This unique and comprehensive study examines how music affects Shakespeare's plays and addresses the ways in which contemporary audiences responded to it. David Lindley sets the musical scene of Early Modern England, establishing the kinds of music heard in the streets, the alehouses, private residences and the theatres of the period and outlining the period's theoretical understanding of music. Focusing throughout on the plays as theatrical performances, this work analyzes the ways Shakespeare explores and exploits the conflicting perceptions of music at the time and its dramatic and thematic potential.
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