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Old June 23rd, 2009, 06:22 AM   #1
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Tudor Music (and other historical music...if you like!)


So, I was watching a programme the other day on BBC Four called "Henry VIII - patron or plunderer?" (if you have Virgin TV it is still on catch up and the next instalment is on tomorrow evening). During the programme, they interviewed a gentleman who apparently conducts music from history. He played some examples of music from the Henrician part of the Tudor era. He discussed with the presenter the fact that he believed that Henry VIII was at best just a competent composer of music. I was just wondering, what are other members views of this, and other aspects of historical music. For me personally, although Henry's work may not compare with other Tudor contemporaries in terms of style, I feel that his music more than makes up for it with emotion, because you can hear in the music the emotions that Henry was obviously experiencing when writing it, and I always felt that that was what music was all about - conveying feeling and emotion. Some of his music can bring me to tears .

Do any of you enjoy this music, or any other period music? Do any of you feel particularly drawn to music from any particular period and why? And do you have any thoughts and opinions on certain pieces of historical music?

For me to enjoy a piece of music from history, it has to be a good example of the music of the time, it has to portray emotion and feeling, and I have to be able to dance to it (historical dancing of course!)

What do you think?
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 12:26 PM   #2

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Re: Tudor Music (and other historical music...if you like!)


I have a CD of Elizabethan music, nicely evocative.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 02:48 PM   #3
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Re: Tudor Music (and other historical music...if you like!)


Have early lute music, nice.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 11:50 PM   #4
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Re: Tudor Music (and other historical music...if you like!)


Do you feel that the music gives you a view into the "mindset" of the people of the day? Sometimes I feel transported to a different world when I sit and listen to historical music - even more so if I am in costume and dancing to it.

I suppose what my real question is, is how far do you think that the recreation and re-enactment of historical crafts (all be it music, weaponsmithy, cookery or anything) adds to out cultural understanding of people and an era? Because having done living re-enactment for some time now, and also as a business, and also generally trying to live a historically re-enacted life, I feel that I have come to learn alot more about historical characters.

For instance, here is one humorous example. My partner was dressed for a "wars of the roses" battle, in chainmail, leather armour, hoes and braes (excuse my spelling if incorrect), with hoes and braes being the medieval style of trouser which incorporates sort of white pants, with two separate trouser legs which are individually pulled up on each leg and tied to each side of the pants. My partner needed the toilet, but obviously with this kinda thing missed out in history books, it wasn't until he got there that he realised that it was virtually impossible to undo the ties underneath all of his armour in order to go. So he had to hitch up his leather armour and chainmail all in one hand, undo the ties with the other and try to keep hold of his hoes and braes whilst using the loo! And afterwards he said "God, the things you learn about history through re-enactment you could never learn from books", and we thought, there definately is no book around that tells you how medieval knights went to the toilet in armour, but there should be!

Does anyone else have similar thoughts or experiences? The reason I referred specifically to music was because through my own experiences of historical dancing, I was learning to dance 15th Century Branle Dances, which would have been the style of dance during the very early years of Henry VIII reign. I often wondered what was so enchanting to Henry about Anne Boleyn, and it wasnt until I tried to learn the 16th Century French Branle Dances that she would have been familiar with, to lively French music, that I realised quite how different the styles are, the ostentatious French compared to the conservative English, that I realised quite how alluring her style of dancing would be.

Any thoughts?
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Old June 24th, 2009, 05:23 AM   #5
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Re: Tudor Music (and other historical music...if you like!)


My father made musical instruments (old) he had been given a book by modern author on making them. After he made his 1st his remarks about the book were not printable. he made his own tools and jigs. we found later the same tools and jigs in a musum in Europe.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 07:21 AM   #6

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Re: Tudor Music (and other historical music...if you like!)


I did Choral and Madrigal music throughout high school and college. So yes, I'll admit that I am drawn to some historical music.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #7
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Re: Tudor Music (and other historical music...if you like!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by laxdoc View Post
My father made musical instruments (old) he had been given a book by modern author on making them. After he made his 1st his remarks about the book were not printable. he made his own tools and jigs. we found later the same tools and jigs in a musum in Europe.
Wow that is truely amazing! You should definately try to learn that skill as well, if it runs in the family! Do you know what the book was called, even if his opinion on it was not good, I would love to look it up for reference!
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Old June 24th, 2009, 11:05 AM   #8
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Re: Tudor Music (and other historical music...if you like!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by diddyriddick View Post
I did Choral and Madrigal music throughout high school and college. So yes, I'll admit that I am drawn to some historical music.
That is so lucky that you were able to do that, and be a part of it! So what do you think is it about historical music that makes you so drawn to it? For me, it is about trying to get inside of the heads of the historical figures that I admire.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 08:26 AM   #9

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Re: Tudor Music (and other historical music...if you like!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by nellrowlands View Post
Do you feel that the music gives you a view into the "mindset" of the people of the day? Sometimes I feel transported to a different world when I sit and listen to historical music - even more so if I am in costume and dancing to it.

I suppose what my real question is, is how far do you think that the recreation and re-enactment of historical crafts (all be it music, weaponsmithy, cookery or anything) adds to out cultural understanding of people and an era? ...
This is always a difficult question. We're dealing in mentalities that can only really exist within our own contemporary mentality.

I think this is essentially a double-edged sword. On the one side, music very often is representative of the time and space of its birth. Every piece of music has a history of it's own (why did Henry VIII compose Greensleves? what was the reason or Mozart writing The Magic Flute? What influences worked on Boulez when he composed Le Marteau sans maître?) and undoubtedly attempts to express the composer's ideas etc.

However, at the same time, we as listeners tend to associate music with certain times or events. We apply an interpretation that was probably outside the composer's intent. But then certain sounds transform us into a soundworld that we associate with certain time periods due to some imposed image of that time given to us (possible through Hollywood et al.). So, intrepretation is a two-way street.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 09:05 AM   #10

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Re: Tudor Music (and other historical music...if you like!)


Quote:
This is always a difficult question. We're dealing in mentalities that can only really exist within our own contemporary mentality.
Yup!
Quote:
... (why did Henry VIII compose Greensleves?
to get the ladies!
Quote:
...what was the reason or Mozart writing The Magic Flute?
to get the ladies!!
...
Quote:
What influences worked on Boulez when he composed Le Marteau sans maître?) and undoubtedly attempts to express the composer's ideas etc.
to get the ladies!!

Quote:
However, at the same time, we as listeners tend to associate music with certain times or events. We apply an interpretation that was probably outside the composer's intent. But then certain sounds transform us into a soundworld that we associate with certain time periods due to some imposed image of that time given to us (possible through Hollywood et al.). So, intrepretation is a two-way street.
Very true. Spoken like an artist that has been there.
or as an old Arab saying goes: 'Even the spectator participates in the creation of a work of art.'
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