Milton's Knowledge of Music
AS FAR BACK as the reign of Henry VIII a golden age of English music had begun. At that time there was little real musical activity on the continent, and that little was sporadic and inconstant, without order or design. . . .
In England alone was there a distinct native school. This was of course largely due to the encouragement and example of Henry VIII himself, who was a composer and performer of ability. But aside from the efforts of individuals, there was a national spirit and a consistency of style in English music entirely lacking in that of other countries. The English people, as a whole, seem to have acquired a definite taste earlier than other nations, and the means of gratifying this taste were not wanting. Composers and performers alike were plentiful, and while no great individual reputations were made, a national school was established which