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By Joseph M. Ortiz

Music used to be an issue of substantial debate in the course of the Renaissance. The concept that track should be interpreted in a significant means clashed frequently with facts that song used to be in truth profoundly promiscuous in its program and results. consequently, a lot writing within the interval displays a wish to thrust back music's illegibility instead of come to phrases with its real results. In Broken Harmony, Joseph M. Ortiz revises our figuring out of music's dating to language in Renaissance England. within the approach he indicates the measure to which discussions of track have been ideologically and politically charged.

Offering a traditionally nuanced account of the early glossy debate over song, in addition to shut readings of a number of of Shakespeare's performs (including Titus Andronicus, The service provider of Venice, The Tempest, and The Winter’s Tale) and Milton’s A Maske, Ortiz demanding situations the consensus that music’s affinity with poetry was once broadly authorised, or maybe wanted, by means of Renaissance poets. Shakespeare greater than the other early smooth poet uncovered the fault traces within the debate approximately music’s functionality in paintings, again and again staging disruptive scenes of tune that divulge an underlying fight among textual and sensuous experts. Such musical interventions in textual stories spotlight the importance of sound as a cultured and sensory adventure self sufficient of any narrative function.

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Speed Hill (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 1977), 151, my emphases. 23. Case, Praise of Musicke, 11. 24. Arthur Lake, Sermons with Some Religious and Divine Meditations (London, 1629), 197, cited in McColley, Poetry and Music, 88. 25 Browne’s liberal endorsement of “Taverne music,” with its suggestive pun on the polyphonic composer John Taverner, may be playful. Yet his defense shows that Reformist attacks on polyphony were not understood only within the context of a specific church debate, even at the height of Puritan revolution: the claim that even “vulgar” music is a “hieroglyphicall lesson” argues that Reformers have misunderstood the language of music altogether.

38. Jonathan Bate, however, comments on the fusion of Philomel and Orpheus in the play. See Shakespeare and Ovid (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 76–77, 111–13. Titus Andronicus and the Production of Musical Meaning 35 Tremble like aspen leaves upon a lute And make the silken strings delight to kiss them, He would not then have touched them for his life. Or had he heard the heavenly harmony Which that sweet tongue hath made, He would have dropped his knife and fell asleep, As Cerberus at the Thracian poet’s feet.

In The Decades of Henry Bullinger, ed. Thomas Harding (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1849–52), 935. For a discussion of Bullinger’s influence on English Reformers, see McColley, Poetry and Music, 82–83. 21. The Psalmes of David in English Meter, with Notes of Foure Partes Set unto Them by Gulielmo [William] Damon (1579), cited in Morrison Comegys Boyd, Elizabethan Music and Musical Criticism, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1962), 22–23. ” The focus on music’s antipathy to language should not be overstated.

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