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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

‘Music and the Stage’ looks at the musical instruments called for or mentioned as used in plays during Shakespeare’s period, including evidence for a special consort of six contrasting instruments as a kind of ‘standard’ theatrical band. Also examined are the disposition of musical ensembles within the performing space, assessing such terms as ‘music above’, or ‘music within’, and the difficulty of dealing with songs in the plays, particularly with almost no musical settings of play lyrics apparently surviving from Shakespeare’s lifetime. Last is a discussion of the people associated with creating and performing music in Shakespearean theatre, including composers with known or suspected theatrical associations, and actors—including famous actors—with documented musical connections.

Keywords: stage, music, play songs, theatre ensembles, musicians, instruments, consorts, masques, jigs

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