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Magnificent “Madrigals” (and bombastic ballets) of the exciting “English” variety

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  1. Liner Notes.
  2. What Is Life? by William Byrd.
  3. Sing We And Chant It, by Morley.
  4. Clorinda Flase, Adieu!
  5. The Silver Swan by Orlando Gibbons.
  6. Conclusion.

Speaking strictly in musical terms, the English madrigal is the result of assimilation. The genre generally referred to as the English madrigal was borne of the Italian madrigal form. However, just as historians no longer refer to America as the cultural melting pot, rather a tossed salad. The English madrigal caused a blur of secular Italian forms including the villanelle alla napolitana, canzonetta, villanelle, villota, moresca, greghisca, and the giustiniana. Though a new genre was created, characteristics of their predisessors remain in tact

[...] p Linda Phyllis Austern, ?Alluring the auditorie to effeminacie: Music and the idea of the feminine in early modern England,? Music And Letters August 1993, p William Lovelock, Music In Sixteenth Century England. Melbourne: Allans Music Australia Limited p. 26-32. Paula Johnson, Form and Transformation in Music and Poetry of the English Renaissance. New Haven: Yale University Press 104-105. Joseph Kerman, ?William Grove Music Online, ed. Laura Macy (Accessed November 11, 2005), www.grovemusic.com. Lehman Engel, Renaissance To Baroque. ?What is William Byrd, composer. [...]


[...] The term ?ethical? madrigal has been coined and is usually reserved for describing works of Orlando Gibbons, however it can easily be applied to this work. The ethical madrigal has no great religious meaning, however its subject is often dealing with morals.[11] Thomas Morley, born in 1558, began his musical career as a chorister just like the majority of his predicessors and contemporaries. His careers included organist at St. Paul's cathedra and the last patent holder for the monopoly over music printing.[12] Despite the importance of these career highlights, and the fact he composed more than fifteen substantial keyboard pieces, Morley is most known for his collections and compositions of English ballets and madrigals.[13][14] Sing We And Chant It, by Morley, a completely homophonic madrigal employs a popular poem by Michael Drayton. [...]


[...] The same line of text repeats again emphasizing the pain this young lover feels. To Shorten Winter's Sadness by Thomas Weelkes first appeared in his premier first volume of madrigals.[21] It is written for two soprano, one alto, one tenor and one bass voice. This work is similar to the Morely's first work appearing in this compilation of English madrigals. The verses are all sung in a homophonic texture and answered with a polyphonic fa-la section, again begging the question is the piece a madrigal or a ballet? [...]

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