History has, perhaps inevitably, favoured the establishment when it comes to the preservation of documents, and the music of sixteenth-century England is no exception; manuscripts have survived best in cathedrals, educational institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge Colleges, and the Royal court and other wealthy households – anywhere, in fact, wealthy enough to maintain a library. This has tended to give us a somewhat skewed view of music-making during that period, with a focus on liturgical music, motets, anthems, and some court music, while the music-making of the ‘ordinary people’ has remained more obscure. Nonetheless, domestic music-making was alive and well in England throughout the sixteenth century, and the level of music literacy was both higher than one might expect, and on the increase.1 Indeed, the century saw a significant increase in the popularity of singing amongst the middle classes, and nowhere more so than in the area of ‘secular’ (i.e. non-church) religious music for private or domestic devotion. As early as the last years of the fifteenth century, there was a proliferation of spiritual partsongs and ‘carols’ (a term which in this case has little to do with Christmas and everything to do with the presence of a repeating refrain or ‘burden’ – a defining characteristic of the genre).
Total time: 01:04:35
|Original Recording Format|
Robina G. Young
Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||July 3, 2014|
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