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Old 01-18-2019, 05:54 PM
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Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Music and Shakespeare

Do any of the original music scores used by William Shakespeare during his plays still exist?
Do copies?
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:30 PM
Fretful Porpentine Fretful Porpentine is online now
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We do have period music for some of the songs from Shakespeare's plays, such as Thomas Morley's arrangements of O Mistress Mine from Twelfth Night and It Was a Lover and His Lass from As You Like It. We have them because Morley published them in a book of miscellaneous songs, so we can't be 100% sure that this was the music used in theatrical performances of these plays, although it seems a reasonable conjecture.

If you're asking about whether an actual manuscript of theatrical music exists, no, we don't have that. (We have very few manuscripts of any sort from the early modern theater -- with very rare exceptions, none of which is a complete play by Shakespeare, if it didn't make it into print, it didn't survive.) What we know from the many printed early modern playscripts is that songs in plays often used existing, well-known tunes, so even if the words to the song were composed for the occasion by the playwright (which isn't always the case -- in an era before copyright protection, it was common for playwrights to simply throw in a pre-existing song, lyrics and all) there wouldn't necessarily be a written score. The musicians in the theater could just be told "Oh, that one goes to the tune of 'Fortune my foe'" or whatever, and they would know what to do from there.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:36 AM
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Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Good.

More info on this genneral topic would certainly be nice.
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:24 AM
Fretful Porpentine Fretful Porpentine is online now
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Well, if you want a LOT more information, you might want to check out Shakespeare's Songbook by Ross Duffin and its companion CD, or Shakespeare, Music, and Performance, edited by Bill Barclay and David Lindley.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:04 AM
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My thanks.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:13 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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What I think of when I think of music and Shakespeare.

ETA: Also this.





.

Last edited by Johnny L.A.; 01-20-2019 at 10:15 AM.
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