The Matter of Song in Early Modern England: Texts in and of the Air 019884378X, 9780198843788

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The Matter of Song in Early Modern England: Texts in and of the Air
 019884378X, 9780198843788

Table of contents :
Cover
The Matter of Song in Early Modern England: Texts in and of the Air
Copyright
Dedication
Acknowledgments
Contents
List of Figures
Track List for Companion Recording
Abbreviations
Note on the Text
Prologue
Sounding Early Modern Song
The Drastic Nature of Song
Song’s Textual Traces
Singing Women in Early Modern England
Animating Women’s Song Performance
1: Airy Forms
A Local Habitation and a Name: Defining Song
Bodying Forth the Forms of Things Unknown
“They show us why, and teach us how to sing”: Reading the Countess of Pembroke’s Psalmes as Song
2: Breath of Sirens
Music in the Air
“Quavers, and Trilloes, and the Like”: Ornamenting the Breath
Singing Sirens
Plain Old Ballads: Margaret Cavendish’s Civilizing Songs
3: Voicing Lyric
The Musical Contexts of Wroth’s Folger Manuscript
The Songs of V.a.104
Making the Room Rattle: Pamphilia in Performance
4: Household Songs
Closet Singing
The “Sound of Print”: The Cavendish Sisters, Jane Lumley, and the Duchess of Newcastle
“Pretty Sport” at Penshurst: The Songs of Mary Wroth’s Love’s Victory
5: Sweet Echo
“Blest Pair of Sirens . . . | . . . Voice and Verse”: Milton and Song
The “Noise” of Song
Performing “Sweet Echo”
The Musical Lessons of Comus
Epilogue
Works Cited
Primary Sources
Manuscript
Print
Recordings and Performances
Electronic Resources
Secondary Sources
Index

Citation preview

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The Matter of Song in Early Modern England

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The Matter of Song in Early Modern England Texts in and of the Air KATHERINE R. LARSON

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Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, United Kingdom Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries © Katherine R. Larson 2019 The moral rights of the author have been asserted First Edition published in 2019 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Control Number: 2019934015 ISBN 978–0–19–884378–8 Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY Links to third party websites are provided by Oxford in good faith and for information only. Oxford disclaims any responsibility for the materials contained in any third party website referenced in this work.

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For Lyra

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Acknowledgments This is a book about solo song performance, but when I think about the individuals and institutions that have helped to bring The Matter of Song in Early Modern England to fruition, the metaphor of choral harmony seems much more apt. My research was made possible by grants and fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Connaught Foundation, the Renaissance Society of America, the Bodleian Library, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. The companion recording was produced thanks to a New Researcher Award from the Connaught Foundation. Funds from the Polanyi Prize for Literature also contributed to the project. A faculty research fellowship at the Jackman Humanities Institute provided me with invaluable thinking, writing, and singing time at a crucial point in the book’s gestation, as well as a remarkable intellectual and creative community within which to pursue that work. Thanks also to the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) for research leave during which I was able to immerse myself in archives in Oxford, London, and Washington, DC. The book has benefited from feedback from audiences at conferences large and small. I am especially grateful to the participants in the sessions on song and early modern musical practice that I co-organized with Leslie Dunn, Linda Austern, and Sarah Williams at the Shakespeare Association of America meetings in 2011, 2013, and 2018, and with Linda Austern, Jeanice Brooks, Kendra Leonard, and Amanda Eubanks Winkler at the Attending to Early Modern Women gatherings in 2009 and 2012. Several other conferences and workshops came at pivotal points for the project: “Renaissance Poetic Form: New Directions” at Wolfson College, Oxford (2012); “Dramatizing Penshurst: Site, Script, Sidneys” at Penshurst Place (2014); “Performing Restoration Shakespeare” at the Folger Shakespeare Library (2014); and “Reception, Reputation, and Circulation in the Early Modern World” at the National University of Ireland, Galway (2017). The network of scholars who are working on aspects of early modern song and performance-based musical methodologies helped to shape The Matter of Song in Early Modern England in countless ways. Gavin Alexander, Linda Austern, Leslie Dunn, Scott Trudell, Sarah Williams, and

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Amanda Eubanks Winkler have been particularly important interlocutors for me. I have been similarly upheld and inspired by the vibrant community working on early modern women’s writing and related questions of circulation and performance in literary studies. Thanks especially to Ilona Bell, Sheila Cavanagh, Marie-Louise Coolahan, Alison Findlay, James Fitzmaurice, Melinda Gough, the late Margaret Hannay, Natasha Korda, Mary Ellen Lamb, Rebecca Laroche, Clare McManus, Naomi Miller, David Norbrook, Elizabeth Scott-Baumann, Marta Straznicky, Mihoko Suzuki, Mary Trull, and Deanne Williams. A fortuitous encounter with Jennifer Richards in the Folger’s reading rooms led to a rich and ongoing dialogue around aural transmission. Thanks also to Gary Tomlinson, whose feedback deepened my analysis of the musical breath, and to Ben Burton, Katherine Butler, Heather Dubrow, Tim Harrison, Elizabeth Leach, Scott Schofield, William Shullenberger, Deanna Smid, Tiffany Stern, Nora Williams, and Henry Woodhuysen for valuable input and resource suggestions. I am fortunate to be a part of an exceptional intellectual community at the University of Toronto. Linda Hutcheon realized before I did that I was going to write a book about music and generously read and commented on the manuscript in its entirety; she has also modelled the very best kind of collaborative and interdisciplinary work, both as a scholar and as a mentor. Thanks as well to my early modern colleagues, especially David Galbraith, Elizabeth Harvey, Lynne Magnusson, Mary Nyquist, Paul Stevens, and Holger Syme, and to all of the faculty and staff at UTSC English. The Matter of Song in Early Modern England has been equally enriched by conversations with my students. The members of my “Sounding Spectacle in Early Modern England” (2012) and “Playing with Sound in Early Modern Performance Texts” (2017) undergraduate seminars and the graduate students in “Gender and Song in the Early Modern Context” (2012) discussed chapter drafts as a part of their course reading; their insights are reflected in several places in the book. Three talented doctoral research assistants were also involved with this project. Jennifer McDermott and Adele Wilson undertook crucial tasks associated with early sections. Claire Duncan read every word of the finished draft and was meticulous in the final stages of proofreading and reference checking; the manuscript was improved in substance as well as formatting as a result of her work. I owe a great deal to the musicians who contributed to this project. The remarkable artistry of lutenist Lucas Harris is apparent throughout the companion recording. It was a privilege to work on this repertoire with him. I also want to acknowledge our recording engineer Ron Searles, who produced and mastered the tracks, and soprano Carla Huhtanen,

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who served as our “ears” at the Glenn Gould Studio. Lutenist John Edwards and soprano Hallie Fishel collaborated and performed with me at several conferences. Lutenist Matthew Faulk responded warmly to an out-of-theblue email asking whether he would be willing to accompany my singing during a talk in Oxford; we ended up performing and recording together there again a year later. Thanks also to the Exultate Chamber Singers, my choral community during the writing of this book. It has been a pleasure to work with the staff at Oxford University Press. Eleanor Collins has been a brilliant editor from our earliest communications. I am deeply grateful as well to the two anonymous peer readers she selected, who responded to the varied disciplinary textures of the project with rigor and generous insight. This is a much better book because of their suggestions. Earlier versions of my argument appeared in “‘Blest pair of Sirens . . . Voice and Verse’: Milton’s Rhetoric of Song,” Milton Studies 54 (2013): 81–106; “Playing at Penshurst: The Songs and Musical Games of Mary Wroth’s Love’s Victory,” Sidney Journal 34.1 (2016): 93–106; and “Voicing Lyric: The Songs of Mary Wroth,” Re-Reading Mary Wroth, ed. Katherine R. Larson and Naomi Miller, with Andrew Strycharski (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 119–36, and are reproduced here in revised and expanded form by permission of the editors of the Sidney Journal and Milton Studies and of Palgrave Macmillan. Excerpts from “Margaret Cavendish’s Civilizing Songs,” The Public Intellectual and the Culture of Hope, ed. Joel Faflak and Jason Haslam (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013), 109–34, and “A Poetics of Song,” The Work of Form: Poetics and Materiality in Early Modern Culture,” ed. Elizabeth Scott-Baumann and Ben Burton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 104–22, also appear in revised form and are used by permission of the University of Toronto Press and Oxford University Press. For companionship and support along the way, both academic and personal, I am grateful to Katherine Blouin, Kimberly Fairbrother Canton, Catherine Dorton, Katie Hamilton, Erin Holden, Alysia Kolentsis, Lindy Ledohowski, Natalie Rothman, Karina Vernon, and Jackie Wylde. Loving thanks, above all, to my family: To my parents, who gifted me with their love of music and literature, and my sister, with whom I share many musical memories. To my partner, Lawrence Wiliford, who heard me sing before we ever spoke, and who, as a singer himself, has been in contrapuntal dialogue with me about this project since its beginnings. And finally, to Lyra, whose name encapsulates those “Blest pair of Sirens . . . Voice and Verse” and whose earliest moments (and earliest songs) overlapped with the creation of this book and its companion recording. May you always delight in singing and in the wonder wrought by music and text.

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Contents List of Figures Track List for Companion Recording Abbreviations Note on the Text

xiii xv xvii xix

Prologue

1

1. Airy Forms

32

2. Breath of Sirens

64

3. Voicing Lyric

110

4. Household Songs

139

5. Sweet Echo

179

Epilogue

203

Works Cited Index

209 237

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List of Figures P1 Recording Session for The Matter of Song in Early Modern England (perf. Katherine R. Larson, soprano, and Lucas Harris, lute), Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, January 2015. Photo credit: Ron Searles, Glenn Gould Studio.

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P2 Recording Session for The Matter of Song in Early Modern England (perf. Katherine R. Larson, soprano, and Lucas Harris, lute), Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, January 2015. Photo credit: Ron Searles, Glenn Gould Studio.

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P3 John Milton, “Thou God of Might,” in Sir William Leighton, The Teares or Lamentacions of a Sorrowfull Soule (London: William Stansby, 1614), sigs f2v–gr. © The British Library Board.

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P4 “Stops upon the Theorbo,” MS Don. c. 57, fo. 155 . The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford.

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P5 Detail of vocal ornamentation from “Dove dove corri mio core?” MS Broxbourne 84.9, fo. 11r. The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford.

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P6 Robert Jones, “My father faine,” in The Muses Garden for Delights . . . (London: William Barley, 1610), sig. E2r, RB 62107. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

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1.1 Detail from George Puttenham, The Arte of English Poesie (London: Richard Field, 1589), 70, RB 56460. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

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1.2 Anon. setting of Mary Sidney Herbert, Psalm 51, British Library, MS Add. 15117, fos 4v–5r. © The British Library Board.

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1.3 Anon. setting of Mary Sidney Herbert, Psalm 130, British Library, MS Add. 15117, fo. 5v. © The British Library Board.

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2.1 Detail from Helkiah Crooke, Mikrokosmographia: A Description of the Body of Man . . . (London: William Jaggard, 1615), 635, RB 53894. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

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2.2 Detail of vocal ornamentation from “Heare my Prayer,” Christ Church MS Mus. 87, fo. 3r. Reproduced by permission of the Governing Body of Christ Church, Oxford.

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2.3 Charles Coleman, “Bright Aurelia,” Lambeth Palace Library MS 1041, fo. 53r. Reproduced by permission of Lambeth Palace Library.

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3.1 John Wilson, “Love growne proud,” MS Mus. b. 1, fo. 18r. The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford.

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5.1 Modern transcription of Henry Lawes, “Sweet Echo.”

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E1 Cantus part of John Attey, “Resound my voice,” in The First Booke of Ayres . . . (London: Thomas Snodham, 1622), sig. F2v, RB 83690. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

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Track List for Companion Recording

1. “My father faine would have mee take a man that hath a beard” (Robert Jones) 2. Psalm 51 (Anon.) 3. Psalm 130 (Anon.) 4. “Bright Aurelia” (Charles Coleman) 5. “Go thy way” (Anon.) 6. “If ever hapless woman had a cause” (John Bartlet) 7. “Mrs M. E. her Funerall teares for the death of her husband” (John Danyel) 8. “Come, my Lucatia” (Henry Lawes) 9. “In vaine, faire Cloris” (Henry Lawes) 10. “Oh mee the time is come to part” (Anon.) 11. “Love growne proud” (John Wilson) 12. “Was I to blame” (Alfonso Ferrabosco) 13. “Sweet Echo” (Henry Lawes) 14. “Resound my voice” (John Attey)

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Abbreviations ACMRS AHRC CUP EBBA ELR EMW HLQ MLA MLQ MRTS NYPL OED OUP PMLA RETS RQ SEL UTSC

Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Arts and Humanities Research Council Cambridge University Press English Ballad Broadside Archive English Literary Renaissance Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal Huntington Library Quarterly Modern Language Association Modern Language Quarterly Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies New York Public Library Oxford English Dictionary Oxford University Press Proceedings of the Modern Language Association Renaissance English Text Society Renaissance Quarterly Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900 University of Toronto Scarborough

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Note on the Text Quotations from early modern sources have not been modernized, with the exception of u/v, i/j, and the long “s.” Abbreviations have been expanded, and book titles have been capitalized throughout. Final date of access for all URLs cited in the book was March 27, 2019.

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Prologue

Early in the unpublished second part of The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania (c.1621–30), Lady Mary Wroth presents her readers with an extraordinary musical scene. The King of Morea invites Pamphilia, Amphilanthus, and Urania into a “delicate and pleasant” garden celebrated as “the Crowne of all pleasure.”¹ Chief among the garden’s “curiosities” are its acoustic and musical qualities: the space resounds with “Musick . . . of all sorts” (2.29). Musical moments appear throughout Wroth’s romance, but this scene stands out for its scrutiny of the phenomenon of women’s song performance. Wroth’s characters engage in an extensive debate probing the relative aesthetic merits and sonic effects of women’s singing voices, prompted by Amphilanthus’ commendation of the voice as the most “heavenly” of instruments and his ardent defense of “stronge” female singers: “I love a lady that when she putts forth her voice makes the roome rattle” (2.29–30), he extols. Amphilanthus’ relish for rattling rooms adds a distinct charge to the scene’s exploration of the affective scope and gendered implications of vocal performance. Given that the discussion hinges on the connection between the beauty of the singing voice and its acoustic impact on auditors, would a lady who “putts forth her voice” in this “stronge” way bring pleasure or dismay to her auditors? The potential eroticism of such rattling is also at play in the passage, when Selarina teases Amphilanthus for articulating a preference for “Chapell” music given his wonted love of “a ladys Chamber” (2.30). Until this point, the garden’s instrumental music has been a backdrop to the interchange, but the scene culminates in a solo song performance by Pamphilia. She sings several pieces, including a setting of a poem

¹ Lady Mary Wroth, The Second Part of the Countess of Montgomery’s Urania, ed. Josephine A. Roberts, completed by Suzanne Gossett and Janel Mueller (Tempe, AZ: RETS/ACMRS, 1999), 29. Subsequent references will be to this edition, cited parenthetically by part and page number.

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2         composed by Amphilanthus, “Had I loved butt at that rate” (2.30–1). As the garden fills with the sound of her voice, the debate shifts from theory to practice. The “naturall perfections” of Pamphilia’s “rare” performance are clearly celebrated by Wroth and by the garden audience (2.30). Still, the impact of her songs is complex, particularly when read on the heels of the preceding interchange. She is “commend[ed]” and “admire[d]” by Amphilanthus as she begins to sing (2.30). At the conclusion of her performance, however, the “excellency” of her voice becomes synonymous with “[d]elicacy” rather than strength, and Pamphilia abruptly retreats from her solo turn into commonplaces about her silence and humility (2.31–2). Pamphilia’s remarkable performance, which will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 3, brings to the fore a series of questions that lie at the heart of this book: What are the implications of considering the songs that pervade early modern literary texts as a musical, acoustic, and embodied practice? How did early moderns understand the rhetorical function of songs and of singing bodies? What is the affective significance of these overlooked musical moments for readers and audience members? And, finally, how and with what effects did women engage with the song genre as writers and as performers? The first three of these questions merit exploration in relation to a wide range of literary genres, not least the voluminous array of theatrical songs that were performed on London’s indoor and outdoor stages. In developing a performance-based approach to the songs written and sung by women in early modern English literature and culture, however, this book animates songs whose musical and embodied traces are perhaps less immediately obvious: “literary” psalm translations; the songs scattered throughout sonnet sequences; and lyrics labeled as “songs” in verse miscellanies or represented as sung in romance. In the later sections of the book, I probe the centrality of song within household drama and the masque. All of these are genres to which women actively contributed as writers, as patrons, and as performers, and whose musical and acoustic facets have tended to be muffled in literary scholarship.

Sounding Early Modern Song Particularly to musicians reading this book, it might seem unsurprising to suggest that early modern song needs to be considered as sung. The soundscapes of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England were alive

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with song.² Streets rang with the musical cries of market vendors and of balladmongers singing samples of their wares. Churches large and small echoed with the plodding tones of congregational psalm singing. Ballads, catches, and airs ricocheted off the walls of taverns and domestic dining rooms, while psalm settings and lullabies emanated from the more intimate spaces of bedchamber and closet. In London, men and women across social classes flocked to the theatres to enjoy an array of singing characters and song-filled interludes and entertainments. Songs were equally central to the elaborate masques performed at court and at aristocratic estates. In more rural areas, meanwhile, songs eased the tedium of labor and were a hallmark of ritual festivities. Although the sonic impact of these “songscapes”³ has long since dissipated, we continue to experience songs from the period as readers and audience members, and, in some cases, as singers. While a significant body of scholarship has been devoted to musical–poetic relations in early modern England, however, all too often this work has prioritized what Leslie C. Dunn and Nancy A. Jones have called song’s “verbal and textual dimensions.”⁴ The burgeoning of early modern sound studies has paved the way for renewed acoustic attention to song.⁵ Scholars such as Erin Minear, Joseph

² See Bruce R. Smith, The Acoustic World of Early Modern England: Attending to the O-Factor (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), esp. 168–205; and Jessie Ann Owens (ed.),“Noyses, sounds and sweet aires”: Music in Early Modern England (Washington: Folger Shakespeare Library, 2006). ³ This term is the inspiration behind an intermedia digital initiative for the study of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century song, developed by Scott Trudell, Sarah Williams, and myself. The beta version of the site was launched on February 9, 2019, and can be accessed at songscapes.org. I discuss the Early Modern Songscapes platform in more detail in the Epilogue. ⁴ Leslie C. Dunn and Nancy A. Jones (eds), introduction to Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture (Cambridge: CUP, 1994), 6. For valuable overviews of literary scholarship treating the interplay between music and poetry in early modern England, see Louise Schleiner, “Recent Studies in Poetry and Music of the English Renaissance,” ELR 16/1 (Winter 1986), 253–68, and Leslie C. Dunn, “Recent Studies in Poetry and Music of the English Renaissance (1986–2007),” ELR 38/1 (Winter 2008), 172–92. Especially foundational for this study are Elise Bickford Jorgens, The Well-Tun’d Word: Musical Interpretations of English Poetry, 1597–1651 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982), and Louise Schleiner, The Living Lyre in English Verse from Elizabeth through the Restoration (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1984). ⁵ Bruce R. Smith, Acoustic World, and “Listening to the Wild Blue Yonder: The Challenges of Acoustic Ecology,” in Veit Erlmann (ed.), Hearing Cultures: Essays on Sound, Listening, and Modernity (Oxford: Berg, 2004), 21–41; Wes Folkerth, The Sound of Shakespeare (London: Routledge, 2002); Kenneth Gross, Shakespeare’s Noise (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001); Keith M. Botelho, Renaissance Earwitnesses: Rumor and Early Modern Masculinity (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009); and Gina Bloom, Voice in Motion: Staging Gender, Shaping Sound (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007). Although it does not focus on music, Bloom’s Voice in Motion is of particular significance to this book because of its

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4         Ortiz, Patricia Fumerton, and Gavin Alexander have influentially elucidated song’s auditory and protean workings in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England; Scott Trudell’s recently published monograph on song and media is another exciting contribution in this area.⁶ The sonic import of theatrical song is coming to life thanks to work by Lucy Munro, David Lindley, Katherine Steele Brokaw, and Simon Smith, along with recordings and performance scores developed by Ross Duffin and Catherine Henze.⁷ A recent special issue of New Literary History, meanwhile, testifies to increasing interest in the function of song across historical periods.⁸ Despite this exciting critical crescendo, attention to the musical and performative textures of song is by no means a given in literary analysis. When a literary critic encounters a song in a sonnet sequence, romance, and even a masque or a play, the tendency, if it is not to skip over it altogether—not an unusual

emphasis on vocal production as a marker of gendered subjectivity. See also “Shakespearean Hearing,” a special issue of The Upstart Crow, 29 (2010), ed. Leslie C. Dunn and Wes Folkerth. ⁶ Erin Minear, Reverberating Song in Shakespeare and Milton: Language, Memory, and Musical Representations (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011; repr. London: Routledge, 2016); Joseph M. Ortiz, Broken Harmony: Shakespeare and the Politics of Music (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011); Patricia Fumerton (ed.), Broadside Ballads from the Pepys Collection: A Selection of Texts, Approaches, and Recordings (Tempe: ACMRS, 2012); Patricia Fumerton, Ballads and Performance: The Multimodal Stage in Early Modern England (Santa Barbara, CA: EMC Imprint, ; Gavin Alexander, “Song in Shakespeare: Rhetoric, Identity, Agency,” in Jonathan F. S. Post (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare’s Poetry (Oxford: OUP, 2013), 247–64; Scott Trudell, Unwritten Poetry: Song, Performance, and Media in Early Modern England (Oxford: OUP, 2019). See also Sarah Iovan, “Performing Voices in the English Lute Song,” SEL 50/1 (Winter 2010), 63–81. ⁷ See Lucy Munro, “Music and Sound,” in Richard Dutton (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre (Oxford: OUP, 2011), 543–59; David Lindley, “Song,” in Shakespeare and Music (London: Arden Shakespeare, 2006), 141–98, and “Shakespeare’s Provoking Music,” in John Caldwell, Edward Olleson, and Susan Wollenberg (eds), The Well Enchanting Skill: Music, Poetry, and Drama in the Culture of the Renaissance (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), 79–90; Katherine Steele Brokaw, Staging Harmony: Music and Religious Change in Late Medieval and Early Modern English Drama (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016); Simon Smith, Musical Response in the Early Modern Playhouse, 1603–1625 (Cambridge: CUP, 2017); Ross W. Duffin, Shakespeare’s Songbook (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004) and Some Other Note: The Lost Songs of English Renaissance Comedy (Oxford: OUP, 2018); and Catherine A. Henze, Robert Armin and Shakespeare’s Performed Songs (London: Routledge, 2017). See also Linda Phyllis Austern, Music in English Children’s Drama of the Later Renaissance (Philadelphia: Gordon and Breach, 1992). Although less focused on sound, Peter J. Seng, The Vocal Songs in the Plays of Shakespeare: A Critical History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968), is also an invaluable resource. ⁸ Jahan Ramazani and Herbert F. Tucker (eds), “Song,” special issue, New Literary History, 46/4 (Autumn 2015). See also Mark W. Booth, The Experience of Songs (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1981).

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occurrence in both pedagogical and research contexts—is to engage with it as poem rather than as musical performance. This kind of imbalance is not limited to literary studies. Until relatively recently, musicologists have likewise shied away from the sonic and visual facets of early modern vocal repertoire, focusing instead on the notational framework of extant scores. This can in part be attributed to disciplinary trends and modes of training analogous to those in literary studies that hinder a full integration of historically situated textual, musical, and performance analysis. As Nicholas Cook observes, musicology “is built on the premise that music is a branch of literature: like poetry, music can be rendered in performance, but that isn’t essential for critical engagement with the meanings embodied in the notated text.”⁹ This resistance to performance-based analysis has been shifting, as Cook’s scholarship, along with vital work in early modern studies by Linda Phyllis Austern, Bonnie Gordon, Rebecca Herissone, Richard Leppert, and Christopher Marsh powerfully attest.¹⁰ Performance-oriented interventions, however, still wrestle with disciplinary inertia as well as related questions about the value and objectivity of performance analysis. Less tangible, but no less significant, methodological challenges arise from the transient nature of song as a performance medium. To grapple with song as the musical product of the sounding body is, in effect, to grapple with the invisible capriciousness of the air. In the case of early modern songs, this evanescence is further compounded by a temporal distancing of four centuries. Despite the hotly

⁹ Nicholas Cook, “Bridging the Unbridgeable?: Empirical Musicology and Interdisciplinary Performance Studies,” in Nicholas Cook and Richard Pettengill (eds), Taking it to the Bridge: Music as Performance (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2013), 71. ¹⁰ See Nicholas Cook, Beyond the Score: Music as Performance (New York: OUP, 2013); “Bridging the Unbridgeable?”; and “Between Process and Product: Music and/as Performance,” Music Theory Online, 7/2 (April 2001); Linda Phyllis Austern, “Words on Music: The Case of Early Modern England,” John Donne Journal, 25 (2006), 199–243; Bonnie Gordon, Monteverdi’s Unruly Women: The Power of Song in Early Modern Italy (Cambridge: CUP, 2004); Rebecca Herissone, Musical Creativity in Restoration England (Cambridge: CUP, 2013); Richard Leppert, The Sight of Sound: Music, Representation, and the History of the Body (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993); and Christopher Marsh, Music and Society in Early Modern England (Cambridge: CUP, 2010), which brings sixteenth- and seventeenthcentury popular music to life with its accompanying CD. See also Maureen Epp and Brian E. Power (eds), The Sounds and Sights of Performance in Early Music: Essays in Honour of Timothy J. McGee (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009; repr. London: Routledge, 2016). Although not focused on the early modern context, Lawrence Kramer’s influential notion of “melopoetics” advances the possibility of a more productive disciplinary relationship between music and literary criticism. His work, however, focuses on questions of structure and signification, as well as compositional process, rather than sound. See “Dangerous Liaisons: The Literary Text in Musical Criticism,” 19th-Century Music, 13/2 (Autumn 1989), 159–67.

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6         debated nuances of “historically informed performance” and “original practices” within performance studies and among practitioners of early music and theatre, attempts at recovery and reconstruction can only ever be approximate.¹¹ There is much to be gleaned, of course, whether as a scholar or student of early modern culture or as a member of the general public, from experiencing a production at Shakespeare’s Globe that features “original” pronunciation or an all-male cast, or hearing a stellar musical ensemble like Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra performing on period instruments. The same is true of recent performance as research projects that have focused on the early modern context.¹² While performance as research has to date influenced theatre studies to a greater degree than literary discussions of music, my own work shares important resonances with these “scholartistic” initiatives.¹³ It builds too on interventions in performance studies and Shakespeare studies that pay close attention to the substance and impact of performing bodies, while also working to theorize embodiment as a vitally “labile” category of analysis.¹⁴ Nonetheless, tracing the embodied dimensions of any historical genre necessitates a willingness to confront absence, ¹¹ Don Weingust, “Rehearsal and Acting Practice,” in Arthur F. Kinney and Thomas Warren Hopper (eds), A New Companion to Renaissance Drama (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017), 250–67, discusses the differences between “historically informed performance” and “original practices.” For a snapshot of the fraught, yet vital, relationship between the theatre and the academy in discussions of “original practices,” see Jeremy Lopez, “A Partial Theory of Original Practice,” Shakespeare Survey, 61 (2008), 302–17. For insight into the debates surrounding historically informed musical performance, see John Butt, Playing with History: The Historical Approach to Musical Performance (Cambridge: CUP, 2002), esp. 3–50; and Richard Taruskin, Text and Act: Essays on Music and Performance (New York: OUP, 1995). ¹² See, e.g., “Performing the Queen’s Men: Exploring Theatre History through Performance,” , and “Performance as Research in Early English Theatre Studies: The Three Ladies of London in Context,” , both based at McMaster University in Canada. ¹³ See Owen Chapman and Kim Sawchuk, “Research-Creation: Intervention, Analysis and ‘Family Resemblances,’ ” Canadian Journal of Communication, 37/1 (2012): 5–26. The inaugural issue of PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research, 1/1 (October 2016), outlines the goals and challenges of performance as research; see also Robin Nelson (ed.), Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). ¹⁴ Evelyn Tribble, “Pretty and Apt: Boy Actors, Skill, and Embodiment,” in Valerie Traub (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, Race (Oxford: OUP, 2016), 629. See also Joseph R. Roach, The Player’s Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1985); Judith Butler, Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex” (New York: Routledge, 1993); Erika T. Lin, Shakespeare and the Materiality of Performance (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); Evelyn Tribble, Early Modern Actors and Shakespeare’s Theatre: Thinking with the Body (London: Bloomsbury, 2017); and Farah Karim-Cooper and Tiffany Stern (eds), Shakespeare’s Theatres and the Effects of Performance (London: Arden Shakespeare, 2013), esp. Bruce R. Smith, “Within, Without, Withinwards: The Circulation of Sound in Shakespeare’s Theatre,” 171–84.

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volatility, and silence and, by extension, to engage in a certain degree of imaginative speculation. This is particularly true of song, which regularly circulated in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries without musical notation and, as a result, leaves only scattered traces.¹⁵ The gaps and absences intrinsic to the study of song performance are on full display in early modern treatments of the topic. As Bénigne de Bacilly puts it in his exhaustive Remarques curieuses sur l’art de bien chanter (1668), “je trouve à propos de parler du Chant en general, & mesme de donner des Preceptes pour le bien mettre en usage, autant que le peut permettre un Art qui semble consister plutost dans la Practique que dans les Regles que l’on en pourroit donner” (“I find it suitable to discuss singing in general and even to outline some precepts for putting it properly into practice, to the extent that this can be done with an art that seems to exist more in performance than in the rules we might give it” (my translation).)¹⁶ “Song” itself was a slippery and capacious term in early modern English culture, as I will discuss further in Chapter 1.¹⁷ In literary texts, “song” was used to denote the sonorous effects of prosody and certain light lyric poems, as well as specific musical settings and performances of those texts. The vagueness and ambiguity reflected in the term become especially palpable in attempts to describe the physical manifestation of vocal techniques and their sonic effects in music handbooks and treatises, the focus of Chapter 2. Even in the most detailed examples, theorists tend to omit explication of particular effects, acknowledging the limitations of musical notation and deferring to the training and interpretative instincts of individual performers. In his otherwise comprehensive discussion of vocal ornamentation, Bacilly imagines a future set of musical “Caracteres” that might help to offset the ambiguity of existing notation; until then, he argues, singers must rely on their own interpretation.¹⁸ Others circumvent the issue by referring readers to the ¹⁵ See Tiffany Stern’s elucidation of the “lost songs” of early modern playtexts in Documents of Performance in Early Modern England (Cambridge: CUP, 2009), 120–73, and “ ‘I Have Both the Note, and Dittie About Me’: Songs on the Early Modern Page and Stage,” Common Knowledge, 17/2 (Spring 2011), 306–20. ¹⁶ Bénigne de Bacilly, Remarques curieuses sur l’art de bien chanter (Paris: [C. Blageart], 1668), 2. For an English translation of the treatise, see Bénigne de Bacilly, A Commentary upon the Art of Proper Singing, trans. and ed. Austin B. Caswell (New York: Brooklyn Institute of Medieval Music, 1968). ¹⁷ See also Heather Dubrow, The Challenges of Orpheus: Lyric Poetry and Early Modern England (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 215–27. ¹⁸ Bacilly, Remarques curieuses, 233. Caswell’s translation reads: “We must depend upon the singer’s ability to interpret these subtleties properly until such time as a superior system of notation is invented” (Commentary, 119).

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8         expertise of music tutors. Early moderns clearly struggled to put musical performance into words.

The Drastic Nature of Song As these examples suggest, animating early modern song from an acoustic and embodied perspective foregrounds the need for a critical vocabulary and methodologies that can capture—however imperfectly—the multifaceted and performance-based nature of the genre. In contributing to this work, The Matter of Song in Early Modern England integrates and builds on ongoing conversations about music, sound, and embodiment taking place at the interface of early modern literary studies, musicology, and gender studies. As the book has developed, I have benefited greatly from exchanges with colleagues in each of these fields, notably Gavin Alexander, Linda Phyllis Austern, Leslie Dunn, Scott Trudell, Sarah Williams, and Amanda Eubanks Winkler. Most valuable have been workshops and seminars—at the annual meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America and the triannual Attending to Early Modern Women conference, both of which build collaborative dialogue into the structure of their gatherings, and at venues like the Folger Shakespeare Library—where scholars, students, and practitioners examining related questions from varied disciplinary perspectives can develop shared methodological tools that might effectively bridge performance theory, historical, literary and cultural analysis, and musical practice. The 2014 “Performing Restoration Shakespeare” weekend workshop at the Folger Shakespeare Library, which was co-led by Amanda Eubanks Winkler and Richard Schoch, provides an admirable case in point.¹⁹ This experimental workshop, which has since grown into a major AHRC-funded collaborative project, gathered literary scholars, theatre historians, musicologists, cultural theorists, actors from the Folger Theatre, and singers and musicians from the Folger Consort to explore the interplay between performance theory and performance practice through the multimedia phenomenon of Restoration theatre.²⁰ The weekend focused on the staging of ¹⁹ “Performing Restoration Shakespeare,” co-directed by Amanda Eubanks Winkler and Richard Schoch, with the Folger Consort, Folger Shakespeare Library, November 14–15, 2014. ²⁰ For the larger AHRC-funded project that emerged from this event, see .

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selected scenes from William Davenant’s operatic retelling of Macbeth (c.1663–4) and Charles Gildon’s adaptation of Measure for Measure (1700), which bizarrely interpolates scenes from Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (c.1688) as entertainments scattered within the narrative. As stimulating as these stagings were, the most productive piece of the weekend, in my view, was the concluding discussion that began to theorize the creative process undertaken within the space of the Folger Theater. The session was far from conclusive, but it placed at the forefront the question of how to communicate the theory–practice nexus that such work at once necessitates and engenders, whether in academic research, in the classroom, or in more public curatorial and performance settings.²¹ The challenge of this process is compounded not only by the transience and absences already outlined but by the emotional transcendence prompted by live performance that can be at odds with critical interpretation. This is what Roland Barthes has in mind when he laments invariably subjective assessments of the unique “grain” of individual singing voices.²² Musicologist Carolyn Abbate offers one critical model that has become foundational for my own approach to this crux. In an influential essay, Abbate elucidates the significance of what she terms “drastic”—as opposed to “gnostic”—responses to music.²³ The latter term, the “gnostic,” evokes the familiar territory of the critic: engagement with a work that bespeaks (in theory, at least) objectivity, transparency, and emotional distance. The “drastic,” on the other hand, shifts the object of analysis from musical work to musical event. A drastic response taps into what Abbate terms the “wild” facets of live musical performance:²⁴ its fleetingness, its physical materiality, its deep emotion, its unpredictability, its imperfection, its playfulness, its sonic and visual force. The gnostic and the drastic are not easily reconciled; indeed, for Abbate, the drastic resists the gnostic almost entirely. To illustrate her point, Abbate recounts her inability to undertake a ²¹ Eubanks Winkler and Schoch co-directed a subsequent two-week workshop on the topic, which culminated in September 2018 in a fully staged professional production at the Folger Theatre of Davenant’s Macbeth, directed by Robert Richmond. Short documentary films about the rehearsal and production process will be made available online through the Performing Restoration Shakespeare YouTube channel, . See also the project’s main website, . ²² Roland Barthes, “The Grain of the Voice,’ ” in Image/Music/Text, trans. Stephen Heath (New York: Hill and Wang, 1977), 179–80. ²³ Carolyn Abbate, “Music—Drastic or Gnostic?,” Critical Inquiry, 30/3 (Spring 2004), 505–36. ²⁴ Abbate, “Music—Drastic or Gnostic?,” 508–9.

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historicist critique of an aria from Mozart’s Idomeneo while immersed in accompanying the singer on the piano: “What, I asked, am I actually thinking about this music? Clearing my mind, I realized that words connected to what was going on did flow in, albeit rarely, but these words had nothing to do with signification, being instead doing this really fast is fun or here comes a big jump.”²⁵ The untamable elements of musical performance registered by the drastic serve as an important reminder of music’s multidimensionality, which is typically flattened in musicology. This holds true for literary analyses of music as well. Still, even as Abbate notes that “a great deal remains to be thought about performance,” she is skeptical as to whether criticism can productively integrate drastic and gnostic stances.²⁶ Her initial conclusion forecloses the possibility entirely. Formal analysis, she argues, is “almost impossible and generally uninteresting as long as real music is present—while one is caught up in its temporal wake and its physical demands or effects.”²⁷ Later in the essay she nuances this position, underscoring that there is “some form of wisdom” that arises from engagement with performance.²⁸ But her concerns remain about the inevitable “present pastness” that the act of writing about performance necessitates.²⁹ For Abbate, this standpoint risks producing a hermeneutic calcification that is the antithesis of the drastic. While I concur with Abbate that fully capturing the drastic in textual form remains an impossibility, this book argues for the necessity of factoring the embodied experience of song into interpretative analysis. To bypass the “drastic” when considering song fails to do justice to the manifold components of sung text as lyric, as musical setting, and as instances of performance within specific acoustic, cultural, and textual environments. Pinpointing the “wild” elements of song as the product of the human body as instrument and as a part of historically distanced soundscapes—and, in so doing, animating the musical and performance dimensions of the genre—is a central focus of The Matter of Song in Early Modern England. This is a ²⁵ Abbate, “Music—Drastic or Gnostic?,” 510–11. ²⁶ Abbate, “Music—Drastic or Gnostic?,” 513. ²⁷ Abbate, “Music—Drastic or Gnostic?,” 511. Suzanne Cusick characterizes this tension in terms of the violent “dismemberment of music’s body” enacted by formal analysis. See “On A Lesbian Relationship with Music: A Serious Effort not to Think Straight,” in Philip Brett, Elizabeth Wood, and Gary C. Thomas (eds), Queering the Pitch: The New Gay and Lesbian Musicology, 2nd edn (New York: Routledge, 2006), 77. ²⁸ Abbate, “Music—Drastic or Gnostic?,” 536. ²⁹ Abbate, “Music—Drastic or Gnostic?,” 536.

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process that continually bumps up against absence; whatever traces of the drastic emerge in this book and its companion recording are invariably approximate. Where Abbate sees the prospect of rigidity and loss in taking this leap, however, I see the potential for more elastic analysis of early modern texts, many of which were themselves products of embodied and musical processes of circulation. Is reading about the traces of song performance and descriptions of the physical experience of singing while listening to musical examples different from being immersed in the immediacy of a live performance? Absolutely. But it does not mean that the unfixed and evanescent nature of performance refuses analysis entirely, nor that attention to the drastic cannot enrich—and indeed change the framework of—the gnostic. A drastically oriented methodology, I argue, holds significant implications for a more capacious and historically grounded understanding of literary texts and forms. The acoustic examples that play a key role throughout this study exemplify the methodological complexity (and, in definitive terms, the impossibility) of locating the “drastic.” The fourteen songs that I recorded with lutenist Lucas Harris and that accompany The Matter of Song in Early Modern England are a unique feature of this book.³⁰ They bring to life a wide range of little-known repertoire and render tangible the performancebased facets of song at the heart of my analysis, particularly for readers who may not be comfortable with musical notation. And, yet, the medium of audio files and the recording process itself are a far cry from the “wildness” of live performance. The contemporary recording industry showcases the versatility of recording technology, in some cases in the absence or at the expense of musical talent. Pop singers routinely neutralize the “grain” of their voices with auto-tune. Regardless of genre or style, meanwhile, recording artists rely on multiple takes, manipulating those options to create a polished and seamless sound. The audio files recorded for this book consist mostly of live takes. As such, they do, to some extent, preserve the character and the beauty of the unexpected that any performance, however seamless and crafted, entails. The photographs that appear in Figures P1 and P2, which were taken during our recording sessions, offer visual insight into Lucas’s and my performance experience. That said, one of the luxuries of recording is the ability to

³⁰ The songs, perf. Katherine R. Larson and Lucas Harris, were recorded at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto on 12–14 January 2015.

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       

Figure P1. Recording Session for The Matter of Song in Early Modern England (perf. Katherine R. Larson, soprano, and Lucas Harris, lute), Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, January 2015. Photo credit: Ron Searles, Glenn Gould Studio.

present voice and instrument in the best possible acoustic light: to splice over inconvenient breaths and hiccups or to select a take that excludes an unexpected flutter in the voice or buzz from a lute string. Lucas and I benefited greatly in this regard from the skill of Ron Searles, our recording engineer at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. As a performer, I would note as well that the nerves I often experience before singing in public were significantly lessened by the knowledge that we were in a recording environment and could redo takes if necessary. However undesirable in a recording, vocal inconsistencies and adrenaline rushes—for audience members as well as performers—are precisely what Abbate has in mind when she discusses the “drastic.” They are a vital part of the thrill of attending a live concert or opera, particularly when the repertoire pushes the technical abilities of the artist to their utmost: will the star soprano soar seemingly effortlessly to that much-anticipated pianissimo high B flat? Recordings can introduce different kinds of intimacies and interpretative possibilities that can never be experienced in a concert hall,

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Figure P2. Recording Session for The Matter of Song in Early Modern England (perf. Katherine R. Larson, soprano, and Lucas Harris, lute), Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, January 2015. Photo credit: Ron Searles, Glenn Gould Studio.

but they risk foreclosing meaning.³¹ Also absent from audio recordings is the visual element of performance, whether the gestural details that accompany the interpretation of textual nuance, facial expression, or the palpable workings of the voice as physical mechanism: the movement of breath, the singer’s physical stance, the shape of the mouth, and even the flecks of spit that escape when delivering a song with careful attention to diction and emotional expression. ³¹ See Suzanne G. Cusick, “Gender and the Cultural Work of a Classical Music Performance,” repercussions, 3/1 (Spring 1994), 100–4.

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Even as the musical examples that accompany this book work to bring us closer to the “drastic” elements of early modern song, therefore, they cannot help but accentuate the distancing inherent in that process. Each of the companion tracks ultimately captures a single rendition of a song—the product of particular interpretative choices made by myself and Lucas— that is, in some cases, a medley of takes from several different performances. In reifying a preferred version of each song and presenting just one of many possible interpretations, the companion recording reflects a tension intrinsic to the methodologies guiding this project as whole. In many ways, the most “drastic” elements of the book bubble up when I discuss my own physical experience of inhabiting particular songs and the decisions that Lucas and I made as we rehearsed and performed this repertoire. These moments illuminate one singer’s and one lutenist’s experience of their instruments in a twenty-first-century Toronto studio—an experience that is then preserved in a “best” track selected for recording and publication purposes. “Present pastness” indeed.³² But writing about that experience in the context of an academic monograph was a vertiginous experience for me. Making music—and then sharing that process with readers—is a deeply personal and vulnerable act. Feminist musicologist Suzanne Cusick has argued for the importance (and the risk) of bringing that perspective, which she describes in powerfully sensual terms, to bear on musicology. What might it mean, she asks, reflecting on music as “first of all something we do,” to allow the resultant possibility of “not ‘thinking straight’ ” that comes with the joy and exposure of performance to change the nature of a textual encounter?³³ For one thing, I found that it changed my academic prose. Writing this book felt more playful, more personal, and more experimental than I typically find to be the case when engaging in literary criticism. Performing on the companion recording was a key part of that process. The resultant close readings help to orient this book and its acoustic examples in “drastic” terms and, in so doing, offer a more textured model for sounding song—and lyric form more broadly—in early modern literary studies.

³² Abbate, “Music—Drastic or Gnostic?,” 536. ³³ Cusick, “On a Lesbian Relationship with Music,” 80. Similar questions motivate Elisabeth Le Guin’s exploration of Boccherini’s music through the lens of her experience as a cellist in Boccherini’s Body: An Essay in Carnal Musicology (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2006); the book includes a CD with examples performed by Le Guin and her string quartet.

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Song’s Textual Traces Given the methodological challenges that a critical encounter with the “drastic” provokes, how best to tune our ears to song’s acoustic facets and to the embodied experience of singing as readers of early modern texts? Traces of song performance are preserved in a rich array of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century sources.³⁴ Probably the most familiar example of these kinds of traces is musical notation, whether extant in manuscript or in print, which makes possible contemporary interpretations like those preserved on the companion recording. We rely on such evidence for our knowledge of particular song settings and for connections between individual composers and writers, such as Shakespeare and Robert Johnson or Milton and Henry Lawes. Musical notation also provides glimpses into the kinds of environments in which songs were performed. One example of this is the positioning of vocal and instrumental parts in printed scores that facilitated impromptu musical gatherings, as evidenced by the tabletop layout of “Thou God of Might” shown in Figure P3. This is a psalm setting by Milton’s composer father that was published in Sir William Leighton’s The Teares or Lamentacions of a Sorrowfull Soule (1614). Extant notation, especially in manuscript collections, can also tell us much about how particular songs circulated and the relationship between vocal and instrumental practice. Figure P4, for instance, depicts an amateur musician’s self-reminder of the positioning of stops or frets on the theorbo (a large instrument in the lute family) immediately before a set of songs for treble and theorbo in Bodleian Library MS Don. c. 57 (c.1625–1800). Such examples offer important evidence of the practical and pedagogical use of manuscript music books. Of particular interest for this project is musical notation that registers details about vocal technique and style, illustrated by the florid Italianate ornamentation for “Dove dove corri mio core?” (anon.) notated in Bodleian Library MS Broxbourne 84.9 (c.1660) and shown in Figure P5. Ornaments like these will be discussed further in Chapter 2.

³⁴ See also Jennifer Richards, Voices and Books: A New History of Reading (Oxford: OUP, forthcoming), which offers a vital counterpoint to my argument in its attention to the cues for reading aloud that are preserved in extant sources. The book is connected to a large-scale AHRC initiative led by Richards and by Richard Wistreich, “Voices and Books 1500–1800,” , which elucidates the orality and aurality of early modern reading.

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Figure P3. John Milton, “Thou God of Might,” in Sir William Leighton, The Teares or Lamentacions of a Sorrowfull Soule (London: William Stansby, 1614), sigs f2v–gr. © The British Library Board.

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Figure P4. “Stops upon the Theorbo,” MS Don. c. 57, fo. 155v. The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford.

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Figure P5. Detail of vocal ornamentation from “Dove dove corri mio core?” MS Broxbourne 84.9, fo.11r. The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford.

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Notated settings, however, represent only a fraction of the songs that were heard and performed in the early modern period. In the still predominantly oral culture of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, songs circulated regularly without written music. Popular tunes were memorized, carried within the body and ready to be matched to a particular text.³⁵ Ballad broadsides offer compelling insight into this phenomenon, advertising new texts to be sung “to the tune of . . . ” As I will discuss further in Chapter 3, this is a common, and often comically memorable, feature of verse miscellanies as well, exposing the slippage between such collections and songbooks of the period. Consider, for instance, “A ballad from the countrie sent to show how we should fast this Lent. to the tune of the crampe” or “A Prophesy of good things to come | concerning the script kingdome of Immanuell | Tune I have been a fidler these fifteen yeares,” two gems from the Bodleian Library’s Special Collections.³⁶ Few of these evocative tunes survive, though the visceral reaction that can still be felt today when encountering the instruction that a text is to be sung to the tune of “Greensleeves” gives us some insight into how they might have resonated for early moderns.³⁷ Like the tabletop score layout just referenced, they constitute crucial examples of what Bruce Smith has compellingly termed “somatic notation: in shorthand form, it tells the reader just what to do with his or her body.”³⁸ Many ballad tunes, moreover, carried cultural and intertextual connotations that could be strategically layered onto a new ballad text with powerful rhetorical effects.³⁹ Online multimedia databases such as the Bodleian Library’s Broadside Ballads Online and especially the English Ballad Broadside Archive (EBBA), hosted by the University of California Santa Barbara, are helping to animate these relationships by

³⁵ For a valuable discussion of musical memorization in the period and the interplay between aural and written transmission, see Herissone, Musical Creativity, 360–74. These issues will be taken up in more detail in Chapters 2 and 3. ³⁶ These lyrics are contained in MS Rawl. poet. 185 (c.1600), n.p.; and MS Rawl. poet. 37 (c.1650–60), 78–9. For more on these miscellanies, see Chapter 3. ³⁷ On the “multi-form” transmission of this tune, see John M. Ward, “ ‘And Who But Ladie Greensleeves?’ ” in Caldwell, Olleson, and Wollenberg (eds), The Well Enchanting Skill, 181–211 (182). ³⁸ Bruce R. Smith, Acoustic World, 112. ³⁹ See Christopher Marsh, “The Sound of Print in Early Modern England: The Broadside Ballad as Song,” in Julia Crick and Alexandra Walsham (eds), The Uses of Script and Print, 1300–1700 (Cambridge: CUP, 2004), 171–90, and Music and Society, 288–327; and Sarah F. Williams, “Witches, Lamenting Women, and Cautionary Tales: Tracing ‘The Ladies Fall’ in Early Modern English Broadside Balladry and Popular Song,” in Leslie C. Dunn and Katherine R. Larson (eds), Gender and Song in Early Modern England (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014; repr. London: Routledge, 2016), 31–46.

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gathering digital facsimiles of surviving broadsides and recordings of extant tunes.⁴⁰ Patricia Fumerton’s recently released online work exploring the “multimodal” workings of ballads in performance vividly captures the genre’s aural, textual, and visual facets.⁴¹ Traces of song performance also encompass sources that attest to song’s least tangible, yet most essential, facets: its generic multidimensionality comprising text, musical setting, and embodied sound; its resultant elusiveness and instability as a lyric category; and its rootedness in the air as an ephemeral and performance-based medium. I unpack this airy matter of song in Chapters 1 and 2, first as a formal crux in literary studies and then as physiological and acoustic phenomenon. These sections of the book draw on musically inflected theories of prosody, accounts of singing and of vocal sound in literary texts and music handbooks, as well as scientific and philosophical accounts of the movement of breath through the vocal mechanism. The traces of the singing body preserved in these sources help to enliven song as a musical genre and remind us as well of the music and sounding bodies that hover behind texts labeled as “songs,” even in the absence of extant scores. As such, they offer vivid insight into song’s “drastic” and “wild” dimensions.

Singing Women in Early Modern England In animating song’s performance-based facets, this book probes a corresponding, and equally palpable, absence in early modern literary studies: women’s active involvement as writers of songs and as singers in early modern English literature and culture. Gender has been a vital thread of this project from the outset—how could it not when thinking about song from an embodied perspective? As my research developed, however, I was struck by the critical silence surrounding women’s contributions to early modern English song culture, as writers of song texts, as performers, and as patrons and as composers, a silence no less significant in early modern

⁴⁰ The Bodleian Library’s Broadside Ballads Online can be found at . The English Ballad Broadside Archive, a multimedia database directed by Patricia Fumerton that aims to archive and digitize all extant ballads published in the seventeenth century, is housed at . See also Fumerton (ed.), Broadside Ballads. ⁴¹ Fumerton, Ballads and Performance.

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literary studies than that which has stifled the sonic facets of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century song. In the past thirty years, there has been an explosion of scholarship on early modern women’s writing and cultural production. Yet, even as writers such as Elizabeth Cary, Mary Sidney Herbert, Mary Wroth, and Margaret Cavendish have joined—and transformed—the literary canon, as well as pedagogical approaches to early modern literature, scholars in the field are still to some extent engaged in a process of recovery. This is especially true of manuscript studies, which continue to reveal women’s contributions to a range of genres, including recipe books, herbals, gardening manuals, letters, and embroidery. These cultural documents demonstrate just how wideranging women’s rhetorical practices were in sixteenth- and seventeenthcentury England.⁴² As powerful examples of what Natasha Korda has termed feminist “counterarchives,” they underscore too the complex networks of early modern creative production and transmission to which women contributed, processes that destabilize any singular claim to “authorship” or “work” even as they radically expand the notion of what constitutes a “text.”⁴³ Music has not been entirely absent from this process. Scholars have located extant settings of poems by writers such as Sidney, Wroth, and Katherine Philips.⁴⁴ The Perdita Project includes a selection of manuscript ⁴² See, e.g., Jennifer A. Munroe, Gender and the Garden in Early Modern English Literature (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008; repr. London: Routledge, 2016); Rebecca Laroche, Medical Authority and Englishwomen’s Herbal Texts (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2009; repr. London: Routledge, 2016); Victoria E. Burke, “Seventeenth-Century Women’s Manuscript Writing,” in Mihoko Suzuki (ed.), The History of British Women’s Writing, 1610–1690, iii (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 99–113; Jill Seal Millman and Gillian Wright (eds), Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Poetry (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005); James Daybell (ed.), Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1450–1700 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001); James Daybell, Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England (Oxford: OUP, 2006); Susan Frye, Pens and Needles: Women’s Textualities in Early Modern England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010; repr. 2013); Jennifer Richards and Alison Thorne (eds), Rhetoric, Women, and Politics in Early Modern England (London: Routledge, 2007); and Katherine R. Larson, Early Modern Women in Conversation (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, repr. 2015). ⁴³ Natasha Korda, “Shakespeare’s Laundry: Feminist Futures in the Archives,” in Ania Loomba and Melissa E. Sanchez (eds), Rethinking Feminism in Early Modern Studies: Gender, Race, and Sexuality (New York: Routledge, 2016), 96. See also Patricia Pender and Rosalind Smith (eds), Material Cultures of Early Modern Women’s Writing (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); and the RECIRC project on the Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing, 1550–1700, directed by Marie-Louise Coolahan, . ⁴⁴ See Linda Phyllis Austern, “ ‘For Musicke Is the Handmaid of the Lord’: Women, Psalms, and Domestic Music-Making in Early Modern England,” in Linda Phyllis Austern, Kari Boyd McBride, and David. L. Orvis (eds), Psalms in the Early Modern World (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011; repr. London: Routledge, 2016), 77–114; Gavin Alexander, “The Musical Sidneys,” John

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music books compiled by women among its digitized holdings.⁴⁵ Recent recordings based on extant manuscript songbooks, meanwhile, are drawing attention to the musical tastes and proclivities of the women who owned them. David Skinner’s musical ensemble Alamire, for instance, has recorded a number of the pieces included in Anne Boleyn’s music book (Royal College of Music MS 1070).⁴⁶ Soprano Rebecca Ockenden undertook a similar project focusing on Elizabeth Davenant’s 1624 song collection (Christ Church Library MS Mus. 87), a document that will be discussed further in Chapter 2.⁴⁷ Alongside these developments, there has been growing critical interest at the intersection of literary studies and musicology in the gendered facets of musical production and circulation, and in women’s involvement in those processes. This work builds, in the first instance, on groundbreaking studies in feminist musicology as well as scholarship that has probed the history of women’s musical contributions in Europe.⁴⁸ It also engages with influential contributions, notably by Linda Phyllis Austern, on the erotics of musical Donne Journal, 25 (2006), 90–104; Joan Applegate, “Katherine Philips’s ‘Orinda Upon Little Hector’: An Unrecorded Musical Setting by Henry Lawes,” English Manuscript Studies 1100–1700, 4 (1993), 272–80; Elizabeth H. Hageman and Andrea Sununu, “New Manuscript Texts of Katherine Philips, the ‘Matchless Orinda,’ ” English Manuscript Studies 1100–1700, 4 (1993): 174–216; Lydia Hamessley, “Henry Lawes’s Setting of Katherine Philips’s Friendship Poetry in His Second Book of Ayres and Dialogues, 1655: A Musical Misreading?,” in Brett, Wood, and Thomas, Queering the Pitch, 115–38; and Curtis Price, “The Songs for Katherine Philips’s Pompey (1663),” Theatre Notebook, 33/2 (1979), 61–6. ⁴⁵ The Perdita Manuscripts project is housed at . ⁴⁶ Anne Boleyn’s Songbook: Music and Passions of a Tudor Queen, perf. Alamire, dir. David Skinner, Obsidian Records, 2015. ⁴⁷ Mistress Elizabeth Davenant, Her Songes, perf. Rebecca Ockenden and Sofie Vanden Eynde, Ramée Records, 2011. ⁴⁸ See Susan McClary, Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991); Marcia J. Citron, Gender and the Musical Canon (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993); Ellen Koskoff (ed.), Women and Music in CrossCultural Perspective (New York: Greenwood Press, 1987); Susan C. Cook and Judy S. Tsou, eds, Cecilia Reclaimed: Feminist Perspectives on Gender and Music (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994); Mary Ann Smart (ed.), Siren Songs: Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Opera (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000); Todd M. Borgerding (ed.), Gender, Sexuality, and Early Music (New York: Routledge, 2002); Kimberly Marshall (ed.), Rediscovering the Muses: Women’s Musical Traditions (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993); Jane Bowers and Judith Tick (eds), Women Making Music: The Western Art Tradition, 1150–1950 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986); Karin Pendle (ed.), Women and Music: A History, 2nd edn (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001); Carole Neuls-Bates (ed.), Women in Music: An Anthology of Source Readings from the Middle Ages to the Present, 2nd edn (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1996); and James R. Briscoe (ed.), New Historical Anthology of Music by Women (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004).

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sound and the gendering of musical performance in early modern England.⁴⁹ As a genre that foregrounds the body as musical instrument, song is emerging as a pivotal case study in this context. Austern has helped to illuminate women’s musical practices, particularly within the domestic sphere.⁵⁰ Amanda Eubanks Winkler and Sarah Williams have traced the musical characterization of dangerous and disorderly women, demonstrating how popular song and theatrical music at once communicated and problematized cultural assumptions about such figures in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England.⁵¹ Scott Trudell, meanwhile, has examined the centrality of women as consumers and performers of popular airs, which created space for singers to experiment with different gendered positions and personae.⁵² His essay is the opening contribution to a larger volume, co-edited by Leslie C. Dunn and myself, that seeks to unpack the gendering of song in the period across a range of genres and performance spaces, including the early modern English stage. Yet, even with this surge of critical

⁴⁹ See esp. Linda Phyllis Austern, “ ‘Alluring the Auditorie to Effeminacie’: Music and the Idea of the Feminine in Early Modern England,” Music and Letters, 74/3 (1993), 343–54; “The Siren, the Muse, and the God of Love: Music and Gender in Seventeenth-Century English Emblem Books,” Journal of Musicological Research, 18/2 (1999), 95–138; “Portrait of the Artist as (Female) Musician,” in Thomasin LaMay (ed.), Musical Voices of Early Modern Women: Many-Headed Melodies (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), 15–59; and the essays collected in Austern (ed.), Music, Sensation, and Sensuality (New York: Routledge, 2002). See also Dunn and Jones, Embodied Voices; Bonnie J. Blackburn and Laurie Stras (eds), Eroticism in Early Modern Music (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015; repr. London: Routledge, 2016); and Katrine K. Wong, Music and Gender in English Renaissance Drama (New York: Routledge, 2013). Although not primarily focused on the early modern context, Bruce W. Holsinger, Music, Body, and Desire in Medieval Culture: Hildegard of Bingen to Chaucer (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002), offers rich insight into music as eroticized and embodied phenomenon in the premodern world. ⁵⁰ See Linda Phyllis Austern, “Women’s Musical Voices in Sixteenth-Century England,” EMW 3 (Fall 2008), 127–52, and “ ‘For Musicke Is the Handmaid of the Lord.’ ” ⁵¹ Amanda Eubanks Winkler, O Let Us Howle Some Heavy Note: Music for Witches, the Melancholic, and the Mad on the Seventeenth-Century English Stage (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006); and Sarah F. Williams, Damnable Practices: Witches, Dangerous Women, and Music in Seventeenth-Century English Broadside Ballads (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015; repr. London: Routledge, 2016). For further insight into the gendering of theatrical song, see also Leslie C. Dunn, “The Lady Sings in Welsh: Women’s Song as Marginal Discourse on the Shakespearean Stage,” in Alvin Vos (ed.), Place and Displacement in the Renaissance (Binghamton, NY: MRTS, 1995), 51–67, and “Ophelia’s Songs in Hamlet: Music, Madness, and the Feminine,” in Dunn and Jones (eds), Embodied Voices, 50–64; and Katherine R. Larson, “ ‘Locks, bolts, bars, and barricados’: Song Performance and Spatial Production in Richard Brome’s The Northern Lass,” in Linda Austern, Candace Bailey, and Amanda Eubanks Winkler (eds), Beyond Boundaries: Rethinking Music Circulation in Early Modern England (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017), 79–95. ⁵² Scott A. Trudell, “Performing Women in English Books of Ayres,” in Dunn and Larson (eds), Gender and Song, 15–30. See also Edward Huws Jones, The Performance of English Song 1610–1670 (New York: Garland, 1989), 29–31.

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momentum, women’s engagement with song as a performance-based—and performative—genre in England has yet to be fully explored. This critical gap is all the more surprising given the comparative wealth of information we have about women’s musical participation and creativity in continental Europe. Much of the vital feminist work on women’s musical culture has focused on the Italian context, illuminating the virtuosity of the concerto delle donne in Ferrara, the contributions of esteemed composers and performers such as Barbara Strozzi and Francesca Caccini, and the role of women in early opera.⁵³ Of particular relevance to The Matter of Song in Early Modern England are Bonnie Gordon’s exploration of gendered embodiment and women’s vocal practice in the works of Claudio Monteverdi and Wendy Heller’s study of gender and sexuality in Italian baroque opera.⁵⁴ Thomasin LaMay’s splendid collection Musical Voices of Early Modern Women: Many-Headed Melodies does much to broaden this national scope, but the continental focus that is apparent even in this groundbreaking work is to a large extent reflective of very different religious and cultural settings for women’s musical production and performance. Convents were vibrant and creative hubs for composition and performance on the Continent.⁵⁵ In post-Reformation England, women’s participation in ⁵³ See Laurie Stras, “Musical Portraits of Female Musicians at the Northern Italian Courts in the 1570s,” in Katherine A. McIver (ed.), Art and Music in the Early Modern Period: Essays in Honor of Franca Trinchieri Camiz (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003; repr. London: Routledge, 2016), 145–71, and Women and Music in Sixteenth-Century Ferrara (Cambridge: CUP, 2018); Ellen Rosand, “The Voice of Barbara Strozzi,” in Bowers and Tick (eds), Women Making Music, 168–90, and “Barbara Strozzi, ‘virtuosissima cantatrice’: The Composer’s Voice,” Journal of the American Musicological Society, 31/2 (1978), 241–81; Thomasin LaMay, “Madalena Casulana: my body knows unheard of songs,” in Borgerding (ed.), Gender, Sexuality, and Early Music, 41–72; Suzanne G. Cusick, Francesca Caccini at the Medici Court: Music and the Circulation of Power (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), and “A Soprano Subjectivity: Vocality, Power, and the Compositional Voice of Francesca Caccini,” in Jane Donawerth and Adele Seeff (eds), Crossing Boundaries: Attending to Early Modern Women (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2000), 80–98; and Susan McClary, “Soprano as Fetish: Professional Singers in Early Modern Italy,” in Desire and Pleasure in Seventeenth-Century Music (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2012), 79–103, and Modal Subjectivities: Self-Fashioning in the Italian Madrigal (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004). ⁵⁴ Gordon, Monteverdi’s Unruly Women; Wendy Heller, Emblems of Eloquence: Opera and Women’s Voices in Seventeenth-Century Venice (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004). ⁵⁵ See Craig A. Monson, Disembodied Voices: Music and Culture in an Early Modern Italian Convent (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1995); and Kimberlyn Montford, “Convent Music: An Examination,” in Allyson M. Poska, Jane Couchman, and Katherine A. McIver (eds), The Ashgate Research Companion to Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013; repr. London: Routledge, 2016), 75–93. Cappella Artemisia is an ensemble of female singers and instrumentalists who specialize in the music composed and performed within sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian convents. More

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religious song would have centered on congregational and household settings. There is a similar discrepancy where secular performance is concerned, given pre-Restoration injunctions against women’s public appearance on the English commercial stage. In contrast, there was a thriving tradition of professional music-making by women in Italy in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.⁵⁶ Viewing the history of performance in such stark geographical, national, and chronological terms, however, risks obscuring the extent and impact of women’s vocal activities in England. Take, for instance, the influential notion of the “all-male” English stage, which, together with the temporal dividing line of 1660, have led scholars to overlook the many ways in which women contributed to early modern theatricals—including music. As scholars such as Pamela Allen Brown, Peter Parolin, Clare McManus, Lucy Munro, and Natasha Korda have shown, performance models gleaned from the masque and from continental entertainments were embodied by boy actors or through the labor of individual women who contributed to the workings of the London playhouses.⁵⁷ Singing also pervaded social classes as a leisure activity and as a rhetorical tool in pre-Restoration England. As audience members, English women would have encountered song in a variety of settings, including commercial theatres. But there is ample evidence that women were themselves active participants in English musical culture. Women would have been accustomed to singing psalms, even if the acoustic aesthetics of this experience in English congregations left much to be desired, and women’s voices would have figured among the musical textures of streets and marketplaces.⁵⁸ Both print and manuscript sources attest to women’s vocal talents as amateur solo performers, as I will explore information about the group and their discography can be found at . See also Stras, Women and Music in Sixteenth-Century Ferrara. ⁵⁶ Examples of pieces by Madalena Casulana, Luca Marenzio, Barbara Strozzi, and Francesca Caccini can be heard on the Toronto Consort’s recording Full Well She Sang: Women’s Music from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Marquis Records, 2013. ⁵⁷ Pamela Allen Brown and Peter Parolin, eds., Women Players in England, 1500–1660: Beyond the All-Male Stage (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005); Natasha Korda, Labors Lost: Women’s Work and the Early Modern English Stage (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011); Clare McManus and Lucy Munro (eds), “Renaissance Women’s Performance and the Dramatic Canon,” special issue, Shakespeare Bulletin, 33/1 (2015), esp. McManus’s article “ ‘Sing It Like Poor Barbary’: Othello and Early Modern Women’s Performance,” 99–120. See also Robert Henke and Eric Nicholson (eds), Transnational Exchange in Early Modern Theater (London: Routledge, 2008). ⁵⁸ The significance of psalm-singing for women is discussed in more detail in Chapter 1. On the ponderous and nasal tones of congregational singing, see Marsh, Music and Society, 419–34.

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further in Chapter 2. Women also appeared in masques; while singing roles were typically taken by male professionals at court, there are examples of women’s musical performance, exemplified by Alice Egerton’s contribution to Milton’s A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle (1634), the focus of Chapter 5. Household drama, itself a genre that has been overlooked from a musical perspective and that I discuss in Chapter 4, would have been another important performance context for talented female singers in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. As these examples suggest, the settings within which women sang were not always “private,” though it is important to note from the outset of this book the tenuousness of distinctions between “private” and “public” in early modern culture.⁵⁹ This is especially true when considering music, a medium that has the capacity to permeate architectural and physiological boundaries in unexpected ways. Part of the reason for the relative paucity of evidence for women’s musical performances in England, however, is that their singing and playing often took place within domestic contexts, for gatherings of family and friends, under the supervision of a music tutor, or simply for their own entertainment. As I will explore further in Chapter 4, a wide range of cultural documents, including extant diaries and letters, testify to women’s musical practices within the home. Lady Margaret Hoby, for instance, documents psalm-singing, whether alone or with members of her household, as a part of her devotional discipline.⁶⁰ Rowland Whyte’s correspondence with Robert Sidney, meanwhile, provides glimpses of the young Mary Wroth learning the virginals and singing.⁶¹ The audio tracks that accompany this book offer rich insight into the kinds of songs that might have been performed within these domestic settings. They also open up a variety of perspectives into women’s broader musical experiences and contributions to the song genre. The recording includes settings of song texts authored by women, songs attributed to women, songs from printed lute song collections dedicated to women,

⁵⁹ On the troubling of this ostensible boundary from a musical perspective, see Austern, Bailey, and Eubanks Winkler (eds), Beyond Boundaries. ⁶⁰ Lady Margaret Hoby, The Private Life of an Elizabethan Lady: The Diary of Lady Margaret Hoby 1599–1605, ed. Joanna Moody (Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 1998), 42, 158. ⁶¹ See Margaret P. Hannay, “ ‘My Daughter Wroth’: Lady Mary Wroth in the Correspondence of Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester,” Sidney Journal, 22/1–2 (January 2004), 47–72 (esp. 48–9), and Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010; repr. New York: Routledge, 2016), 65. For the extant letters by Rowland Whyte, see The Letters (1595–1608) of Rowland Whyte, ed. Michael G. Brennan, Noel J. Kinnamon, and Margaret P. Hannay (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2013).

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songs known to have been performed by women, and songs from manuscript music collections owned or compiled by women. It also features examples of songs voiced from a woman’s perspective or that would have enabled a performer to experiment with different subject positions and personae. The anonymous setting of Mary Sidney’s Psalm 51 (c.1615), for instance, which is discussed in more detail in Chapter 1, beautifully captures the psalmist’s hope in God’s salvation. John Danyel’s “Mrs M. E. her Funerall teares for the death of her husband” (1606) and Alfonso Ferrabosco’s “Was I to blame” (c.1615–30), which I explore in Chapters 2 and 3, hauntingly convey the anguish of betrayal and of grief. The performance of these pieces would have by no means been limited solely to women. But their treble settings, designed for domestic spaces, as well as their association with female writers, patrons, performers, and personae, provide powerful insight into the varied ways women would have engaged with—and raised their voices as an integral part of—the songscapes of early modern England.

Animating Women’s Song Performance As a way of illustrating the cultural, literary, and musical significance of the material gathered within this acoustic archive, I want to introduce the first piece, “My father faine would have mee take | a man that hath a beard” (Companion Recording, Track 1. “My father faine” (Robert Jones)). This song was published in 1610, in The Muses Garden for Delights, the fifth collection of airs by Robert Jones, one of the most prolific composers in the genre in the early seventeenth century.⁶² The printed score can be seen in Figure P6. The significance of this song as a lens into women’s song performance in the period is twofold. The collection in which it appears was dedicated to Mary Wroth. Jones appeals to Wroth in his dedicatory epistle specifically as a patron, someone he hopes will give “willing entertainement” to his book.⁶³ But he would have been well aware of the Sidney family’s musical connections and of Wroth’s own musical talents. As the example that opens this Prologue suggests, song plays a prominent role in

⁶² Robert Jones, The Muses Gardin for Delights . . . (London: William Barley, 1610), sig. E2r. “My father faine” is number fifteen in the collection. ⁶³ Jones, “To the True Honourable and Esteemed Worthie, the Right Worshipfull the Lady Wroth,” in The Muses Gardin for Delights, n.p.

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Figure P6. Robert Jones, “My father faine,” in The Muses Garden for Delights . . . (London: William Barley, 1610), sig. E2r, RB 62107. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

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Wroth’s poetry, drama, and prose, particularly for her female protagonists, who regularly sing, whether alone or in intimate gatherings, and who selfconsciously reflect on the importance of the genre for their creative self-expression. Settings of several of Wroth’s lyrics survive (three are included on the companion recording and discussed in Chapter 3), demonstrating that her writings were also circulating musically. “My father faine” exemplifies the potency of musical self-expression—at once playful and profoundly strategic—that is so central to Wroth’s writings. The lyric is voiced from the perspective of a 14-year-old girl whose father has chosen an attractive (and bearded) young man for her marriage. Her mother is refusing the match. The song stands out both for the girl’s frank articulation of sexual desire and for the critique that she levels against women’s lack of say in marriage negotiations. The text is not Wroth’s, but such critiques are a recurring theme in her writings; Wroth herself had to adjust to an arranged marriage. Jones’s setting is strophic (the same tune is used for each verse), but the music fits the textual nuances of each one quite well, capturing the humor of the piece in some places, while elsewhere underscoring the girl’s anger and frustration. This is clearly a comic song, and Lucas and I had great fun performing it. But the lightheartedness suggested by the tune, rhythm, and brisk tempo is misleading. The passion of the setting explodes in the third phrase of each verse, where the vocal line leaps into the upper register to accentuate the intensity of the conflict (“[M]y mother shee cries out a-lacke” in stanza one) and the speaker’s rhetorical questions (“What would shee have me be a Nun?” in stanza five). The phrase immediately following that outburst then rises stepwise in intensity as the girl expostulates against the various cultural and parental oppositions she is facing. While each verse does resolve harmonically, in the text those apparent resolutions are charged with defiance (“I will be married doe what shee can!” in stanza five) and in some places verges on despair (“Give me my mind and let me wed, | Or you shall quickly find me dead,” in stanza three). Communicating the lyric’s emotional trajectories within the upbeat (and identical) strophic framework was a challenge in performance. Following the cues of the text, I found myself playing physically to the empty seats in the studio with amplified facial expressions and gestures more so than with other pieces on the recording, which helped to energize and nuance my sound. I also capitalized on accented syllables and on the expressive momentum of consonants to help propel the narrative. Another vital interpretative moment came when Lucas encouraged me let go of the desire to sing

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beautifully. This is best exemplified by that abrupt vocal leap in each verse. The piece became much easier to sing when I started to access the full emotional texture of my vocal palette, allowing that leap to feel more like a shout. This in turn helped to channel the anger and bitterness that are a key part of the text. Singing this piece, for me, became a theatrical, high energy, almost breathless experience. While this song offers poignant and defiant insight into the vulnerability of women within the seventeenth-century English marriage market, the kinds of readings enabled by my performance here and on the other audio tracks do not lay claim to a direct correspondence to the experiences, musical or otherwise, of early modern women. An early modern singer would have brought a very different standpoint and sense of embodiment to the song than my own as a twenty-first-century feminist academic and performer—not least of which were the eroticized significations of the throat and its expulsions of sounding air, which will be unpacked further in Chapter 2.⁶⁴ There are also many ways in which to interpret and inhabit “My father faine.” For early moderns, moreover, the “soprano” range was used to designate a wide variety of singers: women, girls, prepubescent boys, male falsettists, and castrati.⁶⁵ How might “My father faine” have registered for seventeenth-century singers and their audiences? Did Wroth, who would have been in her early twenties and married for six years when Jones’s collection was published, ever sing it herself? Might she have had it in mind for Pamphilia’s garden performance in Urania? And, if it were performed, how far could a female singer have pushed the song’s critiques, as well as overtly sexualized lines like “[M]aidens are for yong men fit” in stanza three?⁶⁶ The pairing of lighthearted tune with topical text (or vice versa) was not uncommon in the period, as many extant ballads demonstrate. Even if the rawness of the verse might have raised eyebrows in places, the buoyant musical setting could have enabled a female singer to nestle social critique within the framework of decorous entertainment, particularly if the comic tone were exaggerated (an effect I found to be integral to my own technical interpretation of the

⁶⁴ See Suzanne G. Cusick, “On Musical Performances of Gender and Sex,” in Elaine Barkin and Lydia Hamessley (eds), Audible Traces: Gender, Identity, and Music (Zurich: Carciofoli Verlagshaus, 1999), 39–41. ⁶⁵ Richard Wistreich, “Vocal Performance in the Seventeenth Century,” in Colin Lawson and Robin Stowell (eds), The Cambridge History of Musical Performance (Cambridge: CUP, 2012), 411. ⁶⁶ On the interplay between musical training and performance and the performance of gender, see Cusick, “Gender and the Cultural Work of a Classical Music Performance,” 91–2.

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piece). An early modern performer could also have benefited from the distancing mechanism of the song’s first-person persona.⁶⁷ Inserting herself into that “I” might well have enabled a young woman playfully to experiment with the range of critiques the song generates and to articulate sexual desire without risking her own reputation as an obedient and docile daughter. This book and its companion recording demonstrate the importance of interpreting early modern song in musical and performance-based terms. They also illuminate women’s wide-ranging engagement with song in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Even in its seemingly most tangible musical moments, however, as my reading of “My father faine” reveals, my argument dances with a medium that is predicated on evanescence and volatility. Like song itself, the notion of a woman’s “voice”—and indeed that of gendered “embodiment”—are by no means stable concepts, either in the early modern English context or in feminist studies.⁶⁸ It is fitting in this regard that the methodological questions animating The Matter of Song in Early Modern England situate it above all as a sustained and playful duet with the air. The traces of song that lie at the heart of this project ultimately stand as a testament to the movement of the musical breath: invisible, yet profoundly material; capricious, yet rhetorically potent. It is in this very elusiveness, however, that the most “drastic” facets of song reside. Entering into the experience of song from a performance-based perspective, I argue, pushes readers to attend much more closely to the musical matter of early modern literary texts.

⁶⁷ For more on this in relation to early modern ballad culture, see Chapter 2. ⁶⁸ The scholarship in this area is significant, but the following interventions provide insight into the development of the critical arc that is continuing to elucidate gendered and embodied vocality within early modern literary and feminist studies: Catherine Belsey, The Subject of Tragedy: Identity and Difference in Renaissance Drama (London: Methuen, 1985); Diane Purkiss, “Material Girls: The Seventeenth-Century Woman Debate,” in Clare Brant and Diane Purkiss (eds), Women, Texts, and Histories 1575–1760 (London: Routledge, 1992), 69–100; Elizabeth D. Harvey, Ventriloquized Voices: Feminist Theory and English Renaissance Texts (London: Routledge, 1992); Danielle Clarke and Elizabeth Clarke (eds), “This Double Voice”: Gendered Writing in Early Modern England (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000); Bloom, Voice in Motion; and Valerie Traub (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, Race (Oxford: OUP, 2016).

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1 Airy Forms

In Act 5 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (c.1595), Theseus famously describes creative expression as a process that gives formal contours to what is, effectively, air: [A]s imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name.¹

Theseus’ critique is visual, rather than acoustic, in focus. He disparages the lunatic who “sees more devils than vast hell can hold” (5.1.9); the lover who “[s]ees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt” (5.1.11); and the frenzied eye of the poet lost between earth and heaven (5.1.12–13). Fancy, he warns, only leads to “tricks” (5.1.18) of the eye, however deftly those tricks might be secured within the “local habitation” of a particular literary work (5.1.17). This is a play, however, that, in its resistance to Theseus’ “cool reason” (5.1.6), troubles the relationship between the eye and the ear. When Bottom awakens in Act 4, his struggle to put his “dream” into words becomes a sensory jumble: “The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen . . . what my dream was” (4.1.207–10). In the midst of that jumble, he turns to song as the medium best suited for communicating his forest experience: “I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream. It shall be called ‘Bottom’s Dream,’ because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the latter end of a play, before the Duke” (4.1.210–13). We never witness Bottom singing that ballad, but his dazed reflection on his encounter with Titania privileges song as a form capable of giving fancy a particular substance and rhetorical framework.

¹ William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al., 3rd edn (New York: W. W. Norton, 2016), 5.1.14–17. Subsequent references to this edition will appear parenthetically by act, scene, and line number.

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From their very different vantage points, Theseus and Bottom help to orient us to a reading of song as a textual and acoustic phenomenon that is at once elusive, material, and uniquely potent in its effects. Bottom’s escapades in the woods at the hands of the fairies and his determination to give it coherent expression through song would seem to exemplify the kind of artistic process Theseus mocks. Yet, even as Theseus dismisses the workings of the imagination and its “shaping fantasies” (5.1.5), his speech sets up a powerful interplay between form, embodiment, and “airy nothing” (5.1.16) that provides a rich entry point for a performance-based exploration of early modern song. Song does not simply give expressive “shape” to “airy nothing.” As the product of the singing body, it is itself comprised—quite literally—of air. Bottom’s ballad, whose performance is evoked but not preserved in extant copies of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, beautifully exemplifies song’s intangibility. In his emphasis on the rhetorical potential of his ballad performance, however, Bottom also gestures toward the materiality of musical breath “bodie[d] forth” (5.1.14) by the singer. That air might be invisible and elusive—seemingly “nothing”—but in the early modern context it was understood as moving matter that acted directly on the vulnerable ear of the listener.² The “airy nothing” of Bottom’s ballad thus registers a crucial paradox about vocal transmission in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I will delve into the matter of the musical breath in relation to the physiology of the singing voice and its communicative power in Chapter 2. This chapter, however, takes the paradoxical “airy nothingness” of Bottom’s ballad as a playful starting point for opening up the matter of song as a formal crux in literary studies. I argue that confronting song’s evanescent, musical, and corporeal dimensions—the “wild” and “drastic”³ features of performance explored in the Prologue that can be so resistant to scholarly criticism—necessitates theorizing lyric analysis from a more flexible and sensory perspective, one that encompasses the ear as well as the eye. In so doing, I advance an embodied poetics of song.

² See Penelope Gouk, “Raising Spirits and Restoring Souls: Early Modern Medical Explanations for Music’s Effects,” in Erlmann (ed.), Hearing Cultures, 87–105, and “Some English Theories of Hearing in the Seventeenth Century: Before and after Descartes,” in Charles Burnett, Michael Fend, and Penelope Gouk (eds), The Second Sense: Studies in Hearing and Musical Judgment from Antiquity to the Seventeenth Century (London: Warburg Institute, 1991), 95–113; and Bruce R. Smith, Acoustic World, 101–6. See also Bloom, Voice in Motion, chs 2 and 3, which trace the interplay between voiced breath and listening ear. ³ See Abbate, “Music—Drastic or Gnostic?”

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I begin by probing the lexical slipperiness of “song” in relation to the acoustic underpinnings of early modern English poetics and their dynamic interplay with musical practice in the period. The second part of the chapter explores the equally elastic notion of “form.” Form is a capacious term, one that in its connotations of body, shape, and substance pushes beyond the structural features of literary and musical works with which it is primarily associated in contemporary critical contexts.⁴ In exploring lyric form from an aural perspective, this chapter activates in particular form’s embodied and gendered resonances to further animate song as a “drastic” genre straddling the boundary between poetic and musical expression. Above all, in tapping into the range of connotations at play within the notion of “form”—both for early moderns and for contemporary readers—my argument seeks to underscore the importance of a more multidimensional and elastic approach to song. Finally, I consider the implications these methodological and taxonomical reflections hold for an analysis of the anonymous settings of Mary Sidney Herbert’s translations of Psalms 51 and 130, now preserved in the British Library. These pieces offer a unique opportunity to bring a musical and embodied approach to lyric texts to bear on psalm translations that are typically studied and taught from a visual, rather than an acoustic, perspective. Reading the psalms in terms of sung performance, I argue, transforms our understanding of the Countess of Pembroke’s experimental translations and of women’s broader engagement with the genre in the early modern English context.

A Local Habitation and a Name: Defining Song “Song” is a difficult term to pin down. The primary definitions cited in the OED are musical: “the act or art of singing; vocal music; that which is sung” and “A combination of words and music sung with or without instrumental accompaniment.”⁵ Yet the term can also (if only occasionally, according to

⁴ For musicologists, “form” has a more specific meaning than it does in literary studies, referring to the musical architecture of a composition. I discuss musical form in several places in this chapter and in the book as a whole, but my engagement here with “form” as a broader category encompasses features of genre, style, and textual production, particularly in relation to the body, as well as details of structure. ⁵ “song, n.1,” OED Online (Oxford University Press, March 2019), .

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the OED) stand in for a single poem or for poetry more broadly. This ambiguity is compounded by the related murkiness of the term “lyric.”⁶ Etymologically, the lyric is inextricably bound to music; the Greek lurikos denoted a poem sung or chanted to the accompaniment of the lyre. By the late sixteenth century, this grounding in sung performance was still intact, but the lyric mode had also become a catch-all descriptor—William Scott aptly calls it “a large jurisdiction”⁷—for shorter poems whose “musical” qualities were limited to the effects of prosody. As a contemporary reader, therefore, determining how literally to take a lyric’s association with or identification as “song” is no easy task. This puzzle is especially true of the early modern English context, when writers saw a productive synergy between the forms and resultant rhetorical effects associated with music and “poesy.” Music offered a fertile vocabulary for theorists striving to encapsulate the “tunable and melodious” features of meter and rhyme that distinguish verse from prose.⁸ Poetic treatises regularly characterize this “sweetness” of prosody in terms of musical “concord” and “symphony.”⁹ George Puttenham goes so far as to situate poetry as a “kind of music,” urging writers to strive for music’s somatic effects.¹⁰ Metrical choices, he argues, move hearers in ways akin to musical modes: “our maker by his measures and concords of sundry proportions doth counterfeit the harmonical tunes of the vocal and instrumental musics.”¹¹ These correspondences worked the other way around as well. “[H]ath not Musicke her figures, the same which Rhetorique?” writes Henry Peacham in The Compleat Gentleman (1622). “What is a Revert but her Antistrophe? her reports, but sweete Anaphora’s? her counterchange of points, Antimetabole’s? her passionate Aires, but Prosopopoea’s? with infinite other of the same nature.”¹² The passage underscores the close affinities between rhetoric and music in the period, which came to a head in Reformation debates about musical–textual relations and related anxieties about the effects of

⁶ For an excellent exploration of the slipperiness of the notion of “lyric,” including its acoustic and musical facets, see Dubrow, The Challenges of Orpheus. ⁷ William Scott, The Model of Poesy, ed. Gavin Alexander (Cambridge: CUP, 2013), 81. ⁸ George Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, ed. Frank Whigham and Wayne A. Rebhorn (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007), 98. ⁹ See, e.g., Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 165–7, 169–70; and Scott, The Model of Poesy, 38–42. ¹⁰ Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 98. ¹¹ Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 174. ¹² Henry Peacham, The Compleat Gentleman . . . (London: [John Legat], 1622), 103.

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sung texts on hearers. It also anticipates contemporary rhetorical analyses of musical form.¹³ In early modern English dictionaries, meanwhile, references to song commonly cause the lexicons of music and lyric poetry to bleed into each other. This slippage is most apparent at the level of individual lyric genres, where “song” refuses clearly to denote either a poem or a musical setting. Henry Cockeram’s The English Dictionarie (1623), for instance, glosses “Ode,” “Lay,” “Hymne,” and “Carol” simply as “A song”; “Song,” in turn, is defined in the dictionary’s Second Part “as Ode, Hymne, Lay, and Carol.”¹⁴ This pattern extends to less obviously musical examples like the elegy, which appears in Randle Cotgrave’s A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues (1611) as “a mournefull verse, Poeme, Song, or Dittie.”¹⁵ The term “ditty,” incidentally, corroborates song’s lexical opacity. Charles Butler’s The Principles of Musik, in Singing and Setting (1636) anchors it relatively clearly as the text used for musical setting—the “Rhyme applied to the Note” which is “half the grace of the Song”¹⁶—but its representative definitions in the period also include “a Song which hath the words composed to a tune”;¹⁷ “the matter of a song”;¹⁸ and, simply, “Songe.”¹⁹ Song’s refusal to distinguish clearly between music and poetry is encapsulated by the list of terms Puttenham offers in The Art of English Poesy (1589) for “the commended forms of the ancient poesy,” which opens with a strikingly

¹³ See George J. Buelow, “Rhetoric and Music,” in Stanley Sadie (ed.), The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, xv (London: Macmillan, 1980), 793–803. On the early modern context, see Gregory G. Butler, “Music and Rhetoric in Early Seventeenth-Century English Sources,” Musical Quarterly, 66/1 (January 1980), 53–64; Bernhard Meier, “Rhetorical Aspects of the Renaissance Modes,” Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 115/2 (1990), 183–90; Robert Toft, Tune thy Musicke to thy Hart: The Art of Eloquent Singing in England 1597–1622 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993); and Claude V. Palisca, “Music and Rhetoric,” in Music and Ideas in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006), 203–31. See also Jasmin Cameron, “Rhetoric and Music: The Influence of a Linguistic Art,” in John Williamson (ed.), Words and Music (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2005), 28–72. ¹⁴ Henry Cockeram, The English Dictionarie . . . (London: Edmund Weaver, 1623), sigs H4r, G4r, F2v, and C2v; The Second Part of the English Dictionary, sig. F3r. ¹⁵ Randle Cotgrave, A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues (London: Adam Islip, 1611), sig. Ff ivv. ¹⁶ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, in Singing and Setting . . . (London: John Haviland, 1636), 95, 98. ¹⁷ Edward Phillips, The New World of English Words: Or, A General Dictionary . . . (London: E. Tyler, 1658), sig. M4r. ¹⁸ Edmund Coote, The English Schoole-Maister . . . (London, 1596), 82; and Robert Cawdrey, A Table Alphabeticall . . . (London: Edmund Weaver, 1604), sig. D4v. ¹⁹ Timothie Bright, Characterie: An Art of Short, Swift, and Secrete Writing by Character (London: J. Windet, 1588), sig. C2v.

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musical sequence: “interlude, song, ballad, carol, and ditty, borrowing them also from the French, all saving this word ‘song’ which is our natural Saxon English word.”²⁰ This kind of language goes well beyond the level of analogy and lexical interchange. Theorists are careful to emphasize that poesy is not identical to what Puttenham calls “artificial music, consisting in strained tunes, as is the vocal music, or that of melodious instruments, as lutes, harps, regals, records, and such like.”²¹ Again and again, however, their analyses point both to the musical taxonomy of poesy and the performance-based facets of poetic expression. The musical facets of verse emerge most powerfully in explications of the lyric mode. “Lyric,” William Scott notes in his Model of Poesy (c.1599), “are so called because properly they be appliable to music and song and might be married to some instrument.”²² Puttenham’s definition is similar. He characterizes the lyric as “songs or ballads of pleasure, to be sung with the voice, and to the harp, lute, or cithern, and such other musical instruments.”²³ His descriptions of individual lyric genres, however, go further than Scott’s in their detailed documentation of musical contexts of performance. Most memorable is his account of the “loud and shrill” strains of the epithalamion or “bedding ballad.”²⁴ His overview also includes the “joyful songs and ballads” known as “natal or birth songs”; “funeral songs [which] were called epicedia if they were sung by many, and monodia if they were uttered by one alone”; “matters of such quality as became best to be sung with the voice and to some musical instrument” such as “historical reports”; the less easily categorized “ordinary musics amorous”; and even a “ditty,” apparently authored by Puttenham himself, to be “sung to the harp in places of assembly.”²⁵ My attention to the evocations of song performance preserved in these texts is not meant to suggest that every lyric—even those explicitly labelled as “songs”—in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century England was

²⁰ Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 146. This slipperiness is also apparent in singing handbooks. See, e.g., Butler’s The Principles of Musik, which is clearly focused on singing and yet argues that the word “song” can be used “as wel to play on Instruments, as to Sing with Voices” and that singing “by a Metonymia effecti, signifyeth . . . as wel the knowledge of the praecepts, as the practice” (p. 10). In Harmonie universelle (1636), Marin Mersenne complains that French also struggles with its acoustic and musical lexicon. See Harmonie universelle, 3 vols (Paris: Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1963), i. 12. ²¹ Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 154. ²² Scott, The Model of Poesy, 25. ²³ Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 115. ²⁴ Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 139, 141. ²⁵ Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 138, 137, 130–1, 135, 131.

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necessarily set to music and sung. As Scott’s editor Gavin Alexander cautions, emphasis on the musical foundations of lyric is a humanist commonplace.²⁶ And yet theorists such as Puttenham and Scott grappled with poetics at a historical moment when song was a vital aspect of lyric circulation. The linguistic interplay between the forms and effects of poesy and music was reflected in a fertile exchange between poetic and musical composition as judicious musical settings helped to maintain lyrics in circulation and poets wrote contrafacta, verses set to existing tunes. The dynamic, practice-based relationship between music and text that informs the poetry of the period is perhaps most powerfully illuminated by the writings of Philip Sidney. While Sidney distinguishes between the sonic effects of versification and musical setting throughout his Defence of Poesie (pub. 1595), his understanding of poetic expression encompasses both. The poet, he writes, “commeth to you with words set in delightfull proportion, either accompanied with, or prepared for the well enchanting skill of Musicke.”²⁷ His defense of the lyric brings poignant attention to its musical roots: “I never heard the old Song of Percy and Duglas, that I founde not my heart mooved more then with a Trumpet; and yet is it sung but by some blinde Crowder, with no rougher voyce, then rude stile.”²⁸ Even his musical imagery draws attention to the practical facets of song composition and performance: “if [the Philosopher] make the song Booke,” he writes, “I put the learners hand to the Lute.”²⁹ Not surprisingly, composers were attracted to Sidney’s poems; they enjoyed widespread circulation through performance, and over twenty settings are extant, including pieces by William Byrd, Thomas Morley, John Dowland, Robert Dowland, Robert Jones, and Henry Lawes.³⁰ But Sidney’s works were themselves shaped by his musical understanding of prosody.

²⁶ Alexander (ed.), “Commentary,” in Scott, The Model of Poesy, 138, n. 25.26–30. See also Diana Henderson, Passion Made Public: Elizabethan Lyric, Gender, and Performance (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995), 22. ²⁷ Sir Philip Sidney, The Defence of Poesie, in The Prose Works of Sir Philip Sidney, ed. Albert Feuillerat, iii (Cambridge: CUP, 1963), 20. ²⁸ Sidney, Defence, 24. ²⁹ Sidney, Defence, 13. ³⁰ For sources containing musical settings of Sidney’s poems, see The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney, ed. William A. Ringler, Jr (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962), 524, and William A. Ringler, Jr, “The Text of The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney Twenty-Five Years After,” in M. J. B. Allen, Dominic Baker-Smith, and Arthur F. Kinney, with Margaret M. Sullivan (eds), Sir Philip Sidney’s Achievements (New York: AMS Press, 1990), 137, 141. See also Edward Doughtie (ed.), Lyrics from English Airs 1596–1622 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970), 139–40, 345–50, 374–5, 392–3.

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Poetry, as John Stevens notes, was for Sidney “an art of ordered sound.”³¹ His metrical experiments, notably in the Old Arcadia (c.1580) and in his psalm translations, demonstrate his determination to create an appropriate “speech-melody” for English poetry.³² William Johnson has traced the influence on Sidney of the acoustic and musical tenets motivating the work of La Pléiade poets such as Pierre de Ronsard and Joachim du Bellay.³³ Sidney’s forays into quantitative verse, following the model of the musique mesurée promulgated by Jean-Antoine de Baïf and the Académie de musique et de poésie, offer further evidence of this approach.³⁴ It is not clear whether Sidney envisioned his quantitative verses for singing or for recitation, perhaps to musical accompaniment, as they are represented in the Arcadia.³⁵ Even if these verses are more usefully categorized in terms of what Louise Schleiner has called “ ‘virtual’ song”—that is, simply meant to evoke a “sense of singing”—Sidney brought a distinctly musical methodology to bear on his attempts to find vernacular rhythms for English poetry that fit classical metrical structures.³⁶

³¹ John Stevens, “Sir Philip Sidney and ‘Versified Music’: Melodies for Courtly Songs,” in Caldwell, Olleson, and Wollenberg (eds), The Well Enchanting Skill, 155. ³² Stevens, “Sir Philip Sidney and ‘Versified Music,’ ” 155. ³³ William C. Johnson, “Philip Sidney and Du Bellay’s ‘Jugement de l’oreille,’ ” Revue de littérature compare, 60/1 (January–March 1986), 21–33. ³⁴ The tension between musical theory and practice exemplified by Sidney’s thirteen quantitative verses has been explored by a number of scholars. See Ringler (ed.), The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney, 389–93; Derek Attridge, Well-Weighed Syllables: Elizabethan Verse in Classical Metres (Cambridge: CUP, 1974), 122, 175; John Buxton, Sir Philip Sidney and the English Renaissance (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1954), 114–16; Bruce Pattison, Music and Poetry of the English Renaissance, 2nd edn (London: Methuen, 1971), 62–4; John Hollander, The Untuning of the Sky: Ideas of Music in English Poetry, 1500–1700 (New York: W. W. Norton, 1970), 141–3; Doughtie, Lyrics, 84–6; Winifred Maynard, Elizabethan Lyric Poetry and its Music (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), 86–9; Seth Weiner, “The Quantitative Poems and the Psalm Translations: The Place of Sidney’s Experimental Verse in the Legend,” in Jan van Dorsten, Dominic Baker-Smith, and Arthur F. Kinney (eds), Sir Philip Sidney: 1586 and the Creation of a Legend (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1986), 194–203; and Gavin Alexander, “The Elizabethan Lyric as Contrafactum: Robert Sidney’s ‘French Tune’ Identified,” Music and Letters, 84/3 (August 2003), 384–5. A list of Sidney’s quantitative verses can be found in Ringler (ed.), The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney, 572. ³⁵ John Dowland and Henry Lawes both set the refrain from Sidney’s “O Sweet Woods”; neither adheres to the poem’s quantitative structure. See Ringler (ed.), in The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney, 404; Schleiner, The Living Lyre, 36–8; Jorgens, The Well-Tun’d Word, 92. Two pieces by Byrd, including his elegy to Sidney, “Come to me grief for ever,” also used quantitative verse. The elegy provides a poignant testament to Sidney’s musical-poetic experiments. See Gavin Alexander, Writing after Sidney: The Literary Response to Sir Philip Sidney 1586–1640 (Oxford: OUP, 2006), 197; and Edward Doughtie, English Renaissance Song (Boston: Twayne, 1986), 78–9. ³⁶ Schleiner, The Living Lyre, 11, 15. On the “songlike”/“virtual” song question, see also Maynard, Elizabethan Lyric Poetry and its Music, 77–9.

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Sidney also composed poetry to specific tunes and in forms that facilitated musical setting. Eight of the Certain Sonnets (c.1577) were written to existing melodies.³⁷ Sidney looked to a range of musical sources for these contrafacta—English, Spanish, Dutch, French, and Italian—demonstrating how profoundly continental vocal models impacted on the structure and the sonority of English verse.³⁸ Conventions derived from Italian vocal repertoire were especially influential for Sidney’s reshaping of English metrical structures. Features such as trochaic meter and feminine rhyme, for instance, increasingly come to signal “musical,” as opposed to “literary,” lyrics in Sidney’s writings. As Frank Fabry notes, “by writing a sonnet like OA 69 in which every line is feminine [Sidney] made possible its performance to a large quantity of existing Italian music.”³⁹ The songs in Astrophil and Stella, several of which were circulating musically before the sequence’s publication in 1591, offer further evidence of this musically oriented versification.⁴⁰ Might Sidney have composed some of these lyrics with Penelope Rich’s voice in mind?⁴¹ She was a talented musician, celebrated as a singer and a lutenist in Charles Tessier’s Le Premier livre de chansons & airs de court (1597). Sidney praises the beauty of her

³⁷ The poems in question are 3, 4, 6, 7, 23, 24, 26, 27. See Ringler (ed.), The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney, for commentary on these individual lyrics. Certain Sonnets 27 was later set as a lute song in Robert Jones’s The Muses Gardin for Delights; Stevens reasonably hypothesizes that this setting may preserve Sidney’s source tune (“Sir Philip Sidney and ‘Versified Music,’ ” 159–61). ³⁸ See Pattison, Music and Poetry, 174–80; and “Sir Philip Sidney and Music,” Music and Letters, 15/1 (January 1934), 80; Stevens, “Sir Philip Sidney and ‘Versified Music,’ ” 157–65; Schleiner, The Living Lyre, 13, n. 28. On Philip Sidney’s engagement with the French chanson in “Song 8” from Astrophil and Stella, which was published in Robert Dowland’s A Musicall Banquet (1610) and whose tune has been attributed to Guillaume Tessier, see Doughtie, Lyrics, 586–7, and English Renaissance Song, 124; Stevens, “Sir Philip Sidney and ‘Versified Music,’ ” 162; and Alexander, “The Elizabethan Lyric as Contrafactum,” 383–4. ³⁹ Frank J. Fabry, “Sidney’s Poetry and Italian Song-Form,” ELR 3/2 (Spring 1973), 242; see also Maynard, Elizabethan Lyric Poetry and its Music, 81–5. For a list of Sidney’s poems using feminine rhyme, see Ringler (ed.), The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney, 572. Two of Sidney’s Italian models for Certain Sonnets may point to the influence of polyphonic settings (the villanelle and the frottola, both important precursors to the madrigal), not simply solo repertoire, on Sidney’s prosody. Frank J. Fabry, “Sidney’s Verse Adaptations to Two Sixteenth-Century Italian Art Songs,” RQ 23/3 (Autumn 1970), 237–55; see also Stevens, “Sir Philip Sidney and ‘Versified Music,’ ” 158–9, 165–6; and Doughtie, Renaissance Song, 81–3. ⁴⁰ Fabry, “Sidney’s Poetry and Italian Song-Form,” 238–9, 247; see also Jorgens, Well-Tun’d Word, 13, 30; Ringler (ed.), The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney, pp. xliii, lvi; Doughtie, Lyrics, 24. ⁴¹ Katherine Duncan-Jones, “Sidney, Stella, and Lady Rich,” in Dorsten, Baker-Smith, and Kinney (eds), Sir Philip Sidney, 175–6, 181, 185–8; John Buxton, Elizabethan Taste (London: Macmillan, 1963), 186; P. J. Croft, “Robert Sidney and Music,” in The Poems of Robert Sidney, ed. P. J. Croft (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), 49; John Milsom, “Byrd, Sidney, and the Art of Melting,” in John Milsom (ed.), “Close Readings: Essays in Honour of John Stevens and Philip Brett,” special issue, Early Music, 31/3 (August 2003), 442–3.

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voice in Astrophil and Stella (for example, Songs 1, 3, and 6 and Sonnet 36), and represents her singing Astrophil’s verses in Sonnets 57 and 59. Even in the absence of an explicit tag like “To the tune of,” therefore, Sidney’s lyrics demonstrate the close association between early modern “songs” and musical circulation and performance. The taxonomical ambiguity intrinsic to “song” means that the potential performance features of lyrics labeled as songs or influenced by song forms need to be negotiated with care. This book contends, however, that it is precisely song’s elusiveness as a formal category—as well as the musical practices reflected in that elusiveness—that need to be harnessed in literary analysis. As the lexical slippage preserved in dictionaries and poetic treatises of the period suggests, trying to parse distinctions between “actual” and “virtual” song is ultimately a red herring. Even the notion of a “sense of singing” that Schleiner describes connects us as contemporary readers to the aural and performance-based facets of early modern poetic production and circulation, especially since many lyrics encountered in musical contexts circulated without musical notation in the period. To speak of the formal properties of song, therefore, whether sung or simply meant to be imagined as sung, invites us to attend to a rich cross-pollination of lyric and musical forms in early modern England. How, then, to define song in the midst of its lexical, material, and musical “airiness”? Activating the interface between musical and poetic expression, this book situates song as a fundamentally multidimensional genre that needs to be considered in terms of several interconnected facets: lyric text, musical setting, and moments of embodied performance, whether actual, remembered, or evoked. The musical examples included in this book focus on what might most helpfully—and, given my methodological focus, aptly—be defined as the “air” or “ayre,” a genre popularized by John Dowland and Thomas Campion in the late sixteenth century and whose vocal line moves in counterpoint with accompanying instruments such as the lute or viol.⁴² But I do not limit the notion of song to a particular subset of vocal repertoire. My argument approaches the term capaciously, encompassing the solo psalm settings examined later in this chapter, ballads, songs composed for household entertainments, as well as virtuosic airs preserved in manuscript and print songbooks. I also ⁴² This lexical slippage is not unique to English. In Harmonie universelle, Marin Mersenne plays on “air” as both natural phenomenon and as a synonym for “chant” (song) as a way of underscoring the trickiness of defining song. Harmonie universelle, ii. 89–96.

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bring an acoustic lens to bear on lyric texts without surviving settings that are identified in some way as “songs.” Even in the absence of extant notation, these texts connect the reader to an experience of performance and, as such, demand to be considered in terms of embodied musicality. Above all, in probing the multidimensionality of song as a formal and generic category, this project aims to animate the traces of musical practice and circulation that are preserved in early modern literary and cultural documents.

Bodying Forth the Forms of Things Unknown Considering song from an embodied and performance-based perspective necessitates a parallel opening-up of the no less slippery notion of “form.” Both as a broader concept in early modern England and as a re-established “ism” in literary studies, “form” sidesteps easy classification. As Angela Leighton eloquently points out: There are more than twenty dictionary definitions of the word, among them shape, design, outline, frame, ideal, figure, image, style, genre, order, etiquette, body, beauty, mould, lair, print-type, format, desk, grade, class. The fact that so many senses whisper within earshot of form make it, somehow, dense and crowded. It is thick with possible echoes and conflicting references.⁴³

The passage underscores form’s inherent evasiveness and multivalence. It also draws attention to the materiality of these echoic textures. In literary contexts, form is closely bound up with the substantive contours of structure, genre, language, and print or manuscript layout. These structural connotations of “form” are reflected in the catalogue quoted in terms such as “print-type,” “format,” and “outline.” Leighton’s allusions to “shape,” “frame,” “figure,” “beauty,” and even “etiquette,” however, remind us that form is also synonymous with the body. Although form’s embodied and acoustic dimensions continue to be underrepresented in literary analysis, a material understanding of form has begun to emerge in relation to the new formalist turn in early modern

⁴³ Angela Leighton, On Form: Poetry, Aestheticism, and the Legacy of a Word (Oxford: OUP, 2007), 2. On the ambiguities of lyric form, see also Dubrow, The Challenges of Orpheus, 15–53.

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Figure 1.1. Detail from George Puttenham, The Arte of English Poesie (London: Richard Field, 1589), 70, RB 56460. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

studies: “Form matters,” quips Douglas Bruster in his essay in Shakespeare and Historical Formalism.⁴⁴ The materiality of the term, I argue, manifests especially strongly in a consideration of song, a form that preserves or invokes what was, for early moderns, acoustic matter comprised of breath and produced by the body. As the OED’s glossing of form as the “visible aspect of a thing”⁴⁵ suggests, form tends to be associated with the visual mode; this focus is reflected in Theseus’ musings with which this chapter began. Yet form’s consistent lexical associations with the body open up the possibility of a multisensory approach to literary analysis. Puttenham’s “ocular example[s]”⁴⁶ of rhyme and meter, exemplified by Figure 1.1, underscore the tendency to engage with poetic form—like the body’s “outward shape and appearance”⁴⁷—in visual terms. Like Bottom’s bewildered commingling of visual and acoustic modes in his response to his encounter to Titania, however, the ear cannot be separated from the eye in early modern discussions of poetics. Poesy is, as Sidney notes, above all a “speaking Picture,”⁴⁸ very different from what Scott describes as the “dead and tongueless shapes” generated by painters.⁴⁹ It is significant in this regard that Puttenham stresses that his images constitute a shorthand for what is ultimately an acoustic experience: “it so falleth out most times, your ocular proportion doth declare the nature of the audible, for if it please the ear well, the same represented by delineation to the view

⁴⁴ Douglas Bruster, “The Materiality of Shakespearean Form,” in Stephen Cohen (ed.), Shakespeare and Historical Formalism (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007; repr. London: Routledge, 2016), 45. See also Ben Burton and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (eds), The Work of Form: Poetics and Materiality in Early Modern Culture (Oxford: OUP, 2014), which includes an early articulation of my argument on pp. 104–22. ⁴⁵ “form, n.,” OED Online (Oxford University Press, March 2019), . ⁴⁶ Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 174. ⁴⁷ “form, n.,” OED Online. ⁴⁸ Sidney, Defence, 9. ⁴⁹ Scott, The Model of Poesy, 6.

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pleaseth the eye well.”⁵⁰ The “naturall sympathy” that Puttenham develops here between the ear and the eye serves as a valuable reminder that early modern poetic form was regularly represented and experienced in oral and auditory terms.⁵¹ This is reinforced by the treatment of formal features like the caesura, which is characterized in poetic treatises both as an “intermission of sound” and as intrinsically connected to the breath;⁵² Scott sums it up best as a “breathing place.”⁵³ If sound emerges as the dominant sense in early modern poetic treatises, theorists are equally concerned with the formal “matter” of that sound and its effects on the body. The Model of Poesy offers a rich example. Scott develops a strikingly material vocabulary for the “frame and body of rules compacted and digested by reason” that comprise the “furniture of poesy.”⁵⁴ Sonic effects are integral to this; he cites meter and rhyme as the “form” and “matter” of verse and details their “ear-pleasing grace” in his defense of poetic “sweetness”: “when a delight is taken in at the ear by the proportioned and harmonious gracefulness of words.”⁵⁵ At the same time, Scott remains wary of the “musical connection and composition of words that beat upon and affect only the outward sense.”⁵⁶ Recalling Puttenham’s “auricular” figures, he is careful to distinguish between “bare sounds” and the “proportion of substance” that affects a hearer more deeply.⁵⁷ As he delves further into the matter of a poem’s “subject and scope,” however, Scott situates poesy not simply in terms of its impact on the body of a hearer, but as a sounding body in and of itself: “the . . . proper duty of a poet is,” he argues, “to frame a well-proportioned body” whose oratorical

⁵⁰ Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 175. ⁵¹ Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 175. See, e.g., Joseph Loewenstein’s elucidation of the somatic underpinnings of Marston’s verse forms in “Marston’s Gorge and the Question of Formalism” and Elizabeth Harris Sagaser’s call to realign theories of poetic form with the recognition that “form and meter only exist in practice” in “Flirting with Eternity: Teaching Form and Meter in a Renaissance Poetry Course.” Both essays are in Mark David Rasmussen (ed.), Renaissance Literature and its Formal Engagements (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), 89–112, and 185–206 (186) respectively. See also John R. Cooper, Wit’s Voices: Intonation in Seventeenth-Century English Poetry (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2009); and Neil Rhodes, “Framing and Tuning in Renaissance English Verse,” in Margaret Healy and Thomas Healy (eds), Renaissance Transformations: The Making of English Writing (1500–1650) (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009), 32–47. ⁵² Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 163. ⁵³ Scott, The Model of Poesy, 63. Puttenham’s definition, in comparison, suggests the need for air more than easy respiration: “the breath asketh to be now and then relieved with some pause or stay more or less” (The Art of English Poesy, 163). ⁵⁴ Scott, The Model of Poesy, 7, 29. ⁵⁵ Scott, The Model of Poesy, 13, 13, 62, and 59. ⁵⁶ Scott, The Model of Poesy, 32. ⁵⁷ Scott, The Model of Poesy, 47.

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effects are at once alluring and fundamentally “good.”⁵⁸ At first glance, Scott’s language seems to be visual in orientation as he outlines the importance of “present[ing] this goodly body in her fair and holiday attire.”⁵⁹ Similar sartorial imagery also figures, however, in his description of rhyme, the decidedly acoustic “matter” that gives poetry its “proper habiliments and clothing,” its “livery or habit.”⁶⁰ When combined with the broader acoustic and musical underpinnings of early modern poetics, these kinds of resonances provide important grounding for considering the “form” of song in terms of musical embodiment. Fittingly, “habit” is, like “form” itself, synonymous with the body. As Scott’s emphasis on proportion and poetic decorum suggests, this is a body whose lyric substance must be carefully “restrained and digested into his form.”⁶¹ Indeed, if the OED’s glossing of form as “[s]hape, arrangement of parts” suggests that the body constitutes vital formal “matter,” it also underscores the didactic and prescriptive attributes of form.⁶² Here I have in mind the rules assimilated through early lessons of scansion or musical counterpoint as well as precepts of etiquette governing physical gesture and behavior; one has only to recall Puttenham’s poet-courtier to recognize that “form” in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries implied a careful disciplining of both pen and body.⁶³ Song constitutes a fascinating instance of this phenomenon. While musical practice existed largely off the page, music theorists worked hard to discipline composer and performer so as appropriately to tune the mind of the hearer. As in poetics, such regulatory precepts tended to focus on compositional decorum; as Thomas Morley advocates in his Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke (1597), “whatsoever matter it be which you have in hand, such a kind of musicke must you frame to it.”⁶⁴ But they applied equally to the performing body. In The Principles of Musik, Butler combines compositional tips with attention to the singer’s vocal production: “their first care shoold bee to sit with a decent erect posture of the Bodi, without all

⁵⁸ Scott, The Model of Poesy, 32. The bodily resonances that inform his discussion of poetic decorum become all the more palpable when considering Scott’s detailed elaborations on the trope of poetic inspiration and production as childbirth and midwifery in his account of the formation of the “matter or substance” of the poet (The Model of Poesy, 8). ⁵⁹ Scott, The Model of Poesy, 32. ⁶⁰ Scott, The Model of Poesy, 13. ⁶¹ Scott, The Model of Poesy, 12. ⁶² “form, n.,” OED Online. ⁶³ See Loewenstein, who insightfully argues in “Marston’s Gorge” that early modern poetic practice was the product, paradoxically, of “creative unfreedom” (p. 92). ⁶⁴ Thomas Morley, A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke . . . (London: Peter Short, 1597), 177.

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ridiculous and uncoomly gesticulations, of Hed, or Hands, or any other Parte” and to “pronounc[e] every Syllable and letter . . . distinctly and treatably.”⁶⁵ Published half a century later, A. B.’s Synopsis of Vocal Musick (1680), which promises in its subtitle to outline “Solid, Short and Plain” principles for the beginning singer, aptly summarizes the “form” of singing as the “right expression of things by voice.”⁶⁶ Recalling Scott’s insistence on the construction of a “well-proportioned [lyric] body” that aims at the “good,” these accounts of vocal training are contingent on physical containment that fosters “right expression.”⁶⁷ One sings well, musicologist Bonnie Gordon observes, when one has successfully “tamed” the body.⁶⁸ While such pedagogical precepts sought to establish idealized models (incidentally, another connotation of the word “form”) for musical practice, in performance song sets up a tension between a singer’s technical skill—her ability to control sound production—and the uncontrollability of sound as it leaves the body. In this regard, song exemplifies the dynamism implicit within the notion of “form” as verb, straddling prescriptive regulation and potentially transformative creative process. This dimension of form undergirds Susan Wolfson’s notion of “activist formalism,” which aims to capture form’s “various and surprising work, its complex relation to traditions, and its interaction with extraliterary culture.” “‘Reading for form,’” she argues, “implies the activity as well as the object.”⁶⁹ The didactic impetus alluded to earlier is still implicit in form’s association with shaping, instructing, and persuading, as is the interplay between the physiological and the linguistic. But the dynamism contained within “form” is powerfully suggestive of the “drastic” nature of song’s material, embodied, and performative manifestations. This tension between musical self-discipline and sonic vitality points us to one further element that is foundational to my understanding of song as a “formal” phenomenon: the gendering both of the singing body and of music ⁶⁵ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, 97–8. ⁶⁶ A. B., Synopsis of Vocal Musick, ed. Rebecca Herissone (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 67. ⁶⁷ Singing was also prescribed as a remedy for overcoming speech impediments and stammering. See Peacham, The Compleat Gentleman, 98. The curative and tempering potential associated with song picks up on broader discourses in the period that credited music’s capacity to restore physiological harmony. See Penelope Gouk, Music, Science and Natural Magic in Seventeenth-Century England (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999); and F. D. Hoeniger, “Musical Cures of Melancholy and Mania in Shakespeare,” in J. C. Gray (ed.), Mirror up to Shakespeare: Essays in Honour of G. R. Hibbard (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984), 55–67. ⁶⁸ Gordon, Monteverdi’s Unruly Women, 37. ⁶⁹ Susan Wolfson, “Reading for Form,” MLQ 61/1 (March 2000), 2, 9. See also Marjorie Levinson, “What Is New Formalism?” PMLA 122/2 (March 2007), 558–69.

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itself. This aspect of “form” needs to be unpacked carefully, since in music theory the term “form” has come to denote the defining structure of musical compositions (for example, sonata form, strophic form). The broader discursive and affective function of music, however, and indeed of individual vocal genres, was highly gendered in the early modern period, as Linda Austern has influentially demonstrated.⁷⁰ Cultural anxieties that associated song with emasculating passion were embedded within discussions of decorum and moderation not only of vocal practice and choice of appropriate repertoire, but also of particular compositional and text-setting strategies. Ornamentation, dissonance, and chromaticism, for instance, emerge as distinctly gendered techniques in practical music treatises, exemplified by the stylistic features of Henry Lawes’s “Sweet Echo,” which I explore in detail in Chapter 5. William Prynne characteristically disparages the affective excess he associates with “Chromaticall harmonies” and florid composition as “whorish musicke crowned with flowers.”⁷¹ Butler, too, differentiates the “effeminate” effect of accidentals (flats and sharps) on the ear from the more “manly” sound of “ordinari” melodic and harmonic progression.⁷² These ideas were not unique to England—Gioseffo Zarlino’s Le istitutione musiche (1558) provided a particularly important source—but their recirculation and plagiarism by English theorists testifies to their influence. Thomas Morley uses this kind of language in his discussion of the decorum associated with specific vocal genres. In the section of A Plaine and Easie Introduction devoted to the madrigal, a genre that did not have a set form, he counsels the aspiring composer to cultivate emotional flexibility with an implicitly gendered sonic palette: you must possesse your selfe with an amorus humor . . . so that you must in your musicke be wavering like the wind, sometime wanton, somtime drooping, sometime grave and staide, otherwhile effeminat, you may maintaine points and revert them, use triplaes and shew the verie uttermost or [sic] your varietie, and the more varietie you shew, the better shal you please.⁷³ ⁷⁰ See especially Austern, ‘ “Alluring the Auditorie,’ ” and “The Siren, the Muse, and the God of Love.” The gendered dimensions of song performance are the focus of Dunn and Larson (eds), Gender and Song. ⁷¹ William Prynne, Histrio-Mastix . . . (London: E[dward] A[llde] and W[illiam] J[ones], 1633), 275. ⁷² Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, 96. ⁷³ Morley, A Plaine and Easie Introduction, 180. Similar language appears in John Playford, A Brief Introduction to the Skill of Musick . . . (London: J. Playford, 1662), where he situates the ionic mode as best suited to “more light and effeminate Musick, as pleasant Amorous Songs, Coranto’s, Sarabands and Jiggs” (p. 40).

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While I would not wish to push the gendering of musical composition too far—Prynne’s attack on “the various sorceries of effeminate songs”⁷⁴ in Histrio-Mastix (1633) offers a notoriously extreme example, even if it does tap into widespread ambivalence in the period about music’s potency—such evidence raises compelling questions about what it might mean to insert the singing body into discussions of song as a lyric and musical “form” in the period. To what extent did the gendering of song impact its deployment in literary texts and performance contexts, and how did men and women make use of song as a means of expression in early modern England?

“They show us why, and teach us how to sing”: Reading the Countess of Pembroke’s Psalmes as Song The anonymous settings of Mary Sidney Herbert’s translations of Psalms 51 and 130 provide a valuable case study for considering these questions. Encompassing a dazzling array of verse forms, the Sidney–Pembroke psalter (c.1599) made a resounding intervention within early modern poetics. Although critics have justly celebrated the collection’s metrical virtuosity— Hannibal Hamlin calls the psalter “the greatest achievement in literary psalm translation in the English Renaissance”⁷⁵—the poems’ musical and performative dimensions have received less attention. Scholarly debate on the topic has focused on the question of whether Pembroke might have envisioned her psalter as a replacement for the popular, if to many ears plodding, settings by Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins that were in widespread use in English congregations. Michael Brennan convincingly posits that, when Pembroke prepared a manuscript of the poems for presentation to Queen Elizabeth, it may well have been with the intention of publishing it as a metrical psalter, a format typically associated in the period with musical performance.⁷⁶ Beth Quistlund has complicated this assertion, underscoring the challenge of setting and singing the Sidneys’ virtuosic verse forms. While she acknowledges that psalms were regularly situated in musical terms in the period—Philip Sidney calls psalms “nothing but

⁷⁴ Prynne, Histrio-Mastix, 275. ⁷⁵ Hannibal Hamlin, Psalm Culture and Early Modern English Literature (Cambridge: CUP, 2004), 118. ⁷⁶ Michael G. Brennan, “The Queen’s Proposed Visit to Wilton House in 1599 and the ‘Sidney Psalms,’ ” Sidney Journal, 20/1 (January 2002), 27–53.

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Songs” in his Defence⁷⁷—ultimately she joins other critics in viewing the collection rather as a resource for individual and household devotion and prayer.⁷⁸ The musical dimensions of the Sidney-Pembroke psalter, however, extend beyond its dazzling poetry. Even if Pembroke intended her psalter only for domestic use, there is clear evidence that she was attuned to the musical grounding of the psalms and that her contemporaries were engaging musically with her translations. Individuals across social classes in the aftermath of the Reformation would have been accustomed to singing psalms in congregational settings and in the home.⁷⁹ Calvin reminds his readers in the epistle prefacing the Geneva Psalter (1543) that public prayers could be offered “by means of words alone” or else “with song,” while writers such as Margaret Hoby and Samuel Pepys testify to the significance of psalm-singing as daily devotional practice and pastime.⁸⁰ We know that Mary Sidney sang psalms as a part of the services she attended as a child at Ludlow Castle; she probably also grew up singing the French psalm settings of Clément Marot and Théodore de Bèze (1562) and hearing them through the walls of Henry Sidney’s house in London, which adjoined a French Protestant church.⁸¹

⁷⁷ Sidney, Defence, 6. See also Scott, The Model of Poesy, Which features the psalms as an exemplary instance of lyric composition (p. 27) and depicts David as a singer (p. 26); and Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, which alludes to the congregational practice of psalmsinging (p. 119). ⁷⁸ Beth Quitslund, “Teaching us how to Sing?: The Peculiarity of the Sidney Psalter,” Sidney Journal, 23/1–2 (January 2005), 90. See also Ramie Targoff, Common Prayer: The Language of Public Devotion in Early Modern England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 76–84; and Rivkah Zim, English Metrical Psalms: Poetry as Praise and Prayer, 1535–1601 (Cambridge: CUP, 1987), 178–82. ⁷⁹ See Nicholas Temperley, “ ‘If any of you be mery let hym synge psalmes’: The Culture of Psalms in Church and Home,” in Owens,“Noyses, sounds, and sweet aires,” 90–9; Marsh, Music and Society, 391–453; and Timothy Duguid, Metrical Psalmody in Print and Practice (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014; repr. London: Routledge, 2016). On women’s domestic psalm-singing, see Austern, “ ‘For Musicke Is the Handmaid of the Lord.’ ” ⁸⁰ Jean Calvin, “The Epistle to the Reader,” Geneva Psalter, in Oliver Strunk (ed.), Source Readings in Music History, ii. The Renaissance (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1965), 156; Hoby, The Private Life of an Elizabethan Lady, 42, 106, 139, 140, 160; Samuel Pepys, The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. Robert Latham and William Matthews, 11 vols (London: Bell & Hyman, 1970–83), i. 111, i. 215, i. 285, v. 120, v. 194, v. 261, v. 321, v. 342, vi. 138, vii. 95, vii. 100, viii. 444, ix. 202, ix. 219. ⁸¹ Margaret P. Hannay, Philip’s Phoenix: Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke (New York: OUP, 1990), 85–6. On the importance of music for Pembroke and for the Sidney family, see Alexander, “The Musical Sidneys”; and Katherine R. Larson, “The Sidneys and Music,” in Margaret P. Hannay, Michael G. Brennan, and Mary Ellen Lamb (eds), The Ashgate Research Companion to the Sidneys, 1500–1700, i. Lives (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), 317–27.

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The significance of the Marot and de Bèze psalter as a musical model for her own prosody is evidenced both in the metrical variety of her translations and in her amplification of musical references in the psalms. As Margaret Hannay, Noel Kinnamon, and Michael Brennan have demonstrated in their masterful edition of Pembroke’s psalm translations, she departs from her Calvinist models by situating dance and vocal and instrumental music as inherent, and inherently joyful, elements of worship.⁸² A good example of this kind of intervention is in Psalm 51, where Pembroke portrays salvation as an embodied musical experience: “to eare and hart send soundes and thoughts of gladdnes | that brused bones maie daunce awaie their saddnes.”⁸³ (The Geneva Bible (1560), in contrast, has “Make me to heare joye and gladnes, that the bones, which thou hast broken, maie rejoyce.”⁸⁴) In the dedicatory poem to Pembroke prefacing Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611) Aemilia Lanyer extends these allusions to musical performance beyond the page, imagining the nymphs who have gathered to honor Pembroke actually singing her psalms, with the countess herself joining in the chorus: Inviting them to sit and to devise On holy hymnes; at last to mind they call Those rare sweet songs which Israels King did frame Unto the Father of Eternitie; Before his holy wisedom tooke the name Of great Messias, Lord of unitie. Those holy Sonnets they did all agree, With this most lovely Lady here to sing; That by her noble breasts sweet harmony, Their musicke might in eares of Angels ring. While saints like Swans about this silver brook Should Hallalu-iah sing continually[.]⁸⁵ ⁸² The Collected Works of Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, ed. Margaret P. Hannay, Noel J. Kinnamon, and Michael G. Brennan, 2 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), ii. 26–9. ⁸³ Collected Works of Mary Sidney Herbert, ii. 50. Subsequent references to Pembroke’s psalm translations will be to this edition, cited parenthetically by psalm and line number. ⁸⁴ The Geneva Bible: A Facsimile of the 1560 Edition (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2007), fo. 245v. ⁸⁵ Aemilia Lanyer, “The Authors Dreame to the Ladie Marie, the Countesse Dowager of Pembrooke,” in The Poems of Aemilia Lanyer: Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, ed. Susanne Woods (New York: OUP, 1993), 27, ll. 115–126.

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Lanyer perhaps has Pembroke’s translations in mind again when she recalls Margaret Clifford singing psalms while walking in the grounds of the Cookham estate.⁸⁶ John Donne likewise makes psalm-singing a central component of his poetic encomium to the Sidney–Pembroke psalter, moving beyond conventional analogies between earthly and heavenly harmonies as he contrasts the siblings’ project with the “harsh” and “hoarse” sounds he associates with congregational singing. The Sidneys, he writes, “tell us why, and teach us how to sing.”⁸⁷ At least three of Pembroke’s psalms were circulating musically in the early seventeenth century, offering especially strong evidence for musical engagement with the Sidney–Pembroke psalter. Portions of her translation of Psalm 97 appeared ten years after her death in All the French Psalm Tunes with English Words (1632), alongside versions of her brother’s translations of Psalms 40, 41, and 42.⁸⁸ The anonymous settings of Psalm 51 and Psalm 130, meanwhile, are included in a manuscript dated to c.1615, British Library Add. MS 15117. Gavin Alexander has convincingly positioned the Sidney family within a musical and literary network that comprised the most influential composers and practicing musicians of the period.⁸⁹ Add. MS 15117 corroborates his conclusions. In addition to the Pembroke psalms and settings of two lyrics by Philip Sidney, it contains compositions by Byrd, Dowland, Ferrabosco, and Tobias Hume, and settings of songs from plays by Ben Jonson and Shakespeare, all of whom were connected to the Sidney family and their writings.⁹⁰ As such, the manuscript foregrounds the need to

⁸⁶ Lanyer, “The Description of Cooke-ham,” in The Poems of Aemilia Lanyer, 133, ll. 87–90. ⁸⁷ John Donne, “Upon the translation of the Psalmes by Sir Philip Sydney, and the Countesse of Pembroke his Sister,” in The Divine Poems, ed. Helen Gardner (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952), 34–5, ll. 44, 22. Subsequent references will be by line number. Congregational singing was apparently still an issue several decades later. Thomas Mace notes that singing hymns and psalms should be “as a means or an occasion of help towards the raising of our Affections and Devotions, to praise and extoll God’s Holy Name.” This can only happen, however, if the singing is well executed, which “can never be done, except there be some other way found out than that which at the present is generally in practice in our Churches.” His solution is for churches to invest in an organ to help keep congregations in tune. Thomas Mace, Musick’s Monument . . . (London: T. Ratcliffe and N. Thompson, 1676), 3–4, 9. ⁸⁸ John Standish, All the French Psalm Tunes with English Words . . . (London: Thomas Harper, 1632), 173–4, 70–5. See Quitslund, “Teaching us how to Sing?,” 101–2; and Collected Works of Mary Sidney Herbert, i. 52. ⁸⁹ See Alexander, “The Musical Sidneys.” ⁹⁰ Facsimiles of the settings included in British Library Add. MS 15117 can be found in Elise Bickford Jorgens, English Song 1600–1675: Facsimiles of Twenty-Six Manuscripts and an Edition of the Texts, i (New York and London: Garland, 1987). See also Mary Joiner, “British Museum Add. MS. 15117: A Commentary, Index and Bibliography,” R.M.A. Research Chronicle, 7 (1970), 51–109.

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attend to the question of how manuscript miscellanies register the musical circulation of lyric poetry in the period, an issue I will take up in Chapter 3. The scribal hands of Add. MS 15117 connect the collection to the composer Richard Allison, whose Psalms of David in Metre was published in 1599. Linda Austern has hypothesized that the manuscript represents a musical anthology developed for a woman’s domestic use, a tantalizing theory supported by the fact that the volume includes the table of contents from Allison’s psalm arrangements, which were dedicated to Anne Russell Dudley, the Countess of Warwick (sister of Margaret Clifford).⁹¹ The settings of Pembroke’s psalms are not the only surviving example of musical engagement with women’s psalm translations. Most notably, a four-part setting for treble, countertenor, tenor, and bass of the first sonnet from Anne Vaughan Lok’s poetic paraphrase of Psalm 51, “A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner,” is preserved in the St Andrewes Psalter (c.1566).⁹² Add. MS 15117, however, is unusual in assigning the psalm tune to the treble, rather than the tenor, voice, facilitating its performance by a female singer. In his Essay Upon Vocal Musick (1715), Daniel Robinson defines the treble as the “highest Octave . . . to be sung by Women or Children, and by some Men, though but few in Proportion, who have Voices of a Pitch fit for it”;⁹³ Charles Butler describes the sound of the treble voice as “high cleere [and] sweete.”⁹⁴ The settings of Psalms 51 and 130 are scored for solo treble and lute and would have been accessible for amateur performers. When Donne, offering the Sidney–Pembroke psalter as a new national model for musical communication with God, points out that the psalms have been “so well [attired] in Chambers, in thy Church so ill”,⁹⁵ he seems to be gesturing

⁹¹ Austern, “ ‘For Musicke Is the Handmaid of the Lord,’ ” 100–1. ⁹² I am grateful to Ben Burton for alerting me to the existence of this piece. Partbooks (some incomplete) are held at the University of Edinburgh, the British Library, Trinity College, Dublin, and Georgetown University. See Jamie Reid-Baxter, “Thomas Wode, Christopher Goodman and the Curious Death of Scottish Music,” Scotlands, 4/2 (1997), 1–20; and Susan M. Felch, “The Public Life of Anne Vaughan Lock: Her Reception in England and Scotland,” in Julie D. Campbell and Anne R. Larsen (eds), Early Modern Women and Transnational Communities of Letters, (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009, repr. New York: Routledge, 2016), 141–2. This setting is beyond the scope of this study, but it warrants further exploration, particularly given the rich points of connection between Lok’s translation of Psalm 51 and Pembroke’s, which have been discussed in particular by Margaret P. Hannay. See “ ‘Unlock my lipps’: The Miserere mei Deus of Anne Vaughan Lok and Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke,” in Jean R. Brink (ed.), Privileging Gender in Early Modern England (Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 1993), 19–36. ⁹³ Daniel Robinson, An Essay Upon Vocal Musick . . . (Nottingham: J. Collyer, 1715), 5. ⁹⁴ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, 42. ⁹⁵ Donne, “Upon the translation of the Psalmes,” in The Divine Poems, l. 39.

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towards the possibility that elegant settings of these poems were composed for domestic performance.⁹⁶ Mary Sidney might well have commissioned, heard, or perhaps even performed these pieces. She has been celebrated by critics as an important musical patron, and her home at Wilton was a vibrant gathering place for musicians as well as for poets.⁹⁷ But critical emphasis on Pembroke’s patronage risks obscuring the potential significance of Add. MS 15117 as a crucial trace of the dynamic interplay between musical and literary production in the period and of the Sidneys’ active involvement in these networks. Like her brother, Pembroke was not only a patron, but a musician in her own right.⁹⁸ She was a keen lutenist and played the virginals; expenditures for her instruments’ maintenance—new strings for her lute and “trimming” for her virginals—testify to her diligence as a musician.⁹⁹ She also seems to have been a singer. Thomas Morley dedicates his Canzonets or Little Short Songs to Three Voyces (1593) to the countess, punning on the notion of air as both solo song and “perfume[ ]” as he anticipates how his pieces will be “made . . . delightfull” by Pembroke’s “heavenly voice” and “sweetnesse of . . . breath.”¹⁰⁰ With this textual and familial musical context in mind, I turn now to Pembroke’s translations of Psalms 51 and 130 and to my performance of the surviving settings (Companion Recording, Track 2. Psalm 51 (Anon.) and Track 3. Psalm 130 (Anon.)). As with Philip Sidney’s poetic engagement with the practical facets of music-making, the affective impression created in performance by the musical versions of Psalm 51 and 130 owes much to the innovative meter that Pembroke uses to accentuate the substance of her translations.¹⁰¹ Sternhold and Hopkins’s The Whole Booke of Psalmes (1595), the metrical psalter with which Pembroke’s audience would have ⁹⁶ In 1686, the author of A New and Easie Method to Learn to Sing by Book . . . (London: William Rogers, 1686) continued to lament the absence of “ a better Translation of the Singing Psalms publickly in use,” but noted that “for Private Families there are several well done” (sig. A8r). ⁹⁷ See especially Michael G. Brennan, Literary Patronage in the English Renaissance: The Pembroke Family (London: Routledge, 1988), 72–82. ⁹⁸ Critics have been quick to dismiss Philip Sidney’s musical abilities, but these assumptions are not convincing. See Larson, “The Sidneys and Music,” 318. ⁹⁹ Hannay, Philip’s Phoenix, 27. ¹⁰⁰ Thomas Morley, “To the Most Rare and Accomplished Lady the Lady Marye Countes of Pembroke,” in Canzonets or Little Short Songs to Three Voyces (London: Tho[mas] Est[e], 1593), sig. A2r. Pembroke was also celebrated in Anthony Holborne’s “The Countess of Pembroke’s Funerals” and “The Countess of Pembroke’s Paradise.” See Alexander, “Musical Sidneys,” 83, n. 37. ¹⁰¹ Beth Quitslund rightly notes that Psalms 51 and 130 may have been easier than some of Pembroke’s other translations to set to music (“Teaching us how to Sing?,” 103), but these poems are still representative of Pembroke’s metrical skill.

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       

been most familiar, sets Psalm 51 in long meter (four-line stanzas in iambic tetrameter, rhyming abab), a verse form frequently used in hymnody: O Lord consider my distresse, and now with speed some pity take: My sinnes, deface, my faultes redresse, good Lord for thy great mercies sake Washe me (O Lord) and make me cleane, from this unjust and sinfull act: And purifie yet once agayne, my haynous crime and bloudy fact.¹⁰²

Long meter can make for memorable tunes, as attested by the continued popularity of the “Old 100th,” but it is not a form that is particularly sensitive to the natural stresses of the verse. Pembroke, in contrast, opts for rime royal (seven-line stanzas of iambic pentameter, rhyming ababbcc): O lord, whose grace no limitts comprehend; sweet lord, whose mercies stand from measure free; to mee that grace, to mee that mercie send, and wipe o lord my sinnes from sinnfull mee O clense, o wash, my fowle iniquitie: clense still my spotts, still wash awaie my staynings, till staines and spotts in mee leave noe remaynings. (51.1–7)

The final couplet of each stanza brilliantly concludes with feminine rhyme. The effect offers powerful sonic commentary on the speaker’s inability to reach full closure without God’s mercy: each stanza ends with the meter reaching, yearning beyond the line. As I discussed earlier in relation to Sidney’s poems, it also constitutes an important trace of the musical grounding of the siblings’ translations. Given the close association of feminine rhyme with song lyrics in Sidney’s writings, it is entirely possible that Pembroke deployed the technique in her translation of Psalm 51 in anticipation of musical performance of her verse.¹⁰³

¹⁰² Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins, The Whole Booke of Psalmes . . . (London: John Windet, 1595), 29. ¹⁰³ See Alexander, Writing after Sidney, 118–20, and “The Elizabethan Lyric as Contrafactum,” 390; Fabry, “Sidney’s Poetry and Italian Song-Form,” 247–8; Weiner, “The Quantitative Poems and the Psalm Translations,” 203–13; and Buxton, Sir Philip Sidney, 153–4.

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Butler describes Psalm 51 as a psalm of “Comfort” as well as of “Prayer [and] Confession.”¹⁰⁴ The musical setting of Pembroke’s Psalm 51, shown in Figure 1.2, takes up all three of these elements, offering a sonic response to the yearning accentuated in her metrical structure by emphasizing the speaker’s confidence in God’s grace.¹⁰⁵ In the case of Psalm 51, the juxtaposition of the speaker’s appeals to God with the promise of God’s response is initially reinforced through word-painting, a technique intrinsic to early modern compositional theory whereby the “Notes do aptly express the sense and humour of [the word].”¹⁰⁶ As the psalmist testifies to God’s limitless grace in the opening line, the setting moves upward through the singer’s range; a similar effect occurs in the treatment of the third line, “to mee that grace, to mee that mercie sende,” as the voice climbs heavenward in its appeal to God. This is basic compositional decorum. As Morley tells his readers, “for as it will be thought a great absurditie to talke of heaven and point downwarde to the earth: so will it be counted great incongruitie if a musician upon the wordes hee ascended into heaven shoulde cause his musicke descend.”¹⁰⁷ The setting also reflects the speaker’s sin; note the chromaticism that helps to accentuate “my fowle iniquitie.” The ensuing shift into the lower register of the voice coincides also with the most disjointed melodic line in the piece, further evoking the earthly body. Overall, however, the emphasis in this setting is on the promise of salvation. The brief dissonances resolve relatively quickly, and the stately tempo offers a hopeful tone throughout. Lucas’s and my performance of this piece ended up mirroring the tension between physical limitation and spiritual reassurance encapsulated in the setting in some unexpected—and decidedly “drastic”—ways. Although we were both struck by the beauty and the meditative effect of the setting as we performed it, one of the biggest challenges of this piece from a vocal perspective was maintaining a sense of calm throughout the long phrases. The breath control it requires was intensified by circumstance: the settings of Pembroke’s psalms were the final pieces we recorded over the course of two long days at Glenn Gould Studio. My voice was so warmed up by this point that I found it difficult to move into the lowest parts of my register. It is ¹⁰⁴ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, 113–14. ¹⁰⁵ Modern transcriptions of Psalms 51 and 130 can be found in Austern, “ ‘For Musicke Is the Handmaid of the Lord,’ ” 103–5, 107–8. ¹⁰⁶ Christopher Simpson, A Compendium of Practical Musick . . . (London: Henry Brome, 1667), 140. ¹⁰⁷ Morley, A Plaine and Easie Introduction, 178.

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Figure 1.2. Anon. setting of Mary Sidney Herbert, Psalm 51, British Library, MS Add. 15117, fos 4v–5r. © The British Library Board.

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possible to hear me straining in this particular recording track to reach those bottom notes; my voice even cracks a bit in some cases. The setting of Psalm 51 is strophic. As such, the music tends to follow the textual nuances of the first stanza most closely. But it offers sonic commentary on the remaining stanzas of the translation as well. This is manifested especially clearly in the arc of the third line. The lower register of the singer’s voice coincides in each case with references to the speaker’s sinfulness: “faultie filthines” in stanza two (51.9), the appeal to be purged with hyssop in stanza four, and, most poignantly, in stanza three, the depiction of the speaker’s sin being conceived along with her in her mother’s womb. Similarly, the upward movement of that line reflects the divine illumination of the “sowles eye” in stanza two (51.10), the maternal cherishing of the speaker in stanza three, and the cleansing of the speaker’s mental “leaprie” (leprosy) in stanza four (51.24). The companion recording includes the first four stanzas of this psalm, and Lucas and I relied throughout on Pembroke’s brilliant text to guide our interpretation. We made a point, for instance, of accentuating moments of alliteration. We also broke up the final phrase of stanza four to draw out the lightness of the psalmist dancing away her sadness. In other cases, the text became so moving that I found it difficult to sing. The intimacy of stanza three, for instance, which depicts the gestation of the speaker in her mother’s body, took on especially poignant and prayerful resonances for me during our recording sessions because I was pregnant with my daughter at the time. This exquisite setting exemplifies the “Rules to be observed in dittying,” underscoring the psalmist’s appeals for forgiveness and comfort and building in acoustic assurance of divine response.¹⁰⁸ As Lucas and I found, however, its performance also offers a vital counterpoint to the text. Pembroke’s Psalm 130 conveys a different penitential effect. Unlike Sternhold and Hopkins’s common-meter version, the mixed meter of Sidney’s version suggests a gasping appeal to God, reinforcing the speaker’s “depth of grief ” in the first stanza:¹⁰⁹ From depth of grief where droun’d I ly, lord for relief ¹⁰⁸ Morley, A Plaine and Easie Introduction, 177. ¹⁰⁹ Pembroke writes in six-line stanzas that consist of four lines of iambic dimeter followed by two lines of iambic tetrameter, rhyming ababcc with feminine rhyme in ll. 5 and 6.

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        to thee I cry: my ernest, vehment, cryeng, prayeng, graunt quick, attentive, heering, waighing.¹¹⁰ (130.1–6)

In the first stanza, the rhetorical juxtaposition of the psalmist’s “ernest, vehment, cryeng, prayeng” and God’s longed-for “quick, attentive, heering, waighing” highlights the intensity of the psalmist’s distress even as it sets up the possibility of God’s active and swift response. The musical setting, shown in Figure 1.3, conveys more anguish than that of Psalm 51. The psalmist’s grief in the first stanza is reflected both by a series of harmonic shifts and in the melodic movement of the voice downward nearly an octave over the first phrase; my own register literally bottoms out on the phrase “where droun’d I ly.” The vocal line is more disjointed than in the setting of Psalm 51 and becomes increasingly chromatic as well: note the poignant urgency of the word “relief,” as well as the dissonant leap on “vehment, cryeng, prayeng.” On the recording you can hear me drawing out the anguish of the word “cry” as well as setting off the word “quick” to help convey the urgency of the psalmist’s appeal. The strophic setting of this piece is remarkably versatile in capturing the very different effects of later stanzas. The upward leap of the third line, for instance, evokes the “blott of sinne defaced” in stanza three (130.17) and the “wickedness” driven out of Jacob in stanza six (130.35). The same phrase works to very different, but no less meaningful, effect, in stanza four, where it helps to colour the “greedy eies” of the speaker’s soul searching the morning sky for God (130.23). Lucas opted to repeat the introductory phrase for the lute as a kind of refrain between stanzas two and four to help space out the progression of the lyric. The setting’s versatility—and the overall emotional trajectory of the psalm—is especially apparent in the contrast between stanza one and stanza six, which emphasizes God’s steadfastness. The setting’s promise of resolution is already apparent in the final line of the first stanza, where the music draws rhythmic attention to the quickness of God’s response and sustained divine “heering” and “waighing” (130.6). But it emerges most powerfully in stanza six, where the shift into my lower register in the first line and the ¹¹⁰ The Sternhold and Hopkins version of these lines reads as follows: “Lord to thee I make my mone, | when dangers me oppresse, | I call, I sigh, plaine, and grone, | trusting to find release. || Heare now O Lord, my request | for it is full due time: | And let thine eares aye be prest | Unto this prayer [of] mine” (p. 81).

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Figure 1.3. Anon. setting of Mary Sidney Herbert, Psalm 130, British Library, MS Add. 15117, fo. 5v. © The British Library Board.

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harmonic resolution at the conclusion of the piece help together to convey divine stability, anchoring God’s “unchanged” nature and the promise of forgiveness (130.32). From the perspective of a singer, the piece felt very different at this point from its opening phrases, recalling the long, serene phrases of Psalm 51 rather than the crying of stanza one. While the setting does not seek to mitigate the “ernest, vehmen[ce]” of the psalmist’s plea that is evoked so powerfully in Pembroke’s gasping verse (130.5), like Psalm 51 it too ultimately offers consolation. A reader, of course, would not necessarily have needed these musical settings to insert herself into the affective state offered by the flexible “I” of the psalms. Yet these pieces offer compelling evidence of the vital rhetorical interplay between music and text, particularly when animated in performance, that early moderns saw as integral to the psalm genre. When performing these psalms, I found it easy to imagine an early modern woman incorporating them into her meditative practice, singing them either by herself or with a small group of family or friends. Psalms did not escape the attention of prescriptive writers demonizing music’s potentially dissolute effects: “the people listening to the pleasantnes of the Note, regard not the matter of the Ditti: and so goe away no whit edifyed by the Psalm that is so tuned.”¹¹¹ But commentators urged readers to sing psalms in part because the fusion of tune and text was understood to enhance a psalm’s rhetorical potency as the tune, coupled with the experience of singing, worked to imprint David’s words more deeply in the minds of both singer and listener.¹¹² As Butler puts it, “our mindes ar more religiously & more fervently mooved with holy woords when they ar sung with sweete & artificial Voices, than when they ar not so sung.”¹¹³ His argument seems especially well suited to psalm settings for solo voice like Pembroke’s, given the importance of textual audibility in the period. In church, the interplay between a psalm’s text and its music was comparatively less clear. The poor singing technique of many congregants, combined with “the multitude of voices so counfounding the woords,” risked “droun[ing]” their sense and resultant sensory impact.¹¹⁴

¹¹¹ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, 109. ¹¹² On the didactic efficacy of the Psalms, see Calvin, “Epistle to the Reader,” 155–7; Miles Coverdale, “Myles Coverdale Unto the Christen reader,” in Goostly Psalmes and Spirituall Songes . . . ([London]: [J. Rastell], 1535), sigs +ir–+ivv; Marsh, Music and Society, 392. ¹¹³ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, 109. ¹¹⁴ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, 111, 116.

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When undertaken with discretion and moderation, psalm-singing is celebrated by advocates for its capacity to temper and to teach singer and hearer.¹¹⁵ This is exactly how Donne figures the Sidney–Pembroke psalter at the conclusion of his poem, when he urges readers to “tun[e]” themselves to the siblings’ translations, and to use the poems as a singing manual that will ultimately prepare them to “sing [their] part” in the “Extemporall song.”¹¹⁶ The trained singing body voicing psalms models the lifelong discipline that the genre sought to transmit, even as musical settings such as Psalms 51 and 130 powerfully convey in performance the possibility of dynamic transformation, from sin to salvation, earth to heaven. Indeed, singing psalms was believed to set up a more direct avenue of communication with God. In a prefatory section to his 1621 Whole Booke of Psalms entitled “Of the Praise, Vertue, and Efficacie of the Psalmes,” Thomas Ravenscroft advocates the “singing of Psalmes” because it “uniteth the Creature to his Creator.”¹¹⁷ He goes on to offer a catalogue of the psalms that advertises the affective relief—and the communicative value—promised by each. In the case of Psalms 51 and 130, he writes: “Would’st thou make a confession, and repent thee of thy sinnes? Then sing with remorse and humility the seaven penitentiall Psalms of David, and thou shalt feele the sweet mercy of God.”¹¹⁸ The assured modal “shalt” here underscores the efficacy of psalm-singing in securing God’s mercy. If the psalms, as Calvin puts it in the epistle prefacing his commentaries, offer readers an “Anatomy of all the partes of the Soule,” they also constitute a genre rooted in and enhanced by the singing body.¹¹⁹ As I have argued elsewhere, Pembroke’s translations underscore the psalms’ role in facilitating effective communication with God and with a wider audience.¹²⁰ The psalms’ performance as song seems to have constituted an especially potent mode in this regard. Evoking the trajectory of the material breath that Donne imagines linking God, psalmist, and future generations—“The songs are these, which heavens high holy

¹¹⁵ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, 116–17. Significantly, Butler emphasizes in this section that the “discreete moderating of [the] Voice[ ]” should be reflected in the “outward Decenci” and carriage of the body (p. 116). ¹¹⁶ Donne, “Upon the translation of the Psalmes,” in The Divine Poems, ll. 55, 56, 51. ¹¹⁷ Thomas Ravenscroft, The Whole Booke of Psalmes . . . (London: [Thomas Snodham], 1621), n.p. ¹¹⁸ Ravenscroft, The Whole Booke of Psalmes, n.p. ¹¹⁹ “John Calvin to the godly Readers,” in The Psalmes of David and others. With M. John Calvins Commentaries (London: [Thomas East and Henry Middleton], 1571), sig. *viv. ¹²⁰ Larson, Early Modern Women in Conversation, 63–88.

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       

Muse | Whisper’d to David, David to the Jewes | And Davids Successors, in holy zeale, | In formes of joy and art doe re-reveale”¹²¹—Pembroke figures song as a vital “forme[ ] of joy and art” that expedites poetic communication, particularly for women. Micheline White has shown how the inclusivity of psalm-singing emphasized by Protestant reformers built on the flexibility of the psalmist’s “I” by creating important space for women’s voices.¹²² Pembroke is quick to accentuate references in her poems to the psalmist’s embodied vocal production. She concludes Psalm 73 by promising “to sing [God’s] workes while breath shall give me space” (73.84). Her translations also draw attention to women’s communal song. Particularly memorable are her depictions of the virgin army raising their voices in “tryumphant song” (68.25) in Psalm 68 and the psalmist’s confident promise of future musical interventions in Psalm 145:¹²³ Both they and I will tell and sing how forcfull thou, and fearefull art: yea both will willing wittnes bring and unto comming tymes impart thy greatnes, goodnes, just desert: that all who are, or are to be, this Hymne with joy shall sing to thee. (145.15–21)

Pembroke’s translations confront readers not only with a multiplicity of voices “nested”¹²⁴ within the psalms’ narrative structure and intrinsic to the process of translation, but with a multiplicity of voices raised in song. The sonic impact of the domestic performance of Psalms 51 and 130 by a musically educated female singer performing alone or with a small group within the home would have been very different from the musical sounds ¹²¹ Donne, “Upon the translation of the Psalmes,” in The Divine Poems, ll. 31–4. ¹²² See Micheline White, “Protestant Women’s Writing and Congregational Psalm Singing: From the Song of the Exiled ‘Handmaid’ (1555) to the Countess of Pembroke’s Psalmes (1599),” Sidney Journal, 23/1–2 (2005), 61–82. Tessie L. Prakas builds on this idea, reading Pembroke’s devotional voice in “To the Angell Spirit” alongside post-Reformation debates about spoken and sung participation in liturgical ritual. See Prakas, “Unimportant Women: The ‘Sweet Descants’ of Mary Sidney and Richard Crashaw,” in Dunn and Larson (eds), Gender and Song, 107–22. ¹²³ The rhetorical effect of the virgins’ song is even stronger in the variant version of Psalm 68. See Margaret P. Hannay, “ ‘House-confinèd maids’: The Presentation of Woman’s Role in the Psalmes of the Countess of Pembroke,” ELR 24/1 (1994), 66–9; see also White, “Protestant Women’s Writing,” 74–9, and Larson, Early Modern Women in Conversation, 80–1. ¹²⁴ Hannay, “House-confinèd maids,” 48.

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produced by congregations in the period.¹²⁵ But the musical transmission of these pieces by treble voices encapsulates the communicative efficacy of the psalms as song and the authoritative space for women’s psalm performance that Pembroke emphasizes in her translations. Even if Pembroke did not anticipate liturgical use of the Psalmes, the practice of congregational song powerfully informs her poems. The Sidney–Pembroke psalter, along with its extant musical settings, constitutes an instructive example for considering the musical grounding of lyric form and poetic process that is so often overlooked in literary analysis. Early modern song is elusive, both as a generic category and as a material phenomenon, yet my reading of Psalms 51 and 130 underscores the significance of considering song, broadly understood, through a methodological lens that can account for its musical and performative dimensions and the affective interplay of lyric, music, and singing body. If the notion of “form” pushes us to confront the material elements of a text, it also invites us to attend to the fundamental constituents of an entity: “the particular character, nature, structure, or constitution of a thing; the particular mode in which a thing exists or manifests itself.”¹²⁶ In probing the somatic, sonic, and musical attributes of song, we might better attune our own eyes and ears to the “form” of early modern poetic practice.

¹²⁵ See Marsh, Music and Society, 419–34.

¹²⁶ “form, n.” OED Online.

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2 Breath of Sirens

The three Latin epigrams penned by John Milton in commendation of the singer Leonora Baroni (c.1639) marvel at the power and beauty of Baroni’s soprano voice. She is a “liquid-voiced Siren” (“liquidam Sirena”) who “lays the spell of her song upon both men and gods” (“Atque homines cantu detinet atque Deos”).¹ The sound of her voice is such that Milton can only conclude that God must be present within it or, if not God, an angelic spirit who “is moving mysteriously in [her] throat” (“Per tua secreto guttura serpit agens”) as she ravishes her hearers (“Ad Leonoram Romae canentem (To Leonora Singing in Rome),” l. 6). Milton devotes considerable attention in his writings to the affective potency of song and the vital interrelationship between singer and listener, as I will explore further in Chapter 5. His epigrams to Leonora, however, stand out for their attention to the physiology of her singing body and its sonic impact on her audience, as she “breath[es] peace into [the] diseased breast[s]” (“aegro spirans sub corde quietem”) of her hearers with her “heart-stirring song” (“Flexanimo cantu”) (“Ad eandem [To the Same] [1],” ll. 11–12). In Chapter 1, I played with the notion of air as a fittingly musical image that registers song’s ephemeral performance dimensions. Considering song—and form more broadly—in terms of its airy elusiveness, musicality, and corporeality begins to connect readers to the “wild” and “drastic” facets of song performance that, I argue, need to be taken up in literary analysis. As Milton’s gorgeous depiction of Leonora “breath[ing] peace” into the bodies of her listeners illustrates, air, in the form of breath, also constitutes song’s vital acoustic matter and the source of its affective power. This chapter further dissects the physiological matter of song by attending to the gendered mechanisms of the musical breath and the ¹ John Milton, “Ad eandem (To the Same) [2],” in John Milton: Complete Poems and Major Prose, ed. Merritt Y. Hughes (New York: Odyssey Press, 1957), 131, ll. 1, 8. Subsequent references to the Leonora epigrams (and to Milton’s other works) are to this edition, cited parenthetically by line number (verse) or page number (prose) unless otherwise specified. In my discussion, I am following Hughes’s translation.

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rhetorical effects of that paradoxical “airy nothing,” particularly when it emanated from the mouth of a singing woman. I begin by exploring how early moderns conceptualized the acoustic medium of the breath. I chart its movement through the vocal mechanism of the body and explore the traces of that process preserved in physiological treatises, singing handbooks, and surviving manuscript and print scores. These documents provide rich insight into singing as a physical and acoustic phenomenon in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. They testify equally powerfully to song’s drastic dimensions, particularly at moments where language and musical notation strain to represent the physical experience of singing. Drawing on the ambivalent figure of the singing siren, exemplified by Milton’s Leonora, I then consider the acoustic effects of the musical breath unleashed from the page in relation to the culturally fraught phenomenon of women’s song performance. The final section of the chapter turns to the prolific output of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle. Cavendish is an unlikely siren figure; over and over again in her works she disparages the sound of her own voice. Yet she is a writer fascinated with the physiology and acoustic potency of singing. Song—the ballad in particular—emerges in her writings as a powerful discourse that holds significant implications both for her female protagonists and for Cavendish herself as she seeks to harness the “natural” and “civilizing” eloquence that she associates with singers. The unique sound Cavendish attributes to ballad-singing and its rhetorical effects in performance bolster her transgressive authorial stance as well as her critique of the devastating upheavals of the Civil Wars.

Music in the Air Early moderns’ understanding of musical acoustics and the sense of hearing was premised on the vital interrelationship between sound and the movement of the air, an idea synthesized from a range of classical and medieval sources, including Plato, Aristotle, Galen, and Ficino.² In De anima ² On early modern acoustic theories and music’s manifestation and transmission as air, see Gouk, “Raising Spirits,” and “Some English Theories of Hearing.” See also Bruce R. Smith, Acoustic World, 101–6; and Gretchen Ludke Finney, Musical Backgrounds for English Literature: 1580–1650 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1962), 139–58. On the affective workings of air in the period, see also Carla Mazzio, “The History of Air: Hamlet and the Trouble with Instruments,” South Central Review, 26/1–2 (Winter & Spring 2009), 153–96.

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(c.350 ), Aristotle famously situates “the air [as] connected by nature with the organ of hearing.”³ He conceives of the voice, by extension, as a sound produced by a rational creature and transmitted through the air by the breath, which must itself, as a result, “possess a soul.”⁴ As those airy vibrations strike the air within the vulnerable ear, the sounding breath is understood as acting directly on the listener’s body—and, through that medium, the soul. The voice’s close connection to the soul, manifested in terms of both the meaningful air produced by a speaker or singer and its effect on a hearer, differentiates its communicative impact from that of other respiratory noises, like coughs, which are “merely indicative of air inhaled.”⁵ Ficino’s pneumatology, less familiar than Aristotle’s but hugely influential in the sixteenth century, links the potency of this breathy sound transmission explicitly to music, and especially to song. For Ficino, however, sound acts on the spiritus, an airy entity in and of itself that serves as an intermediary between soul and body. Song operates on the spiritus in exceptionally powerful ways, a power that derives from its analogous status as living, moving, and indeed rational air. In Book Three of De vita coelitus comparanda (1489), Ficino goes so far as to liken “the very matter of song” with spiritus: this too is air, hot or warm, still breathing and somehow living; like an animal, it is composed of certain parts and limbs of its own and not only possesses motion and displays passion but even carries meaning like a mind, so that it can be said to be a kind of airy and rational animal.⁶

Song springs to life in this passage in its full kinetic and affective richness. Ficino’s likening of song to “a kind of airy and rational animal,” a very different formulation from Aristotle’s purely rational notion of the soulimbued breath, also conveys its wildness and unpredictability. It is because of its airy status that song holds the capacity to imitate the passions so closely and move and manipulate hearers so deftly. Ficino regards it as the ultimate rhetorical medium.⁷ ³ Aristotle, On the Soul (De Anima), trans. W. S. Hett (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1935), 113. (Aristotle discusses sound in nos 419b–420b.) ⁴ Aristotle, On the Soul, 119. ⁵ Aristotle, On the Soul, 119. ⁶ Marsilio Ficino, Three Books on Life, ed. and trans. Carol V. Kaske and John R. Clark (Binghamton, NY: MRTS 1989), 359. The Latin reads: “Est enim aer et hic quidem calens sive tepens, spirans adhuc et quodammodo vivens, suis quibusdam articulis artubusque compositus sicut animal, nec solum motum ferens affectumque praeferens, verum etiam significatum afferens quasi mentem, ut animal quodam aerium et rationale quodammodo dici possit” (p. 358). ⁷ See Gary Tomlinson, Music in Renaissance Magic: Toward a Historiography of Others (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), esp. 101–44, and “Five Pictures of Pathos,” in Gail Kern Paster, Katherine Rowe, and Mary Floyd-Wilson (eds), Reading the Early Modern

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Integrating and elaborating on these conceptions of the sounding breath, early modern acoustic theorists and natural philosophers probed air’s material attributes and grounded the workings of the breath and its sonic and affective trajectory more concretely in the vocal and respiratory mechanisms of the body. In Sylva sylvarum (1627), Francis Bacon’s beautiful description of the throat “penn[ing] the Breath” registers the shaping of the air expelled from the lungs into articulate sound by “the Tongue, Pallate, and the rest of those they call Instruments of voice.”⁸ He attributes the voice’s expressive efficacy across distance to a “Dilatation of the Spirits” carried within the breath.⁹ Although Bacon describes sound as an “Incorporeall and Immateriate” virtue, he acknowledges that it can be contained in “every small Part of the Aire.”¹⁰ In the acoustic and musical experiments detailed by Walter Charleton later in the seventeenth century, this idea became the basis for a more explicitly materialist defense of sound. Charleton defines air in A Fabrick of Science Natural (1654) as “the Material of all voyces” although, following Aristotle, he distinguishes the “subtle part of the Aer inspired, and modulated in the Vocal Artery and other organs of speech” from ordinary “Breath expired from the Lungs”: “such onely can be judged capable of Configuration.” He goes on to locate sonic potency in individual particles of breath as they journey towards listening ears.¹¹ Passions: Essays in the Cultural History of Emotion (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), 192–214. See also Gouk, “Raising Spirits”; and D. P. Walker, “Ficino’s Spiritus and Music” and “Le Chant Orphique de Marsile Ficin,” both in Penelope Gouk (ed.), Music, Spirit, and Language in the Renaissance (London: Variorum Reprints, 1985), sections VII and VIII, though in Music in Renaissance Magic Tomlinson nuances Walker’s reading of the text–music relationship in important ways. ⁸ Francis Bacon, Sylva sylvarum . . . (London: J[ohn] H[aviland] and Augustine Mathewes], 1627), nos 116, 199. ⁹ Bacon, Sylva sylvarum, no. 721. Gina Bloom has examined the sonic impact of breath as “ensouled voice” (Voice in Motion, 82; see also pp. 66–110). Her study establishes a valuable framework for considering the acoustic potency of the breath: “If voice can be reduced to breath,” she posits, “then to what extent might breath alone constitute or signal voice?” (p. 100). ¹⁰ Bacon, Sylva sylvarum, nos 290, 192. ¹¹ Walter Charleton, Physiologia Epicuro-Gassendo-Charltoniana: or, A Fabrick of Science Natural . . . (London: Tho. Newcomb, 1654), 218. See also Mersenne: “l’on peut s’imaginer une grande multitude de petits corps invisibles, ou d’atomes qui volent dans l’air apres qu’il a esté battu, & qui vont affecter toutes les oreilles qui se rencontrent dans leur chemin, afin de leur porter la nouvelle de ce qui s’est passé dans l’air, ou dans les corps dont ils sont partis, & dont ils sont les ambassadeurs, ou les images & les representations” (“one can imagine a large multitude of little invisible bodies or atoms which fly through the air after they have been struck and which affect all the ears that they encounter in their journey, so that they might bring news of what has taken place within the air or within the bodies of which they are a part and on behalf of which they are ambassadors, or else their images and representations” (my translation)) (Harmonie universelle, i. 6).

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       

Helkiah Crooke’s Mikrokosmographia (1615) anatomizes this movement of breath as it is propelled by the diaphragm and the bellows of the lungs through the windpipe.¹² Air is, of course, crucial to this process. Like Charleton, Crooke situates air as the “proper matter of the voice”: “a mans voce is so long continued as the expiration endureth, and when it fayleth the voyce utterly ceaseth.”¹³ His examination of air’s trajectory through the body, however, draws especially vivid attention to the acoustic palette of the singing voice and the physiological conditions necessary for transforming compressed air into the “sweetness” (a term favored also by early modern poetic theorists) of song or speech.¹⁴ Crooke devotes particular attention to the positioning of the larynx or “throttle,”¹⁵ which contains the vocal folds. As “the way of the breath,” the larynx, which is depicted in Figure 2.1, constitutes for Crooke “the first and most principall Organ of the tuning of the voyce.”¹⁶ The air moving through the larynx is “restrayned and broken” by the glottis or “whistle,” the space between the vocal folds, which Crooke likens to “the tongue of a flute or other pipe.”¹⁷ While the larynx and glottis work together to “frame or forme a voyce,”¹⁸ the sounding breath is then given acoustic nuance and shape by the uvula—the “quill of the Voyce”—and the tongue.¹⁹ Physical make-up and life stage help in part to explain how the movement of air through the larynx and the glottis translates into sound quality. “[I]n children,” writes Crooke, when the Larinx is narrow the voyce is sharper, small, or treble because a little ayre is swiftly moved through a narrow passage; on the contrary in old or elder age the Larynx is wider, and receiveth from the Lungs a greater

¹² Crooke’s focus is not on singing per se, but the sonic effects of music inform his study from its opening pages. In his prefatory address to the “Company of the Barber-Chyrurgeons,” he urges his readers to “attend the plaine-song rather then the division or descant,” when listening to medical lectures, concentrating on what will be most beneficial to them rather than what is merely pleasing; the latter “doth oftentimes corrupt the Musick if the auditors eare be not careful to distinguish them” (Helkiah Crooke, Mikrokosmographia: A Description of the Body of Man . . . (London: William Jaggard, 1615), sig. J 2r). ¹³ Crooke, Mikrokosmographia, 391, 645. ¹⁴ Crooke, Mikrokosmographia, 644. ¹⁵ Crooke, Mikrokosmographia, 388. ¹⁶ Crooke, Mikrokosmographia, 633; see also 390. ¹⁷ Crooke, Mikrokosmographia, 641, 644. ¹⁸ Crooke, Mikrokosmographia, 641. ¹⁹ Crooke, Mikrokosmographia, 624. See also Mersenne, who breaks the voice down into nine distinct components (which include the air as well as the individual parts of the vocal apparatus) but emphasizes the larynx and the glottis. The larynx, he writes, constitutes the “propre instrument de la voix, & sert de fluste naturelle aux animaux” (“the proper instrument of the voice and serves as a natural flute among animals” (my translation)); the glottis, meanwhile, is “la cause la plus prochaine, & la plus immediate de la voix” (“the nearest and most immediate cause of the voice” (my translation)) (Harmonie universelle, ii. 4).

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Figure 2.1. Detail from Helkiah Crooke, Mikrokosmographia: A Description of the Body of Man . . . (London: William Jaggard, 1615), 635, RB 53894. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California. quantity of ayre, whence it is that the motion is not so swift and so the voyce becommeth base; moreoyer the length or shortnesse of the Larynx beare a great sway in the basenes or shrilnes of the voyce.²⁰

Crooke does not mention gender explicitly here, but his observations about the larynx’s narrowness in relation to the treble voices of children (not to mention his visual representations of the larynx) share affinities with contemporaneous descriptions of female singers, as I will discuss in more detail later in this chapter. Regardless of length, the ideal larynx for sound production is a “gristly” one, hard enough to ensure a percussive “proportion betweene the ayre that is beaten, and the body which beateth it, that so it may resound for the forming of the voyce.”²¹ The “magnitude [of the glottis]

²⁰ Crooke, Mikrokosmographia, 633. ²¹ Crooke, Mikrokosmographia, 634; see also 390.

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is [similarly] proportionable to the body . . . from whence comes the differences of Voices.”²² The shape and state of one’s body may determine whether one is a treble or a bass, but, unlike wind instruments, which have fixed stops, the voice has much greater flexibility and scope to shape and tune the air.²³ As such, the movement of the breath through the vocal mechanism can be controlled and manipulated to create particular pitches and musical effects. Crooke invites his reader to place a hand on the larynx and “sing in base tunes”: “you shall perceive the throttle to descend downeward, and in shrill and treble you shall manifestly perceive it to ascend upwards.”²⁴ As with the larynx, control of the glottis enables an individual to “vary with his voyce high, low, or in a middle key, or as we say Treble, Base, or Tenor.”²⁵ Crooke’s treatise is not explicitly musical, which makes the physiological insight that Mikrokosmographia offers into the singing voice, some of which is still reflected in contemporary vocal pedagogy, all the more remarkable. Ironically, the airy workings of the singing voice can be more difficult to pinpoint in early modern singing handbooks.²⁶ We do get glimpses of the singer’s body in these practical texts, most commonly in references to the beating of a hand or foot that helps to keep time, as well as in short descriptions of posture, gesture, and expression.²⁷ The movement of the air, meanwhile, is implicit in discussions of breath support as a foundation for good singing. In Le nuove musiche (1602), which set the tone for discussions of solo vocal performance on the Continent and in England well into the seventeenth century, Giulio Caccini warns his readers against waste or misuse of the breath. The breath should be deployed to “make use

²² Crooke, Mikrokosmographia, 644. ²³ The author of A New and Easie Method draws attention to the voice’s comparative flexibility, describing it as being “at liberty” (sig. A7v). ²⁴ Crooke, Mikrokosmographia, 766. Contemporary vocal technique emphasizes lowering the larynx when moving into the upper register, rather than raising it. See Richard Wistreich, “Reconstructing Pre-Romantic Singing Technique,” in John Potter (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Singing (Cambridge: CUP, 2000), 180. ²⁵ Crooke, Mikrokosmographia, 644. Crooke is presumably referencing the capacity to vary pitch within an individual range. ²⁶ On the role of these handbooks in the development of music literacy in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, see David C. Price, Patrons and Musicians of the English Renaissance (Cambridge: CUP, 1981), 39–47. ²⁷ On beating time, see A New and Easie Method, 49; and Simpson, Compendium, 17. See also Charles Butler, who includes details about facial expression and posture (The Principles of Musik, 97, 116). For the visual implications of gesture and bodily comportment in musical contexts, see Leppert, The Sight of Sound, esp. ch. 1; Austern, “Portrait of the Artist”; and Dunn and Larson, introduction to Gender and Song, 1–5.

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of [vocal effects] as needed” and to control the sound “at will.”²⁸ Eighty years later, A. B.’s Synopsis of Vocal Musick continues to underscore the importance of a “command of the breath” in executing vocal ornaments. The singer must “tak[e] heed that by spending much [air] in one place it do not afterward fail in another when it is needful.”²⁹ For Charles Butler, the centrality of the breath is reflected more indirectly in his defense of the health advantages derived from singing, which benefit the respiratory system in particular: “a Singing-man,” he declares in The Principles of Musik, “neede never fear the Astma, Peripneumonia, or Consumption: or any other like affections of that vital part: which ar the death of many Students.”³⁰ Good breathing technique is not, however, simply a result of having good lungs. Rather, as Bacilly affirms in Remarques curieuses sur l’art de bien chanter, “il est constant qu’elle s’acquiert & s’augmente par l’exercise, aussi bien que les autres circonstances du Chant” (“it is clear that it is acquired and improved by practice, as is the case with other aspects of singing” (my translation)).³¹ While there is clear consensus among theorists that the breath is, in Bacilly’s words, crucial for song performance (“fort necessaire pour l’execution du Chant”), there is little, if any, physiological insight provided about how exactly a singer tunes the air.³² Instead, the process whereby the breath is controlled and shaped by the vocal mechanism tends to hover tacitly behind more general descriptions of sound quality. Bacilly summarizes the art of singing well as a practice that encompasses proper pitch, good support and maintenance of the voice, the ability to perform cadences and tremblements, the ability to pulsate the throat (“marquer du gossier”) when necessary, and the appropriate performance of other vocal ornaments.³³ The breath—and the body more generally—are fundamental to his allusions to vocal support, and indeed to proper tuning. But it is striking that Bacilly’s repeated emphasis here on performing techniques well (“bien”) and ²⁸ Giulio Caccini, Le nuove musiche, vol. ix of H. Wiley Hitchcock (ed.), Recent Researches in the Music of the Baroque Era (Madison, WI: A-R Editions, Inc., 1970), 56. ²⁹ A. B., Synopsis, 97. ³⁰ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, 123. See also William Byrd’s Psalmes, Sonets, & Songs of Sadnes and Pietie (London: Thomas East, 1588), which opens with a list of attributes designed “to perswade every one to learne to sing.” Among other things, singing “doth strengthen all parts of the brest, & doth open the pipes” and “is a singuler good remedie for a stutting & stamaring in the speech” (sig. Ar). ³¹ Bacilly, Remarques curieuses, 50. ³² Bacilly is especially concerned about the impact of breath on diction here, since words or syllables can easily be cut in half with poor technique. Remarques curieuses, 50. ³³ Bacilly, Remarques curieuses, 5.

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properly (“à propos”) as the essence of singing, like his insistence on the significance of breath control, elides specific details about how this occurs. This tendency toward vagueness and deferral, even in the midst of a detailed treatment of advanced vocal technique like Bacilly’s, is typical of encounters with singing handbooks of the period. While ostensibly focused on practical tools for performance and promising to outline “plaine” and “easie” methods for singers, pedagogical texts tend to struggle to put singing into words. In part, this opacity arises from the difficulty early modern music theorists had in mediating between music as mathematical and philosophical discipline (musica speculativa) and music as embodied practice.³⁴ Evidence of this tension can be found in the labyrinthine descriptions of the gamut, or scale, that commonly open late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century music handbooks, as well in the propensity to use complex diagrams to express harmonic relationships. Unlike Puttenham’s “ocular examples” discussed in Chapter 1, these philosophical diagrams go well beyond notational basics such as clefs and scales and do not translate easily into aural insight. Butler defends his own use of speculative language as evidence of the difficulty of learning music. An amateur musician wanting to glean the rudiments of music theory and vocal production, however, would quickly become lost within the “secret Mysteries, which lye hid in this profound Mathematik.”³⁵ Lack of detail about vocal production also reflects the compositional bias of music treatises. Theorists laud singing—especially singing new music at first sight—as a desirable skill that will benefit amateurs in varied social settings. In Morley’s A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practical Music, for example, Philomathes recounts his embarrassment at being presented with a part-book at a dinner party and being unable to sight-read his music.³⁶ Morley is not alone, however, in situating singing as the first step in a training process leading ultimately to the goal of composition. “[S]inging,” William Bathe affirms in his Brief Introduction to the True Art of Music (1584), “sould go befor setting.”³⁷ Marin Mersenne’s comprehensive Harmonie universelle (1636) reflects this tendency. Mersenne goes into ³⁴ For an excellent analysis of this tension and its implications for music’s rhetorical function in Shakespeare and Milton, see Ortiz, Broken Harmony, esp. ch. 3. ³⁵ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, sig. }}3r. ³⁶ Morley, A Plaine and Easie Introduction, sig. B2r. ³⁷ William Bathe, A Brief Introduction to the True Art of Music, ed. Cecil Hill (Colorado Springs: Colorado College Music Press, 1979), 1.

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significant detail in the first section of his treatise about the anatomy of the voice and the interplay between air and acoustics. He includes some helpful remarks on the relationship between the breath and the volume of the voice and the vocal problems arising from poor breath control; he also reflects on the challenge of perfecting the singing voice.³⁸ In the section of the work that focuses more specifically on song, however, Mersenne concentrates almost entirely on compositional techniques and the mathematics of notational patterns rather than on performance per se. Even handbooks that make the practical methods of song performance a more explicit focus of their method grapple with the challenge of communicating the physical experience of singing. Bathe reflects on this crux in his second handbook, A Brief Introduction to the Skill of Song (1596): Many things are heere taught by rule, for which teachers heeretofore, gave no rule, and if they were asked how shall a man know the like? they would answere, that is according to the course of the Song, but this answere is so uncertaine, that it is as good for the yong Scoller, they had said we know not.³⁹

Caccini too acknowledges that the particulars of singing techniques—an emphasis that in his view risks diverting a student’s attention from the importance of “the whole” in vocal training—resists straightforward description.⁴⁰ He nonetheless insists on the value of “studying theory and the said rules” and particularly holds faith in the clarity and usefulness of his own descriptions of vocal effects: “I can state with some assurance that no better way to teach them can be found, nor a better way to describe them, than is given here for both.”⁴¹ Following Caccini, seventeenth-century theorists increasingly confronted the problem of opacity and evasion in their presentation of singing practice. Pietro Reggio begins The Art of Singing, or A Treatise, wherein is shown how to Sing well any Song whatsoever (1677) by expressing his frustration: Though there have been several Books Printed of late to Teach the Rudiments of Musick, yet I have not seen any that did instruct a man, how to

³⁸ Mersenne, Harmonie universelle, i. 29; ii. 44, 46–7. ³⁹ William Bathe, A Brief Introduction to the Skill of . . . (London: Thomas Este, 1596), sigs B.vii.v–B.viii.r. ⁴⁰ Caccini, Le nuove musiche, 48. ⁴¹ Caccini, Le nuove musiche, 49, 51.

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The author of A New and Easie Method to Learn to Sing by Book (1686) concurs. He critiques “the Obscurity and Confusion in the Method commonly taught,”⁴³ highlighting the gamut—“a long Bead-roll of hard and useless Names, to be conn’d backward and forward”—as a particular example of this “Drudgery.”⁴⁴ “I Shall not,” he writes, “trouble the Practical Reader with a Mathematical Account of Intervals, or how Eights are the same, and how they differ.”⁴⁵ These writers go out of their way to simplify the theoretical language associated with learning music notation, including the scale, time signatures, accidentals, and clefs. A. B.’s Synopsis, whose title page advertises the book as a refreshing alternative to existing methods, offering the “Rudiments of Singing Rightly any Harmonical Song . . . for the benefit of young Beginners,” stands out for its explication of notation as a sonic signifier reflected in the workings of the voice. A. B. describes dynamics, for instance, as “Signs of the latitude or breadth of sounds are which ought to shew whether a sound must be sung with a clear and full, or with a soft and small spirit.”⁴⁶ Even in the context of this simpler, more practice-oriented vocabulary, attempts to capture the physical experience of vocal production are rarely helpful. The author of A New and Easie Method is a case in point, outlining the following process for learning to match pitch to the notes produced on a viol: “The Strings being in Tune, sit down and place the Viol between your Legs, and resting the Neck upon your left hand, draw the Bow so upon the fifth String unstop’d, as to give a clear sound, to which, tune your Voice, pronouncing the Note G.”⁴⁷ There is a marked contrast in this passage between the physical insight into the positioning of the player’s body relative to her viol and the vague reference to the “tun[ing] of your Voice.” How exactly that G is to be produced with accuracy by the singer is left unclear. Walter Charleton wrestles with this conundrum as well, trying to explain the process of matching pitch in terms of acoustic resonance. In order to match a pitch produced by a lute, he writes: “it is necessary, that the Aer be exploded by the Lungs, with the same Pernicity, as the other Aer is impelled

⁴² Pietro Reggio, The Art of Singing, or A Treatise, Wherein is Shown how to Sing Well any Song Whatsoever (Oxford: L. L., 1677), 1. ⁴⁴ A New and Easie Method, sig. A5r. ⁴³ A New and Easie Method, sig. A4v. ⁴⁵ A New and Easie Method, 1. ⁴⁶ A. B., Synopsis, 86. ⁴⁷ A New and Easie Method, 44.

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by the string in each of its . . . Vibrations.” He gives up at this point: “this Arcanum requires a Galileo or Mersennus, at least, to its due speculation.”⁴⁸ Bacilly’s Remarques curieuses addresses this issue by referring students to a trusted teacher. For Bacilly, singing, both good and bad, is ultimately a practice gleaned, not by books and rules, but by demonstration and imitation.⁴⁹ His treatise provides extensive coverage of vocal ornamentation, but his advice nearly always stops short at the point of communicating practical detail. Take, for instance, his account of a particular kind of tremblement, or trill, produced in the lower part of the throat and usually quite compressed and short: “comme ces sortes de Tremblements se sentent mieux qu’ils ne s’expliquent, il n’y a que la pratique qui les puisse faire comprendre” (“because these kinds of tremblements can be felt more easily than they can be explained, it is only through practice that they can be understood” (my translation)).⁵⁰ Again and again, Bacilly urges the aspiring singer to consult an experienced teacher as well as other singers to hone their craft.⁵¹ When theorists do try to explain the nuances of vocal production, their language frequently breaks down. Reggio’s hilarious description of tempering the dynamics of the voice to a song “in a flat Key” offers a telling example: “I would have him put forth his Voice somewhat lowd; (sharp notes require a brisk way in the singing of them) not stretch it with all his strength; for beside the unpleasantness of such an unbridled noise, it may prove dangerous to the Opticks, if frequently used.”⁵² No other guidance is provided, other than cautioning the singer to learn from the fate of overzealous, eye-popping trumpet players “who by putting their Lungs to such hard service, in the hasty fetching of breath, bring blindness upon themselves, before old age.”⁵³ The passage’s length and convolution attest rhetorically to Reggio’s effort to communicate the nuances of dynamic modulation to his readers. When he tries to teach his reader to perform a trill, meanwhile, his language ties itself up in further knots: “Let any bodie use his Voice to sing often these Notes just as they stand pricked, and in time he will come to it, if in the same time he observes to make an impulsion with ⁴⁸ Charleton, Physiologia, 219. ⁴⁹ Bacilly, Remarques curieuses, 64–5. ⁵⁰ Bacilly, Remarques curieuses, 184. ⁵¹ Bacilly, Remarques curieuses, 30. See also Mace, who urges his readers to hire a music tutor for their children to help ensure that they learn to sing in tune. His argument is geared towards the basics of church singing rather than advanced solo performance, but he advocates for the value of investing in vocal training. As to how to go about finding a good teacher, however, Mace has no suggestions to offer: “To this I must confess I know not readily how to assist you” (Musick’s Monument, 14). ⁵² Reggio, The Art of Singing, 2. ⁵³ Reggio, The Art of Singing, 2.

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his Voice upon the first Note of the second Bar.”⁵⁴ Like Bacilly, Reggio eventually defends himself against naysayers by inviting singers to come and visit him in person where he can demonstrate these techniques of articulation in performance.⁵⁵ I emphasize these examples not to suggest that it is impossible accurately to describe vocal training and technique. A gloss in the margins of the Bodleian Library’s copy of Reggio’s handbook clarifies his attempt at the trill, describing it as “an impulsion of the Voice at each semiquaver on a Union, [that] without stopping the Current of breath, will set the Larynx in motion and produce an easy shake.”⁵⁶ A. B.’s Synopsis likewise offers some valuable physiological insight into the mechanisms of the voice. He explicates the trill as “a shaking of the Uvula on the Throat in one Sound or Note, as the Gruppo is in two Sounds or Notes.”⁵⁷ A. B. also helpfully frames the conventional, and unnecessarily arcane, philosophical elements of music handbooks into a clear syllabus for the beginning singer that shares features with contemporary approaches to teaching music. Singers should start by learning the scale, followed by intervals. Learning an instrument will help to establish these fundamental principles before extending them to the voice. The student should then begin to work in different keys, taking care not to stretch beyond her range. At this point, however, even A. B. begins to show signs of the linguistic opacity that characterizes other handbooks: “Tuning it so to the pitch of his Voice, that when he cometh to his highest Note, he may reach it without squeaking, and to his lowest without grumbling, so that his Voice may come always clear from the throat.”⁵⁸ These moments of vagueness and lexical strain, which pinpoint the tension intrinsic to song performance between control of the vocal mechanism and the release of the breath from the body as ultimately uncontrollable sound, register the embodied, “drastic” experience of singing most acutely on a textual level. What emerges instead from these texts is an overall impression of desirable sound quality, as well as insight into the dedicated effort required to achieve that sound. The voice should be clear and, in a telling echo of early modern poetics, sweet. It should not be overly nasal. ⁵⁴ Reggio, The Art of Singing, 13. Wistreich notes the particular challenge of communicating the technique of throat articulation (“Reconstructing,” 188). ⁵⁵ Reggio, The Art of Singing, 12. These convolutions are encapsulated by the notion of “disposition,” which Bacilly defines as the basis for good singing (Remarques curieuses, 48–50). He locates it in the throat (“gosier”), as an intrinsic feature of a singer’s physiology. See also Wistreich, “Vocal Performance,” 403. ⁵⁶ Reggio, The Art of Singing, 13. ⁵⁷ A. B., Synopsis, 97. ⁵⁸ A. B., Synopsis, 98–9.

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It should be neither shrill nor grumbling, adhering to the singer’s comfortable natural range. Volume should be suited to the architectural and social performance setting. And the substance of the text, a feature integral to the development of the declamatory vocal style in the seventeenth century, should be clear to the audience.⁵⁹ These desirable aesthetic qualities are remarkably consistent in both English and continental accounts of singing in the period.⁶⁰ And yet music theorists struggle no less consistently to find a vocabulary that conveys the embodied experience of song. As a performance phenomenon, song can only be captured imperfectly on the page; it is an art more easily felt than explained, Bacilly concludes.⁶¹ Mersenne concurs, likening singing to the muscular instincts that prompt a child to walk and jump without knowing exactly how the body learns those skills.⁶² The acquisition of more advanced vocal techniques represents another level entirely. Aspiring singers are ultimately directed to hone their voices by working on the airs, psalm settings, and catches commonly included as appendices in handbooks of the period. Indeed, in the absence of concrete pedagogical insight, the inclusion of musical scores seems to constitute a kind of shorthand for “practice.”

“Quavers, and Trilloes, and the Like”: Ornamenting the Breath Bruce Smith has discussed the music preserved in early modern print and manuscript sources as a central example of what he calls “somatic notation”:⁶³ textual traces that reflect the embodied experience of music as an acoustic phenomenon and that, in the case of a trained musician, also provide mnemonic and physical cues that translate directly into performance. The music appended to singing handbooks provides important insight into these methods. The settings that conclude A. B.’s Synopsis are printed in tabletop format, facilitating the division of parts in a domestic context. In the Easie Praxis for Exercise of the Foregoing Rules appended to A New and Easie Method, meanwhile, the author includes notated examples of how longer ⁵⁹ Bacilly, who concentrates much of his treatise on French diction, underscores the interpretative significance of audible text to the development of vocal repertoire in the seventeenth century. See Remarques curieuses, 5–6. See also Caccini: music that “prevent[s] any clear understanding of the words, shatters both their form and content”; music cannot move the mind “without the words being understood” (Le nuove musiche, 44). ⁶⁰ See Wistreich, “Reconstructing,” 178. ⁶¹ Bacilly, Remarques curieuses, 184. ⁶² Mersenne, Harmonie universelle, ii. 47. ⁶³ Bruce R. Smith, Acoustic World, 112.

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notes can be broken up into more intricate and rhythmically interesting versions as singers become more advanced. Caccini’s Le nuove musiche, which insists on the necessity of “actual practice”⁶⁴ for assimilating vocal theory, provides notated examples of vocal effects and techniques, as well as nearly twenty-five airs designed to exercise them. His confidence in the clarity and efficacy of his methods and compositions is not unwarranted; many of the pieces included in Le nuove musiche continue to be crucial repertoire for beginning singers today. However accessible, musical notation similarly reflects the lexical struggle to render song performance on the page. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the notation of vocal ornaments, effects used most commonly to amplify a concluding cadence or to embellish a repeated section of a song. These techniques are at heart improvisatory, varying with individual singers and individual performances.⁶⁵ They are also highly virtuosic, requiring both speed and flexibility. Description and notation can provide valuable insight into these effects. Take, for instance, John Playford’s comparison of the process of learning the trillo in The Skill of Musick, which appeared in multiple editions beginning in the 1660s, to the imitation of hawkers “who lure their birds as he-he-he-he-he.”⁶⁶ Playford’s account is comic, but he is correct that one begins to anchor the arc of an ornament by learning the individual notes slowly, gradually speeding them up: “which he used slow at first, and by often practice on several Notes, higher and lower in sound, he became perfect therein.”⁶⁷ This description is reflected in Caccini’s notation of exercises in Le nuove musiche for working the technique of the trillo into the voice.⁶⁸ Still, these textual traces can only gesture toward the sensation of such effects within the body as they are deployed in performance. As Richard Wistreich notes in his discussion of seventeenth-century vocal performance techniques, citing composer Jacopo Peri, florid ornaments “cannot be written, and if written, cannot be learned from the notation.”⁶⁹ In performance settings, individual ornaments are ideally inserted at the discretion of the performer to enhance her musical interpretation of a piece. Given the improvisatory impulse governing ornamentation, the prevalence ⁶⁴ Caccini, Le nuove musiche, 49, 51–2. ⁶⁵ See Edward Huws Jones, The Performance of English Song, 49–55. ⁶⁶ Quoted in Wistreich, “Vocal Performance,” 404. ⁶⁷ Quoted in Wistreich, “Vocal Performance,” 404. ⁶⁸ References to daily practice center on the challenge of ornamentation. The secret to mastery, Bacilly tells his readers, is apparently to work on the techniques beginning in the morning (Remarques curieuses, 24). ⁶⁹ Wistreich, “Vocal Performance,” 407.

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of ornamental detail in surviving early modern scores is striking. Their appearance, as with the exercises included in the Easie Praxis already cited, is often for pedagogical purposes, helping a student to break down a particular embellishment into its constituent parts as she works it into her voice. In some cases, this may point to a fundamental discomfort with the improvisatory skill required to perform embellishments and a resultant need for guidance.⁷⁰ As Rebecca Herissone reminds us, however, these kinds of manuscript moments testify to the creative input of musicians in contributing to what was in the period a fundamentally collaborative compositional process.⁷¹ Herissone’s work also underscores the importance of aural memory in musical transmission, whether preserving the recollection of a particular performance or, in pedagogical contexts, copying down a particular effect by memory. Examples of written-out ornaments thus provide a fascinating glimpse into the vital tension between notational trace and embodied performance that characterized musical circulation in sixteenthand seventeenth-century England. These kinds of notational details are not uncommon in surviving music manuscripts compiled by women, testifying to a high level of vocal skill among amateur female performers.⁷² Many of the music manuscripts that were produced for domestic performance emerged out of pedagogical contexts; the recurrent association of those collections with female owners underscores the crucial role of women’s music education for affluent and aspiring families.⁷³ Elizabeth Davenant’s songbook (c.1624), held at the Christ Church College Library in Oxford, offers one of the best examples. Her highly ornamented manuscript, which is scored for treble voice, attests visually to Davenant’s vocal training and her virtuosity as a singer.⁷⁴ The intricate effects written into her songs are dazzling on a visual level alone, as can be seen in Figure 2.2.

⁷⁰ See Wistreich, “Vocal Performance,” 408–10, for a helpful discussion of the factors shaping ornamental notation. ⁷¹ See Herissone, Musical Creativity, 360–2, 379–81. See also Robert Toft, With Passionate Voice: Re-Creative Singing in Sixteenth-Century English and Italy (Oxford: OUP, 2014), which, together with its companion website, develops a historically informed approach to early modern vocal performance. Toft underscores the “re-creative” role of singers and the need for contemporary performers approaching this repertoire to “free the music from the written page” (p. 13). ⁷² See Edward Huws Jones, The Performance of English Song, 29–30. ⁷³ See Herissone, Musical Creativity, 109–15. ⁷⁴ Davenant’s manuscript is Christ Church Music MS Mus. 87. The manuscript may also have been used by another seventeenth-century woman. The inscription “Kath: Law: May the 6th [?] 1663 | began my Exercises” appears on the side of the first page.

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Figure 2.2. Detail of vocal ornamentation from “Heare my Prayer,” Christ Church MS Mus. 87, fo. 3r. Reproduced by permission of the Governing Body of Christ Church, Oxford.

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That impression is sustained in performance; many of the pieces can be heard on the recent recording by soprano Rebecca Ockenden, which is based on the manuscript.⁷⁵ Davenant’s ornamental practice also showcases the strong influence of continental—especially Italian and French—vocal techniques on the development of English solo song repertoire. The manuscript is most likely a practical document, perhaps compiled in collaboration with her music teacher. As such, its ornamental details are reflective of her individual interpretation of these songs, the notation functioning both as pedagogical exercise and as mnemonic device that would, with practice, gradually move a particular effect off of the page and settle it into her voice. Ornamental notation thus constitutes an especially valuable trace of the singing body, a shorthand that connects contemporary readers to one historical woman’s embodied preparation and performance of a selection of popular vocal repertoire. Like the moments of lexical failure that pervade attempts to capture the experience of singing in early modern handbooks, however, the notation of vocal ornament stretches musical signification to the breaking point. While providing a vital visual cue for the singer, in performance ornaments are far more elastic than the rigidity of musical notation suggests, drawing attention to the inability of a score to capture or fully to represent the voice; that notational approximation is especially true of early modern scores, which left many parameters up to performers. Even when a particular effect is notated, moreover, that does not guarantee that a singer will follow the indication. As Caccini puts it, “we realize how necessary for the musician a certain judgment is, which sometimes must prevail over [rules of] art. . . . Indeed, there are many things used in good singing style that are written in one way but, to be more graceful, are effected in quite another.”⁷⁶ He goes so far as to characterize a good singer as one who “know[s] how to distinguish where more affect is needed, and where less,”⁷⁷ always basing this judgment on the sense of a particular text. It is only through this “true understanding as to where one should employ the affects” that a singer is “able to move the affect of the soul.”⁷⁸ Ornamental notation finally represents a sprezzaturalike phenomenon whereby the voice is expected to free itself from the limitations of the score in a spirit of improvisatory, yet still decorous, embellishment. With or without the assistance of notation, a singer may ⁷⁵ Mistress Elizabeth Davenant, Her Songes, perf. Ockenden and Vanden Eynde. ⁷⁶ Caccini, Le nuove musiche, 50. ⁷⁷ Caccini, Le nuove musiche, 48. ⁷⁸ Caccini, Le nuove musiche, 49.

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practice a particular ornament for hours, rendering it an indelible part of her interpretation of a piece. From the audience’s perspective, however, when executed well and properly fitted to a text, its appearance in performance constitutes a manifestation of seemingly spontaneous virtuosity and grace. Highlighting the performative shift that propels a singer from the page into the acoustic realm of the air, vocal ornamentation offers powerful insight into the “drastic” experience of song performance. To illustrate this process, I turn now to the companion recording, which includes two songs from another manuscript songbook, this one belonging to Lady Ann Blount. Dating from the 1640s and 1650s, it is now held at the Lambeth Palace Library.⁷⁹ My performance of “Bright Aurelia” and “Go thy way” draws attention both to the value of notated ornament as a trace of embodied song performance and to its inevitable failure to communicate the workings of the singing body (Companion Recording, Track 4. “Bright Aurelia” (Charles Coleman) and Track 5. “Go thy way” (Anon.)). Charles Coleman’s “Bright Aurelia” features an elaborate vocal flourish in the second line of Blount’s score.⁸⁰ This ornament is probably best characterized as a roulade, an embellishment of multiple notes extending over a single syllable of text. The visual impression of the ornament in the score conveys its virtuosic speed. This is magnified by the script, shown in Figure 2.3, which blurs the roulade’s positioning relative to the text. The cue may well have been perfectly legible to Blount herself, but for an outside interpreter the question of how best to match the ornament to text is left unresolved. I chose to use the ornament to accentuate the addressee’s “unrelenting stone” demeanor (stanza one) and the “scorn” that burns the speaker’s heart “to tinder” (stanza two). As a performer, I love the intricacy of ornamentation, and when I was singing more regularly as a soloist I gravitated toward coloratura repertoire. That said, vocal improvisation does not come easily to me, probably reflecting a combination of both my temperament and my training as a classical singer. I worked this ornament into my voice slowly, note by note, gradually speeding it up and then eventually, with Lucas’s encouragement, consciously releasing it to be as flexible and dramatic as possible in its musical commentary on the text. I did not, however, follow the further ornamental

⁷⁹ Lambeth Palace Library MS 1041. A full facsimile of this manuscript can be found in Jorgens (ed.), English Song, vol. xi. ⁸⁰ Lambeth Palace Library MS 1041, fo. 53r. Ian Spink posits that Coleman may have been Blount’s music teacher. English Song: Dowland to Purcell (London: B. T. Batsford, 1974), 116.

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Figure 2.3. Charles Coleman, “Bright Aurelia,” Lambeth Palace Library MS 1041, fo. 53r. Reproduced by permission of Lambeth Palace Library.

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options sketched at the bottom of the second page of the manuscript, which suggest similarly ornate possibilities that Blount was exploring for the concluding cadence.⁸¹ I opted instead for a basic trill at the conclusion of these phrases, as well as at the culmination of each stanza, which felt more comfortable in my voice. The recording thus exemplifies the interpretative challenge of translating notated ornament into sung performance and the freedom given to individual performers—in both early modern and contemporary contexts—to insert ornaments at suitable moments in appropriate repertoire as they begin to master such techniques as a part of more advanced vocal training. The elaborate embellishment on display in “Bright Aurelia” is less suited to the style of the second piece from Blount’s songbook, “Go thy way.”⁸² This is a straightforward strophic setting that is much easier to sing; its style arguably falls under A. B.’s description of repertoire that resists embellishment, “requir[ing] only a lively and cheerful kind of Singing, carried by the Air it self.”⁸³ Its strophic structure, however, lends itself well to interpretative variations motivated by the substance of each stanza and the overall narrative trajectory of the text. In the performance on the companion recording, it is possible to hear a number of these effects as we varied the color of each stanza. In stanza two, Lucas makes his lute strings twang aggressively on the word “vile.” In stanza four, meanwhile, we played with the tempo, first to evoke the speaker’s chaste retreat to the woods, where she foreswears love, and then her depiction of her promised flight from the addressee. I also added a final trill in the concluding cadence of each stanza. These effects, which are fairly basic from a technical point of view, emerged organically through discussions and rehearsal, and could well have been more ornate and varied in an early modern performance setting. In some cases, particularly for Lucas, they reflect on-the-spot improvisation that occurred during a specific recording take. None, however, is included in Blount’s score. They stand as an important reminder of the improvisatory impulse that underlies ornamental effects in the period as well as the ways in which musical performance—and indeed the interpretative framework registered by notation—always exceeds the visual parameters of a score. In a commendatory epistle prefacing Christopher Simpson’s Compendium of Practical Music (1667), composer Matthew Locke contrasts practical musicians—those who “doe, because we doe”—with theorists who “love to ⁸¹ Lambeth Palace Library MS 1041, fo. 53v. ⁸² Lambeth Palace Library MS 1041, fos 4v–5r.

⁸³ A. B., Synopsis, 97.

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busie themselves about nothing . . . of whom I shall make bold to deliver this truth, that I could never yet see that done by them which they pretend to be most vers’d in, viz. The production of Ayre : which, in my opinion, is the Soul of Musick.”⁸⁴ Locke’s praise of Simpson wittily hinges on the breathy mechanisms of song production, an evanescent “airy nothing” almost impossible to capture meaningfully in theoretical language and yet that constitutes, quite literally for early moderns, “the Soul of Musick.” Sixteenthand seventeenth-century physiological treatises, singing manuals, and musical scores certainly help to illuminate the “production of Ayre” foundational to singing as embodied practice. But they are no less valuable, I contend, for their preservation of linguistic and notational evasion, approximation, deferral, and failure that testify to the “drastic,” bodily nature of song as musical breath. The airy art of singing, as Bacilly succinctly puts it, ultimately exists in performance (“comme Practique”).⁸⁵

Singing Sirens Singing theorists may have struggled to communicate the physical intricacies of vocal production, but no such opacity surrounds the potential effects of song on listeners. This communicative potency was closely associated with the breath. Walter Charleton offers vivid perspective into the breathy potency of the voice when he imagines particulate air as “myriads of minute vocal configurations or Particular voyces” going out into the world and affecting a multitude of hearers.⁸⁶ Regardless of the precise conceptualization of transmission, the impact of the sounding breath on a subject was understood to be psychologically and physiologically profound. Satan does not sing in book 4 of Milton’s Paradise Lost (pub. 1667), but the fancies that he breathes into the sleeping Eve’s ear with his “inspiring venom” successfully “taint” her “animal spirits.”⁸⁷ If, as Bacon notes in Sylva sylvarum, “the Sense of Hearing striketh the Spirits more immediatly, than the other Senses,”⁸⁸ music, and especially ⁸⁴ Simpson, Compendium, sig. A5v. ⁸⁵ Bacilly, Remarques curieuses, 5. ⁸⁶ Charleton, Physiologia, 218. Charleton clarifies that, while every ear is affected by a “distinct voyce” and might receive different numbers of airy particles, each particle represents “one and the same Aer,” preserving the substance communicated by the animating source (p. 218). ⁸⁷ Milton, Paradise Lost, in Complete Poems and Major Prose, ed. Hughes, iv. 804–5. The Hughes Milton uses the second edition of Paradise Lost (1674). ⁸⁸ Bacon, Sylva sylvarum, no. 114.

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vocal music, with its combination of tune and text, constituted an especially powerful rhetorical medium. In the epistle to the reader prefacing his Geneva Psalter, John Calvin frets about the potential effects of “dishonest and shameless songs”: “It is true that, as Saint Paul says, every evil word corrupts good manners, but when it has the melody with it, it pierces the heart much more strongly and enters within; as wine is poured into the cask with a funnel, so venom and corruption are distilled to the very depths of the heart by melody.”⁸⁹ Not all assessments were as dire as Calvin’s, whose anxious musings were penned in the midst of Reformation debates about the interplay between music and text in religious settings. Indeed, citing Augustine, Charles Butler affirms that “our mindes ar more religiously & more fervently moved with holy words when they ar sung with sweete & artificial Voices, than when they ar not so sung.”⁹⁰ The psalm settings discussed in Chapter 1 reflect this viewpoint. The affective spectrum apparent in these different sources reflects a widespread cultural ambivalence about vocal practice. Early modern accounts of musical education and performance teeter anxiously between commendations of the virtues registered by and transmitted through song and concerns about the difficulty of controlling its effects. On one hand, singing was lauded as an emblem of divine, social, and physiological harmony, which held the capacity, again in Calvin’s words, to “move and inflame the hearts of men to invoke and praise God with a more vehement and ardent zeal.”⁹¹ This extended to secular repertoire as well. A. B. characterizes “the end and effect” of song, generally conceived, in his Synopsis as “a sweet moving of the affections and the mind. For exhilarating the animal spirits, it moderateth gratefully the affections, and thus penetrateth the interiours of the mind.”⁹² In this regard, music, Castiglione’s Magnifico proclaims, “is not only an ornament but a necessity for the Courtier.”⁹³ Yet, as the debate that leads up to the Magnifico’s conclusion illustrates, auditors and performers alike were understood to be vulnerable to the effects of different musical modes.⁹⁴ Song’s penetrating potency is famously

⁸⁹ Calvin, “Epistle to the Reader,” 157. ⁹⁰ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, 109. ⁹¹ Calvin, “Epistle to the Reader,” 156. ⁹² A. B., Synopsis, 67. ⁹³ Baldesar Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, ed. Daniel Javitch (New York: W. W. Norton, 2002), 57. ⁹⁴ See Gioseffo Zarlino, “On the Modes,” in Claude V. Palisca (ed.), Le istitutioni harmoniche, trans. Vered Cohen, Part Four (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1983), 20–6.

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captured in accounts of Alexander the Great leaping up from the dinner table and calling for his weapons, only to be pacified again by a “more remisse and effeminate straine.”⁹⁵ Prescriptive writers thus cautioned readers against immoderate indulgence in musical activities as well as improper choice of repertoire: “To take pleasure in an idle Song, without staining ones self with the obscenity of it, is a thing almost impossible,”⁹⁶ Robert Codrington warns his readers in his 1664 conduct manual, The Second Part of Youths Behaviour, or Decency in Conversation Amongst Women. This language of “effeminacy” and “staining” draws attention to the gendered and sexualized nature of the ambivalence registered by song performance and audition, which held implications for both men and women. While writers like Samuel Pepys testify to the private and communal importance of song for men in the period, singing tended to be situated alongside “more soft and effeminate”⁹⁷ indoor pastimes in educational handbooks, and men were warned against music’s disturbing capacity to “effeminate [as verb!] the mindes” of singers and hearers.⁹⁸ Young women too were encouraged to acquire musical skills, as the surviving manuscripts of Elizabeth Davenant and Ann Blount demonstrate. Yet the figure of the female singer, whose body—open-mouthed, breathing, emoting, on full visual display—doubles as her instrument, tapped into cultural anxieties about the disruptive and seductive effects of musical performance in especially powerful ways. The songs of biblical prophet-singers such as Miriam, Deborah, and Mary, who were held up in musical and poetic treatises as virtuous lyric exemplars, are complicated by their revolutionary content; all three celebrate or call for the overturning of domestic and political hierarchies. Such models coexisted, moreover, with visual and literary representations of music-making that accentuated the sensuality and eroticism of musical performance. Indeed, music education itself was overtly sexualized in the period, as the fake music lesson in Act 3 of The Taming of the Shrew (c.1592) memorably demonstrates. Encounters between music tutors and their female pupils, in which gender and class hierarchies intersected in complex ways with the status afforded by musical training, were routinely depicted

⁹⁵ Richard Brathwaite, The English Gentleman . . . (London: John Haviland, 1630), 71. ⁹⁶ Robert Codrington, The Second Part of Youths Behaviour, or Decency in Conversation Amongst Women . . . (London: W. Lee, 1664), 164–5. ⁹⁷ Brathwaite, English Gentleman, 167. ⁹⁸ Prynne, Histrio-Mastix, 267.

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in eroticized terms.⁹⁹ The late-sixteenth-century autobiographical miscellany compiled by composer, poet, and tutor Thomas Whythorne provides an entertaining glimpse into the eroticization of this teacher–pupil relationship. Though he claims his mind is “voyd of loov matters,” Whythorne’s account of his professional experiences is interwoven throughout with commonplaces about women’s inconstancy, descriptions of his flirtatious encounters in the households where he was employed, and his awareness of music as a medium for expressing and conveying desire; in one episode, his gittern (a lute-like stringed instrument) becomes a covert mailbox for the exchange of amorous notes.¹⁰⁰ Not surprisingly, therefore, even as they extol the virtues associated with music education, early modern prescriptive writers are quick to place bounds on women’s musical practice. While acknowledging that he wishes the female courtier “to have knowledge of . . . music,” for instance, Castiglione’s Magnifico carefully qualifies his endorsement: when she sings or plays, [I should not wish to see her] use those loud and oft-repeated diminutions that show more art than sweetness; likewise the musical instruments that she plays ought in my opinion to be appropriate to this intent. Consider what an ungainly thing it would be to see a woman playing drums, fifes, trumpets, or other like instruments; and this because their harshness hides and removes that suave gentleness which so adorns a woman in her every act.¹⁰¹

Castiglione’s description stands in direct contrast to the strong and roomrattling voices praised by Amphilanthus in Urania, with which I opened the Prologue and which will be discussed further in Chapter 3. Loudness here is not a desirable quality for women, nor are vocal embellishments like “diminutions.” The preferred and decidedly vague quality of “sweetness” (“dolcezza” in the Italian) is associated rather with softer, unadorned singing.¹⁰²

⁹⁹ See Amanda Eubanks Winkler, “Dangerous Performance: Cupid in Early Modern Pedagogical Masques,” in Dunn and Larson (eds), Gender and Song, 77–91; Marsh, Music and Society, 198–203. ¹⁰⁰ The Autobiography of Thomas Whythorne, ed. James M. Osborn (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961), 30–2 (31). See also Katie Nelson, “Love in the Music Room: Thomas Whythorne and the Private Affairs of Tudor Music Tutors,” Early Music, 40/1 (February 2012), 15–26. ¹⁰¹ Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, 154. ¹⁰² Baldesar Castiglione, Il libro del cortegiano [Venetia: Nelle case d’Aldo Romano & d’Andrea d’Asola, 1528], sig. i iiir. Later in the passage, Castiglione uses the phrase “quella soave mansuetudine,” which Javitch translates as “suave gentleness” but which could also be rendered as “sweet” gentleness (or meekness, which again suggests softer singing).

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Castiglione contrasts it explicitly with “art,” though, as noted earlier, “sweetness” was associated in practical musical treatises of the period both with vocal decorum and with musical skill.¹⁰³ William Prynne’s notorious depiction of a female singer in Histrio-mastix goes much further in sexualizing women’s musical performance. Prynne lashes out in a passage that, like Castiglione’s, privileges the visual experience of musical performance over the sonic: “What a miserable Spectacle is it,” he writes, “to chaste and wel-mannered eyes, to see a woman not to follow her needle or distaffe, but to sing to a Lute? not to be knowne to her owne husband, but to be often veiwed [sic] by others as a publike whore: not to modulate or sing a Psalme of confession, but to sing songs inticing unto lust.”¹⁰⁴ Prynne’s assessment, however harsh, reinforces the close affinities in physiological and medical treatises of the period between the body parts integral to singing and women’s genitalia and reproductive organs. The decidedly vaginal mechanisms of the larynx featured in Crooke’s Mikrokosmographia and illustrated in Figure 2.1 literalize early modern commonplaces about the sexualization of women’s singing and speaking voices.¹⁰⁵ These resonances and the concomitant anxieties they provoked also foreground the difficulty of placing bounds on musical performance. If the discipline and control of the body intrinsic to vocal training reflected, in miniature, the virtuously guarded physical thresholds extolled by conduct literature of the period, song performance is ultimately premised on the release of sound that permeates bodies and spaces in unexpected ways. Milton’s encomia to Leonora with which I opened this chapter hinge on the ambivalence associated with women’s musical performance, as his characterization of her as a “Sirena” (“Ad eandem [2],” l. 1) in the third epigram suggests. Stella Revard and others have helpfully distinguished between two very different classical siren figures: Homer’s nymphs who lure men to their destruction through their seductive songs and the Platonic sirens often associated with the Muses and responsible for the heavenly music of the spheres.¹⁰⁶ Milton merges these two varieties of musical ¹⁰³ Castiglione, Il libro del cortegiano, sig. i iiir. Zarlino outlines similar precepts, though without explicit reference to women. See “The Art of Counterpoint,” in Le istitutioni harmoniche, trans. Guy A. Marco and Claude V. Palisca, Part Three (New York: Norton, 1968), 110–11. See also Wistreich, “Reconstructing,” 182–3. ¹⁰⁴ Prynne, Histrio-Mastix, 277. ¹⁰⁵ See also Gordon, Monteverdi’s Unruly Women, 10–46. ¹⁰⁶ Stella P. Revard, Milton and the Tangles of Neaera’s Hair: The Making of the 1645 Poems (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1997), 140–6. See also Nancy Lindheim, The Virgilian Pastoral Tradition: From the Renaissance to the Modern Era (Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne

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sirens at several points in his writings, but the fusion is exemplified by his characterization of Leonora.¹⁰⁷ In the epigrams, Milton depicts Leonora above all as a celestial siren. He commends her angelic voice for its ability to connect listeners to the heavens, “teaching mortal hearts how they may gradually become accustomed to immortal tones” (“docet mortalia corda | Sensim immortali assuescere posse sono”) (“Ad Leonoram,” ll. 7–8). In the third poem, he goes so far as to liken her to the heavenly siren Parthenope (“Ad eandem [2],” l. 2). If the sound of Leonora’s voice holds the power to unite her hearers with God, however, her songs nonetheless remain rooted in her gendered body. Milton initially negotiates this tension between earthly and heavenly realms by distancing Leonora from her own voice. He imagines a separate heavenly being—“Aut Deus, aut vacui certe mens tertia caeli,” which Merritt Hughes translates as “God . . . or certainly some third mind from the untenanted skies” (“Ad Leonoram,” l. 5)—hiding in Leonora’s throat, crediting it for the divine sound she produces.¹⁰⁸ Even with this imagined buffer in place, Milton’s experience of the song is disturbingly seductive. This is reinforced by his repeated use of “serpit agens” to describe the secret motion of the divine being within Leonora’s throat (“Ad Leonoram,” ll. 6–7). The verb serpo can simply denote slow movement, but the term is weirdly suggestive of the serpent in Genesis; the noun serpens corresponds to the present participle of serpo. This element is difficult to capture in

University Press, 2005), 72–3, n. 65; and Minear, Reverberating Song in Shakespeare and Milton, 197–226, esp. 198–200. On the paradoxical signification of sirens’ songs, see Linda Phyllis Austern and Inna Naroditskaya (eds), Music of the Sirens (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2006), esp. Elena Laura Calogero, “ ‘Sweet aluring harmony’: Heavenly and Earthly Sirens in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Literary and Visual Culture,” 140–75. ¹⁰⁷ Although Milton’s description of Leonora as “liquid-voiced” would seem initially to distance her from the medium of the air, the Latin term liquidus denotes clarity, especially in reference to the voice. The watery resonances evoked by the term, however, productively reinforces Leonora’s connection both to the sea-dwelling Homeric nymphs and to the sirens of the air. ¹⁰⁸ In a discussion of Milton’s early poems, Debora Shuger persuasively situated this being as a daemon: a figure who, like the Attendant Spirit (identified as a daemon in the Trinity Manuscript) and other protective and prophetic daemon figures in the early poetry, mediates between earth and heaven. “Milton’s Religion: The Early Years,” Canada Milton Seminar VIII and The North-Eastern Milton Seminar, University of Toronto, April 14, 2012. When considered alongside Milton’s rendition of an animal-like musical spirit independent of, and yet mediating between, earth and heaven, this reading recalls Ficino. On Ficino’s association of daemons with intermediary airy spirits, see Gary Tomlinson, Music in Renaissance Magic, 123–5.

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English translation, though John Carey comes close with his rendering of “serpit” as “creeps.”¹⁰⁹ The captivating force that Milton locates in Leonora’s music emerges most clearly in the second epigram, which contrasts her music with the seductions of another Leonora, who drives Tasso to madness.¹¹⁰ Milton lauds Leonora Baroni’s song, capable of “breathing peace into . . . diseased breast[s]” (“aegro spirans sub corde quietam”) (“Ad eandem [1],” l. 11) as a cure for Tasso. Even as he establishes a clear distinction here between his Leonora and Tasso’s beloved, however, the seductive impact of his own experience is intensified by the close proximity of the two Leonora-sirens. How much better would it have been for Tasso, Milton declares to Leonora, had he “been brought to ruin in your times and for your sake” (“Ah miser ille tuo quanto felicius aevo | Perditus, et propter te, Leonora, foret!”) (“Ad eandem [1],” ll. 3–4). The poem capitalizes on the ambivalence integral to song performance, but that ambiguity is intensified by the sonic and visual experience of a female singer as Milton juxtaposes the affective spectrum associated with two very different kinds of Leonoras. Leonora’s musical breath, Milton concludes in the third poem, enthralls “both men and gods” (“Atque homines cantu detinet atque Deos”) (“Ad eandem [2],” l. 8).¹¹¹ Baroni was an Italian virtuoso performing in a cultural context very different from early modern England. Yet Milton’s evocation of the effects of her voice, and the gendered tensions that his experience of her concert manifests, encapsulates the charged cultural backdrop against which women such as Davenant and Blount learned and performed vocal repertoire. As I noted in the Prologue, women were actively engaged with early modern English song culture as singers, writers, patrons, and even as composers.

¹⁰⁹ Diane Kelsey McColley also picks up on the contradictions registered by this heavenly being in “Tongues of Men and Angels: Ad Leonoram Romae Canentem,” Milton Studies, 19 (1984), 143. For the Carey translation, see “Ad Leonoram Romae canentem,” in Milton: Complete Shorter Poems, ed. John Carey, 2nd edn (Harlow: Pearson, 1997), 258. ¹¹⁰ This reference is typically identified as Leonora d’Este, a musically talented Ferrara noblewoman and nun. But Tasso also loved and wrote poems to Leonora Sanvitale, the Countess of Scandiano, an accomplished singer at the Ferrara court in the 1570s. For more on Sanvitale and her musical context, see Stras, “Musical Portraits,” 147–67, and Women and Music in Sixteenth-Century Ferrara, 185–92. ¹¹¹ Milton uses similar language in his description of the Platonic sirens in his prolusion “On the Music of the Spheres”: “certain sirens have their respective seats on every one of the heavenly spheres and hold both gods and men fast bound by the wonder of their utterly harmonious song” (Complete Poems and Major Prose, 603).

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Even if their performances were limited to amateur and usually domestic settings, at least some benefited from advanced vocal training.¹¹² Evidence of women’s singing voices and experience with vocal pedagogy are embedded within a number of the extant handbooks explored earlier in this chapter. The author of A New and Easie Method makes women a focus of his audience, dedicating his essay to “the Vertuous Young Ladies LETITIA and ANNE, Eldest Daughters of the Worshipful PHILIP FOLEY.”¹¹³ References to treble voices are common, extending pedagogical precepts not only to young boys (as Crooke’s description of narrow larynxes implies) but also to women and girls; lower-voiced female singers might also have sung the “mean,” which Butler explains in terms of gender difference: “it is a midling or mean high part, betweene the Countertenor, [the highest part of a man] and the Treble, [the highest part of a boy or woman] and therefore may bee sung by a mean voice.”¹¹⁴ Caccini bases his confident endorsement of his singing methods, which were well known in England in the seventeenth century, on the success he had teaching his first and second wives, as well as his daughters: “How excellently the tremolo and the trill were learned by my late wife with the above rule may be adjudged by those who heard her sing during her life, as also I leave to the judgment of those who can [now] hear my present wife how exquisitely they are done by her.”¹¹⁵ Caccini also includes both “man or woman” in his account of the “perfect singer.”¹¹⁶ Though his work pertains more specifically to the French context, Bacilly too makes gender an explicit, albeit less than complimentary, focus of his analysis. Masculine voices, he writes bluntly, have more vigor and firmness in executing vocal techniques, not to mention more talent for expressing the passions than do women’s (“les Voix Feminines”).¹¹⁷ He nonetheless dedicated his treatise to a woman, Marie Marguerite Ignace de Lorraine D’Elbeuf, who studied singing with him. Educated women would have brought the training they received from their music tutors to a range of repertoire, including songs whose narrative perspective accentuated women’s experiences. The air by John Bartlet that ¹¹² On the challenge of distinguishing between “amateur” and “professional” categories of early modern music-making, particularly in relation to women, see Candace Bailey, “Blurring the Lines: ‘Elizabeth Rogers hir Virginall Book’ in Context,” Music and Letters, 29/4 (2008), 510–46. Bailey’s argument focuses on keyboard practices, but her observations are pertinent for our understanding of women’s training as singers as well as the ways in which extant music manuscripts reflect traces of that training. ¹¹⁴ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, 42. ¹¹³ A New and Easie Method, sig. A3r. ¹¹⁵ Caccini, Le nuove musiche, 51. ¹¹⁶ Caccini, Le nuove musiche, 50. ¹¹⁷ Bacilly, Remarques curieuses, 46.

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is featured on the companion recording exemplifies the self-expressive potential of song repertoire for women, even as the opening lines of the text draw attention to the physiological impact of women’s musical sound: “If ever hapless woman had a cause | To breathe her plaintes into the open ayre” (Companion Recording, Track 6. “If ever hapless woman had a cause” (John Bartlet)). Published in his Booke of Ayres (1606) and voiced from a female perspective, it conveys the grief of a woman whose brother has been killed in war; the text has been misattributed to Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, who lamented her brother Philip’s death in 1586 at the Battle of Zutphen in her elegy “To the Angell Spirit.”¹¹⁸ While the voices that might have taken up this piece in the early seventeenth century are lost to us, listening to it in recording illustrates the kinds of sonic effects that would have been activated in performance. The air, which is composed in the minor mode, is structured around a poignant refrain that articulates the depth of the sister’s sorrow. The stanzas are characterized by long, sustained phrases that require significant breath support. As a contemporary performer, this is exactly what one does not expect to have in a state of deep grief. Fittingly, I am not always able to carry those phrases through, and at various points in the companion recording it is possible to hear my breath subdividing those longer lines. That apparent calm, however, was standard practice for Renaissance text-setting. Morley advocates for the importance of fitting “grave kinde of music” to “grave matter,” using “whole notes” to help convey lamentation.¹¹⁹ It is important to recall too that individuals beset by grief would have been understood in the period to have been filled with the melancholy humor of black bile.¹²⁰ The “long notes” that musically represent that sluggish affective state are here combined with rests or pauses built into each refrain, which sets variations of the phrase “For I have lost my only brother.”¹²¹ These shorter phrases make the sister’s grief explicit as each stanza devolves into gasping tears. This too was a common word-painting strategy, as Christopher Simpson highlights in his Compendium of Practical Musick, “a sigh or a sob is properly intimated by a Crochet or Quaver Rest.”¹²² In the context of ¹¹⁸ See Collected Works of Mary Sidney Herbert, ed. Hannay et al., i. 55, n. 136. The air is the second piece included in John Bartlet, A Booke of Ayres . . . (London: John Windet, 1606), sigs B1v–B2r. ¹¹⁹ Morley, A Plaine and Easie Introduction, 177. ¹²⁰ I am grateful to one of the anonymous readers of my typescript for the reminder that early modern musical representation reflected the physiological manifestation of grief. ¹²¹ Morley, A Plaine and Easie Introduction, 177. ¹²² Simpson, Compendium, 141.

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this piece, it works powerfully to convey the intensity of the sister’s sorrow, especially since that section is repeated within each refrain. In our recording, it is possible also to hear Lucas’s breaths in the background as he draws out the affective textures of the lute accompaniment. Similar effects enrich John Danyel’s remarkable tripartite “Mrs M. E. her Funerall teares for the death of her husband” (Companion Recording, Track 7. “Mrs. M. E. her Funerall teares for the death of her husband” (John Danyel)).¹²³ The first movement is bookended by musical sobs and sighs. The word “Grief,” which is repeated several times in a series of long notes at the opening of the piece, is punctuated by rests, while the climactic “Pine, Fret, Consume, Swell, Burst and Dye” that recurs, with variations, at the conclusion of each movement is broken up even as the phrase builds dramatically into the singer’s upper register. In the second section, Danyel evocatively brings to life the speaker’s tears, which “drop” and “trickle” down the scale in the first and second phrases. Although the sustained phrases of the middle section suggest an attempt at composure, they are once again interspersed with rests. The narrator’s agitation is further accentuated by the syncopated rendition of the second half of the “Pine, Fret” refrain. Both the first and second movements are characterized throughout by extensive chromaticism, an effect explicitly flagged by theorists as appropriate for passionate music: “Any passion of Love, Sorrow, Anguish, and the like, is aptly exprest by Chromatick Notes and Bindings,”¹²⁴ writes Simpson. It was also, however, as I noted in Chapter 1, considered an “effeminate” sound that composers were expected to use with caution and moderation. The gendered connotations of chromatic coloring assume particular force in this piece, given the feminization of grief in the period, the eroticism associated with women’s tears, and the explicit sexual resonances of the refrain with which each stanza swells, bursts, and dies.¹²⁵ The final movement is calmer and more introspective by comparison; the conclusion of the refrain in this stanza even shifts into the major mode, suggesting a kind of resolution. In its vividly detailed portrait of loss, this piece in some ways constitutes the most “drastic” example of music included on the recording. As just one ¹²³ The piece is printed in John Danyel, Songs for the Lute Viol and Voice (London: T[homas] E[ast], 1606), sigs E.i.v–F.ii.r (nos IX, X, XI). ¹²⁴ Simpson, Compendium, 140. ¹²⁵ See Eubanks Winkler, O Let Us Howle Some Heavy Note, esp. ch. 3. See also Dunn, “Ophelia’s Songs,” 50–64; and Alan Howard, “Eroticized Mourning in Henry Purcell’s Elegy for Mary II, O dive custos” in Blackburn and Stras (eds), Eroticism in Early Modern Music, 261–98.

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example of this, note the interweaving of Lucas’s breaths with my repeated “Griefs” in the opening section. The emotional vulnerability intrinsic to the work is further reflected in its technical exposure. This is a demanding piece for both lute and voice. Interestingly, Lucas and I found ourselves especially challenged from a rhythmic perspective; each part is distinctly intricate, and when we first began rehearsing it we found it hard to combine the passionate immediacy demanded by the setting with the careful counting required to stay together. In recording, we ended up addressing these kinds of technical challenges by breaking each of the three movements down into a series of sections. We supplemented these discrete takes with several full runs of “Funerall teares,” which turned out to be a vocally and emotionally taxing experience. Recording this piece, therefore, set up a particularly acute tension between the “wildness” that inhabiting the emotional trajectory of Danyel’s setting entails and the decidedly non-“drastic” means we used to lock each movement into a workable track. We also spent considerable time in rehearsal discussing the affective development of the piece, in particular how to use the list of verbs in the refrain to capture the anger that often accompanies grief (this can be heard especially in the second movement), as well as the all-consuming longing for the beloved. An important part of the “drastic” effect of “Funerall teares” stems from these dramatic effects, as well as the stunningly sensual way in which Danyell depicts a woman’s suffering. Performing it felt a bit like undertaking a miniature opera. The piece becomes more reflective at the beginning of the third section, but the way in which this piece pushes both singer and lutenist to give “vent” to passion is very different from the more playful sense of loss articulated in “Go thy way” or even the meditative lamentation of Pembroke’s psalm settings. How might this sensuousness have been experienced by early modern singers and audiences? Danyel’s setting is unique, but it does follow established musical conventions for the expression of grief. The title of the piece and its attribution to “Mrs M. E.” further accentuates its decorum, framing it within the chaste confines of the marriage relationship. Yet at the same time the work derives its sonic and affective force from its explicit engagement with the cultural ambivalence surrounding women’s song performance and the gendering of compositional techniques. It is significant in this regard that the piece appears in the context of a collection dedicated to a female singer. Writing to his student, Anne Greene, Danyel presents the publication of his compositions as making public a hitherto “private harmonie”: it is not enough, he writes, that only the town of Milton should “hear[ ]

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our melodie.”¹²⁶ As one listens to this challenging and moving piece in performance, even when voiced by an amateur performer, it is possible to hear hints of the kind of acoustic experience attributed to the siren Leonora.

Plain Old Ballads: Margaret Cavendish’s Civilizing Songs At first glance, the self-deprecating and notoriously “bashfull”¹²⁷ Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, seems to share little in common with Milton’s Leonora, or indeed with accomplished seventeenth-century English singers such as Elizabeth Davenant, Lady Ann Blount, the Mrs M. E. commemorated by Danyel, or, for that matter, his dedicatee Anne Greene, who probably also sang that passionate lament. Although Cavendish’s interests in music date to her childhood—her autobiographical account of her family education specifies “singing” and “playing on Musick”—she downplays her own musical training and disparages her skills as a singer.¹²⁸ And yet singing features prominently throughout her writings. She lists song among her favorite entertainments in The Worlds Olio (1655).¹²⁹ In A Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World (1666), meanwhile, song is one of the “harmless sports” with which the duke’s soul entertains the empress’s soul.¹³⁰ As this imagined interlude with the duke suggests and as I will explore further in Chapter 4, her engagement with music was energized by her marriage into an unusually musical household.¹³¹ Song seems to have become particularly important for Cavendish when she and ¹²⁶ Danyel, Songs for the Lute Viol and Voice, sig. A.ii.r. The collection concludes with a lute piece entitled “Mrs Anne Grene her leaves be greene,” and “A direction for the tuning of the Lute” (sigs I.i.v–I.ii.v) that underscores the pedagogical context of its contents. ¹²⁷ Margaret Cavendish, A True Relation of my Birth, Breeding, and Life (1656), in Paper Bodies: A Margaret Cavendish Reader, ed. Sylvia Bowerbank and Sara Mendelson (Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2000), 46. ¹²⁸ See Margaret Cavendish, A True Relation, 43; and Sociable Letters, ed. James Fitzmaurice (Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2004), 274. ¹²⁹ Margaret Cavendish, The Worlds Olio (London: J. Martin and J. Allestrye, 1655), 16. ¹³⁰ Margaret Cavendish, The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World, ed. Sara H. Mendelson (Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2016), 133. The “Singing Dialogues” featured in the empress’s entertainments staged in the second part of Blazing World also testify to Cavendish’s familiarity with opera (p. 155). ¹³¹ See Lynn Hulse, “Amorous in Music,” in Ben van Beneden and Nora de Poorter (eds), Royalist Refugees: William and Margaret Cavendish in the Rubens House, 1648–1660 (Antwerp: Rubenshuis & Rubenianum, 2006), 84–5, and “Apollo’s Whirligig: William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle and his Music Collection,” Seventeenth Century, 9/2 (Fall 1994), 213–46. The recording Amorous in Music: William Cavendish in Antwerp (1648–1660), perf. Angharad Gruffydd Jones, Mark Levy, and Concordia, Et’cetera, 2006, testifies to Newcastle’s musical patronage.

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William were living in exile. Through William’s cousin Utricia Swann, a talented singer who studied music with Constantijn Huygens, the Cavendishes became well connected to the musical community in Antwerp.¹³² They attended musical entertainments hosted by the Duchess of Lorraine at Beersel, and they enjoyed visits with the Duartes, a family of singers “all very skilful in the Art of Musick.”¹³³ Samuel Pepys offers a glimpse into Cavendish’s continued musical interests after the Restoration in his tantalizing reference to one of the ladies attending her on her 1667 visit to the Royal Society: “that Ferrabosco of whom so much talk is,” and who “they say sings well.”¹³⁴ Fittingly, Pepys anticipates that Cavendish’s visit will itself be set to music: “we do believe the town will be full of ballets of it.”¹³⁵ Cavendish’s prolific writings, which are animated throughout by song, reflect these musical propensities. Perhaps as a way of compensating textually for her own oral reticence, Cavendish’s works reveal a particular fascination with the physiology of the voice—including the acoustic workings of the breath—and especially with the rhetorical effects of song on audiences. I will discuss the song lyrics featured in her dramatic collections, some of which may well have been performed within the Cavendish household, in Chapter 4. I concentrate here, however, on her treatment of the affective impact of women’s song performance—including her own. Song functions in Cavendish’s work as an idealized source of eloquence that is accessible to women. It also constitutes a potentially harmonizing agent for a society that has been turned upside down by war. Within this context, Cavendish herself emerges as an unexpected siren figure. Harnessing the sonic and “civilizing” potency she attributes to singing, she positions herself as a “natural” singer whose “Old” songs work upon her audience to reimagine a political situation very much beyond her control.¹³⁶ ¹³² Katie Whitaker, Mad Madge: The Extraordinary Life of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, the First Woman to Live by her Pen (New York: Basic Books, 2002), 118. ¹³³ Margaret Cavendish, The Life of the Thrice Noble, High and Puissant Prince William Cavendishe (London: A. Maxwell, 1667), 87. ¹³⁴ Pepys, Diary, viii. 243. Although the identity of the woman is not clear, her name connects her to the musically talented Ferrabosco family. In his Biographical Dictionary of Old English Music (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1927), 184–8, Jeffrey Pulver hypothesizes that she is the daughter-in-law of the third Alfonso Ferrabosco (d. 1652), a court musician and composer who was himself the son of Alfonso Ferrabosco the younger. The inventory of William Cavendish’s musical holdings includes instrumental settings by Ferrabosco the younger. See Hulse, “Apollo’s Whirligig,” 226, 234. ¹³⁵ Pepys, Diary, viii. 243. ¹³⁶ Cavendish, Sociable Letters, 273–5. Civility has a complex history, particularly in relation to women. Etymologically, the word carries political connotations (cives, civitas). By the seventeenth century, civility was primarily associated with politeness, gentility, and proper

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Like the male natural philosophers whose theories she debates, Cavendish ruminates on what she calls in Philosophical Letters (1664) the “Generation of sound” at several points in her writings.¹³⁷ She unpacks the airy transmission of the voice in most detail in Philosophical and Physical Opinions (1655), putting a characteristically imaginative spin on the acoustic hypotheses of her contemporaries: Wherefore in my opinion it must be after this manner, the mouth, tongue, and breath formes not onely a single word, but millions in one lump, with the same labour of pains, as for one word; as for example, take a sheet of paper, or the like, and fold it into many folds, in a small compass, and stamp a print thereon, and every fold shall have the like print with one stamp, and until they are parted they stick so close as if they were but one printed body, when every fold is divided by the stamp with the print thereon; so likewise the mouth folds up thin air, and the tongue gives the printed stamp, which being cast forth like a ball of wilde-fire, disperseth in a crack or sound, and then suddenly spreads about in several streams; thus millions of words run about in lines of air, passing in all pores and hollow bodies, as the ear or the like, concaves as hollow wood and vaults[.]¹³⁸

She explicitly includes song among these “Articular sounds,” distinguishing “notes” as well as “words” from “plain pieces of air.”¹³⁹ Cavendish’s approach to vocal production shares affinities with Charleton’s particulate vitalism, but she envisions the movement of breath through the vocal apparatus and into listening ears in very different terms. Her seemingly bizarre collision of images, yoking allusions to childbirth, printing, epistolary circulation, and fire, relies on a powerful interplay between the workings of the body and literary phenomena that were themselves characterized in the period in embodied terms. The passage draws vivid attention to the

modes of social interaction. It could also denote modesty or sexual propriety. See Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process, trans. Edmund Jephcott (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994) and, more recently, Anna Bryson, From Courtesy to Civility: Changing Codes of Conduct in Early Modern England (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998); Peter Burke, Brian Harrison and Paul Slack (eds), Civil Histories: Essays Presented to Sir Keith Thomas (Oxford: OUP, 2000); Jennifer Richards (ed.), Early Modern Civil Discourses (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003); and Larson, Early Modern Women in Conversation, esp. ch. 5. ¹³⁷ Margaret Cavendish, Philosophical Letters: or, Modest Reflections . . . (London, 1664), 72. ¹³⁸ Margaret Cavendish, The Philosophical and Physical Opinions (London: J. Martin and J. Allestrye, 1655), 123–4. ¹³⁹ Cavendish, Philosophical and Physical Opinions, 123, 124.

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physical production of sound and to the energy of the breath as the body’s acoustic medium. It is not a coincidence that Cavendish likens the penetrating power of this sounding air to a violent explosion as it is “cast forth like a ball of wilde-fire.” The voice assumes dangerous and even magical dimensions throughout her corpus. She blames the misuse of words for the outbreak of the Civil Wars, confiding to Madam in Sociable Letters (1664) her “Envy” and “Emulation” of eloquent men, especially “Natural Orators” whose civil and implicitly upper-class speech practices help to maintain social order.¹⁴⁰ Such speakers are, she rhapsodizes, “Nature’s Musicians, moving the Passions to Harmony, making Concords out of Discords, Playing on the Soul with Delight.”¹⁴¹ Cavendish’s depictions of decorous social interaction are informed by similar analogies between music and conversation. In Sociable Letters, she likens a recent visit to a “Consort of Learning and Wit”: “This Consort was Natural Philosophers, Theological Scholars, and Poets, and their Discourse was their Musick, the Philosophers were the Bass, the Theologers the Tenor, and the Poets the Treble, all which made an Harmony wherein was Variety and Delight.”¹⁴² Her language taps into royalist representations of musical harmony as a civilizing discourse even as it resonates with broader cultural conceptions in the period of musical consonance as reflective of divine and social order.¹⁴³ Vocal music functions in Cavendish’s writings, however, not just as a trope for harmonious social structures but as a rhetorical medium in its own right. Drawing on imagery reminiscent of Calvin’s funnel, in Natures Pictures (1656, 1671) she goes so far as to imagine it as a “Syringe” through which the “Liquor” of good conversation is “squirt[ed] . . . into the Ears of the Mind, and this will bring a perfect Cure.”¹⁴⁴ For Cavendish, the rhetorical impact of the singing voice is in part connected to physiology. Like Crooke, she ponders the physical attributes that impact vocal potential. In a reversal of later cultural assumptions connecting operatic success with the requisite appearance of the “fat lady,” she insists in The Worlds Olio that fat people cannot possibly be good singers because “the fat hath straightned their passages, so to the making of a good

¹⁴⁰ Cavendish, Sociable Letters, 74–5. ¹⁴¹ Cavendish, Sociable Letters, 74. ¹⁴² Cavendish, Sociable Letters, 128–9. ¹⁴³ See Hero Chalmers, Royalist Women Writers 1650–1689 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2004), 78–82. It also recalls the civilizing potential of lyric and song extolled by poetic theorists and exemplified by the figure of Orpheus. See, e.g., Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 99. ¹⁴⁴ Margaret Cavendish, Natures Pictures Drawn by Fancies Pencil to the Life . . . , 2nd edn (London, 1671), 239.

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voice, there must be a wide throat, and clear winde pipes, and strong lungs.”¹⁴⁵ She worries too about vocal vulnerability: “there is no prevention against the breaking of the voice, for old age will come and destroy that sound, and though it doth not break the strings of the voice, yet time dryes and shrivels them so short, that they cannot be stretched out to any note or strain.”¹⁴⁶ In her autobiographical account of her failure successfully to petition for her husband’s compounded estates, Cavendish poignantly describes her own discomfort in public settings as a blockage of her windpipe.¹⁴⁷ It is striking too that references to the breath in Cavendish’s writings commonly hinge on its loss or obstruction; allusions to panting, gasping, and breathlessness abound, a telling preoccupation for a writer anxious about her own communicative impotence and terrified of being forgotten. As these examples suggest, the “natural” attributes of the voice she discusses in The Worlds Olio do not always correlate easily with the “natural” rhetorical effects she associates with her beloved orators.¹⁴⁸ Still, the two are closely connected in Cavendish’s mind. If music constitutes for Cavendish a healing and civilizing instrument that promises to resolve social discord, she imagines the enactment of that “civilized” and “Methodicall order” in turn as a “perfect cure” for her own vocal “defect.”¹⁴⁹ The close interrelationship among music, civility, and vocal potency foregrounded in Cavendish’s writings draws attention both to singing’s political charge in the Civil War context, particularly within royalist circles, and the rhetorical implications of song for women. As a lady-in-waiting to Henrietta Maria, Cavendish would have been familiar with the queen’s fostering of salon culture, whereby musical and theatrical performance became a politicized marker of class and courtliness for women.¹⁵⁰ These kinds of gatherings continued to be a marker of royalist culture during the Interregnum, both in England and on the Continent. I want to highlight one royalist salon in particular with which Cavendish was associated: the musical evenings hosted in London by the composer Henry Lawes, which Cavendish attended in the early 1650s.

¹⁴⁵ Cavendish, Worlds Olio, 25. ¹⁴⁶ Cavendish, Worlds Olio, 24. ¹⁴⁷ Cavendish, A True Relation, 53. ¹⁴⁸ Cavendish, Worlds Olio, 24. ¹⁴⁹ Cavendish, A True Relation, 53. ¹⁵⁰ See Chalmers, Royalist Women Writers, esp. chs 1, 3; and Sophie Tomlinson, “ ‘She That Plays the King’: Henrietta Maria and the Threat of the Actress in Caroline Culture,” in Gordon McMullan and Jonathan Hope (eds), The Politics of Tragicomedy: Shakespeare and After (London: Routledge, 1992), 189–207, and Women on Stage in Stuart Drama (Cambridge: CUP, 2005).

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That Cavendish should choose to frequent the home of a prominent royalist who was also an acquaintance of her husband is not in itself surprising.¹⁵¹ Given her sensitivity to the affective power of language and music, coupled with her failure successfully to petition the parliamentary committees for her share of her husband’s estates during her stay in London, however, her choice of host seems especially fitting. Lawes was a composer and a musical collaborator whose works attest to his commitment to communicating the “sense” of language through musical setting; Ian Spink has emphasized the major contribution that his musical treatments of Cavalier poetry made to the development of the declamatory vocal style in England.¹⁵² Over and over again, Lawes’s contemporaries praise him for his detailed attention to the nuances of English poetry. Milton famously commemorated the composer in a 1646 sonnet that celebrated his unprecedented skill in creating music that “tun’st [the] happiest lines in Hymn, or Story” and for “First [teaching] our English Music how to span | Words with just note and accent.”¹⁵³ These are features that Lawes himself highlights as musical aims in his Second Book of Ayres, and Dialogues (1655): “the way of Composition I chiefly profess . . . is to shape Notes to the Words and Sense.”¹⁵⁴ Lawes’s reputation for sensitive musical setting would have resonated strongly with Cavendish. As she confides to Madam in Sociable Letters, it is not simply a matter of “prefer[ring] Eloquence [per se] before all other Musick,” but rather its “Sense, Reason, and Wit.”¹⁵⁵ Lawes’s strong connection with the royalist cause would only have reinforced this appeal. Within ¹⁵¹ As a member of the King’s Music, Lawes accompanied Charles on progress in 1633 and again in 1634, and was at the Cavendish estates, Welbeck Abbey and Bolsover Castle, when Ben Jonson’s Loves Welcome and Loves Welcome at Bolsover were performed. Lawes’s close connection to the Egerton family also brought him into contact with Newcastle’s daughter Elizabeth; one of Lawes’s London concerts was devoted to a celebration of the tenth wedding anniversary of the Earl and Countess of Bridgewater. See Ian Spink, Henry Lawes: Cavalier Songwriter (Oxford: OUP, 2000), 97; Whitaker, Mad Madge, 136. Margaret Cavendish and her stepdaughter Elizabeth may well have crossed paths at Lawes’s home. Lawes also included a setting of a poem by Cavendish’s late brother Charles Lucas in his first book of Ayres and Dialogues . . . (London: John Playford, 1653). ¹⁵² Spink, Henry Lawes, and “Henry Lawes’ ‘tunefull and well measur’d song,’ ” in English Song, 75–99. ¹⁵³ Milton, Complete Poems and Major Prose, 144. Milton had first-hand knowledge of Lawes’s work as a composer; the pair collaborated on A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle in 1634. Despite their political differences, they maintained their connection during the Civil Wars. Milton’s nephew, Edward Phillips, did not share his uncle’s fierce parliamentarian beliefs; he was a guest at Lawes’s Interregnum royalist musical gatherings in London and contributed a dedicatory poem to his first book of Ayres and Dialogues. ¹⁵⁴ Henry Lawes, The Second Book of Ayres, and Dialogues . . . (London: Jo[hn] Playford, 1655), sig. av. ¹⁵⁵ Cavendish, Sociable Letters, 75.

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the politicized space created by the semi-public musical gatherings at Rutland House, Lawes’s home constituted an alternative court, where music and poetry held the power nostalgically to re-create Caroline culture and to critique Cromwell and Parliament. Recalling the salon environment fostered by Queen Henrietta Maria, Lawes’s gatherings welcomed and validated women’s conversational and musical contributions. Lady Mary Dering, Alice Egerton (by then Countess of Carbery), her sister Lady Mary Herbert, and Cavendish’s stepdaughter Lady Elizabeth Brackley were all guests. In a dedicatory poem prefacing Lawes’s first book of Ayres and Dialogues (1653), the “brightest Dames, the splendour of the Court” who frequented Lawes’s salon dazzle Milton’s nephew Edward Phillips. Phillips describes these women in terms of their beauty, “a silent Musick to the Eye” that creates a “double Harmony” with the airs they came to hear, but it is becoming increasingly clear that these women (several of whom studied and performed with Lawes in other contexts) were actively involved in these gatherings as audience members, as poets, and as performers.¹⁵⁶ The companion recording provides some insight into these contributions. Track 8. “Come, my Lucatia” (Henry Lawes) and Track 9. “In vaine, faire Cloris” (Henry Lawes) feature Lawes’s setting of Katherine Philips’s poem “Come, my Lucatia” and Lady Mary Dering’s setting of the lyric “In vaine, faire Cloris,” both of which were published in Lawes’s Second Book of Ayres and Dialogues. It is entirely possible that a talented singer like Mary Knight, Lawes’s prize pupil, performed pieces like this as a part of the evening festivities at Rutland House. Cavendish alludes only briefly in her autobiography to her attendance at Lawes’s meetings: “I had been in England a year and half, in which time I gave some half a score visits, and went with my Lords Brother to hear Musick in one Mr Lawes his House, three or four times.”¹⁵⁷ The intriguing reference, however, appears in close proximity to her account of her frustrating experience as a hesitant—and ultimately unsuccessful—petitioner before the parliamentary committee at Goldsmiths’ Hall. This leads directly into a bitter castigation of “words rushing against words,” an apology for her own fears that have “many times obstructed” her own voice, and her longing for a “perfect cure” for these ills, which, she argues, will only come about

¹⁵⁶ Lawes, Ayres and Dialogues, sig. Av. See Whitaker, Mad Madge, 136; Sophie Tomlinson, Women on Stage, 154, 162; Chalmers, Royalist Women Writers, 19–20, 80–2. ¹⁵⁷ Cavendish, A True Relation, 53–4.

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once “Nature as well as Human governments [are] civilized.”¹⁵⁸ Her allusion to Lawes occurs eight lines later. Whether Cavendish ever contributed to the musical proceedings at Rutland House is unknown. More likely, as with her visit to the Royal Society in 1667, she was “full of admiration” at Mary Knight’s vocal pyrotechnics.¹⁵⁹ Yet her visits to a royalist space known to feature the poetry and performance of women and devoted to the preservation of courtly poetry and music testify not only to her political sympathies but to her longing for the rhetorical power associated with “Nature’s Musicians” that she strives so consistently to secure in her published works. As Hero Chalmers has shown, women’s musical involvement within Lawes’s circle invigorate feminized depictions of music in the period, situating women as “consummate agents” of the musical harmony commonly used by royalists to signify sociopolitical stability.¹⁶⁰ For a royalist woman acutely conscious of her own sense of rhetorical and political impotence, the visits to Lawes’s salon and their showcasing of women’s vocal and musical talents could only have been an inspiration. Indeed, Cavendish’s first published volume, Poems and Fancies (written during her stay in London and released in 1653, the same year as Lawes’s first installment of Ayres and Dialogues), includes a series of verses lamenting the ruin of the wars that links her with the harmonizing and civilizing “royalist polemic” being performed and published by Lawes and his coterie.¹⁶¹ These issues come to a head in Letter 202 of Sociable Letters, which invites the reader across Cavendish’s vigorously guarded textual threshold into the salon-like space of a musical evening with the Duartes at the Rubenshuis, the Cavendishes’ residence in Antwerp.¹⁶² The letter, which offers the most extensive treatment of women’s song performance in Cavendish’s writings, hinges on a lengthy comparison of the rhetorical effects of ballads performed by Cavendish’s own “Vulgar and Plainer Voice” with the florid Italianate repertoire sung by her addressee Eleonora (p. 274). Cavendish sings “some Pieces of Old Ballads” for Eleonora’s sisters Katherine and Frances because their company puts her into a “Frolick Humour,” but when she is asked to sing “one of the Songs my Lord made, your Brother Set, and you were pleased to Sing,” she balks, pleading lack of vocal skill (p. 274). She praises ¹⁵⁸ Cavendish, A True Relation, 52, 53. ¹⁵⁹ Pepys, Diary, viii. 243. ¹⁶⁰ Chalmers, Royalist Women Writers, 80. ¹⁶¹ Whitaker, Mad Madge, 136, 146; see also Chalmers, Royalist Women Writers, 20–1. ¹⁶² Cavendish, Sociable Letters, 273–5. Subsequent references to Letter 202 will appear parenthetically by page number.

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Eleanora, by comparison, for her “Harmonious Voice,” ideally suited to the florid “Quavers, and Trilloes” that characterize her brother Gaspar Duarte’s compositions (p. 274). Cavendish’s self-effacing excuses would seem to position her as the antithesis of the “natural” musicians glorified elsewhere in her work: “nay,” she frets, “instead of Musick, I should make Discord, and instead of Wit, Sing Nonsense” (p. 274). Part of the goal of the letter is undoubtedly to flatter Eleanora, who sings with “Grace and Pleasure” (p. 274). Yet there is more to the tension that Cavendish develops between the “Tone” of her voice and Eleanora’s (p. 274), as well as the repertoire she associates with each, than an excessive humility topos. Far from excusing herself from the invitation to perform, Cavendish dominates the account with references to her own voice, underscoring her willingness “to Sing an Old Ballad” (p. 274) for Katherine and Frances (p. 274). Even as she lavishes praise on Eleanora for her “Clear” and “Sweet” voice (p. 274), moreover—qualities that recall the sound idealized by seventeenth-century singing manuals—Cavendish insists on the suitability of her own voice for the ballad genre: “the Vulgar and Plainer a Voice is, the Better it is for an Old Ballad” (p. 274). Cavendish explicitly distances herself from her addressee’s extensive musical training, reflected in florid ornamentation that “would be as Improper for an Old Ballad, as Golden Laces on a Thrum Suit of Cloth, Diamond Buckles on Clouted or Cobled Shoes, or a Feather on a Monks Hood” (p. 274).¹⁶³ She claims the ballad, by extension, for herself. As the letter evolves, Cavendish seems to be associating her own “Vulgar and Plainer” voice and resultant choice of the ballad genre with a more “natural,” and implicitly more truthful, approach to singing (p. 274). This move is consistent with her defenses elsewhere of scientific and philosophical knowledge that stems from reason rather than formal training as well as with her self-positioning as a “Servant to Truth.”¹⁶⁴ Far from seeing her supposed lack of education as an impediment, Cavendish paradoxically uses it to validate her writings and their experimental style as at once unconventional, didactic, and civilizing. “I hope,” she declares in Natures Pictures, “that this Work will encrease Civility, strengthen fainting Patience, encourage noble Industry, crown Merit, and instruct Life: will damn Vices, kill Follies, prevent ¹⁶³ Cavendish develops a similar contrast in The Comical Hash: “For my part,” declares Lady Solitary, “I had rather hear a plain old Song, than any Italian, or French Love Songs stuff ’d with Trilloes” (Margaret Cavendish, The Comical Hash, in Playes (London: John Martyn, James Allestry, and Tho. Dicas, 1662), 574). ¹⁶⁴ Cavendish, Sociable Letters, 135.

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Errors, forewarn Youth, and arm the Mind against Misfortunes; and in a word, will admonish, direct, and perswade to that which is best in all kinds.”¹⁶⁵ Letter 202 would seem to dismiss the effectiveness of the ballad as a rhetorical tool. Cavendish likens the genre to idle tales spun on “Cold Winter Nights,” and worries that ballad-singers are ultimately doomed to the “Region of Oblivion” (p. 274). Given her recurring insistence on the civilizing potential of her work and her depictions of “natural” oratory in musical terms, though, it is difficult not to read her association of “Old Ballads” with a “Plainer” style in Letter 202 as exemplifying the “natural” and truthful eloquence that she believes holds the capacity to challenge and mitigate the political upheavals of the Civil Wars (p. 274). Far from relegating Cavendish’s singing to “the House [of] the Grave” (p. 274), when read in this context the ballad—and Cavendish herself as a ballad-singer—functions rather as an implicitly royalist vehicle for “natural” truth-telling. Published on broadsides and sung in a wide range of performance settings across social classes, ballads constitute a very different vocal genre from the airs that have been the focus of this chapter thus far. Their acoustic and affective potential, however, were similarly profound, and indeed arguably intensified by their communal associations and topical scope. Natascha Würzbach has productively read the early modern ballad in performative terms, as a “communication act” that enabled a writer or singer to claim a position of authority relative to his or her audience on a range of topics.¹⁶⁶ This held particular significance for women. Ultimately, as Bruce Smith has argued, the “intense first-personhood” of ballads offered a singer—and especially a female singer—access to unlimited “fantasies of identity.”¹⁶⁷

¹⁶⁵ Cavendish, Natures Pictures, sigs b2v–cr. Steven Shapin has elucidated the strong association between civility and truth in seventeenth-century England, though without extending his argument to women. See A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994). For more on the importance of civil truth-telling for Cavendish, see Larson, Early Modern Women in Conversation, ch. 5, and “Margaret Cavendish’s Civilizing Songs,” in Joel Faflak and Jason Haslam (eds), The Public Intellectual and the Culture of Hope (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013), 109–34. ¹⁶⁶ Natascha Würzbach, The Rise of the English Street Ballad, 1550–1650, trans. Gayna Walls (Cambridge: CUP, 1990), 28, 65–6. ¹⁶⁷ Bruce R. Smith, “Female Impersonation in Early Modern Ballads,” in Brown and Parolin (eds), Women Players in England, 296, and Acoustic World, 201. See also Sandra Clark, “The Broadside Ballad and the Woman’s Voice,” in Cristina Malcolmson and Mihoko Suzuki (eds), Debating Gender in Early Modern England, 1500–1700 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), 103–20, and Williams, Damnable Practises. On women’s varied connections to the ballad trade and the cultural associations surrounding female ballad singers and their musical output, see Helen Smith, “Grossly Material Things”: Women and Book Production in Early Modern England (Oxford: OUP, 2012), 151–3.

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This feature would have appealed to an autobiographically inclined writer like Cavendish seeking to negotiate an authoritative subject position on the boundaries between oral and print culture. Cavendish’s writings also attest to her recognition of the importance of the ballad—or what she calls “Old” songs—in the period as a vehicle for self-expression and intertextual commentary, particularly for women.¹⁶⁸ In The Publick Wooing (1662), for instance, Mistress Fondly, Mistress Vanity, Mistress Trifle, and Mistress Parle confide their longing to marry by singing snatches of “old Ballad[s]” that encapsulate their individual perspectives.¹⁶⁹ Ballads also functioned in the seventeenth century as a public and politicized form of communication. The ballad’s currency in the period was not so much as musical newsbook, as critics like Hyder E. Rollins have influentially suggested, but rather as a didactic and often moralizing source of “truth concern[ing] the ideal political world.”¹⁷⁰ Best understood as a satiric mode of affective journalism as well as public action, the genre was designed to provoke and to shape audience response to contemporary events, particularly at moments of acute political uncertainty.¹⁷¹ As Parliament began to crack down on royalist textual production during the late 1640s, balladsinging became increasingly difficult. Even after the public performance of ballads was banned in 1649, however, ballads continued to flourish in print. Perhaps because they were able to elude parliamentarian censorship more ¹⁶⁸ See James Fitzmaurice, “ ‘When an Old Ballad Is Plainly Sung’: Musical Lyrics in the Plays of Margaret and William Cavendish,” in Mary Ellen Lamb and Karen Bamford (eds), Oral Traditions and Gender in Early Modern Literary Texts (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008; repr. London: Routledge, 2016), 153–68; Bruce R. Smith, “Female Impersonation”; and Williams, Damnable Practises, and “Witches, Lamenting Women, and Cautionary Tales.” In “Not Home: Alehouses, Ballads, and the Vagrant Husband in Early Modern England,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 32/3 (Fall 2002), 493–518, Patricia Fumerton reads the “nomadic journey of provisional subjectivities” afforded by the ballad as a way of articulating homelessness and displacement (p. 504); Cavendish’s account of herself as a ballad singer in Sociable Letters similarly dates from her years living in exile. For more on the affective work of ballad tunes and texts, see Patricia Fumerton and Anita Guerrini, with the assistance of Kris McAbee (eds), Ballads and Broadsides in Britain, 1500–1800 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010; repr. London: Routledge, 2016); Marsh, Music and Society, 225–327; and the English Broadside Ballad Archive, , directed by Patricia Fumerton. ¹⁶⁹ Cavendish, The Publick Wooing, in Playes, 400. ¹⁷⁰ Angela McShane Jones, “The Gazet in Metre; or the Rhiming Newsmonger: The English Broadside Ballad as Intelligencer,” in Joop W. Koopmans (ed.), News and Politics in Early Modern Europe (1500–1800) (Leuven: Peeters, 2005), 144. For Rollins’s argument, see Hyder E. Rollins, “The Black-Letter Broadside Ballad,” PMLA 34/2 (1919), 258–339. ¹⁷¹ Jones, “The Gazet in Metre,” 44; Mary Trull, “ ‘Odious Ballads’: Fallen Women’s Laments and All’s Well That Ends Well,” in Craig A. Berry and Heather Richardson Hayton (eds), Translating Desire in Medieval and Early Modern Literature (Tempe: ACMRS, 2005), 135. See also Joy Wiltenburg, “Ballads and the Emotional Life of Crime,” in Fumerton and Guerrini (eds), Ballads and Broadsides, 173–86.

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easily than other genres, ballads became an important propaganda tool and source of entertainment for royalists.¹⁷² It is telling that the news of the collapse of the Republic in 1659 prompted a flurry of broadside ballads, many of which were produced by exiled royalists.¹⁷³ In his Principles of Musik, Charles Butler situates the ballad as the antithesis of “Civil Musik” and the “Baladers” who sing them as the “principal Arkitects of all the mischief.”¹⁷⁴ His warning is intensified by his explicit gendering of the genre. Castigating their “obscene and filthy woords” as well as those responsible for “prostituting their base and pestilent merchandize,”¹⁷⁵ he invokes the ballad only to contrast its corrupting influence with the virtues inspired by musical settings of the psalms. Cavendish is well attuned to the gendering of song; in her autobiography she notes that her brothers “seldome or never . . . play[ed] on Musick, saying it was too effeminate for Masculine Spirits.”¹⁷⁶ Her depiction of Eleanora’s singing in Letter 202, meanwhile, recalls Milton’s Leonora as it teeters on the boundary between the celestial and the sensual. Her voice “Invites and Draws the Soul from all other Parts of the Body, with all the Loving and Amorous Passions, to sit in the Hollow Cavern of the Ear, as in a Vaulted Room, wherein it Listens with Delight, and is Ravished with Admiration” (p. 274). Cavendish has no qualms about having her Heroickesses sing songs of “the heroic actions done in former times by heroic women” as a part of their military training in Bell in Campo (1662).¹⁷⁷ But she explicitly de-sexualizes the ballad in Letter 202, calling it a genre “only Proper to be Sung by Spinsters” (p. 274). Just as Cavendish seeks to assure her readers of her virtue in their encounters with her published writings, mitigating the sexual threat that her representations of the singing body might signify bolsters the “civil” and “civilizing” aspects of her performance as a singer. Her understanding of song’s affective spectrum, however, ultimately seems to derive less from the gendered attributes of singing or particular vocal genres than from the question of its “naturalness” and capacity for truth-telling. Eschewing “Artificial Singing” in the same breath as she dismisses “Artificial Speaking,” she lumps both ¹⁷² Jason McElligott, “The Politics of Sexual Libel: Royalist Propaganda in the 1640s,” HLQ 67/1 (March 2004), 75–99; Laura Lunger Knoppers, “ ‘Sing old Noll the Brewer’: Royalist Satire and Social Inversion, 1648–64,” Seventeenth Century, 15/1 (2000), 32–52; Würzbach, Rise of the English Street Ballad, 149–50. ¹⁷³ See Jones, “The Gazet in Metre,” 138. ¹⁷⁴ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, 129, 130–1. ¹⁷⁵ Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik, 130. ¹⁷⁶ Cavendish, A True Relation, 44. ¹⁷⁷ Margaret Cavendish, Bell in Campo, in Bell in Campo & The Sociable Companions, ed. Alexandra G. Bennett (Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2002), 55.

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together as examples of “Enticing Arts.”¹⁷⁸ Recalling seventeenth-century debates about the place of linguistic ornamentation in rhetorical style, Eleanora’s gilded “Quavers, and Trilloes” pale in the face of this critique. The pleasure of a “plain old Song,” in contrast, derives precisely from the ballad’s function as a conveyer of truth.¹⁷⁹ As Lady Solitary affirms in The Comical Hash (1662), “there were more that could have taken more delight to hear an old Ballad sung, which Ballads are true stories put into verses and set to a Tune, than in all there Italian and French Love whining Songs, and languishing tunes.”¹⁸⁰ While Cavendish describes her voice as “Vulgar,” it is only when she contemplates shifting away from her favored “Plainer” musical genre to tackle Eleanora’s brother’s compositions that she worries about creating musical “Discord”: “my Voice and those Songs, would be as Disagreeing as your Voice and Old Ballads” (p. 274). Nowhere in the letter does Cavendish allude to the text or tune of the ballads that she sings. We are left only with an intimation of an acoustic experience. The sound she produces may not, she admits, exactly evoke the “Musick of the Spheres” (p. 274), but her performance suggests a style of singing that would have ably transmitted the ballad’s narrative core: “neither should Old Ballads be Sung so much in a Tune as in a Tone, which Tone is betwixt Speaking and Singing” (p. 274).¹⁸¹ Her description of the desired sound for ballad performance fittingly recalls Caccini’s influential defense in Le nuove musiche of the effects fundamental to the declamatory singing style that emerged in the early seventeenth century. Caccini condemns compositions and unnecessarily florid performances that “offered no pleasure beyond that which pleasant sounds could give.” Emphasizing the importance of the marriage of tune and text for maximum affective impact, Caccini sets out rather to “introduce a kind of music in which one could almost speak in tones.”¹⁸² He associates this new style of singing with a natural effortlessness in vocal composition, a “certain noble negligence of song” (“una certa nobile sprezzatura di canto”).¹⁸³ Caccini is discussing solo ¹⁷⁸ Cavendish, Natures Pictures, 314. ¹⁷⁹ Cavendish, Comical Hash, 574. ¹⁸⁰ Cavendish, Comical Hash, 574. The association between ballads and truth-telling was well established by the mid-seventeenth century. Shakespeare’s Autolycus capitalizes on this notion in The Winter’s Tale, claiming that the broadsides he sells are “[v]ery true” and “very pitiful, and as true” (4.4.257, 270–1). Lavatch in All’s Well That Ends Well likewise professes himself a “prophet” who “speak[s] the truth” by quoting a ballad (1.3.52). ¹⁸¹ As Spink notes, the declamatory style “increasingly depended on rhetorical qualities—the rhythm of the text and the rise and fall of the speaking voice—to govern the vocal line” (Henry Lawes, 6). ¹⁸² Caccini, Le nuove musiche, 44. ¹⁸³ Caccini, Le nuove musiche, 44; 44, n. 10.

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madrigals and arias (translated as “air”) here, not ballads. His emphasis on clear communication through speechlike singing, however, had significant influence on English composers like Henry Lawes. It resonates strikingly with Cavendish’s determination to create a “natural” sound that is “more than Plain Speaking, and less than Clear Singing” and that communicates truthfully to hearers (p. 274). Cavendish’s contributions to the evening’s entertainments may be “Plain,” but that very plainness, combined with the affective function of the ballad genre within the sociopolitical context of the Interregnum, suggestively align her with the eloquence of her beloved “Nature’s Musicians” she so admires and strives to emulate elsewhere in her writings.¹⁸⁴ Indeed, while Cavendish marvels at the ecstasy prompted by Eleonora’s “Silver Sound” and dismisses her own by comparison, she nonetheless harbors no doubts concerning her own very different determination to move her audience: “though the Stuff or Substance is not the same with yours, the Substances being as Different as the Several Qualities . . . I will,” she maintains, “Search Nature’s Ware-house” and “have as Good as I can get” (p. 275). She also, in true Cavendish form, claims a fate for her “Plain” musical style that is quite distinct from the obscurity she attributes to other ballad-singers. “I am willing to Sing an Old Ballad,” she concludes, “yet not to Dwell in Oblivion” (pp. 274–5).¹⁸⁵ For a royalist woman and self-professed truth-teller whose audaciously public writings were designed to manipulate audience response, the choice of the ballad genre could not be more fitting. Song—and the ballad in particular—becomes for Cavendish not simply a pastime or the superficial ornament of a gentlewoman, but a politicized, civilizing, and ultimately selfauthorizing rhetorical tool to enact cultural change.¹⁸⁶ Situating her in nostalgically English terms vis-à-vis the continental musical style of the Duartes, the “Old Ballads” that Cavendish sings in Letter 202 constitute a strong royalist statement and an oblique challenge to the reversal of political fortunes that she and Newcastle were facing living in exile in Antwerp. The Duarte sisters are not, in the end, the only sirens in the Rubenshuis.

¹⁸⁴ Cavendish, Sociable Letters, 74. ¹⁸⁵ On the ballad’s association both with nostalgia and with topicality, see Bruce R. Smith, “Afterword: Ballad Futures,” in Fumerton and Guerrini, Ballads and Broadsides, 317–23. ¹⁸⁶ Although William Cavendish’s musical interests were wide-ranging and included the continental styles that Cavendish derides in Letter 202, he placed a similar emphasis on the ballad in his writings and on the political potential of popular musical forms in ensuring the stability of the monarchy. See Hulse, “Apollo’s Whirligig,” 231–2.

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3 Voicing Lyric

Cavendish’s decision to frame a salon-like musical evening dedicated to women’s song performance within the parameters of a published letter points toward a different facet of song’s airy trajectory: its processes of circulation in manuscript, print, and performance. The acoustic potency of song and of the sounding breath cannot be divorced from the textual spaces within which early modern lyrics appeared—whether in manuscript or in print—and the related question of how the positioning and movement of those lyrics in literary contexts might register the sonic presence of the singing body. New formalist approaches in early modern studies are bringing renewed attention to the aurality of poetic production in the period.¹ The sonic effects of prosody discussed in Chapter 1 were the product of a humanist culture that made oral rhetorical performance a backbone of pedagogical training; lyrics came alive in the communal and coterie settings within which they were exchanged and read aloud.² The musical dimensions of lyric production, circulation, and reception, however, remain underexplored. This is a striking oversight, given the close interplay between poetic and musical form in the period and the significance of tunes and musical settings in cementing the popularity of particular lyrics and maintaining them in circulation. Although not every lyric produced in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England was intended to be sung, unpacking the musical facets of lyric

¹ For valuable examples of this work, see Loewenstein, “Marston’s Gorge,” and Sagaser, “Flirting with Eternity.” See also Burton and Scott-Baumann (eds), The Work of Form. ² See Lynn Enterline, Shakespeare’s Schoolroom: Rhetoric, Discipline, Emotion (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), and “Rhetoric, Discipline, and the Theatricality of Everyday Life in Elizabethan Grammar Schools,” in Peter Holland and Stephen Orgel (eds), From Performance to Print in Shakespeare’s England (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 173–90; and Kathryn M. Moncrief and Kathryn R. McPherson (eds), Performing Pedagogy in Early Modern England: Gender, Instruction, and Performance (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2011; repr. London: Routledge, 2016). On the aural cues of early modern printed texts and the phenomenon of reading aloud, see Richards, Voices and Books.

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circulation—that is, how texts reflect and register the movement of lyric through the air as song—holds tremendous implications for our understanding of the performance-based facets of early modern poetics. In confronting these questions, this chapter takes as its focus the literary– musical nexus of the Sidney circle and, in particular, the writings of Mary Wroth. As I noted in my discussion of the Countess of Pembroke in Chapter 1, the Sidneys have long been recognized by critics as important musical patrons. Extant tributes to Philip, Mary, and Robert Sidney, William Herbert, and Wroth herself, which situate them within a vibrant network of musical figures of the period, testify to the family’s ongoing status within artistic and literary circles.³ When considered alongside the Sidneys’ wideranging musical interests and interventions, these commemorations further testify to the dynamic interplay between musical and literary production in the period and to the Sidneys’ active involvement in these networks. Following Gavin Alexander’s influential 2006 article “The Musical Sidneys,” the extent of music’s impact on the Sidneys’ formal and generic choices and their contributions as writers has begun to emerge in more detail.⁴ The performance-based facets of the Sidneys’ works, however, as well as the significance of musical circulation for the reception of their lyrics, have yet to be fully elucidated. Musical performance constituted a vital mode of lyric transmission and “publication” for the Sidney circle.⁵ Manuscript compilation and patterns of circulation have much to tell us, therefore, not only about the make-up of the Sidneys’ musical–literary networks but also about how extant texts register the movement of song as embodied practice in early modern England. One of Philip Sidney’s lyrics, “O Lord, how vain are all our frail delights,” for instance, has been identified in a manuscript part-book of Byrd’s settings held at Christ Church College in Oxford, and it is entirely possible that as yet unidentified Sidney lyrics are extant in other musical manuscripts and printed songbooks of the period.⁶ The contents of British

³ See Brennan, Literary Patronage; Michael G. Brennan and Noel J. Kinnamon (eds), A Sidney Chronology 1554–1654 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003). ⁴ For an overview of scholarship on this topic, see Larson, “The Sidneys and Music.” ⁵ See H. R. Woudhuysen, Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts 1558–1640 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 249–57, 292–3; Pattison, Music and Poetry, 61–75; and Alexander, “The Musical Sidneys,” and Writing after Sidney, 187–9. ⁶ Woudhuysen, Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts, 159, 255–7; Ringler, “The Text of The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney Twenty-Five Years After,” 137, 141. As Woudhuysen notes, “literary editors have not always paid sufficient attention to manuscripts which contain musical settings of poems” (p. 159).

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Library Add. MS 15117, meanwhile, with its settings of Sidney’s “My true love hath my heart and I have his” and “Have I caught my heavenly jewel” as well as Pembroke’s Psalms 51 and 130, which were discussed in Chapter 1, feature compositions by Byrd, Dowland, Ferrabosco, and Hume; the manuscript also includes two songs from Jonson’s plays and a setting of “The Willow Song.”⁷ The significance of music as a mode of lyric circulation for the extended Sidney network is further reflected in the opening of John Donne the younger’s edition of the poems attributed to William Herbert, which declares to the reader that the lyrics “were chiefly preserved by the greatest Masters of Musick, all the Sonnets being set by them”; Donne credits composers Henry Lawes and Nicholas Lanier in particular for sending him the poems.⁸ This line of inquiry becomes especially fruitful in the case of Wroth, an accomplished musician whose writings abound with musical lyrics and allusions to song performance. Wroth received excellent musical training and, as the well-known portrait depicting her or one of her sisters with a theorbo attests, displayed considerable proficiency as a lutenist.⁹ She participated in musical performances and had her lyrics set to music by contemporary composers. Like her father, she also wrote poems in response to popular songs that display her sensitivity to the emerging declamatory vocal style. In her groundbreaking biography of Wroth, Margaret Hannay rightly imagines her “circulating her poems by reading or singing them, or having them sung by professional musicians” within a collaborative coterie of writers and composers.¹⁰ These musical interests are reflected in Wroth’s extant texts, which reveal a fascination with the affective power of song, its relationship to specific spaces of textual circulation and musical performance, and the dynamism of the singing body. The games played by the shepherds and shepherdesses in Love’s Victory (c.1619) include a lively singing competition. Song constitutes ⁷ See Joiner, “British Museum Add MS. 15117,” 51–109; and Austern, “ ‘For Musicke Is the Handmaid of the Lord,’ ” 100–1. On the gendered performance implications of the setting of “The Willow Song” contained in this manuscript, see Eubanks Winkler, O Let Us Howle Some Heavy Note, 74–6. ⁸ John Donne, “To the Reader,” in Poems, Written by the Right Honorable William Earl of Pembroke . . . (London: Matthew Inman, 1660), sig. A4r. With Garth Bond and Stephen May, Mary Ellen Lamb is undertaking an edition of the poems of William Herbert for RETS, which includes attention to the musical circulation of his lyrics. ⁹ The portrait, attributed to John de Critz, is held in the private collection of Viscount de L’Isle at Penshurst Place. It is included as plate 9 in Hannay, Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth. On the question of the sitter’s identity, see Hannay, Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth, 158. ¹⁰ Hannay, Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth, 182–3.

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a crucial narrative practice for Wroth’s protagonists as they struggle to articulate their passions within Urania’s gardens and chambers. Songs are also interspersed throughout the manuscript and print versions of Pamphilia to Amphilanthus (c.1610, pub. 1621). Although Wroth’s work is increasingly being recognized for its formal dexterity, the complexity of its material makeup, and its self-conscious negotiation of varied mechanisms of literary exchange, the songs that pervade her writings have rarely been read from a musical perspective.¹¹ Focusing on the manuscript collection of Wroth’s poems now preserved at the Folger Shakespeare Library (V.a.104) and on the songs scattered throughout Urania, this chapter considers how reading Wroth’s songs as songs—as metrical compositions written with a tune in mind, adapted for musical setting and performance, or simply meant to be imagined as sung— sheds new light on the affective impact of these musical moments. Attending to song as a genre that negotiates the boundary between language and embodied musical performance and as the rhetorically powerful product of the gendered body as instrument, I argue, provides a compelling lens through which to assess Wroth’s work. It demonstrates Wroth’s grounding in and close engagement with early modern musical culture, helping to illuminate the significance of the wide-ranging connections between Wroth and her contemporaries that have been emerging more clearly in recent years. It emphasizes the discursive significance of song as a strategic mode of self-expression for her female protagonists. Ultimately, it underscores the need to think much more flexibly about the boundaries framing her individual works, her chosen genres, and the modes whereby her lyrics circulated in the period.

The Musical Contexts of Wroth’s Folger Manuscript In her study of musical creativity in Restoration England, Rebecca Herissone has documented the dynamic relationship between aural and written transmission, demonstrating the significance of aural transcription for extant musical notation. Surviving print and manuscript scores, she argues, reflect ¹¹ An important exception is the late Barbara Lewalski, who, in drawing attention to the metrical variety of the inset lyrics and songs of Love’s Victory, argues that these pieces should be imagined as set to music and performed. Barbara Kiefer Lewalski, Writing Women in Jacobean England (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), 298–300, 304–6. See also Alexander, “The Musical Sidneys,” 90–104.

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music’s aural circulation through a combination of long-term memory stores and attempts to capture the recollection of recent performances.¹² Herissone’s work also illuminates the range of musical documents that were produced in the period and the resultant impossibility of ascribing clear compositional trajectories—or indeed a stable notion of musical “authorship”—to those texts. Her findings hold important implications for considering the aural and musical traces preserved in documents such as verse miscellanies like Wroth’s, which do not necessarily include musical notation or explicit musical references and which resist attempts to distinguish in clear generic terms between a “songbook” and a lyric collection of “songs.” The question of how and where to locate traces of musical practice in these documents becomes especially fraught in the absence of musical notation. Extant early modern songbooks, including those owned and produced by women, commonly featured vocal scores or lute tablature. The airs contained within Lady Ann Blount and Elizabeth Davenant’s manuscripts, whose ornamentation and performance were discussed in Chapter 2, offer two noteworthy examples. Many collections, however, contained lyric texts intended for singing that were presented without accompanying notation. Lady Margaret Wemyss’s music book, for example, which was compiled in Scotland during the 1640s, includes “some pleasant aires | of Two, Three, or fowre voices | Collected out of diverse authors,” notably Thomas Campion.¹³ It also features “som Lesons | for the Lutt [lute],” and “som fine verces | And Lines” attributed to poets such as John Suckling and Henry Hughes, at least some of which were intended to be sung.¹⁴ The manuscript specifies that Hughes’s poem “Beautie once blasted with the frost,” for instance, should be “sung to the tune of When the King shall enjoy his owne againe.”¹⁵ While this choice of tune is especially revealing in terms of Wemyss’s political leanings, it nonetheless provides important evidence for her performancebased encounters with these poems, particularly in the context of a document that was clearly generated with an eye to her musical education. Even in the absence of such explicit musical cues, early modern verse miscellanies—both in print and in manuscript—comprised a plethora of ¹² Herissone, Musical Creativity, 315–91. ¹³ National Library of Scotland, Deposit 314/23, title page. The full manuscript is accessible through the Perdita Manuscripts online database at . ¹⁴ National Library of Scotland, Deposit 314/23, fo. 11v. ¹⁵ National Library of Scotland, Deposit 314/23, fo. 69r. See Claude M. Simpson, The British Broadside Ballad and its Music (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1966), 764–8, for the tune of “When the King Enjoys His Own Again.”

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song lyrics. Englands Helicon, or The Muses Harmony, first printed in 1600 and reissued in an enlarged version in 1614 that was dedicated to Elizabeth Cary, goes well beyond metaphors of harmony in advertising the “tunefull noates” of its musical content.¹⁶ The table of contents included in the 1614 edition abounds with musical genres that recall the synergy between poetic and musical lexicons discussed in Chapter 1: songs, ditties, roundelays, madrigals, hymns, a jig, a carol, a “canzon pastorall,” a “Dialogue Song,” and a “Report Song.”¹⁷ In some cases, the titles also include details about performance contexts and singing roles: “Another Song before her Majestie at Oxford, sung by a comely Shepherd.”¹⁸ While no music appears in the collection, extant musical settings of a number of the poems survive.¹⁹ The inclusion of pieces gleaned from the song and madrigal collections of Byrd and Morley further reflects the miscellany’s musical foundations, as well as the cross-pollination that characterized musical and textual encounters in the period. Mary Hobbs has charted the “strong song-text tradition” that provides the basis for lyric collections like Englands Helicon, an argument that underscores the challenge of distinguishing early modern miscellany from early modern songbook.²⁰ In some cases, the musical context of a verse miscellany—or of individual lyrics contained within it—is made explicit through references to specific tune titles, refrain structures, patterns of repetition, or other sound effects that clearly evoke singing. In A Handefull of Pleasant Delites, for instance, whose 1584 title page advertises the collection as “Newly devised to the newest tunes that are now in use, to be sung: everie Sonet orderly pointed to his proper Tune,” the “sundrie new Sonets and delectable Histories” appear with accompanying tune titles, including “Greensleeves,” “Salisbury Plain,” and “All in a Garden Green.”²¹

¹⁶ Englands Helicon, or The Muses Harmony (London: Richard More, 1614). From the dedicatory poem “To the Truly Vertuous and Honourable Lady, the Lady Elizabeth Carie,” sig. A2r. ¹⁸ Englands Helicon, sig. A4r. ¹⁷ Englands Helicon, sigs A2v–A4v. ¹⁹ Not surprisingly, Philip Sidney’s lyrics, including Song 4 from Astrophil and Stella, feature prominently; the collection also includes “The Countess of Pembroke’s Pastorall,” possibly by Anthony Munday. ²⁰ Mary Hobbs, Early Seventeenth-Century Verse Miscellany Manuscripts (Aldershot: Scholar Press, 1992), 93. For Bruce Smith, early modern manuscript miscellanies provide “[p]articularly striking examples of the direct connection heard between hand and voice” (“Listening to the Wild Blue Yonder,” 30). ²¹ Clement Robinson, A Handefull of Pleasant Delites . . . (London: Richard Jhones [sic], 1584).

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Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 37, which was produced during the Interregnum, offers a comparable manuscript example. Tune titles appear regularly, often in conjunction with musical or sonic generic markers: “Ye scattered sheep, which on a thousand hills doe feede” to the tune “Gerards Mrs”; “The Bridgroomes goodmorow | Tune dally noe more in the shade”; “Pater noster hymnified tune Oliver Oliver.”²² These tune titles are often entertaining from a contemporary perspective, but the lyrics are by no means consistently lighthearted. In “An hymne Conserning a graine of wheate,” for instance, which is to be sung to the “Tune winter & could weather,” “death, or rather desolusion, the sonet of sonetts of the philosophers, the Glorious Resurection, is hinted at.”²³ A parenthetical list of adverbs inserted partway through the title—“natural / spiritually / poetically / mystically / philosophically / magically / theologically”—attests both to the lyric’s varied perspectives on that process of “desolution” and to the communicative efficacy of song as a vehicle for meditation. “An Eccho to the graine of wheat | to the same tune” continues in a similar vein.²⁴ The melodic and rhythmic structure of a tune might serve either to reinforce or to undercut more serious religious, philosophical, or political poems. This collection also includes lyrics whose structures rely on refrains and references to communal song. The poem labeled “Tune sound a Charge, sound &,” for example, which opens with “The egiptians are all sunck | Sing with joy, sing with joy,” introduces the refrain “Sing with joy, sing &,” which anchors the song.”²⁵ Each stanza of “A Carrol a carrol of glory & praise” (“Tune Jacob & Esau”) similarly concludes with the symbol “&,” specifying that the last three lines should be repeated, a pattern that resolves at the end of the lyric with the phrase “we sing hallelujah.”²⁶ No musical notation is included, but the miscellany’s musical and performance-based framework prompts the reader to interpret other lyrics that appear without explicit tune references—and whose musical markers extend only to titles like “An Hymne” or metrical structures such as iambic trimeter and tetrameter that lend themselves well to singing—in performance terms.²⁷ While the explicit musical identifiers that appear in A Handefull of Pleasant Delites and MS Rawl. poet. 37 situate these collections quite clearly as songbooks, these musical strands are rarely displayed textually in such ²² Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 37, 20–1, 24–6. ²³ Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 37, 7. ²⁴ Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 37, 9–10. The tune “Winter & Could weather” is cited again on pp. 38–40. ²⁵ Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 37, 32–4. ²⁶ Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 37, 61–2. ²⁷ See, e.g., Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 37, 40–2, 50–6.

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consistent terms. Far more common is the generic “A Song,” a title whose musical origins are destabilized when divorced from an identifying tune. In the case of a seventeenth-century miscellany like Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 84, the musical context of lyrics such as “A Song by Pym’s ghost to the Parliament” or “A Song: Prithee why doo wee stay | from the Taverne all day” might reasonably be inferred from their positioning alongside lyrics with less common and less ambiguous musical tags (“A Catch”), poems describing the experience of song (William Strode’s “On a Gentlewoman that sung & played upon the Lute”), and other performance texts (for example, a masque script, Paris’s Choice, attributed here to Davenant).²⁸ The same is true of Folger MS V.a.322 (c.1640), which juxtaposes a variety of lyrics labeled as “Song”—absent tune references—with poems evoking song performance, like “On a very deformed Gentlewoman, but of a Voyce incomparablely sweet.”²⁹ At the other end of the spectrum (as the notion of “miscellany” implies), “songs” appear interspersed among a wide range of other poems, not to mention entirely different genres such as sermons, recipes, and riddles that may well have been compiled by a number of different hands. This ambiguity exemplifies the methodological challenge contemporary readers face in pinpointing traces of early modern singing bodies in textual contexts. But it does not mitigate the significance of musical contexts of circulation for at least some of these lyrics. Thomas Whythorne’s Book of Songs and Sonetts (c.1576), now held at the Bodleian Library, provides a compelling example of the interplay between musical and written transmission. Whythorne’s autobiographical reflections are punctuated throughout with “dittiez,” the musical potential of which emerges through Whythorne’s account of his vocational struggles as a musician and his determination to publish musical settings of his poems; the volume concludes with seventy lyrics intended for musical setting.³⁰ The manuscript also includes a scrap containing lists of “Doktorz and Bachelarz of Miuzik In England” and contemporary musicians.³¹ Whythorne’s unique orthography, which seeks to approximate the sound of spoken English, underscores his attention to aural and musical circulation. ²⁸ Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 84, fos 122r, 28r, 92v, 33v–29r (inconsistent foliation). ²⁹ Folger MS V.a.322, 98–101. ³⁰ His songs were published in Thomas Whythorne, Triplex, of Songes, for Three, Fower, and Five voyces (London: John Daye, 1571), and Cantus. Of Duos or Songs for Two Voices (London: Thomas Este, 1590). ³¹ Whythorne, The Autobiography of Thomas Whythorne, 273, 300.

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As Whythorne’s publication of his songs in 1571 and 1590 suggest, lyrics labeled as “songs” sometimes surfaced in other manuscript or print contexts with musical notation intact. Joseph Hall’s miscellany (Folger MS V.a.339), produced c.1650, contains popular seventeenth-century lyrics that were set to music, including “It was a tyme when silly Bees could speake” (Dowland) and Ben Jonson’s “Come my Celia let us prove” (Ferrabosco).³² These kinds of examples are no less reflective of processes of memorial transcription. But plenty of lyrics without surviving settings would also have triggered the musical memories of early modern readers. Indeed, as the contents of Englands Helicon suggest, lyrics were commonly maintained in circulation because of their musical popularity. When preserved in poetic miscellanies, they functioned as aide-mémoires, recorded with the expectation that the text would prompt the memory of a melody or even of a specific performance. Because poetic circulation and musical performance were so closely intertwined in the period, lyric texts—perhaps especially, though by no means exclusively, those associated with the generic label of “song”—held the capacity to evoke distinct moments, however ephemeral, of vocal production and embodied musical circulation in the reader’s mind.³³ Song texts could also, of course, prompt a shift from memory to actual performance. In the New Arcadia (1590), there is a wonderful moment that signals the internalization of both music and text as Kalander prepares to recite some verses in praise of Mopsa by declaring that “I have so often caused [them] to be sung that I have them without book.”³⁴ While early moderns captured recollections of the experience of song in verse and in musical notation, those traces testify above all to a process of textual circulation grounded in the body, as lyrics were recalled and performed by memory and matched to tunes both new and familiar. In his Musick’s Monument (1676), Thomas Mace testifies to the capacity that familiar tunes have to help readers absorb new texts: “they will the more readily embrace a new Alteration, when as they find they are not too much puzzled with Novelty, but can bring them with ease into their old Tunes.”³⁵ Bodleian ³² Folger MS V.a.339, fos 188v, 191v. This manuscript also includes household recipes designed to strengthen the vocal apparatus, including “Almond=milke for | ye opening of the pipes & longues” (fo. 99v). ³³ See also Austern, “Words on Music,” 199–244; and Gavin Alexander, “On the Reuse of Poetic Form: The Ghost in the Shell,” in Burton and Scott-Baumann (eds), The Work of Form, 123–43. ³⁴ Sir Philip Sidney, The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia, in The Prose Works of Sir Philip Sidney, i. 21. ³⁵ Mace, Musick’s Monument, 2.

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MS Rawl. poet. 185 (c.1600), relies on this phenomenon, advertising “new” song and ballad texts by linking them to familiar tunes: “A pretie new ballad intituled willie and peggie. to the tune of tarltons carroll”; “A proper new ballade wherin is plaine to be seene how god blesseth England for love of our Queene: Soung to the tune of tarletons caroll.”³⁶ Even as the embodied experience of singing becomes a less familiar and less comfortable phenomenon in contemporary culture, there are a number of contexts that still rely on text to prompt the body to sing; the Anglican hymnal, which includes no musical notation in congregational copies, is a case in point. Anyone raised in a church context of regular hymn-singing, or indeed anyone with experience in choral or solo singing who has lived with a piece for many months, has some insight into the process of deeply physical memorization that would have been integral to early modern music-making. My reading of Wroth’s manuscript lyrics holds the musical impetus undergirding the content and function of early modern verse miscellanies in tension with the methodological difficulty of pinpointing concrete traces of the singing body within the more ambiguous “songs” preserved within these documents.

The Songs of V.a.104 Until relatively recently, prompted by Josephine Roberts’s germinal edition of Wroth’s poems, critics have elided the distinct differences between the Folger manuscript and the 1621 published version of Pamphilia to Amphilanthus appended to part one of Urania.³⁷ Following Roberts’s lead, the poems have tended to be interpreted as a single unified sequence with several discrete and thematically related subsections, separated by lyric interludes. The Folger manuscript, however, an exquisite volume in Wroth’s italic hand, constitutes a distinct collection of poetry that is now attracting critical and editorial attention in its own right.³⁸ V.a.104 opens with fifty-five ³⁶ Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 185, n.p. The second of these songs features two interweaving refrains, with minor variations: “Elizabeth lord save” and “Elizabeth so brave.” ³⁷ The Poems of Lady Mary Wroth, ed. Josephine A. Roberts (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1983). On the critical implications of this tendency, see Gavin Alexander, “Final Intentions or Process? Editing Greville’s Caelica,” SEL 52/1 (2012), 22. ³⁸ See Ilona Bell (ed.), Pamphilia to Amphilanthus in Manuscript and Print, MRTS, 23 (Toronto: Iter Press, 2017); and Mary Wroth’s Poetry: An Electronic Edition, ed. Paul D. Salzman (La Trobe University, 2012), . On the interpretative implications of Bell’s and Salzman’s editorial work, see the essays featured in part III of

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sonnets and seven songs labeled Pamphilia to Amphilanthus. After this preliminary sequence, which Wroth does seem to have envisioned as a unit, the manuscript consists of several smaller unified groups of poems as well as a number of discrete lyrics that, based on evident shifts in ink and handwriting as well as the presence of blank pages, seem to have been entered into the manuscript in at least three distinct sittings. Gavin Alexander and Heather Dubrow have traced the organization of the manuscript through Wroth’s close attention to catchwords, numbering, and closural markers, features that in certain places signal continuity and connection among lyrics, and her equally deliberate care to signal the independence of other poems through the presence of blank pages and the strategic use of the slashed S or fermesse ($).³⁹ Far from comprising a complete sequence, V.a.104, its later sections in particular, seems to have functioned rather as a verse miscellany with some unified subsections on which Wroth drew when she was preparing her romance and revising her sonnet sequence.⁴⁰ Ilona Bell has convincingly examined this revision process as a toning-down of the more embodied and eroticized version of Wroth’s poems preserved in V.a.104, exemplified by the greater emphasis placed on Venus and on the inclusion and repositioning of poems that accentuate the physicality of Pamphilia’s relationship with her beloved.⁴¹ Building on these arguments, I want to underscore here the importance of the musical contexts that informed the makeup and circulation of that miscellany. Considering V.a.104 both in terms of its distinct structure and as a lyric collection that draws attention to moments of embodied articulation reanimates the songs included within it as traces of musical performance.

Katherine R. Larson and Naomi J. Miller, with Andrew Strycharski (eds), Re-Reading Mary Wroth (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), notably Ilona Bell, “The Autograph Manuscript of Mary Wroth’s Pamphilia to Amphilanthus,” 171–82; Paul Salzman, “Me and My Shadow: Editing Wroth for the Digital Age,” 183–92; and Rebecca L. Fall, “Pamphilia Unbound: Digital Re-Visions of Mary Wroth’s Folger Manuscript, V.a.104,” 193–208. ³⁹ Gavin Alexander, “Constant Works: A Framework for Reading Mary Wroth,” Sidney Newsletter & Journal, 14/2 (Winter 1996–7), 5–32; Heather Dubrow, “ ‘And Thus Leave Off ’: Reevaluating Mary Wroth’s Folger Manuscript, V.a.104,” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, 22/2 (Fall 2003), 273–91. ⁴⁰ The poems that are not unique to the Folger manuscript are repositioned within either the 1621 Pamphilia to Amphilanthus or part one of Urania. ⁴¹ Ilona Bell, “The Autograph Manuscript,” and “ ‘Joy’s Sports’: The Unexpurgated Text of Mary Wroth’s Pamphilia to Amphilanthus,” Modern Philology, 111/2 (November 2013), 231–52.

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Wroth does not refer to specific tunes in either the Folger manuscript or the 1621 version of Pamphilia to Amphilanthus. V.a.104 may, however, offer a tantalizing hint of musical notation: the fermesse. This symbol assumed a variety of functions in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, particularly in the context of letter-writing. The fermesse was used as shorthand for or to embellish a personal signature, in which case it was typically positioned before or after an epistolary greeting. It also appeared as a marker of closure in correspondence. Wroth’s deployment of the fermesse in the Folger manuscript is consistent with both of these conventions. As a Sidney, the use of a slashed S as a signature probably held familial significance for Wroth; by including it in her correspondence and in her literary works, she follows the precedent of her aunt, the Countess of Pembroke.⁴² The symbol functions primarily—though not consistently—in V.a.104 as a marker of poetic closure and thematic connection at the end of poems and to help demarcate lyric sections.⁴³ Wroth probably also deployed the fermesse as an emblem of faithfulness, reinforcing Pamphilia’s close association with constancy as well as the intimacy of her lyric correspondence with Amphilanthus.⁴⁴ One has only to examine the intricate cipher containing the names of Pamphilia and Amphilanthus that appears on the binding of the Penshurst manuscript of Love’s Victory to recognize Wroth’s careful attention to visual design in her works.⁴⁵ Crucially, the fermesse figures prominently here too, both framing and integrated within the lovers’ cipher.⁴⁶ While these multiple uses of the fermesse account for its function and prevalence throughout much of the manuscript, I want to suggest that the figure may, in places, also hold musical connotations. In her work on the Folger manuscript, Heather Dubrow has remarked that the fermesse bears a striking resemblance to the dal segno symbol used in musical notation to

⁴² See Margaret P. Hannay, “ ‘Your Vertuous and Learned Aunt’: The Countess of Pembroke as a Mentor to Mary Wroth,” in Naomi J. Miller and Gary Waller (eds), Reading Mary Wroth: Representing Alternatives in Early Modern England (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1991), 18, and Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth, 230, n. 1. ⁴³ Dubrow, “ ‘And Thus Leave Off.’ ” ⁴⁴ See Katherine R. Larson, “Voicing Lyric: The Songs of Mary Wroth,” in Larson, Miller, and Strycharksi (eds), Re-Reading Mary Wroth, 122. ⁴⁵ See Alexander, Writing after Sidney, 306–7. ⁴⁶ A reproduction of the cover of the Penshurst manuscript can be found in Josephine A. Roberts, “Deciphering Women’s Pastoral: Coded Language in Wroth’s Love’s Victory,” in Claude J. Summers and Ted-Larry Pebworth (eds), Representing Women in Renaissance England (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1997), 166. The Huntington manuscript copy of Love’s Victory also features the fermesse. I am grateful to Gavin Alexander and Heather Wolfe for their insights into the significance of the fermesse in early modern culture.

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indicate repetition of a particular section of a piece.⁴⁷ The symbol was in common use in early seventeenth-century English lute song repertoire, often to signal the repetition of a concluding couplet.⁴⁸ Dubrow sets up this affinity in order to accentuate Wroth’s ongoing fascination with repetition, circularity, and ambiguous endings in her writings. But she does not probe the musical implications of her observation. In the majority of the Folger lyrics, as Dubrow demonstrates, a fermesse appears after a title such as “Song” or “Sonett” and after the final line of individual poems. Double concluding fermesses are also common, especially in places where Wroth seems to be signaling more definite separation of a stand-alone lyric or a discrete subset of poems. There are exceptions to this pattern, though, which may hold musical implications. In two of the lyrics labeled “Song,” “The Spring now come att last” and “The springing time of my first loving,” Wroth inserts the symbol after each stanza, a demarcation that does not happen anywhere else in the collection.⁴⁹ In these instances, might the fermesse be registering musical, as well as broader lyric, structure? The use of musical markers within lyrics without other notation is not unprecedented in other manuscripts of the period, as an example of repeat signs featured in the song text that opens Ann Twice’s early seventeenthcentury collection illustrates.⁵⁰ In the case of “The springing time of my first loving,” the relevance of a musical context is reinforced by the song’s refrain structure. In the absence of extant musical settings, it is impossible to know for sure whether the fermesses in these songs correspond to a literal request for musical repetition. On a broader scale, however, these dal segno-like markers help to illustrate how a material text might intimate a singing body. A reader encountering these songs with an awareness of Wroth’s musical proclivities ⁴⁷ Dubrow, “ ‘And Thus Leave Off,’ ” 276–7. ⁴⁸ See, e.g., John Dowland, “If that a Sinners sighes,” in A Pilgrimes Solace . . . (London: M[atthew] L[owns], J[ohn] B[rome], and T[homas] S[nodham], 1612), sig. H1v, and “Fine knacks for ladies,” in The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres . . . (London: George Eastland, 1600), sig. G.ii.v. ⁴⁹ Folger MS V.a.104, fos 4r, 40r. These lyrics can be viewed through Luna, the Folger Shakespeare Library’s online image database at (fo. 4r) and (fo. 40r). Dubrow notes the unusual appearance of the fermesse in her discussion of Song 1, but dismisses it as evidence only of Wroth’s experimentation with closural markers; nor does she remark on Wroth’s return to the pattern in a song later in the collection. “ ‘And Thus Leave Off,’ ” 279. ⁵⁰ “Ann Twice, Her Booke,” NYPL Drexel MS 4175. A facsimile of the manuscript is included in Jorgens (ed.), English Song, xi. This version features stanzas 2–5 only; the full text with music, “Go thy way since thou wilt go,” is preserved in Lambeth MS 1041, Lady Ann Blount’s songbook, also in Jorgens (ed.), English Song, xi. This piece was discussed in Chapter 2 and can be heard on the companion recording.

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is ultimately engaged in a process of repetition or recollection grounded in performance, as individual song lyrics call to mind an “original” musical moment, whether a familiar tune through which the reader first encountered the text or a sung performance, real or imagined. Positioned at the end of each stanza, the fermesse at once signals an important connection between song lyric and embodied song performance and helps to reanimate the text as sung performance in the reader’s mind. While the fermesse, like the generic label of “song” itself, ultimately offers only a hint of the music and the singing bodies encoded by Wroth’s lyrics, there is clear evidence that at least some of the songs included in V.a.104 were circulating musically. Gavin Alexander has documented some of these extant pieces: An anonymous strophic setting of “Oh mee the time is come to part” (Companion Recording, Track 10. “Oh mee the time is come to part” (Anon.)), is preserved in John Gamble’s manuscript songbook in the New York Public Library, which features airs by Henry and William Lawes, John Wilson, as well as Gamble himself.⁵¹ Another song included both in the Folger manuscript and in the 1621 sequence, meanwhile, “All night I weepe, all day I cry, Ay mee” shares important affinities with a group of popular contemporaneous tunes with an “Ay mee” refrain.⁵² Wroth also seems to have composed some of her poems with specific melodies in mind. As Alexander has shown, it is possible that Wroth wrote the lengthy thirty-nine-stanza pastoral poem that appears in the Folger manuscript and in part one, book four, of Urania as Aradeame’s tale as a contrafactum to a ballad written by Robert Jones and included in his 1610 collection of lute songs, The Muses Gardin for Delights, which was dedicated to Wroth.⁵³ There is evidence too that Wroth had her poetry set by composers; Ferrabosco’s declamatory setting of “Was I to Blame,” a lyric recited by Amphilanthus in the second part of the Urania, which is discussed further later in this chapter and is also featured on the companion recording, is a wonderful example of this.⁵⁴ In each of these cases, Wroth’s lyrics cannot be dissociated from the singing body and the very real possibility of musical performance. The songs from the later sections of the Folger manuscript that are not included within the 1621 sonnet sequence turn up in the first two books of ⁵¹ NYPL Drexel 4257, no. 20035. A facsimile of the manuscript can be found in Jorgens (ed.), English Song 1600–1675, x. ⁵² Alexander, “The Musical Sidneys,” 91–2. ⁵³ Alexander, “The Musical Sidneys,” 93–5. ⁵⁴ See also Alexander, “The Musical Sidneys,” 95–102.

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the Urania in scenes specifically associated with song composition and performance, further demonstrating that these lyrics need to be considered in terms of their musical function. In part one, book two, Philarchos, the youngest son of the King of Morea, sings the song “How doe I finde my soules extreamest anguish” with “a soft (but sweete) voyce,” overheard by Nereana.⁵⁵ And the song “Gone is my joy, while here I mourne” comes into Pamphilia’s mind as she wanders alone in a garden, observed by Leandrus (1.212). The pastoral entertainments concluding book one, meanwhile, feature three songs from the Folger manuscript. Wroth adds important details concerning their performance and structure that make their musical context explicit. A “delicate Mayd” steps forward to sing “Love what art thou?” “with as sweet a voyce, as her owne lovely sweetnes” (1.172). The next song, which features a refrain, “Who can blame me if I love? | Since Love before the World did move,” is begun by a shepherd, and this tune either seems to be a familiar one or else is relatively easy to pick up on, as “all the others keep[ ] the burden of it, with which they did begin” (1.173). A shepherd and shepherdess also contribute together to the festivities. It is not immediately clear whether they are singing or reciting; Wroth notes only that they “delivered” their performance (1.171). Given its proximity to the other musical entertainments, however, the dialogue may well have been sung; in the sixteenth century, the term “deliver” could signify “[t]o utter notes in singing,” and musical performances of dialogues were becoming increasingly popular in the period.⁵⁶ Such moments underscore the extent to which Wroth—and her contemporaries—were engaging with and imagining song texts in musical terms. Pamphilia to Amphilanthus has tended to be read as an eerily disembodied sequence, hallmarked by Amphilanthus’ absence and by Pamphilia’s focus on her inner turmoil. The singing body that hovers behind Wroth’s Folger manuscript challenges this view, offering an important counterpoint to Ilona Bell’s reading of V.a.104 as a more overtly eroticized and physical representation of the relationship between Pamphilia and her beloved. Song’s musical trace manifests itself in the collection’s structural and textual ⁵⁵ Lady Mary Wroth, The First Part of The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania, ed. Josephine A. Roberts (Binghamton, NY: MRTS, 1995), 198. Subsequent references will be to this edition, cited parenthetically within the text, by part and page number. ⁵⁶ “deliver, v.1,” OED Online (Oxford University Press, March 2019), . See Alexander, “The Musical Sidneys,” 80.

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affinities with extant early modern songbooks, in evidence of the musical circulation of Wroth’s poems, and in Wroth’s own recontextualization of selected lyrics as musical performance in Urania. The singing body is no less present in the 1621 version of Pamphilia to Amphilanthus. While Wroth moves some of her songs to Urania, most of them reappear in the published sequence appended to her romance, raising important questions about the affective impact of these musical lyrics, particularly given the centrality of song elsewhere in Wroth’s writings as a strategic mode of self-expression, and of the interplay between written text and performing body. In Urania, after all, Pamphilia distinguishes herself not only as a talented poet, but also as a singer.

Making the Room Rattle: Pamphilia in Performance Unlike the discrete lyrics included in the Folger manuscript, it is perhaps easier to imagine the songs scattered throughout Urania as sung, if only because readers are suddenly confronted with vivid depictions of singers in performance that underscore the rhetorical significance of music for Wroth’s protagonists. Song appears in Urania and in other romances of the period primarily as a privileged and enabling mode of communication and self-expression that makes possible the articulation of otherwise inexpressible feelings.⁵⁷ Although non-musical lyric utterance assumes a similar role, exemplified by the sonnets Wroth’s protagonists carve on trees or recite to themselves and to each other, song performance seems to have been associated in the period with an especially vulnerable mode of selfexpression.⁵⁸ In John Donne’s “The Triple Fool” (pub. 1633), the speaker describes verse as “tam[ing]” and “fetter[ing]” his amorous pain: “Grief ⁵⁷ See R. S. White, “Functions of Poems and Songs in Elizabethan Romance and Romantic Comedy,” English Studies, 68/5 (October 1987), 392–405. Critics have also noted the influence of continental models on Wroth’s Urania. Anthony Munday’s 1619 translation of the fourteenth-century Spanish romance Amadis de Gaul and the 1620 English translation of Honoré d’Urfé’s novel L’Astrée both make use of song as a narrative device; these translations were dedicated to Philip and Susan Herbert (Wroth’s close friend Susan was the dedicatee of Urania). Song’s prominence in Urania probably also owes much to Jorge de Montemayor’s Diana (pub. 1559), another influential romance text. See Naomi J. Miller, Changing the Subject: Mary Wroth and Figurations of Gender in Early Modern England (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996), 160–4; Hannay, Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth, 30–2, 210–11. ⁵⁸ In an intriguing reading, Max W. Thomas argues that the lyrics carved into trees in Urania are simultaneously inscribed on the self, a “process of consumption” that “occasions the lovers’ songs.” See “Urban Semiosis in Early Modern London,” Genre, 30/1 (1997), 20.

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brought to numbers cannot be so fierce.” But then, he laments, that poem is set to music, and then sung, a transformation that “increased” both his love and his sorrow: Some man, his art and voice to show, Doth set and sing my pain, And, by delighting many, frees again Grief, which verse did restrain.⁵⁹

Overheard expostulations and dialogues, whether spoken or sung, were a frequent plot device in the period, as Wroth’s romance exemplifies. Donne’s speaker, however, associates this pain with the circulation of his verse through musical performance, lamenting the exposure occasioned by the process of setting the poem to music and the appropriation of that lyric by a singer. Music, moreover, had an unnerving capacity to penetrate architectural, natural, and indeed physiological boundaries in unexpected ways.⁶⁰ While both men and women sing and overhear songs in Urania, the affective spectrum associated with song composition and performance assumes particular discursive significance for Wroth’s female protagonists. Like the moments of storytelling and lyric composition facilitated by Urania’s gardens, woods, and chambers that have been traced by Naomi Miller and Julie Eckerle among others, song functions as a narrative device that facilitates women’s self-expression and communal interchange in the romance.⁶¹ To a much greater degree than stories and poems, however, the discursive and affective function of song—indeed of music more broadly—was highly gendered in the early modern period. As I argued in Chapter 2, cultural anxieties about musical performance centered on the sexualized interplay between sonic production and the ability to control one’s body and one’s passions.⁶² Urging readers to “moderate the use of music,” Calvin’s preface to the Geneva Psalter warns against “giving free rein to dissoluteness or of our making ourselves effeminate with disordered

⁵⁹ John Donne, The Complete English Poems, ed. A. J. Smith (London: Penguin, 1986), 81. ⁶⁰ On the flexibility and porousness of the boundaries framing musical performance, see Austern, Bailey, and Eubanks Winkler (eds), Beyond Boundaries. ⁶¹ See Naomi J. Miller, Changing the Subject, esp. chs 5–6, and “Engendering Discourse: Women’s Voices in Wroth’s Urania and Shakespeare’s Plays,” in Miller and Waller (eds), Reading Mary Wroth, 154–72; Julie A. Eckerle, “Urania’s Example: The Female Storyteller in Early Modern English Romance,” in Lamb and Bamford (eds), Oral Traditions and Gender, 25–39. ⁶² See also Bloom, Voice in Motion, esp. ch. 1.

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pleasures.”⁶³ Philip Sidney’s Musidorus articulates a related concern when he overhears the cross-dressed Pyrocles singing in book one of the Arcadia, reminding his friend that, “if we wil be men, the reasonable parte of our soule, is to have absolute commaundement.”⁶⁴ If men risked effeminacy as a result of overindulgence in musical activities or choice of inappropriate repertoire, female performers, often depicted seductively, risked their sexual virtue. The title page of Parthenia (1613), a word derived from the Greek parthenos (“maiden” or “virgin”), playfully taps into the eroticization of female musicians in the period. The engraving features a young woman playing the virginals. Her eyes are demurely downcast, but she is turning towards her audience and her hair flows loose. The subtitle of the book, meanwhile, which is a collection of keyboard music, claims “  of the first musicke that ever was printed for the .”⁶⁵ The representations of song performance that pervade Urania accentuate these intersections among gender and musical affect. While Wroth’s male protagonists also resort to song to express their amorous turmoil, it is more often women who are associated in her romance with unrestrained music and corresponding unrestrained emotion. Take, for instance, the naive young lady of part one, book four, whose passion is likened to “powder tak[ing] fire” and who “ware[s]” a lyric supposedly crafted by her beloved “out of breath with singing” (1.605–6). It is not a coincidence that Antissia’s excessive desire, eventually verging on madness, is expressed in Urania primarily through song. In part one, book one, Wroth associates Antissia explicitly with a song that refuses to respect the boundaries of musical or lyric composition: “she began to sing a Song, or rather part of one. . . . Assuredly more there was of this Song, or else she had with her unframd and unfashioned thoughts, as unfashionably framed these lines” (1.147). Antissia’s song also picks up on the early modern assumption that music reflected the internal emotional state of the singer: compare her unfinished and disorderly composition with Philarchos’ elegantly sung sonnet, which mirrors his own “excellent proportion” (1.198). By part two, book one, Antissia—now “the mad Queene”—sings “extravagantly . . . stiring up and downe like an new broke colte in a haulter” (2.51).

⁶³ Calvin, “Epistle to the Reader,” 157. ⁶⁴ Sidney, The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia, in The Prose Works of Sir Philip Sidney, i. 77. ⁶⁵ William Byrd, John Bull, and Orlando Gibbons, Parthenia . . . (London: Dor. Evans, 1613). The text also provides evidence for women’s involvement in the musical book trade. See Helen Smith, “ ‘Grossly Material Things,’ ” 139.

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The shepherdess Lemnia’s song in part one, book four “Love growne proud,” is likewise associated with the risks of unbounded desire. Her song affirms her commitment to constancy and her resistance to Cupid’s power, but she sings “merrily, and carelesly of either being heard, or the power of love” (1.650), and only one page later falls passionately in love with the Prince of Venice. A setting based on this text is in the Bodleian Library in a manuscript of songs by John Wilson (Companion Recording, Track 11. “Love growne proud” (John Wilson)).⁶⁶ The structure of the musical setting, which can be seen in Figure 3.1, helps in places to reinforce rhetorically the speaker’s struggle against Cupid. In line one, for example, the melody moves upward in leaps in reference to love’s pride and passion, returning back to earth as the speaker tries to resist love’s turmoil with the line “to which I would not agree.” There is a similar melodic arc in the third phrase “love but glories in fond loveing, I must Joye in not removeing.”⁶⁷ In performance, Lucas and I accentuated Lemnia’s struggle by playing with the tempo governing these melodic arcs, speeding up to underscore the intensity of her suffering and slowing down at moments where she renews her commitment to constancy. This contrast is especially apparent in our interpretation of the second phrase, which briefly comes to rest with the allusion to a “settled minde,” and in the pensiveness of the final line, where Lemnia reiterates the importance of “not removeing.” In what follows, I will unpack these issues in more detail in relation to a fascinating moment of song performance from part two of Urania. The scene in question is the one with which I opened this book. Unfolding in “a most delicate and pleasant garden” that abounds with “Musick . . . of all sorts” (2.29–32), it features an extensive discussion about women’s vocal technique that is prompted by Amphilanthus’ commendation of the voice as the most “heavenly” of instruments and his defense of “stronge” female singers: “I love a lady that when she putts forth her voice makes the roome rattle,” he declares (2.30). The scene culminates in Pamphilia’s performance for her courtly audience of a song composed by Amphilanthus. Gavin Alexander has read this scene as a moment of “ironic group sprezzatura”

⁶⁶ Bodleian MS Mus. b. 1, 18r. A facsimile of the manuscript is included in Jorgens (ed.), English Song, fo. vii. ⁶⁷ I am quoting here from Wilson’s score. Interestingly, Wroth’s version in Urania renders this line as “most,” rather than “must.” I am grateful to my research assistant Claire Duncan for observing this difference. Wilson’s rendition of the lyric is quite distinct (and sets only the first stanza of Wroth’s poem), but, as Claire noted in an interchange with me, “the sense of being forced to joy, rather than choosing to joy in removing seems to be quite different.”

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Figure 3.1. John Wilson, “Love growne proud,” MS Mus. b. 1, fo. 18r. The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford.

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as first Amphilanthus and then the King of Morea teasingly and selfdeprecatingly distance themselves, and then Pamphilia, from any claim to vocal skill.⁶⁸ Underneath this playfulness, however, the scene, together with the interchange that frames Pamphilia’s performance, offers an important commentary on the interplay between gender, lyric circulation, and embodied song performance in the period that I have been exploring. My focus here is on Wroth’s ambiguous deployment of the word “feign” throughout the scene. Wroth’s decision to associate Pamphilia with a “faining” style seems to testify, on one level, to her musical skill, though the passage in question is problematic: she was nott nise, butt wowld singe with fainings and excuses, like ordinary musitians, and soe calling some of the rarest lutanists to her she sunge, and indeed most excellently. And what most most [sic] rare was, she had noe skill att all, butt by the eare wowld singe the skillfullest songs the rarest men of skill cowld singe; and such she called to accompany her, and allthough she were the best, yett did her naturall perfections surpass ther artificiall, as showed how truly Nature excelleth arte. (2.30)

The word “fainings” here may well denote quiet singing. This would align Pamphilia’s performance with the preferences Castiglione and other musical theorists espouse for gentler, “sweet” singing, especially within intimate spaces.⁶⁹ It would also help in part to explain Wroth’s reference to Pamphilia’s decorous “excuses.” But the word “feign” was also used in the period to denote musical training, including the ability to add sharps and flats by ear to anticipate harmonic shifts, even if those changes are not specified in the musical notation (musica ficta, or par feinte in French).⁷⁰ When Pamphilia is finally prevailed upon to sing, Wroth describes her as having “noe skill att all.” Nonetheless, she proceeds to dazzle her listeners with her “naturall perfections,” singing by ear and by memory “the skillfullest songs the rarest men of skill cowld singe.”⁷¹ Pamphilia’s musical technique, Wroth implies, seems to have been acquired naturally. A person immersed in the musical culture of a courtly ⁶⁸ Alexander, “The Musical Sidneys,” 95. ⁶⁹ See Wistreich, “Reconstructing,” 182–3. ⁷⁰ “feign, v.,” OED Online (Oxford University Press, March 2019), . ⁷¹ This ambiguity is reinforced by the word “nise,” which Gossett and Mueller gloss as “shy,” but which in the context of this passage could be read just as easily as “extravagant, showy, ostentatious.” “nice, adj. and adv.,” OED Online (Oxford University Press, March 2019), .

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household could certainly have absorbed and memorized popular tunes. In part one, book one of Urania, Steriamus tells Amphilanthus that he learned to play his lute “in the Court since my comming thither” (1.70). But—the magic of romance aside—high-quality performance on demand is quite another thing, and suggests a certain degree of musical education, despite Wroth’s conventional protestations to the contrary. Pamphilia certainly knows enough to call forward the “rarest lutanists” to accompany her, and she more than holds her own alongside the trained male singers who join in. Wroth goes so far as to liken her to “ordinary” musicians in the passage, a word that connects her to the professional musicians performing at the court. While Pamphilia’s “fainings” are integral to her sprezzatura here, the richly ambiguous function of the word in this scene also begins to point us to the ways in which Pamphilia’s performance—however decorous and skillful—exemplifies the disturbing excess and the affective force associated with the singing body. The word “feign,” of course, also carries connotations of deceit. This emerges powerfully in book two of The Faerie Queene (1590), where Spenser characterizes the buzzing contents of the imagination as “all that fained is, as leasings, tales, and lies”; “feigning” crops up in poetic treatises of the period as a synonym not just for poetic mimesis but for “counterfeiting.”⁷² Amphilanthus plays on this meaning when he declares immediately before Pamphilia’s performance that he loves “strength in all things, especially in truth, and fained hath noe share in that” (2.30). The pun is ironic in the first instance, reminding readers of Amphilanthus’ own struggles with constancy. Yet it also underscores the anxiety surrounding women’s (and music’s) capacity for deception and seduction. The seemingly conventional debate between “natural” and “artificial” singing styles that undergirds this scene is grounded in the cultural anxieties discussed in Chapter 2 concerning the efficacy and the potency of musical, like rhetorical, ornament, especially when emanating from the mouth of a female singer. Recall Castiglione’s warning that women should strive for implicitly natural “sweetness” when singing rather than “loud[ness]” he associates with the

⁷² Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, ed. Thomas P. Roche, Jr (London: Penguin, 1978), 2.9.51 (324). On feigning as poetic imitation and counterfeiting, see Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 96; Sidney, Defence, 17; and Scott, The Model of Poesy, 11. Margaret Cavendish puts a gendered and physiological spin on these resonances in Sociable Letter 93, where she castigates pregnant women who “have such Feigned Coughs, and fetch their Breath Short, with such Feigning Laziness.” Cavendish, Sociable Letters, 146.

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vocal “art” of “diminution” or melodic embellishment.⁷³ Amphilanthus draws further attention to singing’s gendered and implicitly sexualized nuances when he quips that he prefers the loud, strong voice of the chapel boy to that of a “faining Ladys Chamber” (2.30). Amphilanthus’ remark underscores one further musical connotation of the word “feign” that warrants exploration in relation to Pamphilia’s song, that of the “feigned voice” or voce finta, an airy and potentially piercing sound associated with the upper registers of the singing voice.⁷⁴ In the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, music theorists distinguished between two vocal registers: the lower chest voice and the falsetto. The term “feign” seems to have been used interchangeably with the term falsetto, usually in relation to male singers, to denote a part of the upper voice beyond the natural compass of the chest register. Daniel Robinson’s An Essay upon Vocal Musick gives some insight into the vocal reach implied by “feigning” when he confesses his confusion over the limits of the conventional scale by noting that most singers he knows “can reach the Compass of fourteen or fifteen Notes, without feigning their Voices.”⁷⁵ The aesthetic quality of the higher, breathier sound in question was up for debate. In Le nuove musiche, Caccini declares that singers should strive to avoid the feigned voice, using instead the “full, natural” sound of the chest voice.⁷⁶ Lodovico Zacconi too prefers the chest voice to the upper register, which he describes as “shrill and penetrating.”⁷⁷ Feigning was also gendered; Wayne Koestenbaum compellingly situates “feigned sound” as “part of the history of effeminacy.”⁷⁸ When deployed to effect, however, the feigned voice seems to have exerted considerable force over an audience. Marin Mersenne does not use the word explicitly, but, when debating the relative merits of the higher and ⁷³ Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, 154. For the Italian, see Castiglione, Il libro del cortegiano, sig. i iiir. ⁷⁴ For discussions of the feigned voice, see Edward Huys Jones, The Performance of English Song, 44–7; Cornelius L. Reid, Bel Canto: Principles and Practices (New York: Joseph Patelson Music House, 1950), 102–7; and Peter Giles, The History and Technique of the Counter-Tenor: A Study of the Male High Voice Family (Aldershot: Scholar Press, 1994), 219–27. ⁷⁵ Daniel Robinson, An Essay Upon Vocal Musick, 3. ⁷⁶ Caccini, Le nuove musiche, 56. See also Zarlino, who argues that the voice “should not be pushed outside its natural limits” and should avoid the extremes of high and low registers. “The Art of Counterpoint,” 112. Helkiah Crooke articulates a similar distinction in Mikrokosmographia in his discussion of hearing: “that which is naturall is more pleasant then that which is counterfeited and fained” (p. 699). ⁷⁷ Lodovico Zacconi, Prattica di musica (1592), quoted in James Stark, Bel Canto: A History of Vocal Pedagogy (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999), 59. ⁷⁸ Wayne Koestenbaum, The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire (New York: Poseidon Press, 1993), 164.

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lower registers of the voice, he notes that, although some auditors insist on the natural sound of the middle range, “l’on rencontre un plus grand nombre d’hommes qui se plaisent davantage aux Sons aigus [high-pitched] qu’aux moyens” because of their capacity to ravish and flatter the hearer and revive the spirit (“ravit l’auditeur”; “flate l’oreille, & reveille davantage l’esprit”).⁷⁹ As long as it is well sung and does not push the ear too far in terms of shrillness, the effect could be agreeable, evoking youthful innocence. Crucially, however, it is also powerful; Mersenne likens the impact of a higher voice to the contrast between black or other “couleurs obscures” against a white backdrop.⁸⁰ His comments recall Giovanni Camillo Maffei’s 1562 letter—really a treatise—on singing, which likewise underscores the affective potency of higher voices. He notes that a singer should not feign unless he “desires to persuade, to move someone, and to impose his will.”⁸¹ It is perhaps for this reason that, in Act 1, scene 1, of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Egeus castigates Lysander for wooing Hermia with “verses of feigning love” sung with “feigning voice” (1.1.31). The affective impact of Lysander’s song is crucial to the passage, though editors of the play have overlooked it, usually glossing the musical sense of the word “feign” simply as “soft” singing. When Pamphilia steps forward to sing “with fainings and excuses,” therefore, Wroth’s language signals far more than the “certain shyness” and “noble shame” Castiglione demands that a female singer exhibit when she allows herself to be “begged a little” to sing.⁸² As readers, we have access only to the text of the final song of Pamphilia’s set, a poem attributed to William Herbert (2.30–1). While a number of musical settings of Herbert’s texts are extant, we do not know whether this lyric was ever set to music. The poem sets up a tension between an idealized moderate and reciprocated affection—“Had I loved butt att that rate | . . . I had full requited binn”—and, in the final stanza, an excessive love that ends up constraining the lover, unwittingly prompting her neglect. Herbert’s

⁷⁹ Mersenne, Harmonie universelle, i. 73. (“One meets an increasing number of men who take pleasure in high-pitched sounds, rather than in the middle register” (my translation).) ⁸⁰ Mersenne, Harmonie universelle, i. 73. ⁸¹ Giovanni Camillo Maffei, “Letter on Singing,” in Carol MacClintock (ed. and trans.), Readings in the History of Music in Performance (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982), 42. For the Italian, see Nanie Bridgman, “Giovanni Camillo Maffei et sa lettre sur le chant,” Revue de musicologie, 38/113 (1956), 17. ⁸² Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, 154. For the Italian, see Castiglione, Il libro del cortegiano, sig. i iiir.

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speaker implicitly genders this relationship throughout the song, contrasting the love “ordain’d by fate | To all your kinde” that he might expect his female beloved to reciprocate with her inability to return his more excessive feelings and maintain the boundaries proper to her sex. “Non showld bee prest,” the speaker insists in line 17, “Beeyound ther best.” Doing so risks, the final stanza implies, compromising the addressee’s identity as a woman: “I did give thee more, | Then againe thou cowldst restore, | And woeman bee.” Instead, the beloved opts for “excess[ive]” neglect in response to his effusive “respect.” Pamphilia’s assumption of the male speaker’s lyric “I” in her performance both intensifies and problematizes the song’s preoccupation with affective moderation and excess. In one sense, Pamphilia’s performance stands as a moment of lyric distancing. Playfully picking up on the “faining” that has dominated the scene until this point, she uses the song to ventriloquize her desire for Amphilanthus and to berate him for his inconstancy. At the same time, her choice of repertoire—a song that Amphilanthus himself composed and sang to Antissia under “a shew of love” (2.30)—offers a sly commentary on Amphilanthus’ supposed dismissal of “faining” earlier in the scene. Actual song performances by women in Urania are rare. Pamphilia and her peers tend rather to be associated with solitary or more private song, even if those moments are often overheard and as such problematize any clear notion of privacy. Would Wroth’s readers have read or sung these lyrics silently to themselves or, gathered together in a coterie setting and prompted by the romance’s depictions of poetic recitation and musical performance, might a reader have performed the song? Regardless, the song, which Pamphilia performs by memory, establishes a clear connection between lyric text and a moment of embodied performance that contradicts any notion that her ventriloquizing act might be read as a conventionally decorous “faining and excuse.” Pamphilia is not explicitly characterized in terms of the “stronge” voices Amphilanthus supposedly loves so much, but her voice would have made a small space rattle somewhat; this is the reality of being in close proximity to a singer, especially one with some vocal training. And either feigning or rattling becomes especially problematic when produced by a woman. While the voce finta was primarily associated with male singers, women too feigned in early modern musical contexts. One of the tales in the second volume of William Painter’s The Palace of Pleasure (1567) features “three famous women” who, among other accomplishments, can “play upon

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Instruments” and boast “a heavenlie voice to faine and sing.”⁸³ In Urania, the King of Morea is surely referring to this style in the extended discussion of feigning that precedes Pamphilia’s performance. He relates that, “once I remember an other lady of our Court who sunge prettely, but fainedly, for that was a singing in great request amongst us heere, that the men did faine ther voices too” (2.30). This vogue for higher vocal colors was reflected in the popularity of female virtuosi at the court of Ferrara in the final decades of the sixteenth century. If a setting of Pamphilia’s song were high enough to require her to “feign,” the sound she would have produced when she accessed her upper register would have been quite different from the male falsetto. If we interpret Pamphilia’s “faining” in the light of the preceding discussion about vocal aesthetics, Wroth gives the clearest insight into what her song might have sounded like when the king compares ladies’ feigning with the boy sopranos singing in chapel choirs.⁸⁴ This was not necessarily a very gentle sound. Theorists distinguish explicitly between the fuller (though still “moderated”) singing required of church contexts in the period and the quieter sonic palette suited to more intimate domestic settings: “in private chambers [the singer] should use a subdued and sweet voice and avoid clamor.”⁸⁵ Pamphilia’s choice of song also picks up on the persuasive impact associated with feigning. It concludes with a reference to the speaker’s ability to “bind” the unresponsive beloved to him and to make her “ungratefull . . . against [her] will” (2.31). If a setting of the text shifted the singer into the upper register of her voice at the conclusion of this stanza, the affective force of Pamphilia’s “faining” would have been underscored even further. No setting for “Had I loved” survives, although Mary Ellen Lamb’s current work on William Herbert makes an important case for situating his writings

⁸³ William Painter, The Second Tome of the Palace of Pleasure . . . (London: Nicholas England, 1567), 89. ⁸⁴ Mersenne justifies the appeal of the higher vocal register specifically in terms of the “innocence” of children’s voices (Harmonie universelle, i. 73). In The Purple Island, or The Isle of Man (1633), Phineas Fletcher uses the term “feigne” to denote the musical and lyric composition of his singing shepherds, whom he characterizes explicitly in terms of their “sprouting youth [that] did now but greenly bud” (Fletcher, The Purple Island (Amsterdam, NY: Da Capo Press, 1971), 2). ⁸⁵ See Zarlino, “The Art of Counterpoint,” 111. The Italian reads: “nelle Camere si canta con voce piu sommessa, & soave, senza fare alcun strepito.” The word “soave” suggests both softness and sweetness. Gioseffo Zarlino, Le istitutioni harmoniche: A Facsimile of the 1558 Venice Edition (New York: Broude Brothers, 1965), 204. See also Wistreich, “Reconstructing,” 181–3; Timothy J. McGee, “Vocal Performance in the Renaissance,” in Colin Lawson and Robin Stowell (eds), The Cambridge History of Musical Performance (Cambridge: CUP, 2006), 321–2.

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in a context of poetic exchange that includes musical performance.⁸⁶ Some insight into the musical impact that Pamphilia’s performance might have had on her hearers, however, can be gleaned from the setting of the first stanza of another Urania lyric, “Was I to blame,” attributed to Ferrabosco and which may have been composed in collaboration with Wroth (Companion Recording, Track 12. “Was I to blame” (Alfonso Ferrabosco)). Preserved in manuscript in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, Ferrabosco’s setting follows the nuances of Wroth’s text closely.⁸⁷ The piece opens introspectively, in the minor mode, as the speaker wonders how she could have judged her lover’s tears as anything but sincere, given the earnestness of her own. The song goes on to contrast the superficiality of the beloved’s tears with the deep lines engraved in her heart by her own experience of grief. The setting becomes increasingly impassioned, punctuated by harmonic shifts and by rests that evoke the gasping of her sobs. In performance, Lucas and I felt a pull throughout this piece between the intimacy of the speaker’s experience of betrayal and her angry disbelief. I found myself instinctively slowing the tempo, caressing the text, and lightening my tone to accentuate moments of introspection. Lucas also made a point of spreading out the chordal textures of his accompaniment to draw attention to the speaker’s thought process. This can be heard at the outset of the piece, and again at the line “When in my hart each teare did write a line” (2.137). At this point, the downward momentum of trickling tears in the lute propelled us forward into the angry lament of the beloved’s contrasting and hypocritical “outward showe” (2.137). The setting helps to reinforce these shifts by moving upwards in a natural crescendo as the speaker’s frustration and betrayal bursts forth. Lucas and I leaned into the tempo at these moments; on the companion recording it is also possible to hear some particularly indignant twangs on the lute, notably just before the phrase beginning “cowld I suspect” (2.137). The repetition of this second part of the piece further deepens this emotional fluctuation; Lucas and I interpreted it as moving the speaker away from internal reflection toward direct confrontation. In an intriguing echo of my discussion of “feigning,” this section of the piece pushed me into the upper register of my voice. It was common in this period for performers to adjust the pitch ⁸⁶ Mary Ellen Lamb, “ ‘Can you suspect a change in me?’: Poems by Mary Wroth and William Herbert, Third Earl of Pembroke,” in Larson, Miller, and Strycharski (eds), Re-Reading Mary Wroth, 53–68. ⁸⁷ Alexander discusses this setting and its musical context in detail in “The Musical Sidneys,” 95–102. His analysis includes a modern transcription of the piece (pp. 99–100).

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of a particular piece to best fit a singer’s range. Lucas and I moved this setting down a little bit so that the final lines sat more comfortably in my voice, rather than right at the transition point between my registers. Still, I was conscious of the potentially more piercing sound of the final, highest line, a sound that mirrored the anguish articulated in the lyric. I remember performing this repetition in the studio with my eyes closed, fists balled, imagining myself as a furiously heartbroken Pamphilia chastising Amphilanthus for his faithlessness. The poem is recited rather than sung in Wroth’s romance, but it offers a fitting counterpoint to “Had I loved,” especially since it is penned by Pamphilia and performed by Amphilanthus later in part two. In the mouth of the unfaithful Amphilanthus, of course, the lyric is deeply ironic. When voiced by a female singer, however, as is the case on the companion recording, the song connects us to the kind of acoustic experience evoked by Wroth’s description of Pamphilia singing “Had I loved” in Urania’s musical garden. As if to defuse the force of what the audience has just witnessed, Amphilanthus and Pamphilia are quick to neutralize the affective impact of her song. When Amphilanthus praises her for the delicacy and excellency of her interpretation, Pamphilia responds with a conventional humility topos that paradoxically positions herself as a silent subject even as she speaks: “Itt is nott in a woeman to adventure, Great Emperour . . . to answere you, whos excellency in all things butt needs putt soe weake a creature to silence, nott daring to answere such parfections” (2.31). Amphilanthus’ “speech,” she concludes, “makes all toungus dumm, nott able to answer” (2.32). In response, Amphilanthus ironically praises her self-deprecating stance as “confirm[ing] the excellency of [her] voice” (2.32). This is a far cry from making the room rattle. The interchange safely contains Pamphilia as Castiglione’s consummate ladylike performer. The ventriloquized lyric, together with its framing by Pamphilia’s strange voicing of her reticence, could arguably position the rhetorical significance of this moment alongside less audible manifestations of the female voice: the whispers, sighs, sobs, and speaking silences documented by scholars such as Gina Bloom and Christina Luckyj.⁸⁸ However, although Pamphilia foregrounds Amphilanthus’ “speech” and his poetic text immediately after the performance at the expense of her own voice—“The words, my Lord . . . deserves a farr better singer” (2.31)—the acoustic reality of Pamphilia’s song ⁸⁸ See Bloom, Voice in Motion, esp. ch. 2, and Christina Luckyj, “A moving Rhetoricke”: Gender and Silence in Early Modern England (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002).

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gives us the female voice and the female body in all its breathy, rattly, “drastic” magnificence. In a cultural context in which, as Bonnie Gordon argues, “female musicians assault the senses,”⁸⁹ this is a performance that thoroughly destabilizes any notion of female silence. Although Pamphilia’s audience (and Pamphilia herself) do their best to contain the song with nods to sprezzatura and humility topoi, Pamphilia’s singing, coupled with her choice of repertoire, radically foregrounds the affective and excessive potency of women’s songs in Wroth’s romance. The fact that she performs the song, rather than simply singing it to herself, only heightens the significance of this moment. Pamphilia’s “faining” provides an especially riveting illustration of Wroth’s fascination with the affective power of song, the physical reality of singing, and the fluid contexts of song circulation and performance. Taken as a whole, however, Wroth’s songs, whether preserved in the Folger manuscript of Pamphilia to Amphilanthus, repositioned in the published 1621 sequence, or situated in Urania—and indeed Love’s Victory, which I will discuss in more detail in Chapter 4—as moments of embodied performance, help to illuminate how the affective impact of song shifts within different textual, generic, and performance settings and demonstrate the extent to which Wroth conceived of song in relation to a process of embodied circulation. The allusions to vocal music that pervade her writings cannot be separated from the singing bodies that carried and voiced those songs. If reading Wroth’s songs in musical terms, as traces of song performance, helps to illuminate the material structure of the Folger manuscript and the circulation of the songs included within it, the songs that pervade her writings also underscore the musical significance of the lyric voice and of the musical settings within which early modern English song texts moved.

⁸⁹ Gordon, Monteverdi’s Unruly Women, 9.

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4 Household Songs

The final sections of this book shift, crescendo-like, from genres where the traces of women’s singing bodies hover as muted, ghostlike presences behind lyrics too often divorced from musical contexts of circulation, to more obviously performance-oriented texts whose dramatic structure imbues them with music and sound. This auditory shift is most palpable in the case of the masque, which will be discussed further in Chapter 5, even if critics have tended to foreground the genre’s visual splendor at the expense of its sonic attributes. Women’s household plays, however, the focus of this chapter, have been trickier to detach from the page. Full appreciation of the musical dimensions of the genre has been hampered by a bias still persisting within early modern studies that has categorized—and often, by extension, implicitly dismissed—it as “closet” drama. Among scholars of early modern women’s writing, the practice-oriented work of Alison Findlay, Stephanie Hodgson-Wright, and Gweno Williams has done much to disrupt this critical inertia. Since the publication of their influential Women and Dramatic Production 1500–1700, scholars and students have become increasingly attuned to women’s active contributions as writers and as performers to household theatricals.¹ The groundbreaking stagings and video recordings of plays by Jane Lumley, Mary Sidney, Elizabeth Cary, Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley, Mary Wroth, and Margaret Cavendish that have emerged alongside their scholarship, meanwhile, have showcased the performance potential of plays authored by women for domestic and coterie contexts, whether read aloud communally or staged.² ¹ Alison Findlay and Stephanie Hodgson-Wright with Gweno Williams, Women and Dramatic Production 1550–1700 (Harlow: Longman, 2000). ² For examples of these productions, see the account of the Tinderbox Theatre Company’s staging of The Tragedy of Mariam, directed by Stephanie Hodgson-Wright, in her edition of Elizabeth Cary, The Tragedy of Mariam: The Fair Queen of Jewry (Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2000), 31, 184–7; Scenes from a Pastorall by Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley, Lancaster University Television, 2000, directed by Alison Findlay; and Margaret Cavendish: Plays in Performance, The Margaret Cavendish Performance Project DVD, produced and directed by Gweno Williams, 2004. See also Alison Findlay, “Theatres for Early Modern

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Despite growing evidence supporting the performability of women’s dramatic writings, reading the songs that appear in these works from a musical perspective necessitates a larger leap of imaginative speculation. This is not to suggest that animating the musical elements of plays produced for commercial or court settings in the period is, by contrast, straightforward. Tiffany Stern’s work on the “lost songs” of early modern drama has shown that surviving playtexts and entertainments rarely preserve musical elements intact.³ Sometimes all that remains is a song text, with no extant setting, sometimes just an indication that a song or musical interlude should be performed, and sometimes nothing at all. Trying to fill these gaps from a contemporary perspective opens a methodological quagmire. Ross Duffin’s groundbreaking Shakespeare’s Songbook is a case in point. Matching Shakespeare’s song texts and musical allusions with popular tunes from the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the project has been critiqued for an approach that inevitably relies on guesswork and approximation. While it cannot restore Shakespeare’s “original” music—and Duffin’s work is misrepresented when advertised as promising this feat—the collection and its accompanying recordings nonetheless make an invaluable contribution to early modern sound studies, doing much to bring to life the kind of “songscape” within which an early modern theatregoer might have been immersed.⁴ However imperfect, the speculative reanimation exemplified by Shakespeare’s Songbook becomes more complicated in the case of household drama. It requires confronting a near-total absence of musical settings and performance records as well as ongoing resistance toward reading the genre in performance terms at all. Yet, as Findlay reminds us, speculation, undertaken with the knowledge that early modern women’s drama was the product of a deeply theatrical culture, is vital for a full appreciation of the genre.⁵ In taking this imaginative leap, my analysis in this chapter examines Women’s Drama: From Household to Playhouse,” in Rina Walthaus and Marguérite Corporaal (eds), Heroines of the Golden StAge: Women and Drama in Spain and England 1500–1700 (Kassel, Germany: Reichenberger, 2008), 205–23; and Gweno Williams, “ ‘Why may not a lady write a good play?’: Plays by Early Modern Women Reassessed as Performance Texts,” in S. P. Cerasano and Marion Wynne-Davies (eds), Readings in Renaissance Women’s Drama: Criticism, History, and Performance 1594–1998 (London: Routledge, 1998), 95–107. ³ Stern, Documents of Performance, 120–73. ⁴ Duffin’s recently published project on the songs of Renaissance comedy, Some Other Note, builds on this work. See also Henze, Robert Armin and Shakespeare’s Performed Songs, which includes performance editions of seventeen songs from Shakespeare’s plays. ⁵ Findlay, “Theatres for Early Modern Women’s Drama,” 207.

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the traces of music and song in extant household playtexts alongside a different performance archive from the recording that serves as a foundation for acoustic analysis elsewhere in this study: contemporary stagings. Findlay, Hodgson-Wright, and Williams’s work has inspired innovative performances in university classrooms and at academic conferences around the world. In recent years, however, a new flourishing of theatre companies and feminist performance initiatives have been making early modern women’s dramatic texts a priority of their mandate and bringing them to life for public, as well as academic, audiences. As such, it is an opportune moment to probe the vocal music that enriched at least some of these plays. My argument begins by opening up the closet—understood both as an architectural and acoustic space within the early modern household and as a generic marker for women’s dramatic productions—as a way of considering the kinds of musical practices housed under the broad category of household drama. I will draw on a series of household texts that have recently been staged: Jane Lumley’s manuscript translation of Iphigenia at Aulis (c.1554), which was produced by the Rose Company and enjoyed a successful UK tour in 2013–14, and the printed plays of Margaret Cavendish, notably The Convent of Pleasure (pub. 1668), which was staged by the Toronto Masque Theatre in 2012 and by the New Perspectives Theatre Company’s On Her Shoulders reading series in 2014. Opening outward from the closet to the architectural site of the great hall, the final part of the chapter will examine the songs that pervade Mary Wroth’s pastoral tragicomedy Love’s Victory, which was produced in the Baron’s Hall of Penshurst Place as a part of the Shakespeare’s Globe’s Read Not Dead reading series in the summer of 2014.⁶ These staging experiments do not pretend to reproduce historical practice, though to different degrees they do incorporate features that are suggestive of early modern household performance. In the case of the Globe’s premiere of Love’s Victory, the staging connects us also to historical setting, since Wroth’s play may well have been performed in the Baron’s Hall at Penshurst Place in the early seventeenth century; the spatial details of her tragicomedy ⁶ Reviews of these productions can be found in EMW 9/2 (Spring 2015). See Marta Straznicky, Review of Love’s Victory, 166–70; Emma Whipday, Review of Iphigenia at Aulis, 144–8; and Katherine R. Larson, Review of The Convent of Pleasure, 170–5. Another review of the Read Not Dead Love’s Victory, by Marion Wynne-Davies, can be found in Sidney Journal, 34/1 (2016), 123–6. Naomi Miller explores how the On Her Shoulders and Read Not Dead productions impact on our reading of gender roles in The Convent of Pleasure and Love’s Victory in “Playing with Margaret Cavendish and Mary Wroth: Staging Early Modern Women’s Dramatic Romances for Modern Audiences,” EMW 10/2 (Spring 2016), 95–110.

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are informed by the geography of the Sidney estate. Even when less obviously connected to early modern contexts of circulation and performance, however, these productions serve as instructive test cases. They bring a vital acoustic perspective to textual markers of music and song that, when considered in terms of an individual reading experience, have too often been silenced. More broadly, they offer tangible sonic insight into the affective significance of music and song within plays that continue to be undervalued as viable performance documents.

Closet Singing The household constituted the primary site for women’s music-making in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It was within the home that an educated woman might have sung the settings of Mary Sidney’s Psalms 51 and 130 explored in Chapter 1, honed the vocal techniques that were the focus of Chapter 2, and performed a wide range of song genres, whether alone, with a music tutor, or in an intimate gathering of friends and family. Talented female singers would also have been involved in larger-scale events, whether communal readings that incorporated music and song, semi- or fully staged household plays, or household masques. Even women without the privilege of musical training would have considered psalm-singing an important part of their domestic religious practice and would have derived entertainment from singing ballads and other popular tunes. Such musical practices, while certainly more intimate than congregational psalm-singing or the musical cries employed by singing vendors and balladmongers on the streets of London, were not synonymous with withdrawal.⁷ Recent work in early modern studies has disrupted the rigid boundary between “private” and “public” that has constricted critical discussions of household activities and, by extension, women’s artistic endeavors within domestic spaces.⁸ The thresholds of the early modern home were patrolled ⁷ Female singers were involved in commercial music practices as well. For a fascinating analysis of women’s street cries, see Natasha Korda, “Gender at Work in the Cries of London,” in Lamb and Bamford (eds), Oral Traditions and Gender, 117–35. On the politicized function of domestic musical contexts, see Linda Phyllis Austern, “Domestic Song and the Circulation of Masculine Social Energy in Early Modern England,” in Dunn and Larson (eds), Gender and Song, 123–38. ⁸ On the implications for women of the spatial slippage between private and public, see especially Lena Cowen Orlin, Locating Privacy in Tudor London (Oxford: OUP, 2007); Mary

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and conceived in gendered terms, especially by prescriptive writers, but they were far from fixed. Privacy, moreover—certainly as it is currently understood—was a rare experience. Household estates were thriving businesses, and the function of homes and the spaces within them shifted according to their occupants. This was especially true of aristocratic households, which could be transformed into temporary courts when hosting royal progresses or, at the opposite extreme, military garrisons when occupied by armies; the Cavendish estates at Welbeck Abbey and Bolsover Castle assumed both functions in the 1630s and 1640s. In a context where the audience of an entertainment could include the monarch, as when a teenaged Mary Wroth danced for Queen Elizabeth during a royal visit to Penshurst, “household” music-making becomes a much less cloistered practice than it might at first appear.⁹ The music that emanated from bedchambers, communal dining rooms, great halls, and gardens in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries reinforces the permeability of these household boundaries, both indoors and outdoors. Each of these spaces represents a discrete architectural site, yet the sound of the musical activities taking place within them would have passed through walls, ricocheted through archways, and soared over hedges in unpredictable ways.¹⁰ This was true even of the closet, arguably the most secluded space within the household and one that has, as a result, become a focal point for discussions about early modern “privacy.” Closets feature prominently in accounts of domestic singing. Margaret Hoby retires to hers to sing psalms and play her “Alpherion.”¹¹ Samuel Pepys, an avowed music-lover whose diary includes considerable spatial detail in its account of his musical pastimes, goes so far as

E. Trull, Performing Privacy and Gender in Early Modern Literature (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Marta Straznicky, Privacy, Playreading, and Women’s Closet Drama, 1550–1700 (Cambridge: CUP, 2004), 12–18; Sasha Roberts, “Shakespeare ‘creepes into the womens closets about bedtime’: Women Reading in a Room of their Own,” in Gordon McMullan (ed.), Renaissance Configurations: Voices/Bodies/Spaces, 1580–1690 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 1998), 30–63; and Amanda Flather, Gender and Space in Early Modern England (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2007). See also Larson, Early Modern Women in Conversation, 43–50. ⁹ An account of this dance performance can be found in Hannay, Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth, 84. ¹⁰ See Austern, Bailey, and Eubanks Winkler (eds), Beyond Boundaries. ¹¹ Hoby, The Private Life of an Elizabethan Lady, 56. Hoby’s diary stands out for its explicit distinction between “publeck examenation and praers” and “privat praers” (p. 38), as well as for its documentation of Hoby’s movement across spatial boundaries as she tends to estate responsibilities.

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to convert his “Wardrobe” into a “room for Musique.”¹² George Puttenham situates song performance as integral to “secret recreation and pastime in chambers with company or alone.”¹³ In his treatise on psalm-singing, meanwhile, Thomas Ford provides indirect insight into the centrality of the closet as musical space when he lambasts individuals who refuse to sing in church as hypocrites, since “they do not sing in their families [either], nor in their closets, neither alone, nor with others.”¹⁴ As Ford’s allusion to solitude suggests, the closet was esteemed as a site promising musical withdrawal. Early modern religious commentators laud it as a “secret” singing space. John Wells puts it this way in The Practical Sabbatarian (1668): “And as we must pray to God, so we must sing the praises of God in secret: sometimes our closets must not only be our Oratories to poure out our prayers in, but our Mount Olivets to sing Hymns of praise to the Divine Majesty.”¹⁵ The seclusion associated with the space is most perfectly exemplified by Augustinian accounts of musical devotion taking place within the metaphorical confines of the closet-heart: I am accustomed (being guided by thy grace) to enter into the secrett closett of my hart, where I sing sonnetts of chaste love unto thee my king, and my God, groaning forth most grevious sighes in the place of this my pilgrimage, where the dittie of my songes are thy justifications.¹⁶

As Oliver Heywood argues in Closet-Prayer (1671), however, the term “closet” is better understood literally in discussions of prayerful meditation, as “a closs or secret chamber, a withdrawing-room, retiring-place, where a person is not seen or heard, nor yet is disturbed in his devotions by any noise or commotion.”¹⁷ The closet was valued for its ability to block sound in

¹² Pepys, Diary, v. 230. For examples of Pepys’s musical activities, see i. 111, i. 194, i. 205, i. 302, iii. 94, iii. 99, viii. 4, viii. 206, ix. 125, ix. 151. Pepys describes, for instance, singing catches and other popular tunes at clubs and taverns. He retires to his bedchamber to sing psalms, records songs in manuscript notebooks, and dabbles in music theory. He also gathers with family and friends to sing after dinner, both in his own house and when visiting others. ¹³ Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 135. ¹⁴ Thomas Ford, Singing the Psalmes . . . (London: F. Eaglesfield, 1659), 31. ¹⁵ John Wells, The Practical Sabbatarian . . . (London, 1668), 91. ¹⁶ Augustine, A Heavenly Treasure of Confortable Meditations and Prayers . . . , trans. Antony Batt (London: John Heigham, 1624), 74. The meditative music described here is inaudible, yet Augustine’s account still accentuates the physical and breathy production of “the dittie of [his] songes.” The passage hinges also on the lyric slippage between poem and song discussed in Chapter 1. ¹⁷ Oliver Heywood, Closet-Prayer, a Christian Duty . . . (London: Tho. Parkhurst, 1671), 4. On the closet as architectural and physiological devotional space, see Richard Rambuss, Closet Devotions (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998), 103–35; Anne Ferry, The “Inward”

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more earthly contexts as well. Consider the wonderful title of this lyric included in Dudley North’s A Forest of Varieties (1645), which pokes fun at closet soundproofing: “To her who shut him in her Closet to breake his hearing of her singing in her upper Chamber, with her Teacher, made upon the instant to perswade her to bee more free.”¹⁸ The poem capitalizes on the sexual charge surrounding music lessons and women’s music-making more generally, but it also helps to map women’s musical practices within the intimate spaces of the early modern home. No material closet, however, could have hoped to approach the obsessive insulation exhibited by Morose’s sanctuary in Epicoene (perf. 1609), “a room with double walls and treble ceilings, the windows close shut and caulked.”¹⁹ Indeed, despite the isolation associated with the space, early modern writers testify to the sonic porousness of closet walls. Lemeke Avale sets up A Commemoration or Dirige of Bastarde Edmonde Bonner (1569), for instance, as an oral performance that is overheard from an adjoining room: Here is one, quod he, with plaine Musicke Dirge like, in the next chamber, singeth to a dull base Lute I praie you let us heare him, it will not hurt us, my thinke he singeth of D. Boner, some merie vanitie, of that vain man . . . peace a little, silence my maisters, quod he, agreed saied thei. Then the fellowe on the other side of the walle, reade in the Bible to hymself alone, and that beyng dooen, he songe in rude rune, against rude Boner, the Papist bastard.²⁰

Gleaning the proceedings through the chamber walls requires effort and concentration—the speaker is not at first sure of the content of the song and has to quiet his companions in order to learn more—but the passage

Language: Sonnets of Wyatt, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983), 45–59; William W. E. Slights, The Heart in the Age of Shakespeare (Cambridge: CUP, 2008). On early modern interiority, see Katharine Eisaman Maus, Inwardness and Theater in the English Renaissance (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), and Michael C. Schoenfeldt, Bodies and Selves in Early Modern England: Physiology and Inwardness in Spenser, Shakespeare, Herbert, and Milton (Cambridge: CUP, 1999). ¹⁸ Dudley North, A Forest of Varieties. First Part (London: Richard Cotes, 1645), 26. ¹⁹ Ben Jonson, Epicene, or The Silent Woman, ed. Richard Dutton (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003), 1.1.183–4. Thomas Mace imagines an acoustically perfect music room in Musicks Monument, 238–42. See also Deborah Howard and Laura Moretti (eds), The Music Room in Early Modern France and Italy: Sound, Space, and Object, Proceedings of the British Academy 176 (Oxford: OUP, 2012), esp. Raf Orlowski, “Assessing the Acoustic Performance of Small Music Rooms: A Short Introduction,” 157–9. ²⁰ Lemeke Avale, A Commemoration or Dirige of Bastarde Edmonde Boner, Alias Savage, Usurped Bisshoppe of London (London: P. O. [John Kingston], 1569), sig. Avr. I am grateful to Jennifer Richards for directing me to this source.

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beautifully captures the sound of the speaking and singing voice escaping closet boundaries. Music also, of course, traveled into closets. In John Bulteel’s romance Birinthia (1664), for example, the titular heroine describes “being withdrawn into a pretty Closet to weep my fate at liberty,” only to be distracted by the sound of her hosts enjoying some post-banquet singing “in the next Room.”²¹ One further example warrants attention. Although less explicitly musical, Thomas Middleton and William Rowley’s The Changeling (1622) places the failure of the closet adequately to contain sound at the heart of its bloody climax. In Act 5, Alsemero encloses Beatrice-Joanna within his closet; she overhears and interrupts his ensuing interchange with De Flores from inside its walls:  (Within): He lies, the villain does belie me!  : Let me go to her, sir. : Nay, you shall to her. Peace, crying crocodile, your sounds are heard! Take your prey to you, get you in to her, sir.²² Their encounter culminates in Beatrice-Joanna’s murder, which again is depicted as overheard from outside the closet’s walls: : (Within): O! O! O! : Hark, ’tis coming to you.   (Within): Nay, I’ll along for company.  (Within): O! O! : What horrid sounds are these? (5.3.138–41) This is a play in which the lockable closet features prominently as a site for anxieties about the penetration and containment of the female body— literalized when De Flores emerges from Alsemero’s closet having just stabbed Beatrice-Joanna—but this scene is unusual for its sustained attention to the sonic perviousness of the space. The capacity of music and sound to exceed the architectural boundaries ostensibly delimiting them was not unique to the closet or even to interior domestic spaces. The intimate outdoor “rooms” nestled within elaborate

²¹ John Bulteel, Birinthea, a Romance (London: John Playfere, 1664), 245. ²² Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, The Changeling, in Thomas Middleton: Five Plays, ed. Bryan Loughrey and Neil Taylor (London: Penguin, 1988), 5.3.110–13. Subsequent references will be to this edition, cited parenthetically.

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gardens at estates like Penshurst Place are similarly vulnerable, as I will explore further in my reading of Love’s Victory. But attention to the closet’s sonic porousness brings fresh sensory perspective to familiar early modern anxieties about appropriate closet activities, which are typically rendered in visual, rather than aural, terms. In the scene just cited, Alsemero’s confinement of Beatrice-Joanna and De Flores immediately leads him to imagine their closet encounter: “I’ll be your pander now; rehearse again | Your scene of lust” (5.3.114–15). Recalling the dumb show that opens Act 4 of The Changeling, the lovers make no sound in Alsemero’s sexualized theatre. He predicts, however, that their antics will be greeted raucously by a “black audience” in hell, “Where howls and gnashings shall be music to you” (5.3.116–17). Richard Brathwaite likewise imagines closet activities as theatrical performance—“Make then your Chamber your private Theatre, wherein you may act some devout Scene to Gods honour”—though his famous rendering places even greater emphasis on visual surveillance and penetration.²³ The “eyes of God” loom threateningly over women’s closets in The English Gentlewoman (1631), which urges readers to avoid “furnish[ing] their private Chambers with wanton pictures,” and to “[e]ye no object which may estrange you from thought of your Maker.”²⁴ In an echo of the hellish audience invoked by Alsemero, the only music that resonates in these closets are the songs of the “soule-tempting Syrens . . . warbling notes of ruine to delude” their occupants.²⁵ Brathwaite’s fantasy of closet penetration is achieved in Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley’s The Concealed Fancies (c.1645), albeit in reverse, as the besieged female cousins break into their uncle’s cabinet. Here too, however, the incursion is imagined visually: Sh. (the sound of her truncated name aptly evoking silence) longs for Calsindow to view them “in a prospective.”²⁶ Sound is less easily contained than sight—a fact that perhaps helps to explain the idealization of the silent woman in early modern conduct

²³ Richard Brathwaite, The English Gentlewoman . . . (London: B. Alsop and T. Fawcet, 1631), 48. ²⁴ Brathwaite, English Gentlewoman, 49. ²⁵ Brathwaite, English Gentlewoman, 48. This kind of language extends to Brathwaite’s manual as a whole. Castigating any sound that falls outside of “an unison of vertues” for “the eare of a divine soule” (p. 208), he consistently associates music with sinfulness and seduction, exemplified by “sensuall Curtezans, who . . . delighted in songs, pipes, and earthly melody” and whose “uncivill songs” turn to cries of woe in hell (pp. 77–8). ²⁶ Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley, The Concealed Fancies, in Cerasano and WynneDavies (eds), Renaissance Drama by Women, 3.4.46. Subsequent references to this edition will appear parenthetically.

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literature.²⁷ Oliver Heywood specifies that closet prayer should be as quiet as possible for precisely this reason. While insisting that prayer “should . . . includ[e] . . . the voice as well as the body,” he warns that an occupant cannot rely on the boundaries of the closet for sonic decorum: “some pray so loud in their chambers that they may be heard into the streets; this is not properly Closet-Prayer, since it doth not attain the end of this retirement, which is an approving the heart only to God.”²⁸ Scholars such as Lena Cowen Orlin and Alan Stewart have influentially exposed the closet as a powerful and ambiguous site situated on the boundary between private and public.²⁹ Their work has helped to reframe the activities and writings generated within and associated with these spaces in similar terms. The closet was esteemed—and feared—by early moderns as a site promising the possibility of withdrawal and secrecy. At the same time, precisely because closets (and their locks) provided their owners a greater degree of spatial control than other household settings, they commonly housed encounters and endeavors that pushed far beyond those walls. Considering the space from an acoustic standpoint, however, explodes any illusions about the fixity of the closet’s boundaries. Whether manifested as muffled songs or as BeatriceJoanna’s devastating “O,” the voices emanating from closet confines offer a palpable reminder that, within the proximate rooms of the early modern household, musical and sonic isolation was more fantasy than reality.

The “Sound of Print”: The Cavendish Sisters, Jane Lumley, and the Duchess of Newcastle With the acoustic porousness of the early modern closet in mind, I turn now to the musical features of women’s “closet” plays. The term “closet drama,” which came into common use in the nineteenth century, is usually taken to refer to a play intended to be read rather than performed. As a generic ²⁷ On the ambiguous potency of silence in the period, see Luckyj, “A moving Rhetoricke.” ²⁸ Heywood, Closet-Prayer a Christian Duty, 5. ²⁹ Lena Cowen Orlin, “Gertrude’s Closet,” Shakespeare Jahrbuch, 134 (1998), 44–67, and Locating Privacy, 296–326; Alan Stewart, “The Early Modern Closet Discovered,” Representations, 50/2 (Spring 1995), 76–100. See also Julie Sanders, “ ‘The Closet Opened’: A Reconstruction of ‘Private’ Space in the Writings of Margaret Cavendish,” in Stephen Clucas (ed.), A Princely Brave Woman: Essays on Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), 127–42; H. L. Meakin, The Painted Closet of Lady Anne Bacon Drury (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013); Straznicky, Privacy, Playreading, and Women’s Closet Drama, 112–20; and Larson, Early Modern Women in Conversation, 39–59.

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category, it encompasses translations influenced by Senecan tragedy such as Jane Lumley’s Iphigenia at Aulis and Mary Sidney’s The Tragedie of Antonie (pub. 1592) as well as Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam (pub. 1613). It also helps to differentiate plays that were not performed publicly in the period—whether because of the sex of their author or because of the closure of the theatres during the Interregnum—from their commercial counterparts.³⁰ Where women’s dramatic writing is concerned, however, “closet drama” has become an awkward umbrella term that is applied to very different kinds of entertainments, including the pastoral experiments of Mary Wroth, Jane Cavendish, and Elizabeth Brackley, and the published plays of Margaret Cavendish. The “closet” taxonomy does not do justice to the generic spectrum represented by these works, which draw their features from the masque, from pastoral tragicomedy, and from commercial drama as well as from the Senecan model. It also, of course, risks undercutting the significance of their topicality, political significance, and sociocultural engagement, features that have been persuasively traced by scholars such as Karen Raber and Marta Straznicky.³¹ Most damagingly, by shaping toorigid critical assumptions about the structure and circulation of these works, it continues to mute the performance dimensions of these plays. Practice-oriented interventions in the field have responded to these limitations in part by moving away from the term “closet” altogether; the more capacious “household” drama is becoming increasingly prevalent in assessments of women’s dramatic writing, especially when dealing with aspects of their performance.³² As the title of this chapter implies, my insistence here on the “closet” both as signifier and as acoustic site is not to ignore the formal scope and suppleness enabled by the growing use of the “household” designator. In some ways, however, we have been too quick to leave the site of the closet—which is more flexible and performance oriented than critics have allowed—behind in discussions of women’s household plays. The closet becomes especially productive when putting pressure on the genre’s ³⁰ See also Straznicky, Privacy, Playreading, and Women’s Closet Drama, which defends the term on the grounds that it signals important “distinctions between print and performance, between amateur and professional, between household and market that made it possible for . . . women . . . to write plays” (p. 120). ³¹ See Karen Raber, Dramatic Difference: Gender, Class, and Genre in the Early Modern Closet Drama (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2001); Straznicky, Privacy, Playreading, and Women’s Closet Drama. ³² As Alison Findlay’s wide-ranging Playing Spaces in Early Women’s Drama (Cambridge: CUP, 2006) reminds us, however, the home was but one of many indoor and outdoor sites with which women engaged in generating and staging dramatic writing. Findlay treats the space of the home on pp. 17–65.

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continued associations with silent and secluded textual encounters, a tendency all the more difficult to disrupt given modern assumptions about reading as an individual, mute act. When approached in these terms, the musical and acoustic features of so-called closet plays risk remaining confined to a kind of dumb show within the mind, like Margaret Cavendish’s memorable depiction of her thoughts acting their parts on the stage of her brain.³³ The parallel to early modern accounts of silent devotional performance within the space of the closet-heart or of decorously whispered prayers unheard beyond the walls of the material closet is striking. In his work on early modern English musical culture, Christopher Marsh has championed the need to attend to what he brilliantly terms the “sound of print.” His argument focuses on broadside ballads, which have primarily been discussed by historians and literary scholars in terms of texts “designed to be processed within the relative peace and quiet of an individual’s head” rather than as “things that flew through the air, vibrating eardrums as they went.”³⁴ While playtexts, like ballads, were consumed by audiences in a variety of ways, Marsh’s sonic approach to textual encounters in the period offers a valuable reminder that, in the still largely oral culture of sixteenthand seventeenth-century England, reading (whether from manuscript or from print sources) commonly denoted an aural, communal practice—one in which women were active and vocal participants.³⁵ Mary Wroth’s Urania offers a fictionalized glimpse into these kinds of activities: the romance abounds with scenes in which Wroth’s female protagonists congregate in chambers and gardens to share their poems and stories with each other. Urania was itself undoubtedly shared aloud among family and friends at Wilton, Loughton Hall, Penshurst, or Baynards Castle. In a family as musically talented as the Sidneys, it is not a stretch to imagine some of the readers singing the songs embedded in the romance as a part of such an event, as I suggested in Chapter 3.³⁶ The acoustic and musical facets of women’s household plays demand to be considered in similar terms. The musical potential of these texts is immediately apparent in the case of plays such as Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley’s collaborative Civil War writings A Pastorall and The Concealed Fancies. Both manuscript works include numerous songs, as well

³³ Cavendish, Playes, sig. A2r. ³⁴ Marsh, “The Sound of Print,” 173. ³⁵ On the centrality of reading aloud in early modern culture, and the ways in which texts reflect aural experience, see Richards, Voices and Books. ³⁶ See Hannay, Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth, 182–3.

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as specifics about vocal performance. The witches in the first “Antemasque” of A Pastorall, for instance, are depicted as singing “in Choros.”³⁷ A significant part of the dialogue among Naunt Henn, Gossip Pratt, Goodman Rye, and Goodman Hay in the second antimasque, meanwhile, centers on musical logistics: . . . . . .

But pray you now let’s have a songe before wee part. Ey pray, for I love songs with all my hart. Fayth lets singe a songe of all our losses. Come who shall beginn. Wye my Naunt Henn. Well content and soe wee’le follow. (p. 60)

A song, sung in dialogue with a concluding refrain, “Since that wee have noe plenty | And our Purses they are empty,” ensues (p. 61). The musical details that Cavendish and Brackley provide throughout the central pastoral entertainment are even more nuanced than in the antimasques.³⁸ Throughout, the stage directions specify whether particular lyrics are to be spoken or sung. Cavendish and Brackley differentiate between vocal genres—notably the anthem and the round—and provide insight into musical setting: “The .3. sad Sheppards sings this in parts. | And the two last lynes in Choros” (p. 79). In one place they even include a glimpse into the spatial positioning of song performance: “The three sad Sheppardesses goe to a little | Table, where they singe this Songe in parts” (p. 77). The moment evokes domestic music-making practices that are preserved in the print layout of scores that enabled singers to gather around a table to sing airs, madrigals, and anthems in parts. It also testifies to the range of repertoire showcased within domestic entertainments, which encompassed part songs as well as solo offerings. Song plays a central role in The Concealed Fancies as well. It emerges as a crucial mode of self-expression in the courtship scenes. Luceny and Courtly seem to be especially musical characters, but even Lady Tranquility sings a ³⁷ Bodleian MS Rawl. poet. 16, 55. Subsequent references will appear parenthetically by page number. ³⁸ This distinction is not uncommon within the masque genre more broadly. As Peter Walls points out in Music in the English Courtly Masque 1604–1640 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), antimasques featuring supernatural elements rarely foreground song, relying rather on “antic dance.” More pastorally oriented antimasques, in contrast, make use of singing “to supply a model against which the more sophisticated songs of the main masque might be appreciated” (p. 76). Cavendish and Brackley’s antimasques are consistent with this model, even as they stand out for their level of musical detail.

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couple of lines in French critiquing Corpolant’s announcement of their marriage. And the masque elements in Act 5 are enriched throughout with song. While S. P. Cerasano and Marion Wynne-Davies’s popular teaching edition of the play preserves references to singing in the stage directions, however, the amendments they make in modernizing those directions has the effect of toning down the level of musical detail preserved in the sisters’ manuscript. For instance, Cavendish and Brackley’s manuscript introduces Luceny’s oft-cited “Hymen’s monkey love” exchange with her maid and with Stellow as follows: “Enter Luceny & hir waiting Woman with | hir Glasse. And as Luceny opens hir | Haire shee sings | This songe” (p. 146). Cerasano and Wynne-Davies modernize the direction as follows: “Enter  and her [maid, who carries a mirror; looking in the mirror,  loosens her hair] and sings” (5.6, s.d.). To my knowledge, critics have not discussed the ensuing interchange in musical terms. It is entirely possible that the omission of “[t]his songe” in the edition has led scholars either to overlook the fact that Luceny is singing or to assume that the song she sings is separate from the dialogue, even though when Stellow enters, he too is singing, and he refers back to Luceny’s response to him: “Now do I view myself by all so looked upon,” as a “reply of song” (5.6.13, 19).³⁹ The moment underscores the centrality of song within the sisters’ writings and the need to account for music as a rhetorical mode when considering the witty exchanges between their avatars Luceny and Tattiney and their suitors. The absence of song in scholarly discussions of both The Concealed Fancies and A Pastorall is all the more striking given that the sisters refer explicitly to their plays in visual terms of rehearsal and staged performance in the prologues they address to their father, who was himself deeply musical.⁴⁰ Indeed, as I will discuss in more detail in relation to their stepmother Margaret Cavendish, the sisters’ penchant for song—which is also reflected in the title of their manuscript collection, Poems, Songs, a Pastorall and a Play—stems not only from the pastoral and masque ³⁹ The musicality of this exchange emerges more clearly in Alexandra Bennett’s recent edition, which provides a close-to diplomatic transcription of the manuscript. “The concealed Fansyes,” in The Collected Works of Jane Cavendish, ed. Alexandra G. Bennett (London: Routledge, 2018), 122–3. ⁴⁰ The epilogue to The Concealed Fancies is more ambiguous, referring both to their father’s enjoyment of a three-hour comedy, and to his encounter as a reader with their text. Reading, however, as this chapter underscores, did not preclude performance. On the performative facets of the play, and its staging potential within a domestic space, see Alison Findlay, “ ‘She gave you the civility of the house’: Household Performance in The Concealed Fancies,” in Cerasano and Wynne-Davies (eds), Readings in Renaissance Women’s Drama, 259–71, and Playing Spaces in Early Women’s Drama, 44–53.

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conventions that undergird their dramatic writings but also from the musical interests of the Cavendish family. While the musicality of A Pastorall and The Concealed Fancies comes into focus as soon as one works through the plays with an eye (or an ear!) to the songs that pervade them, my argument also encompasses plays that seem at first glance to be less obviously amenable to a musically oriented interpretation. Jane Lumley’s manuscript translation Iphigenia at Aulis offers an important case in point. On the spectrum of women’s household entertainments, neo-Senecan translations like Lumley’s have been most firmly positioned in the “texts for reading” camp, quick to be associated with the supposed silence and seclusion of the closet. Diane Purkiss’s assessment in her edition of Iphigenia at Aulis is representative: “If ‘performed’, [it] might have been read aloud by a circle of friends.”⁴¹ Purkiss is distinguishing Lumley’s work—as well as Cary’s and Sidney’s—here from commercial stagings, but the guardedness implied by the quotation marks and the modal “might” risk distancing these arguably more academic texts from the vitality of oral performance. Recent scholarship has underscored the aural and performative nature of academic translation and the related reinterpretation of classical sources. Humanist pedagogical exercises hinged on the experience of inhabiting varied rhetorical perspectives, and Lumley’s exceptional classical education suggests that she would have been familiar with this practice.⁴² Her translation of Iphigenia, however, goes beyond the purview of academic exercise in its attention to dramatic pacing and oral nuance, leading scholars to concur that she prepared her manuscript with some kind of household performance in mind. Marta Straznicky, who reads the play in terms of “oral performance rather than silent perusal,” has explored how features of Lumley’s extant manuscript reveals her sensitivity to “the aural quality of drama.”⁴³ Although Lumley includes no stage directions except for speech prefixes, those prefixes break her text into clear sections that signal the alternation of speakers, a feature that recalls contemporaneous theatre manuscripts and print interludes. Stephanie Hodgson-Wright highlights ⁴¹ Diane Purkiss, ed., Three Tragedies by Renaissance Women (London: Penguin, 1998), p. xvii. ⁴² See Enterline, Shakespeare’s Schoolroom; Moncrief and McPherson (eds), Performing Pedagogy, esp. Deborah Uman, “ ‘Wonderfullye astonied at the stoutenes of her minde’: Translating Rhetoric and Education in Jane Lumley’s The Tragedie of Iphigeneia,” 53–64. On Lumley’s education, see also Patricia Demers, “On First Looking into Lumley’s Euripides,” Renaissance and Reformation, 23/1 (Winter 1999), 25–42. ⁴³ Straznicky, Privacy, Playreading, and Women’s Closet Drama, 42, 44.

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other details that suggest the preparation of a text sensitive to the needs of oral performance: the clear prose, the attention to plot development and character interaction, and the reliance on a streamlined chorus “as stage managers who help to shape the drama.”⁴⁴ These features are not explicitly musical, and it is impossible to know whether a communal reading or occasional staging of Iphigenia at Aulis might have included any sung or incidental musical elements. As I argued earlier, however, the oral performance of household texts would have been a more capacious acoustic experience than surviving scripts often imply. And we do know that Lumley would have been exposed to an unusually rich musical environment while growing up at Nonsuch. Her father’s library, which was foundational for her education, included over 120 print and manuscript music items. In his study of music at Nonsuch, Charles Warren calls the collection “probably the largest library of music of a private house in Elizabethan England.”⁴⁵ Many of the holdings are for the voice: they include motets, madrigals, and chansons by Palestrina, Gabrieli, Archadelt, Willaert, Lasso, and Byrd, as well as Thomas Tallis’s forty-voice masterpiece, Spem in Alium. Several include markings that confirm that the collection was used in performance settings.⁴⁶ Nonsuch also boasted an impressive array of musical instruments. Lumley would have enjoyed musical entertainments both large and small throughout her childhood. Should she have wished to include music in a household performance of Iphigenia, she would have had ample resources on which to draw.⁴⁷ ⁴⁴ Stephanie Hodgson-Wright, “Jane Lumley’s Iphigenia at Aulis: multum in parvo, or, Less is More,” in Cerasano and Wynne-Davies (eds), Readings in Renaissance Women’s Drama, 130–7. See also Straznicky, Privacy, Playreading, and Women’s Closet Drama, 42–4; and Marion Wynne-Davies, “The Good Lady Lumley’s Desire: Iphigeneia and the Nonsuch Banqueting House,” in Walthaus and Corporaal (eds), Heroines of the Golden StAge, 111–28. ⁴⁵ Charles W. Warren, “Music at Nonesuch,” Musical Quarterly, 54/1 (1968), 50. The full extent of the music collection was larger than the forty-five entries in the 1609 inventory suggest, since many of these volumes included multiple titles and part-books bound within them, a number of which have been lost. See John Milsom, “The Nonsuch Music Library,” in Chris Banks, Arthur Searle, and Malcolm Turner (eds), Sundry Sorts of Music Books: Essays on the British Library Collections (London: British Library, 1993), 146–82. In his discussion of Thomas Tallis’s Spem in Alium, Milsom also underscores the spatial features of Nonsuch as a performance venue (pp. 168–9). The full catalogue can be found in Sears Jayne and Francis R. Johnson (eds), The Lumley Library: The Catalogue of 1609 (London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1956). The music holdings are listed on pp. 284–6. In their introduction, Jayne and Johnson suggest that Jane and her sister may have influenced the acquisition of music books (p. 4). ⁴⁶ Milsom, “The Nonsuch Music Library,” 173. ⁴⁷ Marta Straznicky argues that Lumley’s exposure to other kinds of household entertainments at Arundel House and Nonsuch may similarly have influenced her translation of Euripides. See Privacy, Playreading, and Women’s Closet Drama, 41–2. Both Wynne-Davies

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This possibility is not as far-fetched as it might first appear, since music was integral to Greek drama.⁴⁸ Although nearly all of the music that would have accompanied the delivery of metrical texts has been lost, classical audiences would have been accustomed to hearing actors chanting or singing to the accompaniment of the aulos (similar to an oboe) or the kithara (a type of lyre) as part of their experience of dramatic performance. This practice was not replicated in the early modern context, but music enlivened the academic theatricals and stagings of classical plays that Lumley’s husband and brothers would have experienced as students at the University of Cambridge.⁴⁹ To modern audiences, this practice is best exemplified by the role of the Chorus. As a reader, it is perhaps easier to imagine the lyric Choruses of The Tragedie of Antonie or of The Tragedy of Mariam delivered through song or rhythmic intonation as a part of a communal reading than the Chorus in Iphigenia. The most moving rendition of the Act 4 Chorus in The Tragedy of Mariam I have ever witnessed was by one of my undergraduate students, who set the verse to music. Garbed in traditional west African attire, she chanted the Chorus to the accompaniment of a djembe, an African drum, while her sister—also traditionally garbed, and representing Mariam at the

and Findlay argue that the play was intended for performance in the Nonsuch banqueting house, perhaps in conjunction with Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 1559. See Findlay, Playing Spaces, 75–9; and Wynne-Davies, “ ‘The Good Lady Lumley’s Desire.” The Nonsuch gardens were another possible venue, especially given the play’s outdoor setting. See Findlay, HodgsonWright, and Williams, Women and Dramatic Production, 21–2; and Findlay, Playing Spaces, 74. ⁴⁸ For a helpful overview of the musical components of Greek drama, see Alan Hughes, Performing Greek Comedy (Cambridge: CUP, 2011), 95–105. ⁴⁹ On the musical features of academic plays, see G. C. Moore Smith, College Plays Performed in the University of Cambridge (Cambridge: CUP, 1923), 1–2, 32. Smith also includes valuable evidence for the inclusion of dramatic performance in the sixteenth-century Cambridge curriculum, and notes the possibility that women may have been in the audience at some of the entertainments (pp. 20–3, 26). On academic performance and early modern English stagings of classical texts more broadly, see Jonathan Walker and Paul D. Streufert (eds), Early Modern Academic Drama (Farnham: Ashgate, 2008; repr. London: Routledge, 2016), esp. Jonathan Walker, “Learning to Play,” 1–18, and Paul D. Streufert, “Christopherson at Cambridge: GrecoCatholic Ethics in the Protestant University,” 45–63, which notes the importance of Iphigenia as a rhetorical model for Christopherson’s Jephthah, the only surviving Greek play from the period (and which overlapped with John Lumley’s time at Cambridge); John R. Elliott, Jr, “Plays, Players, and Playwrights in Renaissance Oxford,” in John A. Alford (ed.), From Page to Performance: Essays in Early English Drama, (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1995), 179–94; and Bruce R. Smith, Ancient Scripts and Modern Experience on the English Stage, 1500–1700 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988). See also Frederick S. Boas, University Drama in the Tudor Age (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1914), 43–68; and Straznicky, Privacy, Playreading, and Women’s Closet Drama, 41; 133, n. 87.

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moment she becomes aware of her downfall—danced silently at the front of the classroom. Lumley’s Chorus is less obviously lyrical than Cary’s. Instead of following the model of Euripides’ lyric odes, she gives her Chorus succinct prose interjections, a shift that, as Hodgson-Wright has argued, accentuates the crucial rhetorical and, indeed, political function in the play of Lumley’s “companie of women.”⁵⁰ There is one moment in the play, however, that suggests the possibility of a musical role. In the interchange between Clytemnestra and Iphigenia that immediately precedes Iphigenia’s death, Iphigeneia responds to Clytemnestra’s grief by saying, “Suerlye I will goo hence Mother, for if I did tarie, I shulde move you to more lamentation. Wherfore I shall desier all you women to singe some songe of my deathe, and to prophecie good lucke unto the grecians” (fo. 94v). A more literal translation of Euripides here reads as follows: “Glorify Artemis, daughter of Zeus, with a paean because of my misfortune, and let a good omen come upon the Greeks.”⁵¹ The paean was a choral hymn sung in honor of Artemis or Apollo. Lumley’s poignant rendering, “some songe of my deathe,” accentuates the musical connotations of the genre, though she shifts the focus of this song away from Artemis to Iphigenia herself. In the Greek text, Iphigenia seems to take the lead in singing this song, before inviting the chorus of women to join her. Lumley’s Chorus, in contrast, turns to Clytemnestra to ask how best to present their song: “after what fassion shall we lament, seinge we may not shewe any token of sadness at the sacrafice?” (fo. 94v). Although their ensuing contribution, “Beholde yonder goethe the virgine to be sacrificed,” is the longest in the translation, the mode of delivery is left ambiguous (fo. 95r). How might a musical interpretation of this moment play out in performance? When Hodgson-Wright staged Iphigenia in 1997 at the Clifton Drama Studio in Sunderland, England, she felt that Iphigenia’s command for “some songe of my deathe” was so clear that the Chorus needed to offer a

⁵⁰ Lady Jane Lumley, Iphigenia at Aulis, The Malone Society Reprints (London: Chiswick Press, 1909), fo. 65v. Subsequent references will be to this edition, cited parenthetically. Hodgson-Wright, “Jane Lumley’s Iphigenia at Aulis,” 130–1. On the treatment of the Chorus in relation to Lumley’s translation decisions more broadly, see Straznicky, Privacy, Playreading, and Women’s Closet Drama, 33–4. ⁵¹ The verb ἐπευφημέω, to glorify, appears frequently in musical contexts, with specific reference to singing a song of praise. I am grateful to Matthew Cohn for his assistance with translation.

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musical response.⁵² As a result, she had the show’s music director (who also played Achilles) set the seemingly “unpromising” prose to music.⁵³ The production also incorporated music and dance within the scene where Iphigenia learns of Agamemnon’s plan for her sacrifice. The Rose Company’s all-female staging of the play, which toured the United Kingdom in 2013–14 and which I saw staged in the Wilkins Old Refectory at University College London, took a different musical approach.⁵⁴ Throughout the production, the Chorus was voiced by a small group of women whose unison chanting was visually reflected in the black, floorlength net that bound them together. Director Emma Rucastle, however, opted to give the cast as a whole a Chorus-like function at the play’s beginning and end that was sonically reinforced through song. The staging was bookended by a low vocal drone produced by the whole company standing in close formation. The Chorus’s “Beholde yonder goethe a virgine” intervention was spoken rather than sung in this case, but Iphigenia’s command for a song was powerfully realized in the final moments of the performance. The cast, accompanied by a solo flute, sang the Seikilos Epitaph, the oldest surviving example of a complete musical composition. The lyrics, as translated by cast member Aliki Chapple (Clytemnestra), are as follows: “While you live, shine. | Shine, let in no sorrow. | So little is life. | An end is imposed by time.” This piece, preserved in ancient Greek musical notation, literalized Iphigenia’s musical command, even as it offered a poignant acoustic commentary on the tragedy of her sacrifice and her miraculous transformation into a hart. The musical and sonic effects employed by the Rose Company’s performance experiment were not lavish, complementing the minimalist tone of the production, which was designed to move easily between a variety of very different performance spaces while on tour. The music was also accessible enough to be performed by the full company, which included amateur actors. As such, it helped to demonstrate how music might have enriched ⁵² Jane Lumley, Iphigenia at Aulis, dir. Stephanie Wright, perf. Brass Farthing Theatre Company, Clifton Drama Studio, Sunderland, January 1997. The director shared her musical decisions with me in an email dialogue. Stephanie Harding [Hodgson-Wright], email to author, April 21, 2016. ⁵³ Harding [Hodgson-Wright], email to author. ⁵⁴ Jane Lumley, Iphigenia at Aulis, dir. Emma Rucastle, perf. The Rose Company, Lancaster Castle, Homerton College (Cambridge University), University College London, The Kings Arms Theatre (Salford), The New Continental (Preston), and the Lantern Theatre Liverpool, November 2013–January 2014. I saw the production on November 24, 2013. For more on the Rose Company, including video clips and photographs from the production of Iphigenia, see .

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even the most basic household reading. While few sixteenth-century household contexts would have been more conducive to the interpolation of musical effects than Lumley’s at Nonsuch, it is ultimately impossible, of course, to know whether a historical reading of Iphigenia at Aulis would have included any instrumental or vocal elements. Even interpreting Iphigenia’s appeal to her “companie of women” to sing a lament—the most explicit musical marker in the play—in musical terms constitutes an act of complete speculation. The stagings of this play by Hodgson-Wright and by the Rose Company, however, both of which ably demonstrated the play’s performability, offer a valuable reminder of the importance of considering the acoustic and musical potential of plays typically situated as “read” texts. More broadly, they help to underscore the range of sonic possibilities, invariably activated in performance, that are obscured by a silent approach to women’s household plays of the period. The musical facets of the “sound of print” take more tangible focus when the published plays of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, are considered. In terms both of circulation and of structure, Cavendish’s prolific dramatic output stands at the opposite end of the “closet” spectrum from Lumley’s manuscript translation. Yet Cavendish too has suffered from a critical binary that too easily divorces reading from oral performance. This has had the effect of stifling the musical richness of her writings. Cavendish wrote her plays during the Interregnum and chose to publish those collected works in 1662 and 1668, after the Restoration of the monarchy expanded possibilities for women’s contributions to commercial drama. Her insistence on publication, combined with her hyper-vigilant paratextual entreaties to her readers, would seem to situate her plays as poster children for what Karen Raber calls “nontheatrical playwriting.”⁵⁵ Indeed, the structural awkwardness of many of Cavendish’s plays—their lengthy speeches, abrupt changes of scene, and complete disregard for the Aristotelian unities—has, over the years, been fodder for critics looking for evidence of their failure as performance texts.⁵⁶ ⁵⁵ Raber, Dramatic Difference, 193. ⁵⁶ Virginia Woolf ’s scathing dismissal of Cavendish in A Room of One’s Own (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1929) as a “giant cucumber” (p. 62) choking the roses and carnations in the garden of English literature memorably encapsulates this critical stance. See, e.g., Alfred Harbage, Cavalier Drama: An Historical and Critical Supplement to the Study of the Elizabethan and Restoration Stage (New York: MLA, 1936), 229–33; and Dale B. J. Randall, Winter Fruit: English Drama 1642–1660 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1995), 326–36, which laud Cavendish for her originality but read her literary innovations as evidence simply of an eccentric nature, attributing any promising elements of her plays to her husband.

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As Cavendish’s star has risen in academic circles, such misleading (and usually gendered) dismissals have not deterred scholars, students, and even some professional companies from experimenting successfully with her plays in performance in spaces as varied as the Oval House and White Bear Theatres in London, where The Unnatural Tragedy was staged, first in 2014 and then as a professional production in 2018, and the Cavendish estate of Bolsover Castle, where Bell in Campo was staged in 2007.⁵⁷ Gweno Williams’s work with Cavendish’s plays from the dual perspective of a scholar and stage director has been especially influential in this regard.⁵⁸ The seemingly cumbersome elements of Cavendish’s texts become playful features of her stagings. When The Convent of Pleasure (pub. 1668) was given its Canadian premiere at McMaster University in 2005, for instance, Williams had the actor playing Lady Happy unfurl a scroll, with just the right dash of irony, for her longest monologues.⁵⁹ The prop reflected directorial expediency in the context of a fully staged, otherwise memorized, performance prepared with minimal rehearsal time. It also, however, served as a material reminder that, in the context of a seventeenth-century household reading, actors would not have had to learn their parts by heart. In contrast to Lumley’s translation, Cavendish’s works testify much more overtly to an understanding of performance that encompassed oral reading, a model that she outlines in detail in an epistle to the reader prefacing The Worlds Olio.⁶⁰ For Cavendish, reading is deeply performative and far from silent. The epistle acknowledges that there are “two sorts of Readers, the one that reads to himself and for his own benefit, the other to benefit another by hearing it.”⁶¹ Cavendish dedicates the bulk of the epistle to the latter,

⁵⁷ Margaret Cavendish, The Unnatural Tragedy, dir. Graham Watts, Oval House Theatre, London, December 10, 2014; and The Unnatural Tragedy, dir. Graham Watts, White Bear Theatre, London, July 3–21, 2018. Margaret Cavendish, Bell in Campo, dir. Ian Gledhill, Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire, England, July 1, 2007. On the Bolsover Castle production, see John Shanahan, Review of Bell in Campo, Shakespeare Bulletin, 26/2 (Summer 2008), 192–7. ⁵⁸ See Margaret Cavendish, dir. and prod. Williams. ⁵⁹ Margaret Cavendish, The Convent of Pleasure, dir. Gweno Williams, Convocation Hall, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, July 9, 2005. I attended the performance as a part of the Sixth Bienniel International Conference of the Margaret Cavendish Society. John Shanahan reviewed the production in Shakespeare Bulletin, 24/2 (Summer 2006), 54–9. ⁶⁰ See James Fitzmaurice, “Shakespeare, Cavendish, and Reading Aloud in SeventeenthCentury England,” in Katherine Romack and James Fitzmaurice (eds), Cavendish and Shakespeare, Interconnections (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 29–46. In addition to its emphasis on the oral reading of drama, the essay also deals with Cavendish’s specifications regarding the qualities of the reading voice: “The extent and sophistication of Cavendish’s criticism of reading aloud suggests a household where such reading and critiques of it were commonplace” (p. 37). ⁶¹ Cavendish, Worlds Olio, sig. A6r.

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making clear her assumption that her texts will be read aloud. This appeal is one of many in her writings that micromanages her audience’s encounters with her works. It stands out, however, for its close attention to the expressive nuances of oral delivery and the aesthetics of the voice: I Desire those that read any of this Book, that every Chapter may be read clearly, without long stops and staies . . . for an ill affected Fashion or Garb, takes away the Natural and gracefull Form of the Person; So Writings if they be read lamely, or crookedly, and not evenly, smoothly, & throughly, insnarle the Sense; Nay the very sound of the Voice will seem to alter the sense of the Theme; though the Sense will be there in despight of the ill Voice or Reader, but it will be concealed, or discovered to its disadvantage; for like an ill Musician, or indeed one that cannot play at all, who instead of playing he puts the Fiddle out of tune, and causeth a Discord, which if well plaid upon would sound Harmoniously; or is like one that can play but one Tune on all sorts of Instruments; so some will read with one Tone or Sound of Voice, though the Passions and Numbers are different; and some again in reading wind up their Voices to such a passionate scrue, that they whine or squeal rather than speak or read; others, fold up their Voices with that distinction, that they make that three square that is four square, and narrow that should be broad, and high that should be low, and low that should be high; and some again so fast, that the Sense is lost in the Race: So that Writings, though they are not so, yet they sound good or bad according to the Readers, and not according to their Authors; and indeed such advantage a good or ill Readers gives, as those that read well, shall give a grace to a foolish Author, and those that read ill, disgrace a wise and a witty Author.⁶²

Cavendish’s writings are obsessed with the physiology and affective power of the speaking and singing voice, as I noted in Chapter 2. Her anxiety that “Writings . . . sound good or bad according to the Readers, and not according to their Authors” beautifully exemplifies that preoccupation. Yet I cite this passage at length because it returns again and again to the musicality of the voice’s “tone” or “sound.” As Cavendish’s likening of a bad reader to an “ill Musician” underscores, the vocal palette encapsulated here—whining, squealing, high, low, harmonious, discordant—situates encounters with her writings not just in sonic terms, but as a kind of musical performance. Her attitude is reinforced in Sociable Letters, where she likens her husband’s

⁶² Cavendish, Worlds Olio, sig. A6r.

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exemplary reading to a talented sight-reader of musical scores. He reads “so Well, that he is like Skilful Masters of Musick, which can Sing and Play their Parts at the first Sight.” The sound of his voice, she concludes, make even poorly written texts “Sound Harmoniously, like as an Ill Instrument Well Played on.”⁶³ Such metaphors reflect the centrality of music and song within the Cavendish household. William Cavendish was an important patron of music whose connections to composers such as William Lawes, John Wilson, and Matthew Locke, all of whom set lyrics from his plays to music, are well documented. Before his exile, his household inventory at Welbeck included a sizable collection of music books and instruments, and his interest in musical entertainments continued while he was on the Continent.⁶⁴ When Christopher Simpson, who served under Newcastle in the royalist army, published A Compendium of Practical Musick in 1667, he celebrated the duke both for his patronage and for his musical talents, calling him an “able . . . Judge to understand [his book]; your Grace (in younger years) having been so eminent in the same Art.”⁶⁵ In Chapter 2, I explored how Newcastle’s musical interests energized Cavendish’s exploration in her published writings of the interplay between gender, the physiology of the voice, and rhetorical prowess, particularly in relation to the ballad genre. My interest in this chapter lies in the musical and sonic effects registered by the song lyrics included in Cavendish’s plays and their connection to household contexts of musical circulation and performance. Like her stepdaughters, Cavendish makes the musical context of the inset songs that pervade her dramatic writings explicit. The generic marker “Song” appears regularly, as do elaborate stage directions that specify mode of delivery for individual verses, whether spoken or sung. She also includes instructions specific to performance, exemplified by the stage directions that surround “You God of Sleep” and “This long seven years and more” in Act 1, scene 7, of The Presence (pub. 1668). The lyrics of these songs are framed as follows: “The Princess lies upon a Couch as sick, and her eyes shut. Soft Musick is heard, and a Song sung . . . After this, the Fool standing at the Door, sings a part of an Old Ballet . . . Singing the last Verse, the Fool enters, and the Princess awakes.”⁶⁶ This kind of acoustic ⁶³ Cavendish, Sociable Letters, 238. ⁶⁴ See Hulse, “ ‘Amorous in Music,’ ” 83–9, and “Apollo’s Whirligig,” as well as the CD recording Amorous in Music. ⁶⁵ Simpson, Compendium, sig. A2v. ⁶⁶ Margaret Cavendish, The Presence, in Plays, Never Before Printed (London: A. Maxwell, 1668), 26–7.

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detail extends in places to the level of vocal quality. Take, for instance, a direction included in one of the stand-alone scenes excised from the main text of The Presence: “Enter Madamoisel Wanton, and a Maid of Honour; as she enters she sings quavering, La, la, la, fa, la.”⁶⁷ The “quavering” pun, which alludes both to a vocal trill and to note duration, might arguably be better directed to the eye than to the ear of a reader (unless some of Cavendish’s more elaborate stage directions were also read aloud), but it underscores the sonic richness and musical sensitivity of Cavendish’s printed playtexts.⁶⁸ Whether brought to life in the context of a communal reading or simply meant to be imagined as sung within a reader’s stagebrain, Cavendish’s audience is left in no doubt about the musical content of her plays. Another kind of textual marker offers an especially tangible connection to musical contexts of circulation and performance: the attributions of some of these songs to William Cavendish. Newcastle’s involvements in Cavendish’s dramatic writing are a logical offshoot of his own experience as a commercial playwright. They also reflect Cavendish’s reliance on and admiration for his expertise in all of the genres with which she experimented. In an epistle prefacing her first volume of plays, she characteristically depicts their collaboration as a complementary marriage of masculine and feminine wit, Newcastle’s contributions compensating for the “defect of [her] Brain.”⁶⁹ Significantly, however, these collaborations often coalesce around music. Cavendish credits her husband for selected songs as well as full scenes: “My Lord was pleased to illustrate my Playes with some Scenes of his own wit, to which I have set his name, that my Readers may know which are his, as not to couzen them, in thinking they are mine; also Songs, to which my Lords name is set.”⁷⁰ Given that Newcastle’s own theatrical lyrics were set by some of the most established composers of the day, it is difficult not to read the songs he contributes to Cavendish’s plays in similarly musical terms. Cavendish draws attention to her husband’s musical contributions throughout both of her volumes of plays. In Playes, her spousal attributions typically appear as notes that bookend one or more lyrics, as in The Publique Wooing’s ⁶⁷ Cavendish, The Presence, in Plays, Never Before Printed, 140. ⁶⁸ Quavering can provide evidence of vocal training, but for Cavendish it is not necessarily a desirable feature for a singing woman. In The Second Part of Wits Cabal, she describes it “as after the French and Courtly mode”; it is not a coincidence that this “quavering” is juxtaposed with the “toying and playing” characteristic of a “Girl of fifteen” (The Second Part of Wits Cabal, in Playes, 300). See Chapter 2 for more on Cavendish’s derisive treatment of continental vocal techniques. ⁷⁰ Cavendish, Playes, sig. A6r. ⁶⁹ Cavendish, Playes, sig. A6r.

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wedding masque: “These Songs following the Lord Marquiss writ . . . Here ends my Lord Marquis his writing.”⁷¹ Sometimes they become part of the dramatic action, embedded directly into the dialogue. In The Second Part of Loves Adventures, a group of musicians arrive at the wedding of Lord Singularity and Lady Orphant requesting “leave to present you with a Song [‘Love in thy younger age’] written by my Lord Marquiss of New-Castle.”⁷² The moment draws comic attention to the musical experience of Newcastle’s lyrics, as the Lady Orphant appeals to Singularity to “hear” the performance, while her impatient bridegroom complains about the excessive time the ensemble takes to tune their instruments. In contrast, the attributions included in extant copies of Plays Never Before Printed are set off with tiny slips of paper bearing the words “Written by my Lord Duke,” pasted directly onto the page above selected scenes and lyrics.⁷³ Several of these, like the Epithalamion sung in Act 1 of The Bridals, are musical in focus. We know that Cavendish’s careful patrolling of her texts extended beyond her paratextual entreaties to her readers to the print process. Surviving copies of her plays include extensive lists of errata, additional notes to her readers, and even handwritten corrections that, along with Cavendish’s tendency to gift copies of her works to targeted recipients, situate her folios at the intersection between manuscript and print culture. The paste-in attributions in Plays Never Before Printed are unusual in the period, however, in that they amend blank space. As Jeffrey Masten has shown, they give a strikingly material insistence to Newcastle’s differentiated authorship.⁷⁴ Masten reads Cavendish’s depiction of her collaboration with her husband in performance terms, situating Newcastle as a kind of improvised afterthought. His argument brilliantly illuminates the performative materiality of Cavendish’s published writings. It does so, however, at the expense of a materiality less easily tied to the printed page: the performing body. Whether or not Cavendish’s audience was familiar with the songs imported from her husband from other musical contexts, the

⁷¹ Cavendish, The Publique Wooing, in Playes, 415–16. Similar markers accompany the elegy sung by Lady Innocence and one of the songs sung at the funeral of Lady Sanspareille in Acts 4 and 5 of The Second Part of Youths Glory and Deaths Banquet as well as Lady Jantil’s death scene in Bell in Campo (Playes, 174, 179, 628–9). ⁷² Cavendish, The Second Part of Loves Adventures, in Playes, 76. ⁷³ I have examined copies at the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford and at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto. In “Material Cavendish: Paper, Performance, ‘Sociable Virginity,’ ” MLQ 65/1 (2004), 49–68, Jeffrey Masten discusses copies held at the Newberry and Huntington Libraries. ⁷⁴ Masten, “Material Cavendish.”

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pasted slips of Plays Never Before Printed register a performance-based model of circulation. They literalize the tendency of early modern songs to float free of specific textual environments. To begin to open up the performance dimensions of these songs, I turn now to The Convent of Pleasure, a play whose fascination with gender performativity has made it a popular choice for undergraduate classroom performances and which has enjoyed professional stagings by the New Perspectives Theatre Company in New York City and by the Toronto Masque Theatre.⁷⁵ At first glance song does not seem to be as obvious a feature of The Convent of Pleasure as in some of Cavendish’s other plays. There is only one explicit reference to incidental music, at the outset of Act 5, and many of the lengthy inset lyrics are specified for spoken delivery.⁷⁶ Yet music is fundamental to the atmosphere created by the play. Lady Happy includes “sweet melodious Sound” in the inventory of convent pleasures (p. 221); when my undergraduate students performed excerpts from the play in a classroom workshop, it was striking to experience that speech with music playing softly in the background throughout. Like the collaborative plays written by Cavendish’s stepdaughters, meanwhile, the entertainments that Lady Happy and the Prince/ss perform for each other in Acts 4 and 5 take their inspiration from the musical genres of the pastoral and the masque. My focus here will be on the song performed by one of the sea nymphs in the miniature masque featuring the Prince/ss as Neptune and Lady Happy as a sea goddess. Music is also, however, implied by the “Country Dances about the May-Pole” that contribute to the “Rural Sports” in Act 4 as well as the wedding dances in Act 5 (pp. 238, 243). Significantly, these later sections of the play also bear marks of Newcastle’s involvement. Paste-in slips attribute two of the pastoral lyrics to him, including “The Jolly Wassel,” which a shepherd “speaks, or Sings” (p. 239), as well as at least one of the concluding scenes. Unlike the memorable series of marriage miseries enacted for Lady Happy and her devotees in Act 3, the entertainments derived from pastoral ⁷⁵ Margaret Cavendish, The Convent of Pleasure, dir. Larry Beckwith, Derek Boyes, and Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, perf. Toronto Masque Theatre, Hart House, Toronto, May 11–12, 2012. Margaret Cavendish, The Convent of Pleasure, dir. Elyse Singer, perf. New Perspectives Theatre Company, New School of Drama, New York City, March 28, 2012. ⁷⁶ Margaret Cavendish, The Convent of Pleasure, in The Convent of Pleasure and Other Plays, ed. Anne Shaver (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), 243. Subsequent references will be cited parenthetically by page number. (Shaver’s edition includes act and scene divisions only.)

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and masque traditions are more challenging to stage for contemporary audiences. This is largely a result of the long—and clunky—speeches delivered by Lady Happy and the Prince/ss. Their unvarying iambic tetrameter would translate beautifully into musical setting, but, with the exception of the sea nymph’s song, Cavendish specifies that these lyrics are spoken. The abridged version of The Convent of Pleasure staged in 2012 by the Toronto Masque Theatre production avoided this issue by adapting the work. Artistic director Larry Beckwith shortened the speeches and added music, interweaving excerpts from the Act 4 and Act 5 entertainments with songs by William Lawes and Pelham Humphrey, Luigi Rossi’s Noi siam tre donzilette (n.d.), and Monteverdi’s Il ballo delle ingrate (perf. 1608). Like the Act 3 entertainments, these period pieces were staged for Lady Happy, the Prince/ss, Madam Mediator, and the initiates and designed to offer musical commentary on the events unfolding within the convent. While arguably creating a more accessible work, the hybrid piece that resulted had mixed results, most notably by obscuring the music that is in fact intrinsic to Acts 4 and 5 of The Convent of Pleasure. The New Perspectives production in New York City, which produced the play in its entirety in 2014 as a part of its On Her Shoulders series of readings, did something quite different. The show, directed by Elyse Singer, was more contemporary in tone than the Toronto Masque Theatre’s version, particularly in terms of its cross-gender casting and playful experimentation with visual assumptions concerning gender performance. Most memorably, Dan Paul Roberts, who performs as drag queen Candi Shell, was attired in drag from the beginning of the evening, though cast as “Mean Woman, et al.,” not the Prince/ss. The production also featured actor Taylor Mac as Madam Mediator. In other ways, the production aligned suggestively with an early modern communal reading. Unlike the fully staged and memorized Toronto Masque Theatre version, which featured effects like the visual projection of the convent’s pleasures onto Lady Happy’s expansive skirt, the eleven actors were arranged in a semi-circle facing the audience in a large, light-filled studio space at the New School, using stands for their scripts. With the exception of Roberts’s drag outfit, costumes were simple, relying on block colors and strategic accessories like scarves. The cast made judicious use of the space surrounding the stands, but movement was kept to a minimum. Perhaps because of this simplicity, the production managed to convey both the musicality and the artificiality of the pastoral and masque elements. The elaborate stage directions were read aloud, and Lady Happy (Susan

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Heyward) and the Prince/ss (Julia Taylor Ross) accentuated the clunkier verse to signal the awkwardness of their flirtation, especially in the first pastoral interchange. The ensemble, meanwhile, enacted a maypole dance from their chairs (with Dan Paul Roberts capering around the performance space) and sang the sea nymph’s song as a chorus, in harmony. Even as a semi-staged reading, this production succeeded admirably in demonstrating the musical potential of the entertainments of Acts 4 and 5. I emphasize it here, however, not only because it helps to bolster claims about the performability of Cavendish’s works, but because its approach to the play’s musical elements reflects the improvisatory, embodied process of musical circulation in early modern England, a process also registered materially in Cavendish’s textual presentation of many of her songs. This was especially true of the cast’s rendition of the sea nymph’s song, “We Watery Nymphs Rejoyce and Sing,” which is introduced in Cavendish’s text as follows: “A Sea-Nymph Sings this following ” (p. 242). No setting of the song survives, and director Elyse Singer described the harmonized version that was performed in New York as “basically improvised in rehearsal.”⁷⁷ The New Perspectives ensemble drew on their collective (and not insignificant) musical experience to agree on a straightforward tune, which was then easily harmonized.⁷⁸ The chorus was dramatically effective, giving impressive closure to the oceanic mini-masque. From a critical perspective, however, I was struck—as with the scrolls Gweno Williams gave to Lady Happy in her production of the play—by the close interplay between contemporary directorial expediency and the kinds of familial resources that might have informed a household reading of the play in the seventeenth century.⁷⁹ For the aristocratic Cavendish family, of course, domestic performance— especially for a genre like the masque—was not necessarily synonymous with minimalism. Prior to the Civil Wars, Newcastle played host to Ben Jonson’s lavish Loves Welcome at Bolsover (1634), a production that perhaps also inspired his daughters’ experiments with the masque form. Still, given Margaret Cavendish’s concerns about having her plays hissed off the stage, it

⁷⁷ Elyse Singer, email to author, March 31, 2016. ⁷⁸ Singer puts it this way: “We did not have a composer or musical director involved with the project, but so many of the performers are accomplished singers (notably Taylor Mac and Raquel Cion) that we were able to devise sonic elements collaboratively” (email to author). ⁷⁹ Interestingly, Singer notes that, if she had been directing a fully staged production, she would have “approached the music very differently, and in collaboration with a composer” (email to author).

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seems likely that, if The Convent of Pleasure were ever performed by the Cavendish circle in the seventeenth century, it would have been in the more impromptu context of a family household reading. Within such a setting, and particularly given the Cavendish family’s musical interests and connections, it is easy to imagine readers drawing on the kinds of improvisatory and collaborative tools exemplified by the New Perspectives production. One or more of the participants might well have contributed a musical rendition of the sea nymph’s song, whether to a familiar tune—perhaps one of the “plain old Song[s]” of which Cavendish was so fond and which I discussed in Chapter 2⁸⁰—or else to a tune quickly improvised in performance. While the textual markers that surround the songs in Cavendish’s printed plays underscore the importance of considering her dramatic writing in acoustic and musical terms, therefore, approaching her plays from a performance perspective—whether semi-staged, professionally produced, improvised, or simply imagined—also helps to connect her readers to the acoustic, embodied process of early modern musical circulation in the period.

“Pretty Sport” at Penshurst: The Songs of Mary Wroth’s Love’s Victory To conclude, my argument moves beyond the walls of the closet to the communal space of the great hall and to Mary Wroth’s pastoral tragicomedy Love’s Victory, a play closely connected to the architectural details of Penshurst Place and whose affective impact in performance relies on song. In examining the spatial and musical features of Love’s Victory from a performance-based perspective, I engage both with the textual details of the Penshurst manuscript of Love’s Victory as well as with the Globe’s staging of the play in the summer of 2014 as a part of its Read Not Dead series.⁸¹ While the interplay between text and performance space is

⁸⁰ Cavendish, Comical Hash, 574. ⁸¹ Lady Mary Wroth, Love’s Victory, dir. Martin Hodgson, perf. Shakespeare’s Globe, Penshurst Place, Kent, June 8, 2014. This was the professional premiere of Wroth’s tragicomedy and was staged in conjunction with the “Dramatizing Penshurst: Site, Script, Sidneys” conference organized by Alison Findlay. For production photographs, see . Findlay discusses the production and its interpretive implications in “Love’s Victory in Production at Penshurst,” Sidney Journal, 31/1 (2016), 107–21.

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invariably illuminating, the Read Not Dead presentation of Love’s Victory in the Baron’s Hall of Penshurst Place offered a rare opportunity to experience a performance in an architectural setting that helped to shape Wroth’s works and within which it may well have been enacted. As such, it invites us to consider the relationship between the performance history of early modern women’s drama and the spatial and sociocultural features of their performance settings in new ways. Not much is known about the seventeenth-century performance context of Love’s Victory. Was it staged at the Wroth estate of Durrance? Ben Jonson’s encomium to Robert Wroth makes reference to the “mirth, and cheer” that filled the “open hall” there during household entertainments.⁸² His description, as Margaret Hannay points out in her biography of Mary Wroth, “applies equally well” to the couple’s other main residence, Loughton Hall.⁸³ Was it presented at the home of Sir Edward Dering? Dering lived in Kent, about twenty-five miles from Penshurst, and had close ties with the Sidney family. We know that he had a manuscript, albeit incomplete, of Love’s Victory among his collection of playbooks (this is probably the manuscript now held at the Huntington Library); we know, too, that he enjoyed staging coterie performances.⁸⁴ Was it staged at Baynards Castle in London, where Wroth often spent the winter? Might it have been performed at Wilton?⁸⁵ Or was it mounted in the Baron’s Hall or the gardens at Penshurst?⁸⁶ Debates about the performance location of Love’s Victory are telling in that they reveal a strong scholarly consensus that the play was probably performed on at least one occasion, and that such a performance would have taken place in a household setting for an audience of family and friends. Given Wroth’s well-documented interest in theatricals and court entertainments, it seems unlikely that she would have composed a play without performance in mind. Stage directions in Love’s Victory are limited mainly to the abbreviation “Ex,” marking the exits of characters, but there are more ⁸² Ben Jonson, “To Sir Robert Wroth,” in Ben Jonson: The Complete Poems, ed. George Parfitt (London: Penguin, 1988), 99. ⁸³ Hannay, Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth, 220. Hannay summarizes the critical debate surrounding possible performance locations of Love’s Victory. ⁸⁴ See Josephine A. Roberts, “The Huntington Manuscript of Lady Mary Wroth’s Play, Love’s Victorie,” HLQ, 46/2 (Spring 1983), 156–74. ⁸⁵ See Marta Straznicky, “Lady Mary Wroth’s Patchwork Play: The Huntington Manuscript of Love’s Victory,” Sidney Journal, 34/2 (2016), 81–91, which suggests the Huntington manuscript of Love’s Victory may have been a performance script for Wilton, among other possible sites. ⁸⁶ See Findlay, Playing Spaces, 89–94, for a persuasive analysis of the Penshurst estate as possible performance venue.

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detailed indicators of movement and setting, especially in the Penshurst manuscript.⁸⁷ In Act 5, for instance, Wroth opens a scene calling for “Rustick with sheapherds, and sheapherdesses, redy to fetch the bride” (5.264). She also includes notes about the Temple of Love and the positioning of Venus and Cupid, suggesting a set design reminiscent of Inigo Jones’s court masques: “Venus, and Cupid with her in her Temple, her Priests attendinge her” (1.1); “Venus, and Cupid apeering in the clowds” (1.385); “Philisses, Musella offring in the Temple of Love” (5.187). There is another feature of the play—its songs—that underscores the importance of considering Love’s Victory in performance terms, especially given Wroth’s proclivities as a musician.⁸⁸ Love’s Victory is composed primarily in heroic couplets. Scattered throughout the dialogue, however, are fifteen-odd inset verses (not including the fortunes and riddles read in Acts 2 and 4) in iambic trimeter and tetrameter. These are typically indented in the Penshurst manuscript to differentiate them from the rest of the text. They also display considerable variety in their stanzaic form; their metrical structure links them to the songs scattered throughout the miscellany of Wroth’s poems preserved at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the printed version of Pamphilia to Amphilanthus, which I explored in Chapter 3. Like those lyrics, several of which circulated musically, the inset verses of Love’s Victory have tended to be overlooked by critics. In his edition of the Penshurst manuscript, Michael Brennan goes so far as to suggest that, “Despite the charming simplicity of the songs and the comic interludes in Love’s Victory, along with its neatly balanced plot and varied characters, it would be unwise to make any great claims for the quality of the verse in the play.”⁸⁹ When they are discussed, it is rarely in terms of their musical potential. Such an approach, however, risks overlooking the key role that song—understood in musical terms, not simply as lyric expression—plays in the structure and narrative development of the tragicomedy. This is not to suggest that reading the “songs” of Love’s Victory as actual songs intended for singing is straightforward. No extant musical settings have been found to date, and the surrounding textual context and stage directions are (unlike Cavendish’s plays) inconsistent in specifying mode of ⁸⁷ Unless otherwise specified, references to Love’s Victory are from Lady Mary Wroth’s Love’s Victory: The Penshurst Manuscript, ed. Michael G. Brennan (London: Roxburghe Club, 1988), cited parenthetically by act and line number. ⁸⁸ The significance of music for Wroth is discussed in more detail in Chapter 3. See also Alexander, “The Musical Sidneys,” 90–102; and Larson, “The Sidneys and Music,” 317–27. ⁸⁹ Michael G. Brennan (ed.), “Introduction,” in Lady Mary Wroth’s Love’s Victory, 14.

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delivery. A good example of the interpretative ambiguity that surrounds these moments is Philisses and Lissius’ encounter in Act 1. Lissius seems to be singing when he enters; Philisses quickly retreats with the statement, “you were merry; I’le nott marr your song” (1.101). It is less clear from the text, though, whether Philisses has also been singing. Josephine Roberts categorizes his lyric, “You pleasant flowrie meade” (1.39), as a song in her influential edition of Wroth’s poems, and scholars have tended to follow this lead.⁹⁰ Philisses’ musical entrance would be an effective way to begin the scene, as the Read Not Dead staging demonstrated; in the Huntington manuscript, his lament actually opens the play. His encounter with Lissius also echoes the many moments in Urania when Wroth’s protagonists, voicing their amorous feelings through song, find themselves overheard. Later in the play Philisses, though, sits out while other characters sing, claiming that only those who have “glad harts or voice to sing” should do so (1.327); he, on the other hand, “can butt patience to this pleasure bring” (1.328). Less ambiguously, at the end of Act 1 the shepherds and shepherdesses gather for their first ludic encounter: a singing competition, to which Climeana, Lacon, and Rustic contribute. For readers of Love’s Victory, this is the most memorable of the play’s musical scenes, largely because of Rustic’s hilarious contribution. He later begs off from the riddling competition—“I’was nott taught | Thes tricks of witt” (4.391–2)—but here he renders with gusto a musical parody of the Petrarchan blazon and the Song of Songs, as he serenades Musella: Thy Eyes, doe play Like Goats with hay, And skip like kids flying From the sly fox; . . . . . Thy cheecks are red Like Okar spred On a fatted sheep’s back. (1.341–9)

By the time Rustic sings, the musical context of the competition has been firmly established. Interestingly, however, the first song, Climeana’s, is begun without an explicit musical cue. It is not until the conclusion of her lyric, when Lissius says, “Climeana hath begun a pretty sport, | Lett each one ⁹⁰ “Songs from the Huntington Manuscript of Love’s Victorie,” in The Poems of Lady Mary Wroth, 210.

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singe, and soe the game is short” (1.323–4), that as contemporary readers we realize that we are dealing with a song and with a singing competition. The moment underscores the likelihood that at least some of the inset lyrics elsewhere in the play were also sung, rather than recited, even in the absence of explicit musical cues. This impulse is reflected in Marion Wynne-Davies and S. P. Cerasano’s edition of the play, which specifies singing in a number of stage directions for these verses. Lissius and Simeana’s joint contribution in Act 4, “Love’s beginning like the Spring,” for example, is presented in this edition as a sung duet.⁹¹ Recall too that Wroth’s poems moved flexibly among manuscript, print, and performance contexts, exemplified by surviving musical settings of poems from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus and Urania and the repositioning of lyrics from the Folger manuscript in scenes explicitly associated with musical performance in the printed romance.⁹² It is entirely possible that some of the inset verses in Love’s Victory would have been familiar to Wroth’s readers because they were sung elsewhere. Take, for instance, the lyric Philisses contributes near the end of the riddling competition in Act 2, “Love, and reason once att warr” (2.213), which was probably envisioned in part as a response to a poem by William Herbert. As Mary Ellen Lamb has noted, song performance constituted an important context of circulation for Wroth’s poetic dialogue with her cousin and lover.⁹³ There are more concrete musical indicators as well. In the Penshurst manuscript, Wroth includes explicit stage directions for music and song in scenes featuring the Temple of Love. The entrance of the priests at the end of Act 4 is prefaced with the note “The Musique, or song of the Priests” (4.464). When the shepherds and shepherdesses approach the bodies of Musella and Philisses, meanwhile, they express their grief in song. Wroth’s stage direction reads: The Temple, and the dead bodys on the Aulter, the sheapherds, and sheapherdesses casting flowers on them, while Venus apeers in glory they sing this song. (5.420)

⁹¹ Mary Wroth, Love’s Victory, in Cerasano and Wynne-Davies (eds), Renaissance Drama by Women, 114. ⁹² I discuss the musical circulation of Wroth’s lyrics in Chapter 3. ⁹³ Lamb, “ ‘Can you suspect a change in me?’ ”

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Venus twice calls for song at the conclusion of the play; in the second instance, Wroth leaves a blank space for the lyrics, exemplifying the flexibility of these inset pieces, whether composed specifically for such moments or imported from other contexts (5.554).⁹⁴ In the absence of extant musical settings, a contemporary director has to decide how best to handle these moments of lyric expression. In the Read Not Dead production, director Martin Hodgson opted for song whenever possible, and it was exhilarating to witness just how musical Love’s Victory could be.⁹⁵ The staged reading featured a mix of solos and choruses, using a combination of familiar tunes (like Christmas carols) that added wonderfully comic layers of commentary to individual texts, and original melodies composed for the show by Hodgson and Rosalind Steele, the actor who played Venus. The decision to set so much of the play to music was all the more impressive given the improvisatory spirit of Read Not Dead: actors participating in the series do not see a script until the morning of its performance. Throughout the day leading up to the Love’s Victory staging, snippets of song could be heard emanating from the Baron’s Hall and from the Penshurst gardens, where the cast was rehearsing. None of the actors was a professional singer, and yet they carried off the musical elements of the script with aplomb. The experiment offered valuable insight into the showcasing of vocal music in early modern household plays involving coterie performers, particularly within a family context as musical as the Sidneys’. It also revealed how integral song is to Love’s Victory. In part, the prevalence of song in the play reflects pastoral convention. Barbara Lewalski has shown how pastoral models that foregrounded songs, choruses, and sung eclogues, notably Tasso’s Aminta (1580, translated by Abraham Fraunce in The Countess of Pembroke’s Ivychurch) and Samuel Daniel’s Hymen’s Triumph (1615), are reflected in the musical elements of Wroth’s work. Lewalski draws attention to the metrical variety of the inset lyrics and argues too that the songs of Love’s Victory should be imagined as

⁹⁴ There are similar spaces left for songs in the manuscript of The Second Part of the Countess of Montgomery’s Urania, as well as references to songs on otherwise blank pages, suggesting that independently circulating lyrics were inserted for these musical moments. On this convergence of narrative and material practice, see Straznicky, “Lady Mary Wroth’s Patchwork Play.” ⁹⁵ Hodgson directed the first fully staged performance of Love’s Victory in the Baron’s Hall at Penshurst on September 16, 2018, funded by the AHRC. Although I was not able to factor the production into my analysis before this book went to press, the performance was filmed as a part of the “Dramatizing Penshurst” Festival on Mary Wroth, coordinated by Alison Findlay, and will be released online, .

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set to music and performed.⁹⁶ Wroth also, of course, draws on the musical and theatrical model of the court masque, notably in her treatment of scenes involving Venus and Cupid and the Temple of Love. Wroth’s engagement with pastoral and masque traditions is crucial for an understanding of the musical facets of her work, but the songs of Love’s Victory also invite us to consider the interplay between song’s acoustic and affective potency and specific sites of musical circulation and performance—a relationship that seems to have fascinated Wroth in all of her extant writings. What might it mean, then, to read the performance of the songs and musical games of Love’s Victory through the architectural lens of Penshurst’s Baron’s Hall? We may never have conclusive evidence about the performance context of the play, and in some ways it is misleading to try to anchor the production and circulation of Love’s Victory in any one site. Wroth’s writings—and indeed Wroth herself—were always on the move, attached to different places at different times.⁹⁷ Still, the ties linking Love’s Victory to the Sidney estate are compelling in terms of both chronology and the geography integral to its narrative structure. Margaret Hannay’s biography offers the convincing hypothesis that Wroth wrote the play as an occasional piece to celebrate her sister Barbara’s wedding to Sir Thomas Smythe at Penshurst in the spring of 1619.⁹⁸ Beverly Van Note builds on this argument, drawing on extant correspondence to show that full wedding festivities may have been delayed as a result of King James’s sudden illness and preparations for Queen Anne’s funeral, both of which coincided with the day of Barbara’s ceremony. A performance of Love’s Victory, she contends, would have been a fitting way to commemorate the wedding as a part of the summer season at Penshurst.⁹⁹ Findlay and Wynne-Davies, meanwhile, have shown how the spatial details and narrative trajectory of the play draw on and remap the geography of Penshurst.¹⁰⁰ If Love’s Victory were staged at Penshurst in the seventeenth century, two probable performance sites emerge: the gardens (or another outdoor space on the estate grounds) and the Baron’s Hall. ⁹⁶ Lewalski, Writing Women in Jacobean England, 298–300, 304–6. ⁹⁷ See Straznicky, “Lady Mary Wroth’s Patchwork Play.” ⁹⁸ Hannay, Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth, 221. ⁹⁹ Beverly M. Van Note, “Performing ‘fitter means’: Marriage and Authorship in Love’s Victory,” in Larson, Miller, and Strycharski (eds), Re-Reading Mary Wroth, 69–81. ¹⁰⁰ Findlay, Playing Spaces, 89–94; Marion Wynne-Davies, “ ‘For Worth, Not Weakness, Makes in Use but One’: Literary Dialogues in an English Renaissance Family,” in Clarke and Clarke, “This Double Voice,” 164–84, and “ ‘So Much Worth’: Autobiographical Narratives in the Work of Lady Mary Wroth,” in Henk Dragstra, Sheila Ottway, and Helen Wilcox (eds), Betraying our Selves: Forms of Self-Representation in Early Modern English Texts (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000), 76–93.

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Given its pastoral focus and the characters’ reliance on carefully delineated green spaces, the grounds of the estate would have offered a tangible reflection of Wroth’s narrative setting. Outdoor performance is always vulnerable to the vagaries of weather, but gardens were an attractive venue for intimate musical and dramatic entertainments in the period, as Pamphilia’s performance in Urania’s musical garden demonstrates. A walk through the exquisite gardens of the Penshurst estate underscores their suitability for small-scale performance; they function in many ways as a series of discrete and self-contained rooms, each with their own character. One of these spaces, now dubbed the “Stage Garden,” features an elevated grass stage, edged with stone, which is used for occasional entertainments and impromptu performances by contemporary visitors.¹⁰¹ If the play was staged in the formal gardens, the music would have carried reasonably well to an intimate gathering, especially if it were partially bounded by hedges or walls. Alternatively, if the pavilions included on William Burgess’s eighteenthcentury survey of Penshurst were on the grounds in the seventeenth century, it is tempting to imagine a performance that set the Temple of Love scenes within the domed interior (a venue that bears some resemblance to the depiction of the Throne of Love episode on the title page of Urania). The players could then have made use of the adjacent copses for the ludic encounters between Wroth’s shepherds and shepherdesses as well as their musical laments.¹⁰² Audience members would certainly have enjoyed the experience of “eavesdropping” on these seemingly private moments of musical and poetic expression. The bowers and groves scattered across the Penshurst grounds would have helped to map the psychological journeys of Wroth’s protagonists in material—and, for the Sidney circle—very personal terms, as Alison Findlay has shown.¹⁰³ But these spaces of retreat also provide a vital rhetorical function in the play that would have been accentuated in an outdoor setting. Apart from the Temple of Love episodes, the songs of Love’s Victory are voiced within outdoor spaces that ostensibly offer some degree of privacy. In Act 4, Philisses sums up the sonic relationship that Wroth’s characters have with these retreats as he characterizes the grove within which he laments as a ¹⁰¹ See the Hon. Philip Sidney (ed.), Penshurst Place and Gardens (Norwich: Jigsaw Design & Publishing, 2013), 36. While the “Stage Garden” provides a tantalizing glimpse into the use of the gardens as a performance space, it is a more recent addition to the grounds, and little is known about its history. ¹⁰² For a reproduction of Burgess’s survey, see Findlay, Playing Spaces, 91. ¹⁰³ Findlay, Playing Spaces, 90–2.

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private echo chamber: “Then since woods, springs, Echoes, and all are true, | My long hid love, I’le tell, shew, write in you” (4.17–18). Philisses does not mention singing in this speech, but song is a crucial vehicle for telling, showing, and writing in Love’s Victory and in Wroth’s writings as a whole. Even when the shepherds and shepherdesses gather for their singing competition—a more communal example of song performance—the emphasis is on the veiled communication of secret (or not-so-secret) desires. Wroth reinforces her characters’ sense of solitude by delineating the spaces and rules framing their ludic encounters: “The sun growes hott, ’twere best wee did retire,” declares Dalina, as the group gathers for the first time; Lissius replies: “Ther’s a good shade” (1.282).¹⁰⁴ Yet Wroth regularly draws attention to the vulnerability of such green spaces, as Philisses’ Act 4 lament to the trees illustrates. Overheard by Musella, his outpouring of grief leads immediately to the mutual confession of their love. While an outdoor performance would have enabled Wroth and her family and friends to play with spatial boundaries in wonderfully creative ways, my focus here is on the Baron’s Hall, which seems to me the more likely setting for the play—and not only because it would have been weatherproof. There is frustratingly little evidence that survives about the musical performances that undoubtedly took place within the Penshurst buildings. Few music titles are included in the library catalogue, and the family papers do not document a designated music room; part-books may have been kept in the solar or family parlor for informal domestic music gatherings.¹⁰⁵ For larger-scale entertainments like Love’s Victory, though, particularly if staged for an event like a family wedding, the Baron’s Hall would have provided an ideal venue. Margaret Hannay imagines a performance there in her biography of Wroth: the carved wooden screen would have facilitated the presentation of a lavish set design for the Temple of Love, with doors available for entries and exits. Professional musicians—and possibly also Venus and Cupid “apeering in the clowds” (1.385)—could have been positioned in the gallery above.¹⁰⁶ This is exactly how the Read Not Dead production made use of the space, and it was effective both visually and

¹⁰⁴ On the significance of ludic spaces in Love’s Victory, see Larson, Early Modern Women in Conversation, 100–7. ¹⁰⁵ Germaine Warkentin, Joseph L. Black, and William R. Bowen (eds), The Library of the Sidneys of Penshurst Place Circa 1665 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013), 21. ¹⁰⁶ Hannay, Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth, 221. On the spatial and sociopolitical symbolism of the great hall as a site for early modern household performance, see Greg Walker, The Politics of Performance in Early Renaissance Drama (Cambridge: CUP, 1998), 51–75.

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dramatically. Placing Venus and Cupid in the gallery enhanced the impact of their interventions and commentary on the action unfolding below. The physicality of the staging, making full use of the front and rear doors of the Hall as well as a central aisle running through the audience seating area, also captured the playful energy of the work. The Read Not Dead production exemplified the visual effectiveness of the Baron’s Hall as a performance space, but it is ultimately for reasons of acoustics that a staging of Love’s Victory at Penshurst seems best suited to an indoor setting. The materials used in the construction and decoration of early modern performance spaces played an important role in enhancing or muting sound.¹⁰⁷ Even if dampened somewhat in the seventeenth century by hung tapestries, the stone and wood of the Baron’s Hall creates a very live environment. The arch of its vaulted ceiling helps to maximize acoustic resonance.¹⁰⁸ And, although it is relatively large compared to the hedged outdoor “rooms” of the estate’s labyrinthine gardens, audience members would still have been quite close to the performers, resulting in a direct sonic impression. Being in close proximity to singing bodies—particularly indoors, where sound disperses more slowly—can be an intense physical experience. Yet the acoustic effect in the Baron’s Hall would not necessarily have been overly loud, unless instruments like trumpets or drums were used to represent the Temple of Love; non-ecclesiastical indoor musical performance in the period tended to favor a more intimate sound. Rather, the effect would probably have been one of heightened clarity. Recall too that, if performed by members of the Sidney coterie, the actors in Love’s Victory would have been musically educated, but not necessarily professional singers. As a result, their voices would have benefited from the acoustic enhancement of the space; this was certainly true of the singing in the Read Not Dead production. Given the emphasis Wroth places on the significance of song as a vehicle for the communication of intimate feeling and its rhetorical potency as it moves within and through spatial boundaries, the architecture of the Baron’s Hall would have helped to accentuate the ¹⁰⁷ See Orlowski, “Assessing the Acoustic Performance of Small Music Rooms.” ¹⁰⁸ In Harmonie universelle, Mersenne considers how best to maximize sound transmission within architectural spaces, arguing that an elliptical vault creates ideal conditions for acoustic resonance: “l’on peut conclure que tous les lieux qui sont creux & concaves renforcent la voix, dautant qu’ils conservent plus long-temps le mouvement de l’air, ou qu’ils sont cause qu’une plus grande quantité d’air se meut & tremble plus long-temps” (ii. 30) (“one may conclude that all places that are hollow and concave reinforce the voice, in as much that they conserve the movement of the air for a longer time, or that they cause a larger quantity of air to move and tremble for a longer time” (my translation)). See also Mace, Musick’s Monument, 240.

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affective impact of the many moments of sung confession that pervade the play. Larger-scale musical elements, on the other hand, like the entrance of the priests or the chorus of shepherds and shepherdesses, would have resonated impressively beneath the arched roof. In a recent study of early modern music rooms in early modern France and Italy, Deborah Howard notes that the spatial context of music-making has fallen between the cracks in academic research. Musicologists explore musical performance, while architectural historians study buildings, but the two only rarely converge—and these practices intersect even less with the scientific investigation of acoustics. Yet music-making cannot be separated from its physical context.¹⁰⁹

Consideration of both of these elements—physical context and musical sound—needs to be brought to the fore in discussions of early modern women’s dramatic writings. To do so is necessarily to engage in an imaginative exercise, given the absence of performance records and musical settings as well as, in many cases, the absence—or radical alteration—of the architectural sites that would have been used for sixteenth- and seventeenthcentury household entertainments. Such speculation, however, makes it possible to link these texts—and their songs—to the domestic sites within which they were staged, read aloud, sung, and imaginatively situated. It facilitates their reanimation as performance documents for audiences both inside and outside the academy. And it demonstrates the extent to which playful experimentation with staging and sound can alter our interpretation of even a long-familiar script. The Read Not Dead production offered rare material insight into the relationship between musical sound and spatial setting in early modern women’s household plays. Love’s Victory also stands out among women’s household plays for the suggestive richness of its musical content. Part of the work of this chapter, however, has also been to demonstrate how a musical, performance-based methodology generates a more capacious approach to the acoustic experience of supposedly “closeted” texts, which, in turn, explodes the apparent confines of the closet both as an architectural site for musical performance and as a generic marker for early modern women’s dramatic writing. Reading the songs and textual markers preserved in plays such as Iphigenia at Aulis, The Convent of Pleasure, and Love’s Victory from ¹⁰⁹ Howard, “Introduction: Music-Making in Domestic Space,” in Howard and Moretti (eds), The Music Room, 1.

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a sonic perspective alongside the musical contexts that helped to shape them and the musical details used in contemporary stagings adds credence to their performability. More importantly, however, it situates the songs and musical details that enrich these works as a vital rhetorical feature of the household entertainments and communal readings to which women actively contributed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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5 Sweet Echo

Chapter 4 concluded with the lingering sound of the songs from Mary Wroth’s Love’s Victory echoing under the vaulted roof of the Baron’s Hall at Penshurst Place. This chapter shifts to the singing bodies that animated entertainments at another aristocratic estate, Ludlow Castle in Wales, and to the masque, a genre whose performance in aristocratic homes cemented the household as an extension of the English court. The architectural sites for these productions—and, as a result, the content and scope of the commissioned masques—varied depending on the families and estates hosting them. Domestic masque performances staged in conjunction with royal progresses could be characterized by levels of extravagance similar to (or more excessive than) those seen at the Jacobean court; Ben Jonson’s Loves Welcome and Loves Welcome at Bolsover, produced by William Cavendish for Charles I in 1633 and 1634 at Welbeck Abbey and Bolsover Castle, stand as notoriously expensive examples. Others were staged as a part of occasional festivities. In such cases, household settings, while no less exclusive and outward-facing, allowed for a more intimate approach to the genre, whether manifested in smaller-scale approaches to the masque’s characteristic multimedia framework, the incorporation of masque elements into other kinds of household entertainments, or the involvement of talented family members who might not have performed at the London court. This, in turn, would have opened up different kinds of performance opportunities for women. Music was integral to masques, as Peter Walls and others have shown, attested by surviving instrumental and vocal scores, extant descriptions of elaborate atmospheric effects, and the genre’s characteristic reliance on dance.¹ Bacon’s essay “Of Masques and Triumphs” (1625) opens with ¹ See Walls, Music in the English Courtly Masque, esp. ch. 2 on “Masque Song,” 43–103; and David Lindley, “The Politics of Music in the Masque,” in David Bevington and Peter Holbrook (eds), The Politics of the Stuart Court Masque (Cambridge: CUP, 1998), 273–95. Andrew J. Sabol (ed.), Four Hundred Songs and Dances from the Stuart Masque (Providence, RI: Brown University Press, 1982), a collection of extant music integral to these entertainments, is also a

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striking musical insight, encompassing his preferred voice types (“Strong and Manly”) and songs (“High and Tragicall; not [n]ice or Dainty”), as well as recommended positioning for singers and instrumentalists within the space (“in Quire, placed aloft, and accompanied with some broken Musicke”) in performances of such “Toyes.”² And yet the masque’s notorious visual extravagance and staging mechanisms have a tendency to overshadow its acoustic elements in scholarly and classroom discussions. That silencing is amplified when considering female masque performers. That women danced in masques and were integral to the political workings of the genre, inspired and encouraged by the examples of Anna of Denmark and Henrietta Maria, is now well known.³ In addition to their role as patrons and dancers, however, women also made occasional appearances as singers in masques. The rhetorical potency of those singing voices in courtly entertainments has rarely been foregrounded in scholarly discussions of the masque, even those focused most astutely on women’s contributions to the genre.⁴ key resource. For broader studies of the masque genre, including its performative and musical elements, see Barbara Ravelhofer, The Early Stuart Masque: Dance, Costume, and Music (Oxford: OUP, 2006); James Knowles, Politics and Political Culture in the Court Masque (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015); and Stephen Orgel, The Jonsonian Masque (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965). See also Lauren Shohet, Reading Masques: The English Masque and Public Culture in the Seventeenth Century (Oxford: OUP, 2010), 115–19. Shohet’s focus is on printed masques, but her work illuminates how a reader might have responded to and made use of the songs and instrumental scores appended to published masques or circulated in printed collections like John Playford’s Courtly Masquing Ayres (1662), notably in domestic performance. ² Francis Bacon, The Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall (London: John Haviland, 1625), 223–4. ³ Critical attention has focused primarily on Queen Anna and Queen Henrietta Maria as patrons and, with their ladies-in-waiting, dancers complementing the dazzling visual spectacle of the genre. See Clare McManus, Women on the Renaissance Stage: Anna of Denmark and Female Masquing in the Stuart Court (1590–1619) (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002), and Clare McManus (ed.), Women and Culture at the Courts of the Stuart Queens (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003); Leeds Barroll, Anna of Denmark, Queen of England: A Cultural Biography (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001); Karen Britland, Drama at the Courts of Queen Henrietta Maria (Cambridge: CUP, 2006); Sophie Tomlinson, Women on Stage, esp. 18–47, and “She That Plays the King”; and Kasey Maria Mattia, “Crossing the Channel: Cultural Identity in the Court Entertainments of Queen Henrietta Maris, 1625–1640,” Ph.D. diss., Duke University, 2007. See also C. E. McGee, “ ‘The Visit of the Nine Goddesses’: A Masque at Sir John Crofts’s House,” ELR 21/3 (Autumn 1991), 371–84. ⁴ For important interventions on this topic, see Melinda J. Gough, “ ‘Not as Myself ’: The Queen’s Voice in Tempe Restored,” Modern Philology, 101/1 (August 2003), 48–67; Suzanne Gossett, “ ‘Man-maid, begone!’: Women in Masques,” ELR 18/1 (Winter 1988), 96–113; Sophie Tomlinson, “Theatrical Vibrancy on the Caroline Court Stage: Tempe Restored and The Shepherds’ Paradise,” in McManus (ed.), Women and Culture at the Courts of the Stuart Queens, 186–203; and Roy Booth, “The First Female Professional Singers: Madam Coniack,” Notes and Queries, 44/4 (1997), 533. David Lindley also discusses the gendered dimensions of vocal

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My analysis here will focus in particular on “Sweet Echo,” the Lady’s song in Milton’s A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle (Comus), which was performed in 1634 by the 15-year-old Alice Egerton. The unusual level of detail that survives about this masque’s performance history, combined with the musical settings extant in Henry Lawes’s autograph manuscript, British Library Add. MS 53723, affords a unique opportunity to evaluate early modern song in terms of the rhetorical interplay between lyric, musical setting, and specific performance context. It also constitutes a striking case study for considering the acoustic impact of women’s singing voices. In taking “Sweet Echo” as the musical focus for this chapter, I bring into contrapuntal dialogue a number of strains introduced earlier in this study, in particular in Chapter 2: the movement of the musical breath as it leaves the singing body; its sonic effects as it penetrates listening ears; the culturally charged acoustic potency of the singing siren; and the affective significance of that ambivalent musical figure in Milton’s writings. Milton’s depiction of temptation and self-discipline in Comus, whose moral message is encapsulated in miniature in the Lady’s performance of “Sweet Echo,” hinges on his audience’s experience of song as an acoustic, embodied, and gendered phenomenon.

“Blest Pair of Sirens . . . | . . . Voice and Verse”: Milton and Song Scholars have long been attuned to the centrality of music and song in Milton’s texts. Most work in the area, however, has concentrated on the sonority of Milton’s prosody—the “musical delight” of his “apt Numbers” and “fit quantity of Syllables” (Paradise Lost, “The Verse,” p. 210)—rather than treating song as a performance rooted in the singing body that triggers

performance in Tempe Restored in “The Politics of Music in the Masque,” 287–8. On the continental models for women’s appearances as singer-actresses in England, see Melinda J. Gough, “Courtly Comédiantes: Henrietta Maria and Amateur Women’s Stage Plays in France and England,” in Brown and Parolin (eds), Women Players in England, 193–215; “Marie de Medici’s 1605 ballet de la reine and the Virtuosic Female Voice,” EMW 7 (Fall 2012), 127–56; “Marie de Medici’s 1605 ballet de la reine: New Evidence and Analysis,” Early Theatre, 15/1 (2012), 109–44; and Dancing Queen: Marie di Médicis’ Ballets at the Court of Henri IV (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019). On the case of Robert White’s Cupid’s Banishment (1617), which also featured female singers, see Winkler, “Dangerous Performance’, and McManus, Women on the Renaissance Stage, 179–201.

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a particular affective response in hearers.⁵ Even the most musically focused studies, notably vital contributions by Diane McColley and Louise Schleiner and an important unpublished dissertation by Judy van Sickle, dwell primarily on the musical influences that shaped Milton’s treatment of song, probing, in van Sickle’s words, “how songs become embedded in the rich texture of Milton’s language.”⁶ Such interventions have greatly enriched critical understanding of musical–textual relations in Milton’s writings and have helped to elucidate his close engagement with early modern musical discourses and his dexterous appropriation of vocal genres and musical modes. Joseph Ortiz and Erin Minear have shifted these debates in a new direction by highlighting the implications of reading Miltonic music as sensuous, reverberating sound.⁷ More work needs to be done, however, in order fully to appreciate the materiality and acoustic impact of song as performance in Milton’s writings as well as the expressive significance of Milton’s singing women. My attention in this chapter to the musical, physiological, and performative dimensions of song and of women’s singing voices in Milton’s work is not meant to downplay the aural richness of his language. Nor does it mitigate the lexical slipperiness of the term “song” in his writings and, as I discussed in Chapter 1, in the seventeenth century more broadly. Like many of his contemporaries, Milton characterizes his poetry in musical terms and figures poetic composition as song: “I thence | Invoke thy aid to my advent’rous Song” (Paradise Lost, 1.12–13); “Half yet remains unsung” (Paradise Lost, 7.21); “I who erewhile the happy Garden sung, | By one man’s disobedience lost, now sing | Recover’d Paradise to all mankind” (Paradise Regained, 1.1–3). I want to suggest, however, that considering song as an embodied and “drastic” genre that negotiates the boundary between language and musical performance provides an important and overlooked framework for assessing the affective impact of Milton’s singers and the music they produce, as well as the gendering of song in Milton’s writings. Given his musical upbringing, it is not surprising that Milton’s writings should themselves carry significant musical traces, whether manifested in

⁵ All references to Milton’s writings are from Complete Poems and Major Prose, ed. Hughes, cited parenthetically by line number (verse) or page number (prose) unless otherwise specified. ⁶ Diane Kelsey McColley, Poetry and Music in Seventeenth-Century England (Cambridge: CUP, 1997), 175–217; Schleiner, The Living Lyre, 102–57; Judy L. van Sickle, “Song as Structure and Symbol in Four Poems of John Milton,” Ph.D. diss., Brown University, 1980, 20. ⁷ Minear, Reverberating Song in Shakespeare and Milton, 197–256; Ortiz, Broken Harmony, 213–42.

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the appropriation of liturgical settings like the Te Deum in Paradise Lost, as Diane McColley has demonstrated;⁸ in the eminently singable refrain that undergirds his translation of Psalm 136, perhaps composed with his father’s musical settings of the Psalms in mind; in the sweet celestial songs that resonate in Pythagoras’ ears in the Second Prolusion (pub. 1674); or in Milton’s attention to the auditory implications of censorship in Areopagitica (1644) as he ponders the difficulty of silencing the “prattle” of lutes and violins and the “airs and madrigals that whisper softness in chambers” (p. 732).⁹ Milton’s later poems, produced orally and preserved in print, offer a particularly poignant trace of these vocal soundscapes. Even before his blindness, Milton, who was trained as a singer and who provided singing instruction to his nephews, was acutely sensitive to the significance of the human body as musical instrument. This preoccupation manifests itself most overtly in his exploration of the correspondences among the music of the spheres (musica mundana), the proper tempering of the human body (musica humana), and the music produced by human voices and instruments (musica instrumentalis), a relationship eloquently articulated in the early poems. In the hymn that provides the structural basis for the deeply musical “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity” (1629), for instance, a personified Nature recognizes the heavenly harmonies that ravish the souls of the shepherds as having the power to “hold all Heav’n and Earth in happier union” (l. 108). Even as the poem longs for the crystalline ringing of the spheres to “bless our human ears” (l. 126), the immediate parenthetical qualification—“(If ye have power to touch our senses so)” (l. 127)— recognizes that access to such “holy Song” (l. 133), glimpsed briefly in the context of the nativity, is incommensurate with human sinfulness. Milton takes up a similar theme in “At a Solemn Music” (pub. 1645), lamenting the feebleness of sinfully “disproportion’d” human voices and ears (l. 19), and reasserting his determination to “renew that Song” (l. 25)—so gloriously depicted in “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity”—“And keep in tune with Heav’n” (l. 26). In wrestling with the gap separating earthly ears from heavenly sounds, Milton’s writings display a fascination with the physiology of the singing body and the vital interrelationship between singer and listener.

⁸ McColley, Poetry and Music, 210–12, and “ ‘The Copious Matter of My Song,’ ” in Diana Treviño Benet and Michael Lieb (eds), Literary Milton: Text, Pretext, Context (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1994), 69–78. ⁹ On Milton’s musical education, see John Harper, “ ‘One Equal Music’: The Music of Milton’s Youth,” Milton Quarterly, 31/1 (1997), 1–10.

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Recalling the acoustic musings of the seventeenth-century natural philosophers and experimental theorists explored in Chapter 2, the breath figures repeatedly in Milton’s writings as the source of the voice’s affective power. The breath’s acoustic efficacy—and the risks associated with its failure— infuse his descriptions of Adam and Eve singing their prayer and praise in Paradise Lost. In a passage in book 9 that plays on “air” as song, breeze, and scent, Milton describes the “vocal Worship” of the prelapsarian couple joining the “Choir | Of Creatures wanting voice” and the silent breath of God’s creation that rises as fragrant incense into God’s waiting “Nostrils” (9.192–200). Before their Fall, Adam and Eve bear an equal part in Eden’s choirs. After book 9, however, they stop singing. The couple still relies on spoken prayer, borne aloft on “one short sigh of human breath” (11.147), but they have less faith in the power of those intercessions, which risk dispersal and diffusion in the face of God’s wrath: “prayer against his absolute Decree | No more avails than breath against the wind, | Blown stifling back on him that breathes it forth” (11.311–3). As Milton distances them from their prelapsarian hymns, Eve characterizes their exile from Eden and from God’s favor as a kind of asphyxiation, an experience that stifles any possibility of vocal production: “how shall we breathe in other Air | Less pure?” (11.284–5). These airy resonances take on more sinister implications in Milton’s characterizations of Satan. The sonic workings of the breath are most explicit in Eve’s sleeping encounter with Satan in book 4 of Paradise Lost, where Milton describes her dream as “distemper[ing]” breath taken in through the ears (4.807). But air is no less pivotal to the temptation in book 9, heralded by Satan’s misty appearance in the Garden. In a season “prime for sweetest Scents and Airs” (9.200), Eve ultimately separates herself from Adam and appears to Satan “Veil’d in a Cloud of Fragrance” (9.425), a flowery breath that earlier that morning accompanied Adam and Eve’s sung prayers to heaven but that here reinforces her sensuality and presages her vulnerability. Satan’s flattery, meanwhile, is characterized in terms of musical penetration as he “tun’d” his proem (9.549), she “at the voice much marvelling” (9.551). Song, the breath, and the process of temptation come together in this scene in compelling ways that hearken back to Milton’s much earlier treatment of vocal performance in the Leonora poems, as I argued in Chapter 2, and to Comus, a work that predated Milton’s epigrams to the soprano by a few years. While the potency of the breath as musical medium is powerfully exemplified by the mysterious workings of Leonora’s throat

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and the impact of her song on her hearers, reading song as an example of what Bonnie Gordon has called “body-based rhetoric”¹⁰ becomes especially productive in Comus, where we encounter songs actually prepared for musical setting and for performance.

The “Noise” of Song It is difficult to imagine Comus without sound. Even in those places where musical notation is absent—the incidental music and Sabrina’s song are no longer extant—Comus’ script and stage directions are rife with moments of acoustic and musical production.¹¹ Think of the “noise” (l. 170) and “barbarous dissonance” of Comus and his rout (l. 550); the “soft Music” that plays in Comus’ palace (p. 105); the music accompanying the “Measure” performed by Comus and his followers (p. 93); and the country dances celebrating the ritual presentation of the brothers and the Lady to their parents. Five songs from Comus also survive. Preserved in Henry Lawes’s manuscript, these pieces afford a valuable opportunity to consider how the interplay between music and text in performance informs a song’s affective impact, particularly given that Lawes was acclaimed by his contemporaries for his sensitivity to the relationship between music and text.¹² Milton’s sonnet to the composer commends him in exactly these terms. All but one of these songs were sung by the Attendant Spirit, played by Lawes himself, a professional musician active at court and tutor to the Bridgewater children. These pieces bookend the entertainment and stand as an integral part of the soundscapes that are so pivotal to Comus. As a performance text, the masque also foregrounds the affective impact of the singing body of the Lady, played in 1634 by the 15-year-old Alice Egerton, a talented singer who was also Lawes’s student. Masque performances regularly featured recreational aristocratic performers as well as professional actors and musicians. The prominent positioning of Alice Egerton alongside Lawes’s own performance as the Attendant Spirit, however, makes what Christopher Marsh has called the “meeting point of unequals” that was the teacher–student relationship in the period a focal point ¹⁰ Gordon, Monteverdi’s Unruly Women, 13. ¹¹ On the musical textures of Comus, see Louis L. Martz, Poet of Exile: A Study of Milton’s Poetry (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1980), 20–4. ¹² On Lawes’s settings for Comus, see Mary Elizabeth Basile, “The Music of A Maske,” Milton Quarterly, 27/3 (2007), 85–98; Walls, Music in the English Courtly Masque, 299–303; and Spink, English Song, 86–8.

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of the masque.¹³ On the one hand, by foregrounding the pedagogical underpinnings of the work, this casting provided Lawes with a unique opportunity both to honor Egerton’s daughter and to showcase his talents as a teacher and as a musician to his employers. This was complicated, however, by Egerton’s gender and student status, which positioned her as Lawes’s superior in terms of social class, but his inferior in terms of musical training and gender hierarchies. Given the eroticized connotations infusing literary and visual depictions of music lessons in the period, moreover, as well as the capacity of performing bodies paradoxically to undermine even the most moralistic and pedagogically oriented works, the pairing had the potential to shape the affective workings of Egerton’s and Lawes’s performances in complex ways.¹⁴ The Lady’s song, “Sweet Echo” (ll. 230–43), constitutes a fascinating instance of song performance that offers an important commentary on the intersections among gender, song, and affect that I have been exploring in this book. Immediately before she sings, the Lady articulates her commitment to her honor; in the most forceful lines, omitted from the Bridgewater Manuscript, she asserts the strength of her “virtuous mind” (l. 211), girded by conscience, faith, hope, and chastity (ll. 210–5).¹⁵ She gives way briefly to fretful fantasies, and then determines to counter those “airy tongues that syllable men’s names” (l. 208), with her own breath: “I cannot hallo to my Brothers,” she declares, “but | Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest | I’ll venture” (ll. 226–8). Her noise of choice is song, an act whose cultural resonances immediately complicate the masque’s insistence on chastity and virtue. As Linda Austern has shown, depictions of musical power and sexual enticement and unrestraint shared a similar lexicon, framing women’s vocal production and the affective scope of their musical performance in terms of the sexualized boundaries of the body.¹⁶ The transgressive impact of the Lady’s song is further reinforced by its geographical and acoustic range

¹³ Marsh, Music and Society, 199. ¹⁴ See Eubanks Winkler, “Dangerous Performance,” 77–91; Marsh, Music and Society, 198–203; Nelson, “Love in the Music Room,” 15–26. ¹⁵ The Trinity Manuscript, Bridgewater Manuscript, and 1637 printed versions of the masque can helpfully be compared side by side in John Milton, A Maske: The Earlier Versions, ed. S. E. Sprott (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1973). On the musical implications of these differences, see Walls, Music in the English Courtly Masque, 290–2. ¹⁶ Linda Phyllis Austern, “ ‘Sing Againe Syren’: The Female Musician and Sexual Enchantment in Elizabethan Life and Literature,” RQ 42/3 (Autumn 1989), 420–48. For a more recent overview of the gendering of music and the performing body in the early modern European context, see Linda Phyllis Austern, “Women, Gender, and Music,” in Poska, Couchman, and McKiver (eds), Ashgate Research Companion to Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe, 509–32.

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within the woods. This song, though ostensibly voiced in solitude, is one that the Lady wants to be—and is—heard. “Noise” did not have entirely unpleasant acoustic connotations in the period. The word could denote a “pleasant or melodious sound,”¹⁷ and this is the sense in which Milton seems primarily to be using “noise” in his early poems. In “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity,” for instance, the “stringed noise” (l. 97) of plucked instruments reverberates in concert with “Divinelywarbled voice” (l. 96). Similarly, in “At a Solemn Musick,” Milton urges his readers to match their earthly voices to the “melodious noise” of heaven (l. 18). Such examples recall the use of “noise” to signify exalted music in English translations of Psalm 100: “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” In Comus, the term “noise” thus works in part to prepare Alice Egerton’s audience for the virtuous pleasure and the beauty of her forthcoming song, even as it playfully takes on the function of a modesty topos, situating her “noisy” performance in appropriately self-effacing terms. Within the immediate context of the masque, however, the Lady’s description of the song as “noise” takes on further layers of meaning that pick up on the sexual charge and cultural ambivalence associated with musical performance (l. 227). “Noise” is suggestive of rumor, slander, and reputation; this connotation is reinforced in the Trinity Manuscript and published versions of Comus in the Lady’s reference in this passage to threatening “airy tongues” (l. 208), and, later, in the brothers’ concern with her vulnerability in the woods.¹⁸ Most important for the purposes of this chapter, the Lady’s “noise” establishes a direct relationship with Comus’ harsh soundscape. Anticipating the discordant “noise” that pervades Samson Agonistes (pub. 1671), the term first figures in Milton’s masque in reference to Comus’ revelry, in a stage direction prompting the “riotous and unruly noise” of his bestial companions (p. 92), and then—only twenty lines before her song in the Bridgewater Manuscript—as the Lady enters: “This way the noise was, if mine ear be true” (l. 170). The Lady’s thought process here as she moves into the “noise” of her song is, on one level, logical. If she is able to hear Comus, perhaps her brothers will hear her; indeed, later in the work the Elder Brother suggests that the absence of any aural cues in the woods may be more dangerous to the Lady than “noise” (ll. 366–72). With the “noise” of Comus’ rout still fresh in our ¹⁷ “noise, n.,” OED Online (Oxford University Press, March 2019), . ¹⁸ See “noise, n.,” OED Online.

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ears, however, the Lady’s determination to produce “[s]uch noise as I can make to be heard farthest” situates her song in ambiguous terms even as it anticipates its acoustic impression (l. 227). When performed, moreover, audience members would probably have had to grapple not only with the aural impact of “Sweet Echo” but also with the visual impact of the female singing body.¹⁹ This is a strange moment in a masque designed in part to celebrate Lady Alice’s virtue—particularly given the attention that seems to have been devoted prior to performance to toning down the Lady’s most explicit references in this speech to chastity and virginity. The tension between the Lady’s “noise” and Comus’ should not be taken to imply that Lawes (or Milton for that matter) sought to raise questions about Alice Egerton’s sexual virtue by assigning her a song; Comus was clearly aimed at honoring, and indeed securing, the reputation of the Bridgewater family. Rather, as in Milton’s epigrams to Leonora, the rhetorical impact of “Sweet Echo,” and the didactic force of the masque overall, hinges in part on the ambivalences registered by song performance and the ability of the singing siren both to seduce and to inspire.

Performing “Sweet Echo” Before unpacking the broader implications of “Sweet Echo” in the masque, let us turn to the song itself to imagine the visual and acoustic experience of Alice Egerton’s performance at Ludlow (Companion Recording, Track 13. “Sweet Echo” (Henry Lawes)). Despite the Lady’s conventional protestations to the contrary, “Sweet Echo” was designed as an opportunity to showcase Alice’s musical skills; the song would never have been composed for her or included in the masque otherwise. As I noted in Chapter 2, Henry Lawes, Egerton’s music teacher, was a strong and public advocate for female musicians. He dedicated his first book of airs in 1653 to Alice, by then Countess of Carbery, and her sister Mary, both of whom, he declares in the dedicatory ¹⁹ When I shared an early draft of this chapter with my graduate students, they perceptively noted that, depending on the lighting of the performance space at Ludlow on Michaelmas night, Lady Alice’s body might have been obscured. Although Comus is clear that he unleashes his spells to “cheat the eye with blear illusion, | And give it false presentments” (ll. 155–6), both the Lady and her brothers make repeated references to the difficulty of seeing clearly in the darkness of the woods. If “Sweet Echo” were performed in relative darkness, this would have further accentuated its acoustic impact. As Bacon hypothesizes in Sylva sylvarum, “Sounds are better heard . . . in an Evening, or in the Night” (no. 143). See also Mersenne, Harmonie universelle, i. 55.

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epistle, “excell’d most Ladies, especially in Vocall Musick.”²⁰ His second book of airs was dedicated to Lady Mary Dering and prepared “for the ease of Musicians of both Sexes”; his inclusion of Dering’s song settings within the collection attests to Lawes’s admiration for her as a performer and a composer.²¹ Mary Dering joined Alice Egerton and her sister, as well as Margaret Cavendish and Lady Elizabeth Brackley, as guests at the musical gatherings Lawes hosted during the Interregnum, which featured the poetry of royalists like Katherine Philips and the performances of talented female singers like Mary Knight. If Milton initially characterizes the Lady as a skilled, if vulnerable, auditor rather than as a singer—her “true” (l. 170) and “list’ning ear” (l. 203) guides her towards Comus’ “noise” (l. 170) of “Riot and ill-manag’d Merriment” (l. 172)—“Sweet Echo” further testifies to her musical talents. The song, which is transcribed in Figure 5.1, is a challenge to sing. It is rhythmically complex, structured around the rhetorical declamation characteristic of Lawes’s influential vocal style and which here contributes to the dramatic impact of the song within the masque. Singing it, I found it easy to imagine it functioning as a kind of show-stopping aria. The setting follows the natural stresses of Milton’s text, with some conventional word painting added to reinforce the rhetorical effect of the verse. Lawes’s setting of the phrase “By slow Meander’s margent green” (l. 232), for example, extends the word “slow” over three and a half beats and then combines this effect with the contrasting faster speechlike rhythms at the end of the phrase to evoke the movement of the river. At the conclusion of the piece, allusions to the skies and the heavens pull the singer up into the head voice through a series of rising passages. Lucas and I made a point of drawing out these kinds of effects in our performance. I experimented with some vocal ornaments in rehearsal, but other than a simple trill on the phrase “Daughter of the Sphere” (l. 241) I opted to follow the notated setting. It is entirely possible that Alice Egerton enhanced her performance with ornamental effects that would have further demonstrated her vocal proficiencies; her interpretative role as performer would have added a crucial creative texture to the notation preserved in Lawes’s surviving score.²²

²⁰ Lawes, Ayres and Dialogues, sig. a2r. ²¹ Lawes, The Second Book of Ayres, and Dialogues, sig. av. The volume also includes dedicatory poems by Katherine Philips and Mary Knight, as well as a setting of Philips’s “Come, my Lucatia,” which is included on the companion recording. ²² On the “collective creativity” informing compositional practice in the period, see Herissone, Musical Creativity, 315–91 (391).

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Figure 5.1. Modern transcription of Henry Lawes, “Sweet Echo.”

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Even in its unornamented state, singing this piece was, for me, a very sensual experience. I am a classically trained soprano and was on the cusp of turning forty (as well as pregnant) when the recording was made: all in all, a decidedly different embodied experience than that of the 15-year-old Alice Egerton, whose performance for her family and distinguished guests would have operated on one level to signal her educational and class attributes in readiness for the marriage market. In working the piece into my voice and inhabiting it in performance I did not go out of my way to try to amplify the kinds of cultural resonances that would have been at play in Alice Egerton’s performance simply by virtue of her musical appearance alongside her teacher in this masque and the eroticized connotations activated by women’s song performance in the period. But, even in the midst of its technical challenges, I was taken aback by the sensory pleasure of singing the song. This was particularly true of the section depicting the violet-filled vale, which sits in a part of my voice that is lower than I am accustomed to singing, but which was deliciously comfortable. I found myself reveling in those lines every time we ran the song. Lucas and I also luxuriated in a more flexible rubato tempo in that first half of the piece, stretching out notes and phrases in a distinct contrast to the heavenward propulsion of the second half. We also milked the setting’s extensive chromatic coloring and unstable harmonic structure. Along with the piece challenging interval leaps, these are features that would have attested to Alice Egerton’s technical prowess, but they would also have signaled a specific affective response for a seventeenth-century audience. The song is the only one of the five extant pieces from Comus composed in the minor mode. The song ends on the open—and perfect, from a theoretical perspective—interval of an octave in the home key, but it relies throughout on dissonant intervals between solo and bass line and in the solo vocal line that challenge the basic rules of counterpoint as well as a series of rapid modulations (where the song moves from one tonal center into another).²³ The extent of this chromatic coloring is visually apparent in the score in the number of accidentals (flats and sharps), but it emerges particularly clearly in performance: the diminished fourth on “sad Song mourneth well” (l. 235) and the leap of a seventh on the ²³ See Zarlino, “The Art of Counterpoint,” 15–16, 25–7. Milton uses the metaphor of a “perfect Diapason” (l. 23) in “At a Solemn Music” to contrast humans’ prelapsarian relationship with God with the discordance of sin. In performance, the octave would have been filled by the continuo player, as Lucas does on our recording, illustrating the tension in the period between musical notation and practical interpretation. On the role of memory in combining improvisation with established formulae, see Herissone, Musical Creativity, 370.

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phrase “Tell me but where, | Sweet Queen” (ll. 240–1), both of which Lucas and I indulged in, provide good examples of the unconventional intervals in the vocal line. This final phrase also affords the best instance of Lawes’s key shifts, modulating between minor modes right before the section referring to Echo as “Queen of Parley” and “Daughter of the Sphere” (l. 241). In A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke, Thomas Morley warns composers against using such features to excess, though he acknowledges that they do reinforce the “passions” of a piece, by evoking “griefe, weeping, sighes, sorrowes, sobbes, and such like.”²⁴ It is undeniable that, as Judy van Sickle has argued, the chromaticism and ambivalent harmonies of the Lady’s song helps to underscore the Lady’s “shaky predicament” at this moment in the woods.²⁵ However, they also help to convey the cultural ambivalence registered by women’s musical performance in the period. As I noted in Chapters 1 and 2, dissonance and chromaticism were consistently gendered in practical musical treatises of the period. In Le istitutioni harmoniche (1558), Morley’s source text, Gioseffo Zarlino differentiates the “sweeter” and “more languid” effect of accidentals on the ear from the more “virile” sound of “natural” melodic and harmonic progression.²⁶ Morley builds on Zarlino when he reminds his readers that accidentals “make the song as it were more effeminate & languishing.”²⁷ It is worth pointing out as well that Lawes’s other extant compositions for Comus (all of which he, a countertenor, would have sung), even the invocation to Sabrina, are much less harmonically interesting than “Sweet Echo” and all decidedly in the major mode.²⁸ Significantly, moreover, it is the sound produced by Comus and his rout that bears most resemblance to the harmonic qualities of the Lady’s song; the Attendant Spirit describes their “roar[s]” (l. 549) that “fill’d the air” in terms of their “dissonance” (l. 550). Lawes gives his most musically affective setting to his star soprano, in so doing again suggesting a ²⁴ Morley, A Plaine and Easie Introduction, 177. See also Zarlino, “The Art of Counterpoint,” which argues against “leaping movements” in the vocal line that produce “a kind of distress in the ear” (p. 78). ²⁵ Sickle, “Song as Structure and Symbol in Four Poems of John Milton,” 64. ²⁶ Zarlino, “On the Modes,” 95. For the Italian, see Zarlino, Le istitutioni harmoniche, 340. “Sweet” here is translated from dolce. ²⁷ Morley, A Plaine and Easie Introduction, 177. ²⁸ Sabrina’s song is beyond the scope of this study, but it constitutes the other pivotal instance of women’s musical performance in Comus. If Lawes’s setting for Sabrina’s intervention were extant, it would be fascinating to see whether it shares musical features with “Sweet Echo.” The absence of Sabrina’s music, however, and the debates about whether or not her song was actually sung at Ludlow, do not detract from the somatic and performative significance of this moment in the masque and of “warbled song” as her preferred medium of invocation (l. 853).

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troubling connection between the “noise” of Comus’ passionate revelry and the Lady’s resounding song. As an employee of the Bridgewater family, Lawes would undoubtedly have chosen his setting with an eye to promotiong Alice Egerton’s musical talents, not to raise overt questions about her virtue. But the potency and eroticized connotations of these kinds of compositional techniques and, more broadly, of singing bodies in the period, stemmed precisely from music’s capacity to undermine and exceed established boundaries. As such, Lawes’s music, together with Alice Egerton’s performing body, had the potential to add unpredictable and culturally charged layers of signification to this scene. Recall too that stagings of women’s song performance throughout the early seventeenth century in England explicitly foregrounded the issue of sexual desire or else were used to explore the tension between virtue and sensuality.²⁹ The musical mix-ups between the virtuous Constance and Constance-as-whore in Richard Brome’s The Northern Lass, which was staged five years before Comus, exemplifies this phenomenon.³⁰ The transvestite commercial stage in London represents a very different theatrical context from the staging of an aristocratic masque at Ludlow Castle, but elite household entertainments were hardly “private” affairs: Comus put the Bridgewater family and, in “Sweet Echo,” the singing body of Alice Egerton, explicitly on display. The Lady’s ability to resist sexual temptation, moreover, lies at the heart of the masque. In the ears and eyes of the audience, the performance of “Sweet Echo” would have negotiated a delicate balance between these competing and contradictory elements.

The Musical Lessons of Comus The ambivalent force of the Lady’s song is further compounded by her choice of addressee. The Lady invokes Echo, a mythological figure and acoustic phenomenon that problematizes the process of vocal production and the relationship between the voice and the body. If the sounding air was characterized in seventeenth-century acoustic theories typically in terms of its substantive qualities, echoes underscore both the elusiveness of that sonic medium and the capriciousness of its trajectories. ²⁹ See Rochelle Smith, “Admirable Musicians: Women’s Songs in Othello and The Maid’s Tragedy,” Comparative Drama, 28/3 (Fall 1994), 311–23. ³⁰ See Larson, “ ‘Locks, bolts, barres, and barricados.’ ”

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Marin Mersenne includes a treatise devoted to the acoustic properties of the echo in Harmonie Universelle. His “Echometrie” goes into considerable detail about the spatial, atmospheric, and mathematical features that maximize echoic effects. The scientific focus of Mersenne’s treatise is continually offset, however, by echo’s frustrating tendency to refract and disperse sound and its eerie disconnection from the body. For Mersenne, the echo constitutes an “image de la voix” (“image of the voice” (my translation)).³¹ Unlike the sounding breath that emerges from a speaker or singer’s vocal mechanism, the echo is best understood as air that has been touched indirectly by those other atoms and that in turn bounces off the surfaces it encounters in unpredictable ways.³² Like the mythological Pan, Mersenne longs to capture Echo. He arguably comes closest to achieving this in the diagrams he sketches to represent echo’s properties, a visual shorthand for this “image de la voix” that recalls Puttenham’s “ocular example[s]” of prosody discussed in Chapter 1. Both as sonic effect and as a literary personification of that effect, however, Echo figures throughout his treatise as an airy trickster. She is characterized as “fille de l’air, Nymphe fuyarde, farouche, vagabonde, moqueuse” (“daughter of the air—a fugitive, wild, vagabond, mocking nymph” (my translation)).³³ Although seemingly divorced from tangible substance, the sound produced by Echo thus carries unique affective potential. While Echo’s eerily disembodied articulations have typically been read by feminist critics in terms of misogynist silencing, Gina Bloom, Lynn Enterline, and Christina Luckyj have productively unpacked the rhetorical significance of less audible and often ambiguous sounds such as whispers, sighs, sobs, echoes, and even silence, which can undermine male claims to control women’s bodies and voices.³⁴ Milton’s Lady is problematically silenced not long before Sabrina’s invocation. After her challenges to Comus and, in the printed text, her strangely ineffectual threat to “shatter[ ]” (l. 799) the enchanter’s “magic structures” (l. 798), we do not hear from her again.³⁵ As a result, critics have tended to read the Lady’s appeal to Echo as a musical

³¹ Mersenne, Harmonie universelle, i. 51. ³² Mersenne, Harmonie universelle, i. 51. Mersenne nonetheless insists that Echo is more “substance” than “accident.” ³³ Mersenne, Harmonie universelle, i. 54. ³⁴ Bloom, Voice in Motion, 66–110, 160–95; Lynn Enterline, The Rhetoric of the Body from Ovid to Shakespeare (Cambridge: CUP, 2000), 39–90; Luckyj, “A moving Rhetoricke.” ³⁵ On the potency of this silence, see Katherine R. Kellett, “The Lady’s Voice: Poetic Collaboration in Milton’s Mask,” Milton Studies 50 (2009), 12–15; William Shullenberger, Lady in the Labyrinth: Milton’s Comus as Initiation (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2008), 254–8.

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failure. Milton gives no evidence of Echo’s reply to or intervention within the song; her silence seems to intensify the Lady’s isolation and vulnerability. The Lady’s musical invocation of Echo, however, represents a rhetorically powerful moment that exists in complicated tension with the dynamism and acoustic substance of her singing body. If Echo, unlike Sabrina, does not immediately respond to sung invocation, it is clear that the rhetorical impact of the Lady’s song emerges in large part from its acoustic and material force and its resultant capacity to create echoes; Bacon notes that “Eccho’s are seldom created, but by loud Sounds.”³⁶ The song’s echoic effect is on one level signaled through Lawes’s musical setting. While he, like Milton, avoids conventional echo motifs, the piece does include some features that suggest echoic reflection.³⁷ This is evident in the score in the opening line as the bass and soprano lines move in contrary motion to each other, creating a mirror-like effect. Lawes also plays with echoic mirroring in his setting of the line “Canst thou not tell me of a gentle Pair | That likest thy Narcissus are?” (ll. 236–7). As this phrase rises, Lawes repeats the same motif three times, though with a slight difference in each case, as if to highlight Echo’s tendency to transform—often subversively—the sound that she sends back. These echoic techniques may well have been further accentuated as they resounded within the performance space at Ludlow; indeed, in performance, “Sweet Echo” sets up a tension between Alice Egerton’s technical skill—her ability to control sound production—and the excess and ultimate uncontrollability of sound as it leaves the body. Echo is also integral to the song’s transmission as it re-sounds through the masque.³⁸ Recalling early modern theories of sound transmission, both Comus and the Attendant Spirit respond to the Lady’s song as musical breath that echoes across time and space. As a result, although Alice Egerton’s audience at Ludlow would have been confronted by the sonic and visual presence of her singing body, her voice within the larger context of the masque is, like Echo’s itself, in one sense disembodied. This in no way

³⁶ Sylva sylvarum, no. 244. See also Mersenne, who notes that some degree of vocal force (“une certaine force de voix”) is necessary to make an echo (Harmonie universelle, i. 53). ³⁷ On other examples of echo songs within the masque tradition, see Walls, Music in the English Courtly Masque, 44–6. ³⁸ See also Minear, Reverberating Song in Shakespeare and Milton, 223; Sickle, “Song as Structure and Symbol in Four Poems of John Milton,” 72. Joseph Loewenstein calls Echo “a resonator, an utterance powerfully extended in time,” but argues that her “transcendental” function is “unavailable to the Lady” (Responsive Readings: Versions of Echo in Pastoral, Epic, and the Jonsonian Masque (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1984), 144–5).

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detracts from its rhetorical force, however, or indeed its sensuality; both of her (male) auditors go out of their way to accentuate its ravishing impact. The song stops Comus in his tracks and prompts an extensive encomium on the divinity of the Lady’s voice: Can any mortal mixture of Earth’s mold Breathe such Divine enchanting ravishment? Sure something holy lodges in that breast, And with these raptures moves the vocal air To testify his hidd’n residence. (ll. 244–8)

Comus emphasizes the physiological process of song production here—the Lady’s breath “mov[ing] the vocal air”—and puns on air as both song and acoustic medium, even as he (briefly) distances the Lady’s voice from her body by crediting the sound to a holy being that has taken up “hidd’n residence” within her lungs. Comus moves quickly to baser desires—“I’ll speak to her | And she shall be my Queen” (ll. 264–5)—but the initial allusion directly anticipates the divine spirit creeping within Leonora’s throat. It also recalls Ficino’s notion of the powerful rhetorical interplay between song and intermediary airy spiritus discussed in Chapter 2. In a structural echo of Comus’ reaction, the Attendant Spirit likewise overhears the Lady’s performance from a distance: At last a soft and solemn-breathing sound Rose like a stream of rich distill’d Perfumes, And stole upon the Air, that even Silence Was took ere she was ware, and wish’t she might Deny her nature, and be never more, Still to be so displac’t. I was all ear, And took in strains that might create a soul Under the ribs of Death. (ll. 555–62)

The Lady’s “solemn-breathing” song becomes almost visible in this passage, as it carries across the geographical and temporal space of the masque.³⁹ Like Adam and Eve’s sung prayers in Paradise Lost, this palpable breath is absorbed by the Attendant Spirit, whom Milton portrays here as a waiting ³⁹ This impression is even stronger in Carey’s edition, which renders the line as “Rose like a steam [not stream] of rich distilled perfumes” (Carey, in Milton: Complete Shorter Poems, 208 (l. 555)).

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auricle: “I was all ear.” Although less earthy than Comus’ eventual response, the passage is intensely sensual. And yet the Lady’s song is characterized in the Attendant Spirit’s account above all as an acoustic and ecstatic displacement that mirrors the Echo-like distancing of the Lady’s voice from her body. Did this distancing work in part to offset the embodied reality of Alice Egerton’s performance and of her music teacher performing as the Attendant Spirit? Significantly, it is not until after his encounter with the voice, at least in the narrative he constructs for the brothers, that the Attendant Spirit realizes that the song he hears is that of “my most honor’d Lady, your dear sister” (l. 564). The Lady’s invocation of Echo certainly accentuates the experience of dislocation prompted by—and manifested in—her song. But the figure of Echo is more closely connected to the singing body than is usually recognized. As such, she constitutes a powerful acoustic ally for the Lady at this moment in the masque. Milton seems to be combining Ovid’s account of Echo as the “Queen of Parley” (l. 241) punished by Juno, whose truncated articulations testify to her desire for Narcissus, with other versions of Echo’s story.⁴⁰ In Longus, Echo is a talented musician and singer devoted to her chastity. She was taught “to play on the Pipe; to strike the Lyre, to touch the Lute; and in summe, all musick.” And, Longus writes, “when she was grown up, and in the flower of her Virgin beauty, she danc’d together with the Nymphs; and sung in consort with the Muses; but fled from all males whether Men or gods; because she loved Virginity.” Pan, envious of her music because Echo refuses to give in to his flattering entreaties, “sends a madnesse” among the shepherds and goatherds, forcing them to tear her limbs apart. As befits her Orphic demise, Echo’s scattered body parts continue to produce ravishing music. The Nymphs bury the “yet Singing Limbs,” but they “preserv[e] to them still their musick-property: and [the limbs] by an everlasting Sentence and decree of the Muses breathe out a voice,” keeping Pan in a perpetual state of frustration as he seeks to trace the source of the sound.⁴¹ Echo’s fate, especially when coupled with the allusion to Philomela in “Sweet Echo,” poignantly heightens the Lady’s vulnerable position in the ⁴⁰ See also John Hollander, The Figure of Echo: A Mode of Allusion in Milton and After (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1981), 6–22. Hollander notes that Milton’s Echo is “a remarkable composite of the figure of echo associated with Narcissus and with Pan” (p. 17). ⁴¹ Longus, Daphnis and Chloe, trans. George Thornley (London: John Garfeild [sic], 1657), 141–2.

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woods. But I emphasize Longus’ account of Echo’s musical trajectory primarily because it situates song, manifested as sounding breath, as a product of—and as the primary signifier for—a performing body that is both chaste and eroticized. Echo’s dismembered body is refigured as a multiplicity of singing mouths that “breathe out a voice,” commemorating her as a chaste musician even as they refuse completely to sever her voice from her body. This characterization powerfully complicates feminist readings of Echo as a disembodied agent, even as it underscores the difficulty of locating and confining echoic sound. Milton’s decision to locate Echo within an “airy shell” intensifies her troubling connection to the physiological mechanisms of vocal production and reception (l. 231). On one level, the “airy shell” suggests the hollow of the ear, which Bacon describes in Sylva sylvarum as a “sinuous Cave, with a hard Bone, to stop and reverberate the Sound: Which is like to the Places that report Eccho’s.”⁴² But the image holds broader anatomical resonances as well, calling to mind the “shell . . . made of air” that surrounds the body and that is integral to respiration in Plato’s Timaeus.⁴³ Margaret Cavendish may have this kind of corporeal “airy shell” in mind when she describes Echo as having a “Body of Aire” in Poems and Fancies (1653).⁴⁴ Echo emerges in such accounts as intimately connected to the listening body and as a sounding body in her own right, comprised of air and breath. At the same time, when read in conjunction with the Lady’s appeal to her as “Daughter of the Sphere” (l. 241), Echo’s “airy shell” associates her with the celestial realm of planetary music, an acoustic phenomenon that represents a distinct challenge for human ears. In this regard, Milton seems to be drawing as much on Macrobius’ account of Echo, who is “beheld by no man’s eyes but [is] the symbol of the harmony of the heavens,” as on Longus’ chaste and dismembered singer who unwittingly seduces Pan with her music.⁴⁵ ⁴² Bacon, Sylva sylvarum, no. 282. See also Crooke, whose account of the physiology of hearing characterizes the two cavities within the ear that receive sound impressions as “the Labyrinth and the “Snayle-shell” (Mikrokosmographia, 612). Milton’s language here is similar to Fletcher’s description of the cave-like ear in The Purple Island. In canto 5, he compares the “winding entrance” of the ear to “Meanders erring wave” (p. 56). ⁴³ Plato, Timaeus, ed. Donald J. Zeyl, in Complete Works, ed. John M. Cooper (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1997), 1278–9 (nos 78c–81c). Editor Donald Zeyl provides the following note on this obscure passage: “Timaeus appears to envisage the ‘shell’ as an envelope of air surrounding the exterior of the torso, being drawn through the interstices of the body and then pushed out again, as breathing takes place” (p. 1279, n. 42). ⁴⁴ Margaret Cavendish, “Of Sound,” in Poems and Fancies (London: J. Martin and J. Allestrye, 1653), 38. ⁴⁵ Macrobius, The Saturnalia, trans. Percival Vaughan Davies (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), 148. Plato connects these physiological and celestial resonances of the “airy shell” in a description of the architecture of the spheres, with their individual singing

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The eerie acoustic experience that Echo represents in these accounts, literally torn between virtue and seduction, anticipates Milton’s encounter with Leonora Baroni in Rome not long after the masque performance at Ludlow. For Echo, like Leonora and indeed like the Lady herself, is a siren.⁴⁶ Echo’s music affirms her chastity and connects her to the heavens, even as her scattered yet still singing limbs testify to the troubling ability of the singing voice to evade containment and to continue both to allure and to elude hearers across time and space. When read in this context, the Lady’s song, like Echo’s, becomes a “divine breath,”⁴⁷ a rhetorically potent, yet paradoxically chaste, musical intervention that mediates between the earthly body and the heavens. Perhaps, then, the supposed absence of Echo’s voice in Comus should be read not in terms of failed invocation, particularly given the echoic potency of the Lady’s song in performance, but rather as registering the auditory trial that Milton’s audience faces in tuning their ears to celestial siren songs. Indeed, the tension between the seductive power of the singing body and the singer’s ability to lift her hearers to the heavens exemplified by Echo and by the Lady encapsulates, in miniature, the lessons of Comus. This is a

sirens, that evokes the anatomy of the ear: “It was as if one big whorl had been made hollow by being thoroughly scooped out, with another smaller whorl closely fitted into it, like nested boxes, and there was a third whorl inside the second, and so on, making eight whorls altogether, lying inside one another with their rims appearing as circles from above . . . And up above on each of the rims of the circles stood a Siren, who accompanied its revolution, uttering a single sound, one single note. And the concord of the eight notes produced a single harmony” (Plato, The Republic, in Complete Works, 1219–20 (nos 616d–617b)). Bacon may also be gesturing towards this tradition in his account of echoes originating in a “Round Orbe of Aire,” from Sylva sylvarum (no. 245). See also Hollander, The Figure of Echo, 16–18, and Loewenstein, Responsive Readings, 143–5, on Echo as divine “daughter of a voice.” This is consistent with what Walls calls the “divine endorsement” signaled by other surviving—albeit more explicitly antiphonal— echo songs in the masque tradition as well (p. 44). See Walls, Music in the English Courtly Masque, 44–6, 298–9. ⁴⁶ As Stella Revard has cogently argued in Milton and the Tangles of Neaera’s Hair, Sabrina also functions as an ambiguous siren figure, a characterization compounded by her association both with Parthenope and with watery song. On the connections between Sabrina, Echo, and the Lady, see especially pp. 144–6. In shifting from Echo to Sabrina through the structural echo of the Attendant Spirit’s song, Milton connects the air integral to song transmission to a different, and more potent, acoustic and echoic medium that might well be working here in part to amplify the sirens’ response for Milton’s audience: water. “One leaning over a Well, of 25. Fathome deepe,” writes Bacon in Sylva sylvarum, “and speaking, though but softly, (yet not so soft as a whisper,) the Water returned a good Audible Eccho” (no. 244). Rather than reading the Attendant Spirit’s invocation as mitigating the Lady’s failure, therefore, I would suggest that Sabrina and Echo, as chaste sirens of air and water, are connected much more closely than is usually recognized. ⁴⁷ Bloom, Voice in Motion, 179. Bloom is referring here to Henry Reynolds’s translation of and commentary on Ovid’s “Narcissus and Echo.”

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masque that culminates in the presentation of the Lady and her brothers to their parents in a “victorious dance” that “triumph[s] . . . | O’er sensual Folly and Intemperance” (ll. 974–5). Appetite, temperance, and desire are closely bound up with the gendering of music in this work and in Milton’s writings as a whole. In Paradise Regained (pub. 1671), Milton concludes the richly sensory banquet temptation in book 2 by juxtaposing a vision of the beauteous nymphs, naiads, and “Ladies of th’ Hesperides” (2.357) with the sounds of “Harmonious Airs . . . | Of chiming strings or charming pipes, and winds” (2.362–3). The women do not add their voices to the sonic temptation, but the alluring splendor of their bodies is intensified by the music that surrounds them.⁴⁸ Similar resonances inform the allusion to the “Bevy of fair Women” in book 11 of Paradise Lost (11.582), whose “Soft amorous Ditties” (11.584) trap seemingly just men in an “amorous Net” (11.586).⁴⁹ The seductions of song become a more explicit focus of the temptation in book 4 of Paradise Regained, when Satan entices Christ with the “secret power | Of harmony in tones and numbers hit | By voice or hand, and various-measur’d verse, | Aeolian charms and Dorian Lyric Odes” (4.254–7). Christ resists Satan here by rejecting the false vanity of Greek claims to preeminence in “Fable, Hymn, or Song” (4.341)—which he likens to “varnish on a Harlot’s cheek” (4.344)—in favour of “Sion’s songs” (4.347), which “are from God inspir’d” (4.350). Satan’s musical seductions, like so much of his behavior in Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, serve as a foil that sheds insight into the nature of godly sound. Fittingly, Satan’s confident selfpresentation in book 1 as a creature of the air proves insubstantial by book 4 as he, like Antaeus, “in th’Air expir’d and fell” (4.568). Christ, in contrast, rises as Satan falls, borne aloft “through the blithe Air” (4.585). In an echo of the satanic banquet of book 2, he then feasts on “Fruits fetcht from the tree of life” (4.589), while “Angelic Choirs | Sung Heavenly Anthems of his victory | Over temptation” (4.593–5).

⁴⁸ Once again playing with “air” as scent, breeze, and sound, this time from a Satanic perspective, the scene stands in rich counterpoint to Adam and Eve’s airy intercessions in book 9. Milton associates Satan repeatedly with the medium of air in Paradise Regained. ⁴⁹ While Milton’s most memorable female temptress, Dalila, does not sing in Samson Agonistes, the Chorus’s description of her “enchanting voice” recalls the figure of the siren (l. 1065). Dalila’s appearances are consistently associated with the air: “floating” (l. 1072) and “sailing | Like a stately Ship” (ll. 713–14), she arrives “Sails fill’d, and streamers waving, | Courted by all the winds that hold them play, | An Amber scent of odorous perfume | Her harbinger” (ll. 718–21).

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The musical potency that Satan promises in Paradise Regained is intrinsic to Comus. But, in anticipation of Christ’s distinction between hymns, psalms, and “Hebrew Songs” (4.336) and Satan’s “Aeolian charms” (4.257), there is a crucial difference between the Lady’s “holy” (l. 246) and “Divine” (l. 245) song—however sensual—and the songs that Comus recalls being sung by Circe and “the Sirens three” (l. 253), which continue to inform his own charms. In Comus, both are characterized in terms of seductive displacement; recall the sensual account of the Lady’s voice articulated by her other male auditor, the Attendant Spirit. But Circe’s songs, Comus tells us, “in pleasing slumber lull’d the sense, | And in sweet madness robb’d it of itself” (ll. 260–1). The Lady’s song prompts rather “a sacred and home-felt delight, | Such sober certainty of waking bliss” (ll. 262–3). These are the ecstasies of Il Penseroso (pub. 1645), where music “brings[s] all Heav’n before mine eyes” (l. 166), and of “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity.” The close proximity of these songs in Milton’s text, and Comus’ initial inability to separate them, underscores the slippage between the two very different types of musical seduction represented by the figure of the siren: both have the power to “Enwrap our fancy” (“On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity,” l. 134). Indeed, as with Leonora Baroni’s performance, the intoxicating power of the Homeric sirens’ song still lingers behind Comus’ description of the Lady’s holy breath, reinforced of course by his own decidedly earthly response to “Sweet Echo.”⁵⁰ In the context of the masque, however, the sensual excess and the troubling ambivalence intrinsic to song performance in the period are crucial to the choices faced by Milton’s protagonists—and his auditors. If Comus centers on the “happy trial” of the Lady and her brothers (l. 592), song plays a pivotal role in that didactic process. Milton’s masque challenges his audience in acoustic terms—“List mortals, if your ears be true” (l. 997)—to learn “how to climb | Higher than the Sphery chime” (ll. 1020–1).⁵¹ The difficulty of apprehending even echoes of celestial music underscores the dangers of musical seduction and the imperfection of the ⁵⁰ The same ambivalence lurks within Sabrina’s song. As Heather Dubrow notes, “if Sabrina’s song represents the curative agency of the pastoral world, the ‘wily glance’ (no. 884) of the nymphs associated with her—and arguably the presence of those ambivalent and ambiguous figures the sirens in her invocation—reminds us of the dangers of pastoral song, especially gendered pastoral song.” See Dubrow, “The Masquing of Genre in Comus,” Milton Studies, 44 (2005), 72. On the sensuousness of Sabrina’s performance, see also Ortiz, Broken Harmony, 241–2. ⁵¹ Robin Waterfield’s translation of Plato’s Timaeus describes this process as “attunement.” Through the sense of hearing, Plato notes, the body is granted insight into the movement of the heavens, thereby helping the soul “restore itself to order and harmony.” Plato, Timaeus and Critias, trans. Robin Waterfield (Oxford: OUP, 2008), 38–9 (47d).

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human body. “One must,” Revard quips, “metaphorically remove the human wax” to become aware of the celestial sirens.⁵² Comus, the erstwhile tempter, fails in this regard. These acoustic resonances are especially strong in the printed text of the masque. As their debate reaches its apex, the Lady condemns him for having “nor Ear nor Soul” to comprehend her argument (l. 784): “Thou art not fit to hear thyself convinc’t,” she concludes (l. 792). In contrast, the Lady’s true ear and the heavenly harmonies invoked by her song (a “noise” very different from Comus’) model that idealized access to divine music, even as the visual and acoustic experience of that song in performance serves as a material reminder of song’s seductive potential. Her performance dramatizes, in consequence, the importance of choosing well when faced with temptation. “Sweet Echo” draws attention to the instances of gendered song performance that permeate Milton’s writings and to the transformative force—and the ambivalence—associated with singers in Milton’s works. The Lady’s performance of “Sweet Echo” encapsulates early modern cultural anxieties about the gendered singing body, even as it invites Milton’s audience to aspire to “[t]hat undisturbed Song of pure concent” celebrated in “At a Solemn Music” (l. 6). As such, “Sweet Echo” offers an important framework for considering the traces of the singing voices that animate Milton’s texts and the ways in which their songs contribute towards Milton’s rhetorical goal of moving his audience to virtuous action. At the same time, the integration of musical, textual, and performance analysis facilitated by Comus holds broader methodological implications for our understanding both of Milton’s songs and of the expressive significance of women’s song performance in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. If the musician was believed to share the rhetorician’s ability to move and persuade a listener in the early modern period, then music that incorporated or relied on text—the song—became doubly powerful. When read in musical terms, as the product of the gendered singing body, the songs and song performances that pervade Milton’s writings accentuate the affective potency of those “Blest pair of Sirens . . . | . . . Voice and Verse” (“At a Solemn Music,” ll. 1–2) and invite us in turn to reassess the literary and cultural significance of song in the early modern context.

⁵² Revard, Milton and the Tangles of Neaera’s Hair, 144.

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Epilogue

In 1622, twelve years before Comus was performed at Ludlow Castle, John Attey published his First Book of Ayres. Alice Egerton would have been a toddler when the collection appeared, but the book testifies to the centrality of music for her family, and especially for the Bridgewater daughters. Attey, who preceded Lawes as music tutor to the Egerton children, dedicated the collection to their parents, celebrating them as “no strangers, either to the Theory or Practicke” of music.¹ He draws particular attention, however, to the musical talents of Alice’s sisters: “the best part thereof were composed under your roofe, while I had the happinesse to attend the Service of those worthy and incomparable young  your Daughters.”² Included within the collection is “Resound my voice,” a setting of a poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt whose first-person perspective might well have appealed to Alice’s older sisters as they honed their vocal skills (Companion Recording, Track 14. “Resound my voice” (John Attey)). Both musically and textually, the air hinges on the kinds of echoic effects achieved by Lady’s song within Milton’s masque: “Resound my voyce, yee woods that heare me playne, | Both Hils and Dales causing Reflection, | And Rivers eke record yee of my paine.”³ Attey brings Wyatt’s allusions to vocal resonance and reflection in these lines to life by repeating sections of each of the poem’s first three phrases. He also builds in echoic textures, best exemplified by the repetition of “record” in line 3; in our performance, Lucas and I render this moment as quietly as possible to capture the sense of sonic dispersal and reflection conveyed by both music and text. Attey’s score, which can be seen in Figure E1, testifies visually to the unpredictable ways in which echoes disseminate. Instead of writing out his textual and musical repetitions in full, he inserts a series of four repeat signs, leaving it up to the performer to determine exactly how to match text to ¹ John Attey, The First Booke of Ayres . . . (London: Thomas Snodham, 1622), sig. Ar. ² Attey, The First Booke of Ayres, sig. Ar. ³ The piece appears on sigs F2v–Gr. It is the tenth air in the collection.

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Figure E1. Cantus part of John Attey, “Resound my voice,” in The First Booke of Ayres . . . (London: Thomas Snodham, 1622), sig. F2v, RB 83690. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

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notes in interpreting those echoic moments. This shorthand, which is common in the period, is largely for purposes of efficiency and is not used to signal every repetition in the piece. Encountering those repeat signs with the central premises of this project in mind, however, it is difficult not to think of the “ocular example[s]” of theorists such as Puttenham and Mersenne that grapple with the visual rendering of sonic phenomena,⁴ of echo’s capricious movement within resonant boundaries, and indeed of the many absences and blank spaces on which a performance-based methodology is premised and seeks, however approximately, to fill. If echo constitutes a challenging acoustic feature to track and represent, that is no less true of the resounding voices of the performers who animated this air in the seventeenth century. The Matter of Song in Early Modern England has sought to demonstrate two central claims: (1) that song is a slippery and multidimensional form that demands to be considered in embodied, gendered, and performancebased terms, and (2) that song constituted a vital, and vitally charged, rhetorical medium for women writers, performers, and patrons in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Lady’s song discussed in Chapter 5 gives us perhaps the fullest picture of any of the case studies I have discussed of the varied elements that need to be foregrounded and brought into dialogue in critical work on song: text, musical setting, performance context, and singing body. As such, it constitutes a fitting climax for my argument. At the same time, however, its echoic impulses underscore a question still left open at the conclusion of this book: how exactly does literary and musicological scholarship track and represent vocal sound as a performance phenomenon? My exploration of the multifaceted dimensions of song and of the musical traces of women’s singing voices in literary and cultural documents produced in early modern England offers a partial answer. And yet, over the course of my work on this book, I have come to the conclusion that, like the early modern vocal treatises discussed in Chapter 2, traditional forms of scholarly circulation, notably the essay and the monograph, risk being at odds with the multidimensionality and “wildness” of song as performance practice. This realization resulted in my decision to publish this project with a companion recording that brings some of the musical examples I discuss to life. It also, however, has provided the impetus for Early Modern

⁴ Puttenham, The Art of English Poesy, 174.

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Songscapes, a collaborative and interdisciplinary digital initiative that I am developing with Scott Trudell and Sarah Williams in partnership with the Digital Scholarship Unit at the University of Toronto Scarborough Library and the University of Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities.⁵ We envision an intermedia online hub for scholars, students, and performers that, through a combination of essays, archival resources, and audio and visual clips, will more fully animate the performance-based facets of early modern English airs. Our platform also aims to provide tangible insight into the fluidity of the genre by tracing individual songs that moved through different textual and performance contexts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. While inevitably still somewhat distanced from the “drastic” messiness and wildness of live performance, the flexibility and multidimensionality afforded by the digital medium, the platform’s reliance on a network of scholars and performers working on song from varied disciplinary perspectives, as well as its capacity to feature live performance clips, offer an opportunity to translate some of the most exciting conversations about early modern song currently taking place in the context of scholarly conferences and workshops into a published format that better captures the most fleeting and body-based features of the genre. The potential of this kind of publication model is powerfully reflected in the University of California Santa Barbara’s EMC Imprint e-Press and its recently released online collection, Ballads and Performance, edited by Patricia Fumerton.⁶ More work remains to be done, however. While The Matter of Song in Early Modern England has demonstrated the vitality of song as a rhetorical practice for early modern Englishwomen, the case studies I have selected are far from exhaustive. The songs that pervade the staged plays of Katherine Philips, for instance, warrant further exploration in performance-based terms, as do the extant musical settings of her lyrics (one of which, “Come my Lucatia,” is featured on the companion recording). Lucy Hutchinson’s engagement with song also constitutes a tantalizing—and hitherto uncharted—area of inquiry. If the musical and embodied dimensions of song have too often been silenced in studies of early modern women, the same holds true of broader discussions in literary studies. The vital work of ⁵ The beta version of the platform was launched on February 9, 2019, at the Early Modern Songscapes conference, held at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. The platform can be accessed at songscapes.org. ⁶ For more on the EMC Imprint, see . See also the Animating Text Newcastle University Project: .

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song as an acoustic phenomenon on the commercial stage is attracting increasing attention, but there is more to do here from an embodied perspective, as Amanda Eubanks Winkler’s recent wide-ranging reading of Ariel’s “thousand voices” convincingly shows.⁷ The affective impact of transnational musical models on the English theatre represents another burgeoning area of research. The musicality of seemingly “non-theatrical” genres such as the sonnet sequence and the romance is no less significant. As this book has shown, unpacking the performance-oriented facets of texts whose connection to music and song may be obscured for twenty-first-century readers has much to tell us about the aural processes of reading and reception practices in the period. Regardless of genre, grappling with the traces of singing bodies in surviving texts constitutes a study in absence and volatility. Ultimately, however, to attend to the airy substance of song as an acoustic, embodied, and musical phenomenon underscores the need radically to rethink the boundaries of literary form and the mechanisms of circulation and exchange—both in early modern England and in contemporary contexts of teaching and research.

⁷ Amanda Eubanks Winkler, “A Thousand Voices: Performing Ariel,” in Dympna Callaghan (ed.), A Feminist Companion to Shakespeare, 2nd edn (Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, 2016), 520–38. Valerie Traub opens the recent Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment with a musical analogy, likening the “heuristic of embodiment” to the “synchronic structure” of an orchestral work (p. 35). With the exception of Jean E. Howard’s discussion of the possibilities for a “feminist stage practice” offered by the unsettling songs in Thomas Heywood’s Rape of Lucrece (1594–1608), however, music does not get much attention in the collection. See Howard, “Interrupting the Lucrece Effect? The Performance of Rape on the Early Modern Stage,” 657–72 (665).

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Works Cited Primary Sources Manuscript Bodleian Library MS Broxbourne 84.9 MS Don. c. 57 MS Mus. b. 1 MS Rawl. poet. 16 MS Rawl. poet. 37 MS Rawl. poet. 84 MS Rawl. poet. 185

British Library Add. MS 15117 Add. MS 53723

Christ Church Library MS Mus. 87

Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.a.104 MS V.a.322 MS V.a.339

Lambeth Palace Library MS 1041

National Library of Scotland Deposit 314/23

New York Public Library Drexel MS 4175

Royal College of Music MS 1070

Print Aristotle, On the Soul (De Anima), trans. W. S. Hett (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1935).

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Recordings and Performances Amorous in Music: William Cavendish in Antwerp (1648–1660), performed by Angharad Gruffydd Jones, Mark Levy, and Concordia, Et’cetera, 2006. Anne Boleyn’s Songbook: Music and Passions of a Tudor Queen, performed by Alamire, directed by David Skinner, Obsidian Records, 2015.

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Cavendish, Margaret, Bell in Campo, directed by Ian Gledhill, Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire, England, July 1, 2007. Cavendish, Margaret, The Convent of Pleasure, directed by Larry Beckwith, Derek Boyes, and Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, performed by Toronto Masque Theatre, Hart House, Toronto, May 11–12, 2012. Cavendish, Margaret, The Convent of Pleasure, directed by Elyse Singer, performed by New Perspectives Theatre Company, New School of Drama, New York City, March 28, 2012. Cavendish, Margaret, The Convent of Pleasure, directed by Gweno Williams, Convocation Hall, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, July 9, 2005. Cavendish, Margaret, The Unnatural Tragedy, directed by Graham Watts, Oval House Theatre, London, December 10, 2014. Cavendish, Margaret, The Unnatural Tragedy, directed by Graham Watts, White Bear Theatre, London, July 3–21, 2018. Full Well She Sang: Women’s Music from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, performed by the Toronto Consort, Marquis Records, 2013. Lumley, Jane Lady, Iphigenia at Aulis, directed by Emma Rucastle, performed by The Rose Company, Lancaster Castle, Homerton College (Cambridge University), University College London, The Kings Arms Theatre (Salford), The New Continental (Preston), and the Lantern Theatre Liverpool, November 2013–January 2014. Lumley, Lady Jane, Iphigenia at Aulis, directed by Stephanie Wright, performed by Brass Farthing Theatre Company, Clifton Drama Studio, Sunderland, January 1997. Margaret Cavendish: Plays in Performance, The Margaret Cavendish Performance Project DVD, produced and directed by Gweno Williams, 2004. Mistress Elizabeth Davenant, Her Songes, performed by Rebecca Ockenden and Sofie Vanden Eynde, Ramée Records, 2011. Scenes from a Pastorall by Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley, directed by Alison Findlay, Lancaster University Television, 2000). Wroth, Lady Mary, Love’s Victory, directed by Martin Hodgson, performed by Shakespeare’s Globe, Penshurst Place, Kent, June 8, 2014.

Electronic Resources Animating Text Newcastle University, . Broadside Ballads Online, Bodleian Library, . Early Modern Songscapes, . EMC Imprint, . English Broadside Ballad Archive, directed by Patricia Fumerton, . Mary Wroth’s Poetry: An Electronic Edition, ed. Paul Salzman (La Trobe University, 2012). . OED Online (Oxford University Press, March 2019), . The Perdita Manuscripts Project, .

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Performance as Research in Early English Theatre Studies: The Three Ladies of London in Context, . Performing the Queen’s Men: Exploring Theatre History through Performance, . “Performing Restoration Shakespeare,” directed by Amanda Eubanks Winkler and Richard Schoch, ./ RECIRC: The Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing, 1550–1700, directed by Marie-Louise Coolahan, Voices and Books 1500–1800, directed by Jennifer Richards and Richard Wistreich, .

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Index Abbate, Carolyn 9–11 academic plays 155 affect 9–10, 53–4, 60, 85–7, 93–4, 97, 107–8, 112–13, 126–7, 138, 181–2, 185, 191–2 air 20, 32–3, 41–2, 53, 65–72, 85, 193, 196, 198, 200n.48 airs (ayres) 41–2, 92–4, 203 Alamire (musical ensemble) 21–2 Alexander, Gavin 3–5, 8, 37–8, 51–2, 111, 120, 121n.46, 123, 128–30, 136n.87 Allison, Richard 52–3 Amadis de Gaule 125n.57 analysis, modes of, see literary analysis, musicology, and performance-asresearch Anglican hymnal 119 Anna of Denmark, Queen 179–80 architecture 143–4, 167–8, 173, 176–7, 179 Aristotle 65–6 Attey, John 203 “Resound my voice” 203–5 attribution 163–4 Augustine, St. 144 aural transcription 113–14, 118 Austern, Linda Phyllis 5, 8, 22–4, 46–7, 52–3, 142n.7, 186–7 Avale, Lemeke 145–6 Bacilly, Bénigne de 5–7, 70–2, 75, 77, 77n.59 Bacon, Francis 67, 85–6, 179–80, 195, 198, 199n.46 Baïf, Jean-Antoine de 39 Bailey, Candace 92n.112 ballads 19–20, 32–3, 65, 105–9 broadsides 42, 150 sung by Margaret Cavendish 103–6 see also English Broadside Ballad Archive Baroni, Leonora 64–5, 89–92, 184–5, 196, 199, 201 Barthes, Roland 8–9

Bartlet, John “If ever hapless woman had a cause” 92–4 Bathe, William 72–3 Beckwith, Larry 164–5 Bell, Ilona 119n.38, 120, 124–5 Bennett, Alexandra 152n.39 Bèze, Théodore de 49 Bible, The 87 Geneva 50 see also psalms Bloom, Gina 3n.5, 67n.9, 137–8, 194–5 Blount, Lady Ann 82–4, 114 bodies, see embodiment Boleyn, Anne 21–2 Bolsover Castle 142–3, 159, 166–7, 179 Bond, Garth 112n.8 Brackley, Lady Elizabeth 102, 148–9, 188–9 Concealed Fancies, The 146–7, 151–3 Pastorall, A 150–3 Brathwaite, Richard 86–7, 146–7 breath 31, 33, 43–4, 61–2, 64–5, 85, 97–9, 181, 184–5, 195–9 Brennan, Michael 48–50, 169 Bridgewater family 188, 193, 203 Bright, Timothie 36–7 Broadside Ballads Online (Bodleian Library) 19–20 broadsides, see under ballads Brokaw, Katherine Steele 3–5 Brome, Richard Northern Lass, The 193 Brown, Pamela Allen 25 Bruster, Douglas 42–3 Bulteel, John 145–6 Burgess, William 174 Burton, Ben 52n.92 Butler, Charles 36–7, 45–7, 52–3, 55, 60, 70–2, 85–6, 91–2, 107 Butt, John 6n.11 Byrd, William 39n.35, 51–2, 71n.30, 111–12, 114–15

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Caccini, Francesca 24–5 Caccini, Giulio 70–1, 73, 77–8, 81–2, 92, 108–9, 132 California Santa Barbara, University of EMC Imprint 206 see also English Broadside Ballad Archive Calvin, John 49, 61, 85–6, 126–7 Cambridge, University of 155 Campion, Thomas 41–2, 114 Cappella Artemisia (musical ensemble) 24n.55 Carey, John 90–1, 196n.39 Cary, Elizabeth 114–15 The Tragedy of Mariam 139n.2, 148–9, 155–6 Castiglione, Baldesar Courtier, The 86, 88–9, 131–3 Cavalier poetry 101–2 see also royalist culture Cavendish circle 152–3, 166–7 Cavendish, Jane 148–9 Concealed Fancies, The 146–7 Pastorall, A 150–1 Cavendish, Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle 65, 96, 148–50, 158–64, 188–9 Bell in Campo 107, 159 collaboration with William Cavendish 162–4 Comical Hash, The 107–8 Convent of Pleasure, The 141–2, 159, 164–7 Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World, A 96–7 musical background of 96–7, 161–2 Natures Pictures 99, 104–5 Philosophical and Physical Opinions 98–9 Philosophical Letters 98 Playes 162–4 Plays Never Before Printed 163–4 Poems and Fancies 103, 198 Presence, The 161–2 Public Wooing, The 105–6 Sociable Letters 99, 101–5, 107–10, 131n.72, 160–1 True Relation, A 99–100, 102–3 Unnatural Tragedy, The 159 Worlds Olio, The 99–100, 159–61 Cavendish, William, Duke of Newcastle 96–7, 109, 160–1, 166–7

collaboration with Margaret Cavendish 162–4 Cawdrey, Robert 36–7 censorship 106–7 Cerasano, S. P. 151–2, 171 Chalmers, Hero 103 Chapple, Aliki 157 Charles I, King 179 Charleton, Walter 67, 74–5, 85 choruses (dramatic) 155–7 chromaticism 47, 55, 58, 94, 191–3 circulation 113, 138, 163–4, 171 manuscript 21–2, 48–9, 51–3, 81, 111–12, 116–17 musical 21–4, 41, 77–9, 110–12, 161–2, 166 print 98–9, 105–7, 114–15 of songs/lyrics 15–19, 27–9, 37–8, 40–1, 51–3, 79–81, 111–12, 123 civility 97n.136, 100, 104–5 Civil Wars, English 65, 99–102 Clifford, Margaret 51 Clifton Drama Studio 156–7 closet 141–50, 177–8 closet drama 148–9 see also household drama Cockeram, Henry 36–7 Codrington, Robert 86–7 Cohn, Matthew 156n.51 Coleman, Charles “Bright Aurelia” 82–4 comic songs 29 commercial drama 24–6, 140, 148–9, 153, 158, 162, 193, 206–7 companion recording to The Matter of Song in Early Modern England 10–14, 26–31, 53–60, 82–4, 92–6, 123, 128, 135–7, 188–92, 203, 205–7 composition 72–3, 78–9 contrafacta 37–8, 40, 123 convents 24–5 Cook, Nicholas 5 Coote, Edmund 36–7 coterie, see networks Cotgrave, Randle 36–7 Countess of Montgomery’s Urania, The, see under Wroth, Lady Mary Critz, John de 112n.9 Crooke, Helkiah Mikrokosmographia 68–70, 89, 198n.42 Cusick, Suzanne 10n.27, 14

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 dance 50, 142–3, 151n.38, 165–6, 179–80 Daniel, Samuel 172–3 Danyel, John 26–7 “Mrs M. E. her Funerall teares for the death of her husband” 94–6 Davenant, Elizabeth 21–2, 79–81, 114 Davenant, William 8–9, 116–17 Dering, Sir Edward 168 Dering, Lady Mary 102, 188–9 “In vaine, faire Cloris” 102 desire, see eroticism dictionaries, early modern 36–7 digital humanities 205–6 discipline 45–7, 181 ditties 36–7, 117 domestic sphere 26, 142–3 see also household drama and under performance Donne, John 51–3, 61–2 “The Triple Fool” 125–6 Donne, John, the younger 111–12 Dowland, John 39n.35, 41–2, 51–2 drama, see commercial drama, Greek drama, household drama and masques “drastic” responses to music, see under music Dubrow, Heather 35n.6, 120–2, 201n.50 Dudley, Anne Russell, Countess of Warwick 52–3 Duffin, Ross 3–5, 140–1 Duncan, Claire 128n.67 Dunn, Leslie C. 2–3, 3n.4, 8 Echo/echo 193–200, 203–5 Eckerle, Julie 126–7 education, see pedagogy Early Modern Songscapes (songscapes. org) 3n.3, 205–6 early modern women’s writing 20–1, 205 Egerton, Alice 25–6, 102, 181, 185–6, 188–9, 188n.19, 191, 193, 195–7, 203 elegy 36–7, 39n.35 Elizabeth I, Queen 48–9, 142–3 embodiment (the singing body) 2, 5–7, 10–11, 20, 24–5, 30–1, 41–6, 61, 64–5, 76–7, 81, 87, 89, 118–19, 131–2, 181, 183, 185–7, 191, 193, 197–8 England’s Helicon, or The Muses Harmony 114–15

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English Broadside Ballad Archive (University of California Santa Barbara) 19–20 Enterline, Lynn 194–5 epithalamion 37 eroticism/erotics 1–2, 22–4, 29–30, 87–8, 94, 127, 185–6, 193 Este, Leonora d’ 91n.110 Eubanks Winkler, Amanda 8–9, 22–4, 112n.7, 206–7 Euripides 156 see also under Lumley, Jane Fabry, Frank 40 fat 99–100 feign/feigning 130–5 fermesses 120–1 musical connotations of 121–3 Ferrabosco, Alfonso 51–2 “Was I to blame” 26–7, 123, 135–7 Ficino, Marsilio 66, 90n.108, 196 Findlay, Alison 139–41, 149n.32, 152n.40, 154n.47, 167n.81, 173–5 Fitzmaurice, James 159n.60 Fletcher, Phineas 135n.84, 198n.42 Folger Consort 8–9 Folger Shakespeare Library 8–9 Ford, Thomas 143–4 form 34, 34n.4, 41–2, 63, 205 as a crux in literary studies 42, 110–11 and embodiment 44–6 visual aspects of 43–4 Fraunce, Abraham 172–3 Fumerton, Patricia 3–5, 19–20, 106n.168, 206 Gamble, John 123 gardens, as performance spaces 174–5 gender 20, 87, 142–3, 185–6, 205–7 and ballads 107 and form 46–8 and voice 69–70, 91–2, 187, 192–3 see also women and under performance Geneva Bible, see under Bible Geneva Psalter, see under psalms genres 37, 114–15 Gildon, Charles 8–9 Gordon, Bonnie 5, 24–5, 45–6, 137–8 Gouk, Penelope 33n.2 Greek drama 155 Greene, Anne 95–6 grief 93–4

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Hall, Joseph 118 Hamlin, Hannibal 48–9 handbooks, see under singing Handefull of Pleasant Delites, A 115 Hannay, Margaret 50, 52n.92, 112, 168, 173, 175–6 Harding, Stephanie, see Hodgson-Wright, Stephanie harmony, social and musical 99 Harris, Lucas 11–14, 29–30, 55–8, 82–4, 93–5, 128, 136–7, 189–92, 203 Heller, Wendy 24–5 Henrietta Maria, Queen 100, 179–80 Henze, Catherine 3–5, 140n.5 Herbert, Lady Mary 102 Herbert, William 111–12, 171 “Had I loved butt att that rate” 1–2, 133–6 Herissone, Rebecca 5, 78–9, 113–14 Heyward, Susan 165–6 Heywood, Oliver 144–5, 147–8 Heywood, Thomas 207n.7 historicization 30–1 Hobbs, Mary 115 Hoby, Lady Margaret 26, 49, 143–4 Hodgson, Martin 167n.81, 172 Hodgson-Wright (Harding), Stephanie 139–41, 154, 156–8 Holborne, Anthony 53n.100 Hollander, John 197n.40 Holsinger, Bruce W. 23n.49 household drama 25–6, 139–42, 149–50, 153, 157–8, 166–9, 172, 175–9 Howard, Deborah 177 Howard, Jean E. 207n.7 Hughes, Henry 114 humanism 37–8, 110–11, 153–4 Hume, Tobias 51–2 Humphrey, Pelham 164–5 Hutchinson, Lucy 206–7 Huygens, Constantijn 96–7 hymns 116, 119, 183, 201 improvisation 78–9, 81–4, 165–6 Jayne, Sears 154n.45 Johnson, Francis R. 154n.45 Johnson, William 39 Jones, Nancy A. 2–3

Jones, Robert 40n.37 Muses Gardin for Delights, The 123 “My father faine” 27–31 Jonson, Ben 51–2, 101n.151, 168 Epicoene 145 Loves Welcome 179 Loves Welcome at Bolsover 166–7, 179 Jorgens, Elise Bickford 3n.4 Kinnamon, Noel 50 Knight, Mary 102–3, 188–9 Koestenbaum, Wayne 132 Korda, Natasha 21, 25, 142n.7 Kramer, Lawrence 5n.10 LaMay, Thomasin 24–5 Lamb, Mary Ellen 112n.8, 135–6 Lanier, Nicholas 111–12 Lanyer, Aemilia Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum 50–1 Lawes, Henry 39n.35, 47, 111–12, 185, 193 salon of 100–3, 188–9 “Sweet Echo” 47, 181, 186–8, 193 Lawes, William 164–5 Leighton, Angela 42–3 Leighton, Sir William 15 Le Guin, Elisabeth 14n.33 Leppert, Richard 5 Lewalski, Barbara 113n.11, 172–3 libraries of music 154, 161 lighting 188n.19 Lindley, David 3–5 literary analysis 3–5, 10, 33, 41–2, 64–5 Locke, Matthew 84–5 Loewenstein, Joseph 44n.51, 195n.38 Lok, Anne Vaughan 52–3 Longus Daphnis and Chloe 197–8 Lopez, Jeremy 6n.11 Luckyj, Christina 137–8, 194–5 Ludlow Castle 179 Lumley, Jane Iphigenia at Aulis (trans.) 141–2, 148–9, 153–8 lyric 34–5, 37, 110–11 Mac, Taylor 165 Mace, Thomas 51n.87, 75n.51, 118–19, 145n.19

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 Macrobius 198 madrigals 47–8 Maffei, Giovanni Camillo 132–3 manuscript circulation see under circulation manuscripts discussed Bodleian Library MS Broxbourne 84.9 15 Bodleian Library MS Don. c. 57 15 Bodleian Library MS Mus. b. 1 128 Bodleian Library MS Rawl. poet. 16 150–3 Bodleian Library MS Rawl. poet. 37 19, 116–17 Bodleian Library MS Rawl. poet. 84 116–17 Bodleian Library MS Rawl. poet. 185 19, 119 British Library Add. MS 15117 51–3, 111–12 British Library Add. MS 53723 181 Christ Church Library MS Mus. 87 21–2, 79 Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.a.104 113, 119 Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.a.322 116–17 Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.a.339 118 Lambeth Palace Library MS 1041 82–5, 122n.50 Love’s Victory (Wroth), Penshurst and Huntington MSS 168–71 Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle, A (Comus), Bridgewater MS and Trinity MS 186–7 National Library of Scotland, Deposit 314/23 114 NYPL Drexel MS 4175 122 NYPL Drexel MS 4257, no. 20035 123 Royal College of Music MS 1070 21–2 Whythorne, Thomas, Book of Songs and Sonetts (Bodleian Library) 117 Marot, Clément 49 Marsh, Christopher 5, 185–6 Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, University of 205–6 masques 25–6, 139, 151n.38, 172–3, 179–80, 185–6 Masten, Jeffrey 163–4 materiality 33, 42–3 May, Stephen 112n.8

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McColley, Diane Kelsey 91n.109, 181–3 McManus, Clare 25 McMaster University 159 melopoetics 5n.10 memory/memorization 19, 113–14, 118–19, 159 Mersenne, Marin 41n.42, 67n.11, 68n.19, 72–3, 77, 132–3, 135n.84, 176n.108, 194 meter, see prosody methodology 5, 8, 20, 31, 41–2, 63, 110–11, 177–8, 202, 205 see also literary analysis, musicology, and performance-as-research Middleton, Thomas Changeling, The 146–7 Miller, Naomi 126–7 Milsom, John 154n.45 Milton, John 101–2 “At a Solemn Music” 183, 187, 191n.23, 202 Il Penseroso 201 Latin Epigrams on Leonora Baroni 64–5, 89–92, 184–5, 199 A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle, A (Comus) 25–6, 181, 184–5, 188, 193 music/song in the works of 181 “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity” 183, 187, 201 Paradise Lost 85, 184, 199–200 Paradise Regained 199–201 Samson Agonistes 200n.49 Milton, John, Sr. 15, 182–3 Minear, Erin 3–5, 181–2 mnemonics 78–9, 81 Montemayor, Jorge de 125n.57 Monteverdi, Claudio 24–5, 164–5 Morley, Thomas 45–8, 53, 55, 72–3, 93–4, 114–15, 192–3 Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus 9–10 Munday, Anthony 125n.57 Munro, Lucy 3–5, 25 music 26 boundary and boundary crossing 26, 126, 143–8, 176–7, 193 celestial 198, 201–2 “drastic” responses to 9–14, 31, 34, 64–5 power to effeminate 87, 107, 127 rhetorical effects of 35–7, 66, 85–6, 97, 125–6, 152–3, 181, 195, 202

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music (cont.) in masques 179–80 as mathematical/philosophical discipline vs. embodied practice 72–4, 77 and poems 114–19, 182 see also songs and under poetics musical circulation see under circulation musical notation 10–11, 74, 77, 114, 121 lexical failures of 78, 81–2, 84–5 musical settings 38, 51–3, 55, 58, 128, 181 musicology 5, 10, 14, 34n.4 feminist 22–4 networks 111, 150, 206 New and Easie Method to Learn to Sing by Book, A 53n.96, 70n.23, 74–5, 77–8, 91–2 New Literary History special issue on “Song” 3–5 New Perspectives Theatre Company (On Her Shoulders) 141–2, 164–6 New School, The 165–6 noise 186–8 Nonsuch Banqueting House 154, 157–8 North, Dudley “To her who shut him in her Closet to breake his hearing of her singing in her upper Chamber, with her Teacher, made upon the instant to perswade her to bee more free” 144–5 notation, see musical notation Ockenden, Rebecca 21–2, 81 opera, role of women in 24–5 original practices 5–7 Orlin, Lena Cowen 147–8 ornamentation, vocal 78–85 Ortiz, Joseph 3–5, 72n.34, 181–2 Oval House Theatre 159 overhearing 126–7, 134, 145–6, 169–70, 174–5, 196–7 Ovid 197 Painter, William 134–5 Paris’s Choice (masque) 116–17 Parolin, Peter 25 Parthenia (Byrd, Bull, and Gibbons) 127 pastoral 124, 148–9, 165–6, 172–3

patronage 53, 111, 161 Peacham, Henry 35–6 pedagogy 45–6, 61, 70–2, 76, 78–9, 91–3, 110–11, 153–4 sexualized 87–8, 144–5, 185–6 Penshurst Place 141–2, 146–7, 172–5 Baron’s Hall 167–8, 175–7 Pepys, Samuel 49, 87, 96–7, 143–4 Perdita Project, The 21–2 performance 9–11, 167–8 domestic 26, 49, 52–3, 62–3, 142–6, 153–4, 161–2, 166–7, 176–7 gendered implications of 1–2, 3n.5, 22–4, 27–31, 65, 87–93, 97, 103–4, 107–8, 113, 126–7, 131–2, 134, 137–8, 164, 185–8, 191, 193, 202 historically informed 5–7 live vs. recorded 11–14, 94–5 and ornamentation 78–9, 82–4 and poetry 37–8, 118–19 private vs. public 26, 134, 142–3, 148–9 as publication 111–12 as self-expression 125–7 theory and practice 8–9, 45–6, 76–7, 84–5 see also under staging performance-as-research (PAR) 2, 5–7, 29–30, 33, 139, 159, 205–6 see also companion recording performance studies 5–7 Performing Restoration Shakespeare (research project) 8–9 Peri, Jacopo 78 Philips, Katherine 188–9, 206–7 “Come, my Lucatia” 102 Phillips, Edward 36–7, 101n.153, 102 physiology 64–5, 71–2, 76, 85, 97, 99–100, 160–1, 183 early modern treatises of 65–70, 89, 198 Plato 198, 201n.51 Playford, John 78 Pléiade, La 39 poetics 34, 37–8 and music 37, 110–12 see also prosody and under songs Prakas, Tessie, L. 62n.122 prayer 48–50, 61–2, 144–5, 147–8, 184 pregnancy 57, 131n.72, 191 Price, David C. 70n.26 print 15, 27–9, 77–8, 150 see also under circulation

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 privacy 142–4, 147–8 prosody 35–6, 39–40, 53–4, 110–11, 181–2 Prynne, William 47–8, 89 psalms 25–7, 34, 187 metrical 48–9, 53–4 and music/singing 49–54, 60–3, 143–4 Geneva Psalter 49, 85–6, 126–7 Sternhold and Hopkins (trans.) 48–9, 53–4, 57, 58n.110 and women 61–3 see also under Sidney Herbert, Mary and songs discussed Purcell, Henry 8–9 Purkiss, Diane 153 Puttenham, George 35–8, 43–4, 44n.53, 49n.77, 143–4, 194, 203–5 quantitative verse 39 see also prosody Quitslund, Beth 48–9, 53n.101 Raber, Karen 148–9, 158 Randall, Dale B. J. 158n.56 Ravenscroft, Thomas 61 reading 141–2, 149–50, 152n.40, 158–60 Reggio, Pietro 73–6 Revard, Stella 89–90, 199n.46, 201–2 rhetoric 35–6, 105, 107–8, 110–11, 125–6 see also under music and under women rhyme 44–5 feminine 40, 54 Rich, Penelope 40–1 Richards, Jennifer 15n.34, 145n.20, 150n.35 Roberts, Dan Paul 165 Roberts, Josephine 119–20, 169–70 Robinson, Daniel 52–3, 132 Rollins, Hyder E. 106–7 Rose Company 141–2, 157–8 Ross, Julia Taylor 165–6 Rossi, Luigi 164–5 Rowley, William Changeling, The 146–7 royalist culture 101–7, 109, 188–9 royal progresses 179 Rucastle, Emma 157 Sagaser, Elizabeth Harris 44n.51 St. Andrewes Psalter 52–3

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salons 100–4 see also Cavendish, Margaret and Lawes, Henry Salzman, Paul 119n.38 Sanvitale, Leonora 91n.110 Schleiner, Louise 3n.4, 39, 41, 181–2 Schoch, Richard 8–9 scores, see musical notation Scott, William The Model of Poesy 34–5, 37, 43–5, 49n.77 Searles, Ron 11–12 seduction, see temptation, eroticism, and under pedagogy self-discipline, see discipline Shakespeare’s Globe (London) 5–7 Read Not Dead 141–2, 167–70, 172, 175–8 Shakespeare, William 51–2, 140 All’s Well That Ends Well 108n.180 Midsummer Night’s Dream, A 32–3, 43–4, 132–3 Taming of the Shrew, The 87–8 Winter’s Tale, The 108n.180 Shapin, Steven 105n.165 Shohet, Lauren 179n.1 Shuger, Debora 90n.108 Sickle, Judy van 181–2, 192–3 Sidney circle 111, 168, 174–5 Sidney, Henry 49 Sidney Herbert, Mary, Countess of Pembroke 34, 48, 92–3, 121, 142 as musician 53 as patron 53 Psalm 51 26–7, 50–60 Psalm 97 51–3 Psalm 130 51–3, 57–61 Psalm 145 61–2 The Tragedie of Antonie 148–9, 155–6 Sidney-Pembroke psalter 48–52, 61–3 Sidney, Philip 53–4, 92–3, 115n.19 Arcadia, The Countess of Pembroke’s 39, 118–19, 126–7 Astrophil and Stella 40–1 Certain Sonnets 40 The Defence of Poesie 38, 43–4, 48–9 musical settings of his poems 38 “O Lord, how vain are all our frail delights” 111–12 Psalms 40, 41, and 42 51–2 Sidney, Philip, Viscount de L’Isle 112n.9 Sidney, Robert 26

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sight-reading 72–3, 160–1 Simpson, Christopher 84–5, 93–4, 161 Singer, Elyse 165–6 singing body, see embodiment congregational (poor quality of ) 25n.58, 51n.87, 60 handbooks of 65, 70–8, 81–2, 91–2 “natural” vs. “artificial” 99–100, 104–5, 107–9, 130–2 see also performance sirens 65, 89–90, 181, 188, 198n.45, 199–201 Skinner, David 21–2 Smith, Bruce R. 19–20, 33n.2, 77–8, 105–6, 115n.20 Smith, Simon 3–5 songbooks 19, 41–2, 79–84, 114–19, 122n.50, 124–5, 151, 154 songs 205 “actual” vs. “virtual” 41 as poems (and vice versa) 3–5, 34–7, 113–17, 124 continental models of 40, 125n.57 definitions, uses, and meanings of the term 7–8, 33–4, 182 effects on audiences 85–7, 90–1, 97, 103–4, 108–9 lost 140 as narrative device 125n.57, 126–7, 174–5 in plays 148, 169–75 religious 24–5, 25n.58, 85–6 scattered traces of 5–7, 15, 25–6, 77–8, 113–14 see also airs, ballads, choruses, comic songs, ditties, elegy, epithalamion, hymns, lyric, madrigals, psalms, and under circulation songscapes 2–3, 26–7, 140 songs discussed “All night I weepe, all day I cry, Ay mee” (Wroth) 123 “A ballad from the countrie sent to show how we should fast this Lent” 19 “Bright Aurelia” (Coleman) 82–4 “A Carrol a carrol of glory & praise” 116 “Dove dove corri mio core?” 15 “The egiptians are all sunck” 116 “Go thy way” 84 “Greensleeves” 19–20 “Had I loved butt att that rate” (W. Herbert) 1–2, 133–6

“An hymne Conserning a graine of wheate” 116 “If ever hapless woman had a cause” (Bartlet) 92–4 “Love growne proud,” (Wroth/Wilson) 128 “Mrs M. E. her Funerall teares for the death of her husband” (Danyel) 26–7, 94–6 “My father faine” (Jones) 27–31 “Oh mee the time is come to part” (Wroth) 123 “A Prophesy of good things to come. . .” 19 Psalm 51 26–7, 50, 53–7 (M. Sidney) Psalm 130 57–61 (M. Sidney) “Resound my voice” (Wyatt/Attey) 203–5 “The springing time of my first loving” (Wroth) 122 “Sweet Echo” (Milton/Lawes) 47, 181, 186–8, 193 “Thou God of Might” (Milton, Sr.) 15 “Was I to blame” (Wroth/Ferrabosco) 26–7, 123, 135–7 “We Watery Nymphs Rejoyce and Sing” (Cavendish) 164–7 “Who can blame me if I love?” (Wroth) 124 sopranos 30 see also companion recording soul 65–6 sound 65–6, 110–11, 141–2, 147–8, 176 vs. sight 32–4, 43–4, 146–8, 179–80 sound quality 76–7 soundscapes 2–3, 10–11, 25–6, 150, 187 sound studies 3–5 space 141–2, 147–8, 176–7 see also architecture Spenser, Edmund Faerie Queene, The 131–2 Spink, Ian 101–2 sprezzatura 81–2, 108–9, 128–32 stage directions 151–2, 161–2, 168–9, 171, 185 staging, modern experiments in 139–41, 156–9, 164–7, 172 Steele, Rosalind 172 Stern, Tiffany 7n.15, 140 Sternhold and Hopkins psalter, see under psalms Stevens, John 39, 40n.37 Stewart, Alan 147–8 Straznicky, Marta 148–9, 153–4, 154n.47 Strode, William 116–17 Strozzi, Barbara 24–5

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 subjectivity 3n.5, 26–7, 30, 105–6 Suckling, John 114 Swann, Utricia 96–7 Synopsis of Vocal Music by A. B. 45–6, 70–1, 74, 76–8, 84, 86 Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra 5–7 Tallis, Thomas 154 Tasso, Torquato 91, 172–3 taxonomy, of song 34 temptation 181, 184–5, 193, 199–202 Tessier, Charles 40–1 theory, see under performance Thomas, Max W. 125n.58 Toft, Robert 79n.71 Toronto Scarborough Library, University of 205–6 Toronto Masque Theatre 141–2, 164–6 transcription, see aural transcription Traub, Valerie 207n.7 Trudell, Scott 3–5, 3n.3, 8, 22–4, 205–6 truth 107–8 Twice, Ann 122 Urania, see under Wroth, Lady Mary d’Urfé, Honoré 125n.57 Van Note, Beverly 173 verse, see poetics, prosody verse miscellanies 19, 51–2, 113–20 vocal performance, see performance, vocal voice, production of 65–8, 74–6, 98–100, 159–61 Walls, Peter 151n.38, 179–80, 198n.45 Warren, Charles 154 Weingust, Don 6n.11 Welbeck Abbey 142–3, 161, 179 Wells, John 144 Wemyss, Lady Margaret 114 White Bear Theatre 159 White, Micheline 61–2 Whyte, Rowland 26 Whythorn, Thomas 87–8, 118–19 Williams, Gweno 139–41, 159, 166 Williams, Sarah 3n.3, 8, 22–4, 205–6 Wilson, John 128 Winkler, Amanda Eubanks, see Eubanks Winkler, Amanda Wistreich, Richard 78

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Wolfe, Heather 121n.46 Wolfson, Susan 46 women as composers 24–5 as dangerous and disorderly 22–4, 131–2 in early modern theatricals 25, 139, 179–80 musical manuscripts compiled by 79–82 and music in continental Europe 24–5, 92 and music in England 25–6, 91–2, 103 as patrons 27–9, 52–3 as playwrights 139, 148–50, 153, 158, 177–8 as professional musicians 24–5 and psalms 61–3 silent/silenced 147–8, 194–5 as singers 1–2, 22–4, 29–31, 85, 102–4, 127, 142–4, 179–81 as songwriters 21–2 rhetorical activities of 20–4, 52–3, 99–100, 102, 177–8, 205 see also early modern women’s writing Woolf, Virginia 158n.56 worship, see prayer Woudhuysen, H. R. 111n.6 Wroth, Lady Mary 26–31, 111–13, 125, 143–4, 148–9 Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.a.104 113, 119, 138, 169 Love’s Victory 112–13, 141–2, 167 Pamphilia to Amphilanthus 112–13, 119–20, 124–5, 169 differences between print and manuscript versions 120–1, 124–5 Urania, The Countess of Montgomery’s 112–13, 123–8, 130–1, 150 Urania, The Countess of Montgomery’s, Second Part 1–2, 30–1, 88–9, 127–38, 172n.94 see also under songs discussed Wroth, Robert 168 Würzbach, Natascha 105–6 Wyatt, Sir Thomas “Resound my voice” 203–5 Wynne-Davies, Marion 151–2, 154n.47, 171, 173 Zacconi, Lodovico 132 Zarlino, Gioseffo 47, 135, 192–3