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date: 05 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Elizabethan era is widely viewed as a time in England when the quality as well as the quantity of music reached unprecedented heights, a condition often attributed to the beneficial effects of an active press and a musically sympathetic and religiously moderate queen. This chapter examines how royal and courtly governmental interference shaped printed music in this notably fertile period. More specifically, it considers two exemplary events that profoundly influenced the ballad and the art music of the era: the admonition of ballad writer William Elderton and the granting of a royal patent of monopoly to Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, which involved many other composers of the art-music tradition. It explains how both events affected the politicization of Elizabethan music; how Tallis, Byrd, and others used the patent as a means to voice Catholic positions; and how Elderton discovered the potency of propagandized fiction.

Keywords: printed music, England, Elizabethan period, ballad, art music, censorship, admonition, William Elderton, Thomas Tallis, William Byrd

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