Re: Hey Nonny Nonny?
- From: Joseph Gruen <gopher909@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 8 Mar 2009 11:42:08 -0700 (PDT)
On Mar 8, 2:03 pm, John Howell <John.How...@xxxxxx> wrote:
At 4:49 AM -0400 3/8/09, Zach wrote:
BTW, I found a much superior performance here:
Do you mean the background music at the opening? (Which seems to be
the only music in that clip at all!) If that is the same as the Very
Broadway exit music in the previous clip, I certainly can't tell
without being able to compare them side-by-side. Stylistically the
shawm band interpretation certainly seems to fit the (very fine)
film, although stylistically from about 50 years before Shakespeare's
time, but I don't really know when this story is supposed to have
In regard to the original clip and the original question, however, I
have to repeat that to anyone familiar with Elizabethan and Jacobean
music (which I am, and not just the odd Dowland song or Morley
Ballett), and also familiar with the style of musical theater writing
over about the past 60 years (which I also am, thanks to 17 years'
involvement in an annual musical theater production), there is no
question at all about that song being from Shakespeare's time. And
it isn't just the "modern" choral-orchestral treatment, but the shape
and form of the melody itself. It ain't Shakespeare!
John R. Howell, Assoc. Prof. of Music
Virginia Tech Department of Music
College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences
Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A. 24061-0240
Vox (540) 231-8411 Fax (540) 231-5034
"We never play anything the same way once." Shelly Manne's definition
of jazz musicians.
Zach's latest clip is from a TV production. It's not the same as the
movie version.(I think that I read that the same costumes were used in
both.) And the shawm music and "Sigh no more" do not come from the
same place in the drama. I haven't had time to check if Patrick
Doyle's FILM score uses the Thomas Ford melody for "Sigh no more,
Ladies" (ca. 1630). The score of Ford's three-voice setting is not
available in a modern edition, although it can be traced in Sir
Heseltine's (Peter Warlock's) arrangement of the Ford piece for solo
voice and piano. It's published and recorded.
The entrance music (that's what it is--there's probably a cue for it
in the script) for shawms on the TV performance, may seem old to you,
Dr. Howell, but Shakespeare used music popular at his time, and some
of it was quite old when he used it. As John Ward, the eminent
scholar of Elizabethan music at Harvard, has pointed out, The Willow
Song was about 60 years old when Shakespeare used it so effectively in
Othello. Even Desdemona** comments, before singing,
<<She had a song of Willow,
An old thing 'twas,
but it expressed her Fortune.>>
Music in Shakespeare's dramas is a veritable Elizabethan Hit Parade of
the "pop tunes" of his day. And even the allusions to songs would be
known to his audiences, the proverbial "man in the street." That's
why he used them. You realize, I trust, that they weren't composed
specifically for his plays!!! (Perhaps I'm confused, but you seem to
suggest otherwise: <<[music] from about 50 years before Shakespeare's
time, but I don't really know when this story is supposed to have been
set.>> And <<It ain't Shakespeare!>>)
**Since we've settled the Purcell case, what about the pronunciation
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