John Wilson's Music for Richard Brome's The Northern Lass

Keith Green


Music features significantly in Brome's playThe Northern Lass, containing as it does not only references to ballads and catches, but also more importantly to  a number of original songs composed especially for the drama by John Wilson. These songs show how the relationship between music and drama was changing during the early to middle part of the seventeenth century, as the lute song and madrigal declined and a new kind of music was emerging to match the developments in drama. This paper looks closely at these songs, assessing them not only in their dramatic contexts but also in their relationship to changes in the way that music and words were coupled.


Wilson; lute song; madrigal; hemiola; drexel; ayre; harmony; declamation; masque; polyphonic; duple time; triple time; unfigured bass

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