Seventeenth Century Songs and Lyrics

Seventeenth Century Songs and Lyrics

Seventeenth Century Songs and Lyrics

Seventeenth Century Songs and Lyrics

Excerpt

This book: is intended as a continuation of the late Norman Ault's work. It was he who began to explore music MSS for unknown lyrics several of which he published in his anthologies, Elizabethan Lyrics, 1928, A Treasury of Unfamiliar Lyrics, 1938 and Seventeenth Century Lyrics, 1928 revised 1950. Ault sampled the few MSS he consulted since they were for the most part uncatalogued and had not been examined and described in detail. I have been at work cataloguing each entry in the MSS and checking with all the printed sources I could personally consult. The result is that over 400 lyrics and songs are unidentifiable and are, I presume, unknown. It is these which I now wish to present before the reader.

Of course, there will always be the possibility that some of these lyrics may prove after all to be reasonably well known. When such a great authority as Ault himself printed Herbert Peace muttring thoughts known from an MS source there is all the greater possibility that one with only a few years' experience might commit similar errors. A few of the lyrics given here were indeed printed in the Seventeenth Century in collections which are now so rare that they are almost as inaccessible as the manuscripts, hence my decision to include them. I beg my readers' indulgence and ask that any identification of the material now presented be made known to me so that future anthologies may benefit from the joint attention of those interested in Seventeenth Century songs and lyrics.

Seventeenth-century music MSS have been widely scattered since their origination and it is only by the use of microfilm that I have been able to reassemble them. Wherever possible I have personally consulted the MSS in addition to procuring complete microfilms.

The relationship between poet and musician in the Seventeenth Century has never been fully explored because there has hitherto been a dearth of evidence. It will be some time before anyone is in a position to collate all the actual music, but the results so far are encouraging. It has long been known that Henry Lawes composed music specially for Milton, but what is not realized is that Henry Lawes almost had a monopoly with Thomas Carew's poetry, as his . . .

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