Music in the English Courtly Masque, 1604-1640

By Peter Walls | Go to book overview

5

Music for the Eyes

Oh, to make Boardes to speake! There is a taske
Painting & Carpentry are ye Soule of Masque.
Pack wth your pedling Poetry to the Stage,
This is ye money-gett, Mechanick Age!
To plant ye Musick where noe eare can reach!
Attyre ye persons as noe thought can teach
Sense, what they are! which by a specious fyne
Terme of ye Architects is called Designe!
Ben Jonson, 'Expostulation with Inigo Jones' (ll. 49-56)

Jonson's 'Expostulation' marks the final parting of the ways in a partnership which -- despite very evident difficulties -- had given the Jacobean masque a consistency of structure and an artistic integrity which no other form of courtly entertainment in Europe could rival. The occasion of the quarrel was said to have been Jones's annoyance at having had his name placed alongside (rather than above) Jonson's on the title-page of Love's Triumph through Callipolis.1 The battle between these two men was not simply a matter of either's feeling that their particular sphere should take precedence in the masque device. Jonson's attacks consistently claimed that Jones wanted all the arts -- including music -- subsumed under his control. As the 'Expostulation' has it 'but he now is come | To be ye Musick Master! Fabler too! | He is, or would be ye mayne Dominus doe | All in ye Worke!' Whatever the cause of the argument, Jonson's friends felt he was unwise to rail against as influential a person at court as Inigo Jones. James Howell wrote 'you shall do well to represse any more copies of the Satyre, for to deale plainly with you, you have

____________________
1
Letter from John Pory to Sir Thomas Puckering, 12 Jan 1632: 'The last Sunday at night the Kinges masque was acted in the banquetting house, the Queens being suspended till another time, by reason of a sorenes which fell into one of her delicate eyes. The Inventor or Poet of this masque was Mr. Aurelian Townshend sometimes towards the lord Treasurer Salisbury, Ben Jonson being for this time discarded, by reason of the predominant power of his Antagonist, Innigo Jones, who this time tweluemoneth was angry with him for putting his owne name before his in the title-page, which Ben Jonson made the subject of a bitter Satyr or twoe agains Innigo.' GB-Lbl, MS Harl. 7000, fo. 318v; quoted in Bentley, Jacobean and Caroline Stage, v. 1228. It is interesting, in this context, to note the form of words which had been used on the title-page of The Memorable Masque in 1613: 'Inuented, and fashioned, with the ground, and speciall structure of the whole worke, By our Kingdomes most Artfull and Ingenious Architect INNIGO IONES. Supplied, Aplied, Digested, and written, by GEO: CHAPMAN.'

-206-

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Music in the English Courtly Masque, 1604-1640
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • List of Plates xiii
  • List of Tables xiv
  • List of Music Examples xv
  • Abbreviations xviii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Texts, Scores, and Musicians 7
  • 2 - Masque Song 43
  • 3 - Dance and Instrumental Music 104
  • 4 - The William Lawes Masques 159
  • 5 - Music for the Eyes 206
  • 6 - French Influence in the Caroline Masque 221
  • 7 - Masques Away from Whitehall 260
  • 8 - Realizations 304
  • Epilogue 333
  • Appendix - A Calendar of Masque Texts 341
  • Bibliography 349
  • Index 361
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