The Musical Triumphs And Tribulations Of Oriana

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Terry Edwards investigates the sacred and secular music surrounding Elizabeth I in light of the cultural, political and religious upheavals of her reign.

Growing up in the musically sophisticated court of her father Henry VIII, Elizabeth acquired a love of music that would inspire her to create a musical establishment reflecting the splendour of her own international court.

As a talented musician herself, Elizabeth took great pleasure in the lavish musical ceremonies and entertainments that were a feature of her reign.

Despite her Protestant reforms, Elizabeth was happy to include the kind of elaborate music associated with the Catholic mass into services held in her Chapel Royal.

But in parish churches across the land, music was regarded as a distraction from the word of God and virtually disappeared altogether.