O Let Us Howle Some Heavy Note

O Let Us Howle Some Heavy Note

Music for Witches, the Melancholic, and the Mad on the Seventeenth-Century English Stage
Amanda Eubanks Winkler
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/01/2006
Format: Hardback 29 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-34805-0
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In the 17th century, harmonious sounds were thought to represent the well-ordered body of the obedient subject, and, by extension, the well-ordered state; conversely, discordant, unpleasant music represented both those who caused disorder (murderers, drunkards, witches, traitors) and those who suffered from bodily disorders (melancholics, madmen, and madwomen). While these theoretical correspondences seem straightforward, in theatrical practice the musical portrayals of disorderly characters were multivalent and often ambiguous.

O Let Us Howle Some Heavy Note focuses on the various ways that theatrical music represented disorderly subjects—those who presented either a direct or metaphorical threat to the health of the English kingdom in 17th-century England. Using theater music to examine narratives of social history, Winkler demonstrates how music reinscribed and often resisted conservative, political, religious, gender, and social ideologies.

Author Bio

Amanda Eubanks Winkler is Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Syracuse University. She specializes in early music.

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Table of Contents

Note on Transcriptions
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1. Music and the Macrocosm: Disorder and History
2. "Stay, You Imperfect Speakers, Tell Me More"
3. "Remember Me, But Ah, Forget My Fate"
4. "O Let Us Howle Some Heavy Note"
5. Disorder in the Eighteenth Century