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Printed Musical Propaganda in Early Modern England

Joseph Arthur Mann

Printed Musical Propaganda in Early Modern England reveals how consistently music, in theory and practice, was used as propaganda in a variety of printed genres that included or discussed music from the English Civil Wars through the reign of William and Mary. These printed items—bawdy broadside ballads, pamphlets paid for by Parliament, sermons advertising the Church of England’s love of music, catch-all music collections, music treatises addressed to monarchs, and masque and opera texts—when connected in a contextual mosaic, reveal a new picture of not just individual propaganda pieces, but multi-work propaganda campaigns with contributions that cross social boundaries. Musicians, Royalists, Parliamentarians, government officials, propagandists, clergymen, academics, and music printers worked together setting musical traps to catch the hearts and minds of their audiences and readers. Printed Musical Propaganda proves that the influential power of music was not merely an academic matter for the early modern English, but rather a practical benefit that many sought to exploit for their own gain.

About the Author

Joseph Arthur Mann’s recent research includes articles and presentations on music as ethical instruction in writings and music collections by Thomas Morley and John Dowland, the political power of praising music in early modern England, and the research on musical propaganda that led to this monograph. His secondary research interests include the nineteenth-century synthesis of music and literature in Germany, England, and France.

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Pages: 306 pages

Published: September 2020


ISBN: 9781949979237

ISBN: 9781949979244


Early Modern


Studies in British Musical Cultures