The Hunt Is Up
BALLADS AND SONGS FROM PLAYS BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare’s plays are full of references to music and quotes from songs. However, they only have the desired effect if the audience is familiar with the pieces in question. Conversely, it is possible to use Shakespeare’s plays to make a list of the songs that were popular in his day, a task that musicologist Ross W. Duffin has undertaken. The Playfords have used his Shakespeare’s Songbook as a real book and the basis for cheerfully improvising to their heart’s content, and, just as all social classes came together at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, there is something here for everyone: a musical panorama of English society in the Late Renaissance.