The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0563 Friday, 24 March 2000.
Date: Friday, 24 Mar 2000 10:21:49 -0000
Subject: 11.0542 Loud and Soft Music
Comment: RE: SHK 11.0542 Loud and Soft Music
I can't help feeling that David Lindley is being slightly unfair in
characterising my remarks as inaccurate: they may have been misleading
in their implications, but they were totally accurate as far as they
went! By accident rather than design, I had restricted myself to the
traditional characterisation of the instruments, rather than extending
this to the music itself. Loud instruments would have been suitable for
marches, and to accompany dancing, and could certainly be used indoors.
The Court Masques are of great interest for the way in which they bring
together different types of instruments, as well as bringing together
acting, spectacle and dancing. In these respects they anticipate the
development of opera ("semi-opera" in the case of England), and
eventually the "orchestra". Of course, as court entertainments the
masques were not especially constrained by financial considerations, and
could afford the massed lutes, cornetts, sackbuts, flutes and violins,
most of which would have been played by court musicians anyway. The
theatres (public or private) would be much more restricted in their use
of music and musicians. Having heard a performance of Blow's "Venus and
Adonis" (by the Musicians of the Globe) in Shakespeare's Globe (tm), I
still maintain that music intended for performance in an indoor theatre
doesn't work as effectively in the open air!