The music of the sixteenth century has been "rediscovered" regularly since its composition. It was an especially fertile period for English music in particular, and to put the century in a historical and musicological perspective, this volume spans the era from 1485 to 1625, although in order to provide context and perspective the contributors range back to the middle of the fifteenth century and towards the end on the seventeenth.
The book opens with a history of music and musicians in Tudor England, covering composition and performance, as well as the changing functions of music over the period. Two chapters are dedicated to sacred and church music. They cover the last years of Pre-Reformation England (especially the music of Fayrfax, Ashwell, Taverner, and the organ music of Redford, Preston and Rhys), the composers who span the charge to Anglicanism (for example Sheppard and Tallis) and those (such as Tye, Byrd, Morley, Weelkes, Hooper and Gibbons) who helped lay the foundations for the rich heritage of Anglian church music that remains so vibrant a part of the church today. These chapters also consider the particular problems of those who continued to write Latin music after the Reformation (in particular Parsons, White and Byrd). The final three chapters of the book are devoted respectively to secular vocal music, to keyboard music, and to ensemble and lute music. These chapters include a detailed discusson of Tudor partsong, of the consort song, of English Madrigalists, the English Virginal School, the English lutenists and the rich variety of muic for ensemble. The book concludes with full bibliographies and with a comprehensive index.
Introduction: the intellectual climate.
4. Reception: Roger Bray.
5. Sacred Music in Latin: Roger Bray.
6. Sacred Music in English: John Morehen.
7. Secular Song: Tim Carter.
8. Keyboard Music: Keith Elcombe.
9. Ensemble Music: John Harper.