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Elizabethan Era Music

People during the Elizabethan era considered music as one significant part of their life. Their music is famous because of its classy and varied forms. In fact, theater became eminent during the time because it was always enhanced by music that would normally accompany the presentation.

Since it was always used in theater, it should project a sense of conversation to intensify the drama. It was classified into kinds which include: Elizabethan court music, Elizabethan church music, Elizabethan town music, Elizabethan street music, and Elizabethan theater music.

Elizabethan England Music

Moreover, the Elizabethan England music paved the birth of the Madrigal, Anthem, Masque and Opera. Different composers were famed like William Byrd (1543-1623), John Dowland (1563-1626), Robert Johnson (1500-1560), John Farmer (1570-1601), Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625), Thomas Campion (1567-1620), and Thomas Tallis (1505-1585). Their compositions would reflect moods and feelings thus Elizabethan England music was far more expressive than of today.





Music was reflected on the plays made by the famed William Shakespeare who had created more than five hundred poems and plays. Basically, the creations of Shakespeare were divided into three main categories which include Tragedies, Comedies, and Histories. As expected, each genre shows dissimilar emotions from one another.

Elizabethan England Court Music

Much refined sound were produce because of the introduction of musical instrument known as viol for violin, hautboy for oboe, spinet for keyboard, etc. These instruments were still under the experimental stage although the tone was enough to create beautiful sound.

Elizabethan England Music

Stringed instrument was the most rampant kind and the ability to play them was an important skill in the court of Queen Elizabeth. The Queen would encourage people to study music since she herself was an expert musician for she knew how to play virginal and lute.

Elizabethan Street Music

The popularity of traveling minstrels suddenly vanished during the time of bubonic plague. The idea of traveling was feared by the people and they would look at the travelers with angst and suspicion. Traveling minstrels were replaced by theater and tavern musicians. During occasional fairs, Elizabethan street music was played with fiddles, lute, percussion instruments, and recorders as the main instrument.

Elizabethan England Music

Elizabethan Town Music

There were the ‘Waits’ who were the official musicians in English towns. They brought hautboys and high-pitched pipes with them. The group is tasked to compose and play music for the town ceremonies thus they are known to provide free concerts although they were financed by the town.

Elizabethan England Music

Elizabethan Church Music

A lot of composers would not merely made music for the court but for the church as well thus Elizabethan church music was expected to be beautiful. Church music comprise of ballets, madrigals, canzonets, and ‘sacred song’ whose music were recognized as choral polyphony which connote more than one part. Among the famed composers of the time were William Byrd and Thomas Tallis.

Indeed, this was the era when people learnt to appreciate the value of music in their life. The documents from the past only showed how creative Elizabethan people were in terms of composing lyrics and creating melodies.

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