England
during the later years of the Protectorate, he astonished
all of his audiences by his proficiency in the shift though
he used no more than third position.
Anthony Wood
saw him run up his fingers to the end of the finger­
board of the violin, and run them back insensibly, and
all with alacrity and in very good tune, which he nor
any in England saw the like before.
He also popularized in London the use of the »scordetura*
or the retuning of the violin to some other system than the
standard one.
Another artist violinist influencing English musi­
cians by his music was Nicola Matteis of Italy who settled
in England about 1672.
He excelled anyone heard in England
before in
. . . h i s areata, or manner of bowing, his shakes . . .
whole style ofNperformance was surprising and every
stroke of his bow was a mouthful.^
^Charles Burney, A General History of Music, Vol.
II, p. 337.
^Ibid., p. 407.
Playing only his own compositions, he so impressed his
audiences with his abilities that no one else attempted
to play his music.
The kingTs band ol* twenty-four violins was a direct
imitation of the musicians of the French court.
soon after the return of Charles they played for his coro­
nation, even taking part in the anthem.
To please his taste
they were gradually used in the Chapel Royal, shocking all
conservative opinion.
It was not so much the instrument
as the use of secular instrumental music that raised so
much objection.
Evelyn in his diary tells of
a concert of 24 violins betweene every pause after
the French fantastical light way, fetter suiting a
tavern or playhouse than a church.
The taste for this music must have developed rather rapidly
as violins were Introduced into church music generally by
Banister, having been sent to France to study French
music and methods, was made director of a smaller group in
According to report, veracity unguaranteed, he was
dismissed because he preferred English violinists to the
French requested by Charles.
With the Restoration the violin became an accepted
instrument continuously growing in favor.
I. A. Westrup, Purcell, p. 28.
For almost a
century at least the composers gave it their concentrated
attention, attempting to utilize in their compositions
all the opportunities for beautiful effects that were
offered by the instrument*
This new violin literature not
only demanded greater technical ability from the performer
but also required a skilled accompanist, who must be able
to read from figured bass.
The standard of performance as
expressed by Thomas Mace referred to the theorbo, but could
be applied as well to the keyboard instruments:
Now you must know, that He who could be a Compleat
Theorboe-Man, must be able to understand Composition;
(at least) so much of it, as to be able to put True
Chordes together, and also False, in their proper
Times, and Places; and likewise to know, how to make
all kinds of closes, amply and properly.
The Rule is an Easie, Certain, and Safe Way to walk
by; but He that shall not Play beyond the Rule, had
sometimes better be Silent; that is, He must be able,
together with the Rule to lend his Ear, to the Ayre
and Matter of the Composition so, as (upon very many
Occasions) He must forsake His Rule; and instead of
Conchords, pass through all manner of Discords, according to the Humour of the Compositions he shall meet
The Thing will require a quick Piscerning Faculty
of the Ear, and able Hand, a n d a Good JudgmenTH The
1st of which must be given in Nature; the 2 last will
come with Practice, and Care.®
The increasing use of instruments was reflected even
in the accompaniments for vocal music.
In the first quar-
®Arnold Dolmetsch, The Interpretation of ithe Music
of the XVIIth and JVIIIth Uenturies, p. 04t<t-5T“
ter of the century Campion made his accompaniments an in­
trinsic part of the whole composition.
With only the
simplest harmonies he successfully added color and rhyth­
mic interest with his instruments.
By the middle of the
century accompaniments had achieved a more definite char­
Using a variety of instruments the composers made
the accompaniment and the instrumental interludes a greater
Later in the century the instrumental interludes
became an integral part of the composition, paricularly
evident in the anthems of Blow.
The accompaniments were
written in more detail instead of giving the bare outline
or using exclusively figured bass.
Purcell left nothing
to the possibilities of an accompanist’s good or bad musi­
cianship but wrote out every detail of harmony.
accompaniments portrayed the sense of the text and at times
completed the vocal expression.
In the popular music attempts had been made at in­
strumental music over a long period of time.
The recog­
nized composers, however, had usually written their instru­
mental music in some connection with vocal.
In the last
half of the century they began to discover the vast pos­
sibilities for instruments alone, but as they began they
had little idea as to the exact aim in writing.
their rather limited harmonic vocabulary, the era of
Fancies exhausted the possibilities of imitation as the
virginal compositions completely depleted any originality
in variations.
Contact with the continent brought the
new ensemble style, introduced from Italy, that was a com­
bination of polyphonic and harmonic composition.
The string
parts utilized figure and imitation against a chordal back­
ground furnished by the keyboard.
Compositions in this new style were called sonatas,
a term applied about 1650 to pieces for a small group of
instruments or for solo instruments with accompaniments.
The first combination of instruments included two of high
register with a bass such as a theorbo.
With the accep­
tance of the violin by the composers it became the most
popular for the higher parts.
When the harpsichord was
used for the bass it could also care for one of the higher
The violin sonatas of the late seventeenth century
were really duet sonatas for harpsichord and violin.
trio conception was convincingly maintained as the two
voices played on the harpsichord were of equal independence
and importance with the violin.
The exact combination of
instruments varied somewhat to the taste of the composer.
In 1683 Purcell published his Sonatas of III Parts written
for two violins and bass with accompaniment for organ or
Differing somewhat in style there were two types of
sonatas; the sonata da chiesa and the sonata da camera.
The sonata da ehiesa, or church sonata, was supposed to
be more severe in style, the ancestor of the classical
sonata, representing the highest ideals of musical art.
Usually they were written in contrapuntal style, the method
considered most acceptable to express the intellectual ele­
ments necessary to a serious abstract form.
There were
usually four movements - - a slow and dignified introduc­
tory movement, an allegro in fugal style, an expressive slow
movement, and a closing allegro in a gay mood.
The English composers, particularly Purcell, showed
a greater variety of form in their sonatas.
Sometimes there
was an added slow movement or even an entire sonata written
in one movement.
PurcellTs sonatas were characterized by
a background of traditional polyphonic style combined with
what he termed the "seriousness and gravity . . .
most fam’d Italian Masters."^
of the
Disclosing a formal beauty
perfectly balanced with a deft emotional expression, they
are pure music with greater interest to the musician than
to a concert-attender.
They represented his highest artistic
ideals and are comparable to the modern composer’s composi­
t e strup, op. cit., p. 250.
tions for string quartet.
To a modern audience Purcellfs
sonatas have a depth of feeling seldom found in any of the
music of his contemporary continental composers.
the course of the centuries they have made more secure his
position as a pre-eminent composer of instrumental music.
The sonata da. .camera, or chamber sonata, was similar
in construction to the sonata da chiesa.
Consisting of a
succession of dance movements, theoretically excluded from
the church, it developed into the suite.
The form un­
doubtedly evolved from the elaborately decorated melodies
of the earlier dance tunes played by instruments as ac­
As developed it included the same alterna­
tion of slow and quick movements as the sonata da chiesa,
the chief distinguishing quality being a more direct and
definite rhythmic quality.
The movements were usually in
the two-part form now familiar to us in the suites of Bach
and Handel and utilized similar key relationships.
subjects were much more indefinite than those of the eight­
eenth century.
Any unity was achieved by a consistency of
style rather than by a systematic development of an interest­
ing subject.
Conscious of less tradition, the composers felt
freer to experiment in the sonata da camera and developed
more definite characteristics of modern instrumental music.
In these compositions were evident more tuneful subjects,
the use of sequence, reiteration of phrases, and a definite
key relationship.
A desire for unity as the composers turned from the
polyphonic methods of composition led to the use of the ground
In the hands of the average composer the result was apt
to be very monotonous as with a constant reiteration of the
ground in the bass it was imperative that the other voices
must have greater interest.
The first distinctive grounds,
so melodic in character as almost to be tunes, were written by
He placed more importance on the rhythmic and melodic
interest of his upper voices than upon the harmony.
Blow and
Purcell each used the ground in various voices but the latter
combined with it a finer sense of harmony and tone color in a
successful utilization of all the materials at his disposal.
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Beginning the century with distinctly modal poly­
phonic characteristics the instrumental composers of the
seventeenth century began to appreciate the possibilities
of the folk music with its more modern tonality and more
interesting rhythm.
The transitional tendencies were
evident as early as 1618 when Campion issued his treatise,
Way of Making Foure Farts in Counter-point.
this was a recognition of the progression from chord to
chord based upon a succession of bass notes.
This sounds
like elementary harmony to us as does his suggestions
against consecutive fifths and octaves and false relations
Resembling rules for the modern harmony student is his eon
ception of tonality:
Of all things that belong to the making vp of a
Musition, the most necessary and vsefull-for him Is
the true knowledge of the Key or Moode, or Tone, for
all signifie the same thing, with the closes belonging
vnto it, for there is no tune that can have any grace
or sweetnesse, vnless it be bounded within a proper
key, without running into strange keyes which have no
affinity with the>aire of the song.
The principle of scale formation was a combination
of an ascending major scale and a descending minor scale.
This made it possible for a major chord to be accompanied
by its own minor third of the descending scale.
< N_
■^ M. Kastendieck, England’s Musical Poet,
Thomas Campion, p. 179.
anthitesis of two consecutive keys was another favorite
device of the composers.
Opportunities were afforded for
discords closely related to the dissonance of the twentieth
The seventeenth century composer, however, seemed
never to use discord merely for ugliness, but to accentuate
the expressiveness of his music.
A free and independent movement of the bass was a
characteristic of William Lawes, a voluminous composer of
instrumental music during the reign of Charles I.
elaborately polyphonic in character his music showed a
stronger feeling for tonality.
Instead of the masque being
a series of independent pieces, Lawes considered the tonality
of the masque as a whole.
There was more often an attempt
at least toward a tonal relationship between consecutive
This sense of key relation became a definite man­
ner of achieving unity in the later part of the century.
Purcell, excelling as usual, in the concluding masque of
Dioclesian used next related keys in the various movements,
then recapitulated all the previously used modulations and
closed with a definite re-establishment of the oringinal
During the last quarter of the century under the
influence of the French and Italian music, melodies in triple
time became popular.
This was not uncommon in the popular
music throughout the century but the artistic music had
been practically always written in duple rhythm.
It seemed
to be the objective of the earlier composers to force
everything into a duple beat in an effort to avoid the
acknowledgment of any rhythm.
The importance placed upon
rhythm in the later years and one method of practice can
be inferred from directions given by the oft-quoted;Mr.
And thus must your Foot constantly be in Motion,
during your Play, and equally dividing your Down from
your Up, so exactly that not the least Difference may
be perceived; which if you carefully practice at the
first, you will ever continue It; but if you be remiss
in the beginning, you will always after be uncertain,
not only to your own hindrance, but also to all others,
who shall play in Consort with y o u . 12
The manner of writing, too, was in a transition
At the beginning of the century music for virt
ginal and lute was written on a six-line staff. Parthenia,
published in 1611, was the first music for virginals printed
from engraved plates in England.
This contained twenty-one
pieces all written upon the six-line staff.
The most re­
markable collection was the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book in
which the paper was ruled by hand.
This was given an elabo­
rate binding of crimson morocco highly decorated with
beautiful gold tooling.
In this edition the fingering is
l^Dolmetsch, op. cit., p. 32.
given for a number of the pieces, probably by the composer.
The English used the first, third, and fifth as the strongest
fingers instead of conforming to the Italian and German use
of the second and fourth.
This system of the English, how­
ever, proved superior to the other and became the founda­
tion of the music of Rameau and Bach.
The English system
also made much greater use of the thumb than did. the con­
tinental system.
Changes of fingers on the same note seem
to have been unique with the English at this time.
When the composers began to write ayres, they used
a five-line staff.
Thus any ayre with accompaniment would
have a five-line staff for the melody and a six-line staff
for the accompaniment.
The clef signs were practically
the modern G, C, and F clefs but there was no uniformity
as to their use on the staff.
The bar lines were only an
aid to the eye with no relation to regular rhythmic divi­
By mid-century the bar lines had acquired some rhyth­
mic significance and by the end of the century the music was
written in a manner that carries meaning to the modern eye.
The time signs of this period would not all be
familiar to us, but their use was explained in the first
edition of Purcell's Lessons for the Spinet, published in
There being nothing more difficult in Musick
then playing of true time, tis therefore nessesary to
he observ’d by all practitioners, of which there are
two sorts, Common time and Triple time, & is distin­
guish* d by this q , this A- or this * mark, ye first is
a very slow movement, ye^next a little faster, and
ye last a brisk & airy time, & each of them has all­
ways to ye length of one Semibreif in a barr, which
is to be held in playing as long as you can moderately
tell four, by saying one, two, three, four; two Minums
as long as one Semibreif, four Crotchets as long as
two Minums, eight Quavers as long as four Crotchets,
sixteen Semi-quavers as long as eight Quavers,
Triple time consists of either three or six Crotchets
in a barr, and is to be known by this §, this 3-1, this
3 or this j| marke, to the first there is three Minums
in a barr, and is commonly play’d very slow, the second
has three Crotchets in a barr, and they are to be play’d
slow, the third has ye same as y® former but is play’d
faster, ye last has six Crotchets in a barr & is
Commonly to brisk tunes . . ,i3
In 167S the use of a single clef was advocated.
Thomas Salmon, M. A. of Oxford, suggested that the five
lines of the staff be named g, b, d, f, a and that the
letter indicating the part or voice desired be used in
place of the clef.
B, bass, M mean, T treble, S supreme
This ’radical’ idea, acrimoniously attacked by Locke, is
lsIbid., p. 33.
Burney, op. cit., p. 372.
not so different from suggestions made in centuries fol­
lowing and shows some similarity to the modern plan of
using only treble clef.
Though music of the seventeenth century was printed
with little, if any, suggestion from the composer in regard
to style, iS is not safe to assume that there was none.
According to Mace in his valuable Musick* s Monument such
considerations were the responsibility of the performer:
. . . you must Know, That, although in our First
Undertakings, we ought to strive, for the Most Exact
Habit of Time-keeping that possibly we can attain unto,
(and for severall good Reasons) yet, -when we come to
be Masters, so that we can command all manner of Time,
at our own Pleasures; we Then take Liberty, $(and very
often, for Humour, and good Adornment-sake, in certain
places) to Break Time; sometimes Faster, and sometimes
Slower, as we perceive the Nature of the Thing Requires,
which often adds, much Grace and Luster, to the
And as to the General Humour of any Lesson, take
This as a Constant Observation; viz., observe It, in
its Form, or Shape; and if you find it Uniform, and
Retortive, either in its Barrs, or Strains, and that
It expresseth Short Sentences, . . . . Then you will
find it very Easie, to Humour a Lesson, by'Playing
some Sentences Loud, and others again Soft, according
as they best please your own Fancy, some very Briskly,
and Couragiously, and some again Gently, Lovingly,
Tenderly, and Smoothly. And forget not especially,
in such Humours, to make your Pauses, at Proper places,
which are commonly at the End of such Sentences, where
there is a Long Note, as easily you will know how to
do, if you give your mind to regard such Things, which
give the Greatest Lustre in Play, as I have already
x^Dolmetsch, op-, cit., p. 10.
told you.1^
An appreciation of a true understanding of music
was as inherent in the musician of the seventeenth cen­
tury as at any period in the history of music.
Their mode
of expression was somewhat different but it should not be
Such Observations, as These, will prove several ways
Beneficial unto you; both as to your Delight, in your
undertaking; and also, a Help to Increase your Knowledge,
and Judgment; far beyond that Common way of Poaring, and
Drudging at the Practice of Lessons, only to Play them
Readily, and Quick, which seldom, or never Produceth
Judgment, but leaves This Knowledge ever behind it; which
is much more than the one Half of the Work.17
A contrast of the music written at the beginning,
near the middle, and towards the close of the century will
,show the development of the materials of composition as well
as instrumental style.
For Two Virginals by Giles Farnaby
is from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.
Written at the
close of the sixteenth century it is believed to be the
first composition written for two keyboard instruments.
The melody does not extend over six notes, the harmony is
simple with no modulation, and there is abundant use of
16Ibi£., p. 13
Loc. cit.,
N *
“ Tip;
F»* n
» tj
18Giles Farnaby, For Two Virginals, p. 2
Part of an instrumental interlude written by
William Lawes for Shirley’s Masque,, Triumph of Peace shows
a use of harsh dissonance, no written ornamentation, and a
melody of more than an octave range,
A modulation to the
dominant closes this example, but the complete interlude
ends in the original key.
The music as written represented
only the outline of the music, the harmony to be filled in
by the harpsichord, lutes, and other instruments.
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The artistic use of a chromatic ground bass as used
by Purcell in the example on page 99 from Dido’s Lament
has not been excelled.
A more general use of chromatic
harmony, a richer supply of harmonic material and greater
freedom of expression were available to the composers of
the later part of the century.
Many composers utilized the
possibilities, but Purcell was the genius of the period.
Contrary to fable, his abilities were recognized during
his lifetime.
Practically forgotten during the following
19Sdward 1. Dent, Foundations of English Opera, p. 30.
two centuries, it is only in recent years that his great
contribution to music has been appreciated.
At the present
time he is ranked among the greatest musicians of any
country or century.
Organ music in England was a part of what seemed to
be a spontaneous development throughout Europe.
it was only in England that the composers and organists
were so definitely connected with general musical develop­
English organists achieved great popularity on the
Bull, in the first part of the century was the
first to indicate registration in his pieces,'a registra­
tion that is admirably adapted to the much more elaborate
modern registration.
Other instruments than the viols and virginals
seemed to appeal to the ladies during the later half of
the century.
Thomas Greeting, musician in ordinary without
fee in King’s private music, was a teacher of flageolet in
London and anhieved great popularity for his instrument
with the ladies.
In addition to the violinists Baltzar and Mattheis
there were few other influential foreign instrumental
teachers and composers.
Gottfried Finger came from Germany
about 1685 under the patronage of lames II.
After publish­
ing several sets of sonatas for various instruments he
returned to Germany angered at the poor reception of his
In contrast, Draghi came from Italy about 1660
and became so Anglicized that he was regarded by historians
as an English composer.
He played, taught and composed for
the harpsichord and became music master to Queen Anne.
The first regular music publishing house in England
was opened during the puritan regime by John playford.
Until 1620 the privilege of publishing was granted as a
patent or monopoly by the crown.
Elizabeth granted the
first patent to William Byrd and Thomas Tallis in 1575,
not only for printing English music, but also for selling
music, music paper, and foreign music.
At the expiration
of this grant in 1596 the patent was given to Thomas Morley.
Apparently, at the death of Morley in 1605, William Barley
obtained the patent, though no music is known in which his
name appears as owner until 1606.
After 1620 no grant was
made and the printing business was free for any one in­
Evidently few were interested as the reign of
Charles I saw fewer publications than either the preceding
or following years.
During the later part of the sixteenth
century end the early years of the seventeenth, madrigals
in great numbers, running into thousands, were printed.
Books praising music and books criticizing music were not
uncommon and the growing interest in instruments brought
forth numerous books of instructions.
Throughout the period
of the Commonwealth there was a decided stimulation in all
fields, a steady increase shown particularly i-n the
proportion of books of secular interest including many
ballads and songs*
John Playford, interested not only from a business
standpoint but stimulated by a love for and knowledge of
music, published many collections, both vocal and instru­
Books of instructions for various instruments,
collections of rounds and catches, ayres, and dialogues - all types of music current in that time were issued by his
publishing house.
His own compositions included numerous
psalm tunes and one glee that became very popular.
Introduction to the Skill of Music was of excellent quality,
written in. a clear, concise style, and considered an au­
thority for at least half a century following its publi­
He continued active management of his business
until 1684 when he turned it to his son Henry who is
credited with an original method of advertising.
He is
believed to have been the first to promote the organiza­
tion of musical singing clubs in taverns and to provide
the music-master who always selected his music from
Playford publications.
Sometime, about 1650 or 1651, engraved copper plates
were introduced for printing music, particularly instru­
The graver could be used as easily as a pen in
manuscript, eliminating many of the difficulties met in
the use of movable type.
With greater demands for music,
more attention was devoted to the methods of printing.
About 1690 John Heptinstall first introduced the *new
tied note,1 the barring together of notes of the same
rhythmical value.
He also inaugurated the use of round
heads for notes instead of the angular heads previously
The following list of publications is only represent­
ative of the variety of music that was published.
Of par­
ticular interest are the long titles that also served as
an advertising medium.
These served to inform the public
concerning the contents and at times the reason for publi­
First Booke of Songes or Ayres of Four Partes with
Tableture for the Lute.
John Dowland.
editions 1600, 1606, 1608, 1613.
Plaine and Easy introduction to Practicall Musicke.
Thomas Morley.
Reissued in numerous editions.
Lachryme, or Seven Teares, figured in seaven
passionate Pavans for instruments.
John Dowland.
Funeral Teares for Death of the Right Honorable
the Earle of Devonshire:
figured in seaven
songes, whereof sixe are so set forth that the
words may be exprest by a treble voice alone to
the Lute and Base Violl, or else that the meane
part may be added, if any shall affect more
fulnesse of parts.
The seventh is made in forme
of .a Dialogue and cannot be sung without two
Coprario (Cooper).
Andreas Ornithopareus (1513) trans­
lated by John Dowland.
(Contained all that was
known of music at that time.)
William Byrd.
, books in 1610.
Second edition of both
(Two books, contain complete
collection of Latin motets for the ecclessiastical
pammelia, Musick's Miscellanie:
or-Mixed Varietie
of Pleasant.Roundelais and Delightful Catches' of
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,, 10 parts in one.
None so
Ordinarie as ,Musical, None so Musical as Not to
All Very Pleasing and Acceptable.
William Byrd.
(The first printed col­
lection of virginal music.)
Madrigals and Mottets of five Parts:
and Voyces.
Apt for Viols
Orlando Gibbons
A New Way of Making Foure Parts in,Counterpoint,
by a Most Familiar and Inf alli-abl-e Rule.
Thomas Campion.
A Brief Discourse of the True (but neglected) Use
of Charactering the Degrees, by Their Perfection,
Imperfection and Diminution in Measurable Musicke,
Against the Common Practise and Custome of These
Examples "Whereof are Exprest in the
Harmony of Voyces, Concerning the pleasure of 5
Usuall Recreations.
3. Dancing.
1. Hunting.
4. Drinking.
2. Hawking.
5. Enamouring.
A New Way of Making Foure parts in Counterpoint.
Dr. Thomas Campion.
Second edition, 1655.
(One of the most important works on music pub­
lished during the seventeenth century.)
The Whole Booke of Psalmes:
Evangelical and Spirituall.
With the Hymnes
Composed into Four
Parts by Sundry Authors with Severall Tunes as
have been and are Usually Sung in England,
Scotland, Wales, Germany, Italy, France, and the
Thomas Ravenscroft.
Second edition
in 1633.
Hymnes and Songs of the Church, Divided into Two
The first part comprehends the Canonicall
Hymnes, and such parcels of Holy Scripture as may
properly be sung:
and Creeds.
with, some other ancient Songs
The second part Consists of Spirituall
Songs, appropriated to the severall Times and
Occasions, observable in the Church of England.
Translated and composed by Gr. W. London, printed
by the assignes of G-eorge Wither, 1623.
privilegio Regis Regali.
Madrigals and Ayres for two, three,, foure and five
voyces, with the continued bass, with Toccatos,
Sinfonias, and Rittonelles to them after the man­
ner of Consort Musique.
To be performed with the
Harpsichord, Lutes, Theorbos, Basse-Violl, tw7o
Violins or two Viols*
Walter porter.
The Principles of Musique in singing and setting,
with the twofold Use thereof, ecclesiastical and
Charles Butler.
Aires and Madrigals for two, three, four, and five
voices, with a thorough-bass, for organ, or
Walter Porter.
The First Booke of Selected Church Musick.
sisting of such Services and Anthems, as are now
in use in the Cathedrall and Collegiatt Churches
of the Kingdome.
Never before printed.
such bookes as were with much difficulty and
charges transcribed for the use of the Quire, are
now, to the saving of much labour and expence
publisht for the generall good of all such as shall
desire them either fdr publick or private exercise.
Collected out of divers approved authors by John
Barnard, one of the minor Canons of the Cathedrall
Church of St. Paul, London.
Printed by Edward
Griffin, and are to be sold at the signe of ye
Three Lutes of S. Paul’s Alley.
The English Dancing Master;
or plaine and easie
rules for the Dancing of Country Dances, with the
tune to each dance (104 dances).
Published by
Second edition, 1657.
A Banquet of Mustek, set forth in three several
varities of musick; first Lessons for the Lyra
Viol, the second Ayres and Jiggs for the Violin,
the third Rounds and Catches, all of which are
fitted to the capacity of young practitioners.
Published by Playford.
Mr. Matthew Locke, his little Consort, of three
parts, containing Pavares, Ayres, Corants and
Sarabands, for Viols and Violins.
The Division Violist, or an Introduction to the
playing upon a Ground.
Christopher Simpson.
(Translated into Latin, 1665.)
12 Sonatas for 2 violins and a base with a thorough­
bass for organ or theorbo.
(Reprinted in Holland,
Short Directions for the Performance of Cathedral
Service, publisht for the information of such
persons as are ignorant of it, and shall be called
to officiate in Cathedral and Collegiate Churche,
where it have formerly been in use.
Edward Low.
(First theoretical or didactic book on music
after the Restoration.)
Divine Services and Anthems, usually sang in the
Cathedrals and Collegiate Choires in Church of
1. C* (James Clifford).
Second edition,
(First collection of words of anthems pub­
lished in London.)
A Compendium of practical Music in 5 parts, con­
taining 1.
The rudiments of song.
Principles of Composition.
The Use of Discord.
The form of Figurate Descant.
Contrivance of Canon.
Christopher Simpson.
An Essay to the Advancement of Musick, by casting
away the Perplexity of different Cliffs; and
uniting all sorts of Musick, Lute, Viols, Violins,
Organs, Harpsichord, Voice, and in one universal
character, by Thomas Salmon, A, M* of Trinity
College, Oxford*
London, 1672.
Melothesia or Certain General Rules for Playing
upon a Continued Bass, with a Choice Collection
of Lessons for the Harpsichord or Organ of all
(First work of its kind issued in
Musick1s Monument; or a Remembrancer of the Best
Practical Musick, both Divine and Civil, that
has ever been known to have been in the world*
Thomas Mace.
Musick*s Companion.
Venus and Adonis, a masque for the entertainment
of the King.
Dr. John Blow.
A proposal to perform Music in perfect and Mathe­
matical Proportions.
Thomas salmon.
Dido and Aeneas.
Treatise on the natural Grounds of Harmony.--
Henry Purcell.
William Holder, in which propagation of sound,
the ratio of vibrations, their coincidence in
forming consonance, sympathetic resonance, the
difference between arithmetical, geometrical
proportion, and the author*s opinion concerning
the music of the ancients, to whom he denies
the use of harmony or music in parts.
Choice Collection of Lessons for the Harpsichord
of Spinet.
Henry Purcell.
(published by his
The Compleat Flute Master, or the whole Art of
playing on ye Recorder*
The developments of the seventeenth century resulted
in the complete secularization of music.
This included a
change from a vocal polyphonic style to a combination of
polyphonic and' homophonic style of composition, the evolu­
tion of opera, and a development of instruments and in­
strumental composition.
In all of these England partici­
pated, achieving great success in some fields and less in
In all efforts, however, there was a distinctly
English style and a consistent use of the English lan­
guage .
The Puritan supremacy hastened the secularization
of music by purging all church music and theater perform­
Public concerts originated at this time, music
degrees were conferred, and instrumental ensembles acquired
the popularity formerly held by the madrigal.
Ballads, sung
and written, were used during the Commonwealth as vehicles
for invective by all parties.
The term opera was first
used to designate a form of entertainment.
Parliament gave
hours of debate to the relative superiority of two editions
of the psalter.
The first music publishing house was es­
tablished, beginning the long and successful career of
John Playford.
Milton advocated music as a part of a
complete education .and, entirely unrelated, consideration
was given a petition for the founding of a college of
About this time the aura surrounding foreign names
began to exert its influence.
Henry Lawes was apparently
the first to censure the partiality for songs sung in a
language that could not be understood.
Nothing could shat­
ter his conviction that the quality of music produced in
England and the ability of the English musicians were the
equal of any on the continent.
With subtle English humor
he published as a new Italian song one of his own com­
positions in which the words were merely a catalog of
Italian song-titles.
This vogue continued-unabated, John Playford writing
at the Restoration:
. . • Not a City Dame though a Tapwife, but is
ambitious to have her Daughters Taught by Monsier La
Nova Kiekshawibns on the Gittar . . .
By the end of the century the Englishman had lost his in­
terest in personal participation in musical ensemble.
chief interest was in his ability to purchase for his enter­
tainment the best that could be bought, preferably from
1Basil Maine, The Glory of English Music, p. 4.
The music for the church, in. spite of various ex­
periments with verse-anthems, during the first part or
the century, retained the objective quality of the six­
teenth century liturgical music.
The puritan ban with
the resulting secular experience of the composers served
as the necessary blow to make the break.
After the
Restoration the composers used their secular methods in
writing music for the service.
Dramatic music w?as re­
flected in their music, the solo voices treated in a
style similar to the characters of the French opera.
Even the chorus was dramatized.
Instruments were added
and the many instrumental preludes and interludes often
seemed to have no relation to the anthem.
The psalters attained great popularity among all
classes, their main purpose being a presentation of the
sense of the psalm in a singable form as nearly like the
original as possible.
Here perhaps the Puritan showed an
excessive enthusiasm.
It was not until the end of the
century that an artistic version was published.
Its ac­
ceptance was the basis for many arguments during the fol­
lowing century.
Hymns were barely introduced, the great
era of hymn-writing coming in the eighteenth century.
Opera was not a natural form of expression for the
Most of the efforts in that line resulted in a
hybrid form combining music and song with dialogue.
Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, the only-opera in the strict
sense of the word, today is considered a masterpiece, un­
excelled by any contemporary music.
The adaptations of
Shakespeare, almost mutilations at times, used music when­
ever possible in an effort to qualify as opera.
productions were unsuccessful.
The Englishman simply did
not care for opera.
The composers experimenting with instrumental music
in the first third of the century were not excelled by any
.contemporary musicians.
The services of English music'and
musicians were eagerly sought abroad.
English players of
the viola da gamba were considered superior to all others
and many musicians came to Londoon to study.
The expand­
ing interest in instruments was duly recorded in 1613 by
Michael Drayton in his rhyming gazetteer, Poly-Olbion.
More concentration upon secular music during the Common­
wealth brought forth the rather arid Fancy and a great
delight in ensemble playing.
With the Restoration instru­
mental music returned to secondary interest, used more
generally as accompaniment.
The violin, introduced in
Tudor time, gradually usurped the place formerly held by
the viol and attained its modern popularity.
Beginning their efforts in instrumental composition
the composers depended upon imitation and variation.
a nebulous sense of form evolved a variety of dance forms
integrated in a definite style.
Combinations of these
dance forms developed into the sonata da chiesa and the
sonata da camera, forerunners of the classical sonata
and the suite.
A more homophonic style of writing combined
with a growing sense of tonality achieved'almost a modern
mode of expression.
The adoption of triple rhythm, fami­
liar in folk music, gave added possibilities for rhythmic
The earlier conception of an adaptable flexible
rhythm, however, began to change to an arbitrary metrical
regularity of measure bars.
The Elizabethan emphasis
upon rhythm and melody shifted to harmony.
Ground bass,
chromatic harmony, modulations, dissonant chords, all
became familiar parts of the materials of composition
abailable to the composers.
Unfortunately after Purcell there was no one to
carry on the traditions to build an effective English
school of music.
The foreign musical invasion of the
eighteenth century completely submerged all English con­
tributions and it was not until the twentieth century
that a definite interest in the music of the seventeenth
century was revived.
The typical English reticence in
regard to artistic excellence makes it difficult to over-
come the general idea of English inferiority musically.
Gradually recogntion is being given to the abilities of
the composers and the exceptionally fine quality of music
of the period as well'as to distinctly English contribu­
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