There is a gradual increase in the use of bass line notation, implying a continuo realization, instead of complete tablature as accompaniment for lute song in Jacobean England, after about 1610. Although the lute was to remain the accompanying instrument of choice, other instruments, theorbos for example, could now replace it, depending on the situation. It is not clear when the theorbo was first used in England but the great architect, stage designer and masque producer Inigo Jones has been mentioned as having brought the first one back from a journey to Italy before 1605. The new Italian vocal music came from different sources: Robert Dowland printed Caccini’s Amarilli in his Musical Banquet in 1610 and Angelo Notari published his Prime Nuove Musiche (per cantare con la tiorba…) in London in 1613. Its declamatory style became particularly popular in the context of Jones’ masque: an extravagant art form as Stuart propaganda, combining grandiose theatre effects dance and ‘operatic’ singing, often accompanied by a consort of plucked instruments.Download booklet
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