The Guitar in Tudor England: A Social and Musical History (Musical Performance and Reception)

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9781107108363: The Guitar in Tudor England: A Social and Musical History (Musical Performance and Reception)

Few now remember that the guitar was popular in England during the age of Queen Elizabeth and Shakespeare, and yet it was played everywhere from the royal court to the common tavern. This groundbreaking book, the first entirely devoted to the renaissance guitar in England, deploys new literary and archival material, together with depictions in contemporary art, to explore the social and musical world of the four-course guitar among courtiers, government servants and gentlemen. Christopher Page reconstructs the trade in imported guitars coming to the wharves of London, and pieces together the printed tutor for the instrument (probably of 1569) which ranks as the only method book for the guitar to survive from the sixteenth century. Two chapters discuss the remains of music for the instrument in tablature, both the instrumental repertoire and the traditions of accompanied song, which must often be assembled from scattered fragments of information.

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Book Description:

The guitar was played everywhere in the age of Elizabeth I and Shakespeare, from the royal court to the tavern. This groundbreaking book uses new literary and archival material, together with depictions in contemporary art, to explore the social and musical world of the instrument among courtiers, gentlemen and apprentices.

About the Author:

Christopher Page is a Fellow of the British Academy, Professor of Medieval Music and Literature at the University of Cambridge, and from October 2014 Gresham Professor of Music at Gresham College, London for three years. He holds the Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Association awarded for outstanding services to musicology. In 1981 he founded the professional vocal ensemble Gothic voices, which now has twenty-five CDs in the catalogue, three of which won the coveted Gramophone Early Music Record of the Year award. In 2012, he was a founder member of the Consortium for Guitar Research at Sidney Sussex College, an affiliate of the Royal Musical Association. He has published many books and articles on early music, most recently a major study, The Christian West and its Singers: The First Thousand Years (2010).

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