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Title: Popular song in early modern drama 1580-1620
Author: Faber, Paul Lewis
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This dissertation investigates the reciprocal relationship between the song culture of early modern England and its representation in drama of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Unlike past studies, no preference is given to any particular playwright. Rather, the dissertation considers evidence from close to 100 plays in which songs, references to song, and elements of song culture are most abundant. The study begins with an exploration into the particular ability of early modern audience members to recognise and appreciate sophisticated references to song as they encountered them in drama. Next there is a discussion of some of the more famous characters of song culture whose narratives and reputations – effectively lost to us now – were regularly mined by playwrights. The third part of the study investigates song’s power as represented in fictive spaces. Chapter 4 examines dramatic representations of song performance by elites and their relationship to contemporary decorum. Lastly, Chapter 5 focuses on a point in London’s history where its dramatists appear to have been particularly keen to capitalize on song’s function as a consolidator of cultural identity. The overriding impression at the end of the study is of early modern playwrights basing representations of song and singing less upon contemporary beliefs surrounding music, its power, and its place in the cosmos, and more upon phenomenological observation of song as it operates in people and in their society.
Supervisor: Lindley, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available