Pills to Purge Melancholy: The Evolution of the English Ballett

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Ashgate, 2004 - Music - 361 pages
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The ballett is a light vocal form well-known and well-loved by many madrigal singers, and yet this is the first work to embrace the subject in its totality. Dr Lionel Pike investigates the evolution of the ballett in England from its late sixteenth-century origins in Vecchi and Gastoldi. The book provides a comprehensive analysis of a large number of balletts, with each individual work treated in chronological order, leading to the sense of an 'evolution' of the form. Morley, Weelkes, Tomkins and Hilton are examined, alongside Cavendish, Greaves, Holborne, Jones, Pilkington, Vautor, Youll and Amner. way composers thought about music at the turn of the sixteenth century. Through the ballets it is possible to trace the path from modality to tonality, and to show how the principles of renaissance polyphony turned towards harmonically-dominated counterpoint, how the native English tradition of secular music interacted with the imported one, and how ideas about text illustration affected the writing of music. The book therefore deepens previous considerations of the ballet considerably, and provides the ultimate reference source, not only for early music scholars, but also for performers.

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About the author (2004)

Lionel Pike is a senior lecturer in music at the University of Londorts Royal Holloway College. He is the author of Beethoven, Sibelius and the 'Profound Logic.'

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