The Heaven Singing I: Music in Early English Religious Drama by Richard Rastall

By Richard Rastall

Richard Rastall's books on tune in early English non secular drama supplement one another. Heaven making a song offers an outline of the facts for tune within the performs, and defines where, nature and cultural contexts of tune within the drama; Minstrels enjoying is a dialogue of the facts for each play in that repertory, and is for this reason concerned about where and nature of musical functionality in every one play separately. the place should still there be song in an anomymous English non secular play of the 15th or 16th century? what kind of track may still it's, and by way of what forces may still or not it's played? This quantity indicates how tune used to be used on the time of the performs' construction, either via a detailed exam of person texts, and of where of tune within the highbrow and creative lifetime of the center a long time. Richard Rastall starts off by way of discussing the interior literary proof of the play texts, the surviving notated tune within the performs, and documentary facts of productions, prior to turning to the broader cultural context within which the performs have been composed and played. He considers the representational and dynamic services of tune within the performs, the connection among tune, drama and liturgy, and the performers themselves - who they have been, and what they may be anticipated to do. comparable components essential to the invention of ways track used to be utilized in overdue medieval drama also are thought of, from medieval cosmology and the numerical building of performs to the age and dimension of boy actors.

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That is probably why the music itself has not been much discussed, and why studies of music in the plays have generally taken the stage directions as their starting-point. The actual dialogue in the plays, too, provides a good deal of information about music, and this has also been something of a quarry for commentators. The incomplete nature of the evidence offered by written music, stage directions, and text references is such that the available literary and notated information is insufficient for the task.

Second, music in the plays undoubtedly depended 11 There was a canonic collection of scriptures which was (and in the Roman Catholic Church still is) rather larger than that recognised in the Protestant churches. The Catholic Church, too, has never made as simple a distinction between canonic and apocryphal writings as the Protestant churches do. Historically, therefore, although 'the Bible' was a recognisable entity (seen in Gutenberg's print of c. 1455, for example) the concept of 'Holy Scripture' was a wider and much more widespread one than is now the case in Protestant countries.

Page xix Tables 1. Evidence for Music in the Chester Cycle 3 2. 'Four-and-Twenty to a Long' 38 3. Note-Values in the Cambridge Gloria 40 4. 'Three Breves to a Long' 42 5. Disposition of Voice-Parts in the Source of Coventry 1 139 6. Music in the Drama at Chelmsford, Summer 1562 170 7. Angelic Appearances in the York Cycle 184 8. Angelic Appearances in the Chester Cycle 186 9. Music and the Passage of Time in Chester 3 227 10. York 14, The Nativity 237 11. York 11, Moses and Pharaoh 238 12. York 35, The Crucifixion 239 13.

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