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Title: Music and authorship in England, 1575-1632
Author: Elias, T. P.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis participates in the study of the 'birth of the author', the positioning of the category of authorship as a historical and social construct. In particular, it examines how ideas of authorship are developed in the production and presentation of printed music books. Music is not just a different, but a distinct way of approaching this issue. Composers were professionals, for whom financial considerations and the importance of enhancing their reputations outweighed gentlemanly concerns with the 'stigma of print'. The difficulties of setting and proof-reading music also encouraged printers to involve composers in the production of their own printed texts. Musicians had both the desire and the opportunity to create fixed, authorised texts in print. The first chapter of this thesis discuses the traditions of the compilation and transmission of music in manuscript, and the way in which 'authorised texts' were those edited by scribes, rather than those created by composers. The second chapter traces the emergence of the authorising individual out of traditions of public music and imitative practices. It also examines the extent to which imitators and anthologisers of Italian music, such as Thomas Morley, developed a concept of the 'work' as an entity which could survive translation and musical imitation. Chapter three discusses the development of the printed music book as a coherent collection, distinct from miscellaneous gathering of individual items. With particular reference to the Psalmes, Sonets and songs of William Byrd (1588), it follows the development of the form and presentation of printed music books out of traditions of the printed miscellanies of lyric verse. Chapter four moves away from the printed musical text to examine issues of patronage and the figurative ownership of the work. Musical texts also require performances; the text itself is incomplete. Composers thus begin to attempt to control performances to establish a definition of their 'work' as an entity beyond the printed page.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available