Shakespeare and Music

King's College London August 5, 2016 3:45 pm - 5:15 pm

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David Lindley (Emeritus Leeds University, United Kingdom), Pierre Iselin (L’Université Paris-Sorbonne, France)

This seminar will explore the vital contribution music makes and has made to the performance of Shakespeare’s plays across time and place. Papers might explore the ways in which music has figured creatively in theatre and film performances; might examine the assumptions about the role and place of music in theatre and film as they have been modified and transformed through history; might consider the varied cultural practices and assumptions that underpin music’s place in the global performance of Shakespeare. Contributors might use Shakespearean performance as a particular example to meditate on the ways music may be made to “mean”, or to consider the ways in which music creates its connections with an audience, or to think about the difference between the use of live or recorded music. Papers might consider the afterlife of compositions originally created for performance, which then find their way into a wider musical world. Please note that this seminar will not consider operas or musicals based on Shakespeare’s plays.

David Lindley is a Professor Emeritus of the University of Leeds. He has a career-long interest in the relationships of music and literature in early modern lyric, masque, and drama, publishing his monograph Shakespeare and Music in 2006. He has edited The Tempest for the New Cambridge
Shakespeare, and eleven Jonson masques for the Cambridge
Works. He is currently working on editions of Marston’s Antonio plays, of Q1 of Merry Wives, and as Co-Editor of Heywood’s city pageants.

Pierre Iselin is Professor of Elizabethan literature at Paris- Sorbonne. His field of research is the role of music on the stage and in society, its modes of performance, and the articulation of music and language. He has published several monographs and articles on Shakespeare’s plays and early modern drama. As a performer, he is the musical director of the Sorbonne Scholars, an ensemble of Renaissance music, vocal and instrumental, dedicated to the interaction of music, literature, and politics.