Difference between revisions of "Noyses, Sounds, and Sweet Aires: Music in Early Modern England children's exhibition"

(Added text and subheadings for http://www.folger.edu/template.cfm?cid=2083 as well as http://www.folger.edu/template.cfm?cid=2081 (soundscapes), http://www.folger.edu/template.cfm?cid=2082 (instruments), and http://www.folger.edu/template.cfm?cid=2084)
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=== Euterpe Coloring Activity ===
=== Euterpe Coloring Activity ===
Click '''here''' to print out and color the engraving of Euterpe.
Click [[:File:Euterpe_Trevelyon.pdf|here]] to print out and color the engraving of Euterpe.
== Concord of Sweet Sound ==
== Concord of Sweet Sound ==
== Delight in Masques and Revels ==
== Delight in Masques and Revels ==
== Hearts of Controversy ==
== Hearts of Controversy ==

Revision as of 21:38, 1 December 2014

This article collects the children's exhibition material featured in the "Noyses, Sounds, and Sweet Aires": Music in Early Modern England exhibition.

The soundscapes of early modern England were filled with bells ringing the time of day, street vendors crying out to sell their wares, and music spilling from tavern doors: these were the sounds of London in the seventeenth century.

The following games and activities introduce you to this world of "Noyses, sounds, and sweet aires" by helping you create your own musical instruments, leading you through Shakespeare's world of music, hosting your very own court masques and much much more.

All of the objects and drawings you see here can be found at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

The Isle is Full of Noises

The text below is a speech spoken by Caliban from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Read the passage and take a moment to study what is happening in the text. See if you can identify the noises that Caliban hears on the island where he lives.

CALIBAN: Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked,
I cried to dream again.
(The Tempest, 3.2.148-156)

Now that you have read the passage, think about the sounds that Caliban hears on the island—twangling instruments, voices, rain.

  • Are they good sounds?
  • How does Caliban respond to the sounds?
  • Do they help him to sleep more deeply?

Island Soundscapes

The following activity can be done with a group or class of 4 or more people:

First, decide who will read the above passage aloud. This person will also conduct the sounds.

Then divide the remaining members into three sections, representing each type of sound:

Group A—twangling instruments
Group B—voices
Group C—the rain

Ask the reader/conductor to practice with the groups by having each group make their sound one at a time.

Finally, read speech and conduct the soundscape.

A Thousand Twangling Instruments

This instrument is called a viol. Introduced into England early in the sixteenth century, the viola da gamba–a fretted instrument of six strings played with a bow–became extremely popular among both professional and amateur musicians. Audiences enjoyed the shimmering sounds produced by the instrument and it was also relatively easy to learn. Viols were the staple of domestic music-making.

In the nineteenth century, viols were often converted into violins, violas or cellos, with new necks, fingerboards, pegboxes, and scrolls suitable for four strings.

Make your own musical instruments

Follow the links below to make your own musical instruments:

To make a Rubber Band Box Guitar, click here.
To make Tube Horns, click here.
To make a Styrocello, click here.

Additional instruments to make can be discovered at the Bash the Trash Instrument Building Zone and the New York Philharmonic Kidzone's Instrument Lab.

The Muse of Music

This image is an engraving by Thomas Trevelyon. The woman is Euterpe, the muse of music. This is one from a series of nine muses, a very popular theme in early modern England.

Looking closely at the image, you can see that she plays a straight trumpet in her right hand and holds a strange wind instrument with characteristics of both shawn (a double reed instrument) and recorder in her left hand. At her feet and beside her are a bagpipe, crumhorn, case of flutes, flute, cornett, and trumpet.

Euterpe Coloring Activity

Click here to print out and color the engraving of Euterpe.

Concord of Sweet Sound

Delight in Masques and Revels

Hearts of Controversy