Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thou-Tube: a 17th-century musical playlist

© 2014 Christy K Robinson 

I've started a Thou-Tube (oops, I mean YouTube) playlist of 17th-century music. Most of the music, except for the Henry Purcell pieces, was composed and played during the first half of the 17th century, during the lifetimes of William and Mary Dyer, and Anne and William Hutchinson.

I used "Sing Care Away" on p. 276 of Mary Dyer Illuminated, having found the lyrics in a website on ballads of the era. It was also available on YouTube for a while, but is no longer available.

So turn up the external speakers, set the playlist to "play all," and do some housework, read this blog's 110+ archived articles in another tab, or relax with a book about the Dyers. 


  1. Fabulous, Christy! Looking forward to having a soundtrack to my current WIP!

    1. Some authors prefer modern songs for the attitude or emotion, to put them in a mood to write. I found it distracting. Instead, I used music of the era to immerse myself in their culture. And that comes through the lines in my scenes much better than describing a gown or what the weather was like!

      Moving from early baroque styles and into middle baroque music (1630) are, in my mind, connected to the Puritans' ban on organ music in churches, and their 1644 order to destroy organs. They believed that the Renaissance style of lyrics and simple melody above accompaniment was the way to go, but in middle baroque, the counterpoint and chord progressions became the style. Not cool, because A) it was mostly a Catholic convention, and B) counterpoint and ornamented music brought attention to the performer and distracted from the sober focus on God. (This is still an issue in some denominations today.)


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