The Air. In its simplest form this is a song for solo voice accompanied by a lute; but frequently other instruments and/or voices accompanied. Thus, Dowland announced in 1597 ' The First Book of Songs or Airs of four parts together with Tablature for the Lute: so made that all the parts together, or either of them severally may be sung to the lute, orpharion, or viol de gamba'. In performance by several voices one singer always took the main melodic line and the other singers accompanied; in the madrigal all parts were of equal importance.
Among the principal composers of Airs, John Dowland, 1563-1626, travelled and worked in France, Germany, Italy, and Denmark and had a European reputation; Thomas Campian, 1567-1620, was at Cambridge and Gray Inn, probably saw service in France, and became a Doctor of Physic; John Cooper, c. 1570-1627, spent many years in Italy and adopted the form of Giovanni Coperario for his name; Alfonso Ferrabosco, the younger, 1575- 1628, came of a family of Italian musicians long settled in England; Philip Rosseter, 1568- 1623, became associated with Robert Jones in theatrical ventures; Thomas Morley, 1557- 1603, was taught by William Byrd, and was granted a patent in 1598 for exclusive rights in the printing of music. The works and relationships of these and other composers are discussed in the following chapter.
Studies in Literature and Music. Of major interest is B. Pattison Music and Poetry of the English Renaissance ( 1948); also his chapter in Pinto English Renaissance ( 1951): suggestive studies are V. C. Clinton- Baddeley Words for Music ( 1941), C. Ing Elizabethan Lyric ( 1951), and W. Mellers' "'Words and Music in Elizabethan England'" ( The Age of Shakespeare, Pelican Books, 1956) and P. Warlock, The English Ayre ( 1926). J. Stephens writes on "'The Elizabethan Madrigal'" ( Essays and Studies, 1958).
Texts are provided in E. H. Fellowes, Elizabethan Madrigal Verse ( 1933), in N. Greenberg, W. H. Auden, and C. Kallman, Elizabethan Song Book ( 1958).