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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: March ::
Loud and Soft Music
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0542  Monday, 20 March 2000.

From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Mar 2000 17:04:02 GMT
Subject:        Loud and Soft Music

John Briggs's suggestion that 'loud' music belonged outdoors, 'soft'
inside is inaccurate.  Court masques, performed indoors, specify both.
The associations may often be iconographic or political ('loud' music
often signalled the entrance of the monarch, and then the triumphant
entry of the masquers).  In general it is true that the loud music may
most likely refer to oboes, trumpets and drums, soft music to flutes and
recorders, or strings - but as Walls points out, precise instrumentation
is not necessarily specified by the adjectives. For more on this subject
see Peter Walls, Music in the English Courtly Masque (Oxford, 1996), and
my own essay on 'The Politics of Music in the Masque' in Bevington and
Holbrook, eds.  The Politics of the Stuart Court Masque (Cambridge,
1998).

David Lindley
 

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