Sound and Precedent in Elizabethan Progress Entertainments

  • Susan L. AndersonEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Music and Literature book series (PASTMULI)


This chapter examines the way echo was used in progress entertainments staged for Queen Elizabeth, focusing in particular on the hospitality staged at Elvetham (1591) and Kenilworth (1575). Anderson demonstrates the patterns of repetition that can be traced through these events. In particular, the use of echo as a performance device at Kenilworth is repeated or referenced in several later entertainments, including Bisham (1592), and adapted into a musical device at Elvetham. This chapter explores the ways sounds, musical ensembles and musical genres heard at prior events are revisited, revised and re-heard in different locations and contexts, developing an acoustics of courtly entertainments in which the signs of musical sophistication are also political assertions.


Elizabeth I Robert Dudley Madrigal Consort Kenilworth Elvetham 


  1. Anderson, Susan. 2008.“‘A true Copie’: Gascoigne’s Princely Pleasures and the textual representation of courtly performance.” Early Modern Literary Studies 14 (1): 6.1–43.
  2. Arnold, Denis. 1959. The Significance of ‘Cori Spezzati’. Music and Letters 40: 4–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bates, Catherine. 1992. The Rhetoric of Courtship in Elizabethan Language and Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berry, Edward. 1989. Sidney’s May Game for the Queen. Modern Philology 86: 252–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boyd, Morrison Comegys (ed.). 1962. Elizabethan Music and Music Criticism, 2nd ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  6. Boyden, David D. 1957. When is a Concerto not a Concerto? Musical Quarterly 43 (2): 220–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Breight, Curtis. 1989. Caressing the Great: Viscount Montague’s Entertainment of Elizabeth at Cowdray, 1591. Sussex Archaeological Collections 127: 147–166.Google Scholar
  8. Breight, Curtis. 1992. Realpolitik and Elizabethan Ceremony: The Earl of Hertford’s Entertainment of Elizabeth at Elvetham, 1591. Renaissance Quarterly 45 (Spring): 20–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brennecke, Ernest. 1968. The Entertainment at Elvetham, 1591. In Music in English Renaissance Drama, ed. John H. Long, 32–56. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press.Google Scholar
  10. Butler, Katherine. 2015. Music in Elizabethan Court Politics. London: Boydell Press.Google Scholar
  11. Cole, Mary Hill. 1999. The Portable Queen: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Ceremony. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  12. Collinson, Patrick. 2007. Pulling the Strings: Religion and Politics in the Progress of 1578. In The Progresses, Pageants, and Entertainments of Queen Elizabeth I, ed. Jayne Elisabeth Archer, Elizabeth Goldring, and Sarah Knight, 122–141. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Davidson, Peter, and Jane Stevenson. 2007. Elizabeth I’s Reception at Bisham (1592): Elite Women as Writers and Devisers. In The Progresses, Pageants, and Entertainments of Queen Elizabeth I, ed. Jayne Elisabeth Archer, Elizabeth Goldring, and Sarah Knight, 207–226. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Duncan-Jones, Katherine (ed.). 1989. Sir Philip Sidney. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Edwards, Warwick. 2001. Consort. In Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy.
  16. Fellowes, Edmund H., and Thurston Dart (eds.). 1963. William Byrd: Psalms, Songs and Sonnets, 1611, rev. ed. The English Madrigalists 16. London: Stainer and Bell.Google Scholar
  17. Goldring, Elizabeth. 2008. ‘A mercer ye wot az we be’: The Authorship of the Kenilworth Letter Reconsidered. English Literary Renaissance 38 (2): 245–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Goldring, Elizabeth, Faith Eales, Elizabeth Clarke, and Jayne Elisabeth Archer (ed.). 2014. John Nichols’s The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth: A New Edition of the Early Modern Sources, 5 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Greenblatt, Stephen. 2004. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. London: Jonathan Cape.Google Scholar
  20. Hackett, Helen. 1996. Virgin Mother, Maiden Queen: Elizabeth I and the Cult of the Virgin Mary. Basingstoke: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  21. Hagar, Alan. 1990. Rhomboid Logic: Anti-Idealism and a Cure for Recusancy in Sidney’s Lady of May. English Literary History 57: 485–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Harrison, William. 1587. An Historicall Description of the Iland of Britaine, In The Holinshed Project, ed. Ian W. Archer, Felicity Heal, Paulina Kewes, and Henry Summerson.
  23. Hazard, M.E. 1987. Leicester, Kenilworth, and Transformations in the Idea of Magnificence. Cahiers Élisabéthains 31: 11–35.Google Scholar
  24. Heal, Felicity. 1990. Hospitality in Early Modern England. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Heale, Elizabeth. 2007. Contesting Terms: Loyal Catholicism and Lord Montague’s Entertainment at Cowdray, 1591. In The Progresses, Pageants, and Entertainments of Queen Elizabeth I, ed. Jayne Elisabeth Archer, Elizabeth Goldring, and Sarah Knight, 189–206. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Heaney, Michael. 1989. Kingston to Kenilworth: Early Plebeian Morris. Folklore 100: 88–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Heaton, Gabriel. 2010. Writing and Reading Royal Entertainments from George Gascoigne to Ben Jonson. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Holman, Peter. 1993. Four and Twenty Fiddlers: The Violin at the English Court, 1540–1690. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  29. Hulse, L.M. 1992. The Musical Patronage of the English Aristocracy, c.1590–1640. PhD dissertation, University of London, King’s College.Google Scholar
  30. Hutton, Ronald. 1996. The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Johnston, Alexandra F. 2002. ‘The Lady of the Farme’: The Context of Lady Russell’s Entertainment of Elizabeth at Bisham, 1592. Early Theatre 5 (2): 71–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kolkovich, Elizabeth Zeman. 2016. The Elizabethan Country House Entertainment: Print, Performance, and Gender. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kuin, R.J.P. (ed.). 1983. Robert Langham: A Letter. Leiden: E.J. Brill.Google Scholar
  34. Loewenstein, Joseph. 1984. Responsive Readings: Versions of Echo in Pastoral, Epic, and the Jonsonian Masque. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Lopez, Jeremy. 2013. Dumb Show. In Early Modern Theatricality, ed. Henry S. Turner, 291–305. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Lowe, Barbara. 1957. Early Records of the Morris in England. Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society 8 (2): 61–82.Google Scholar
  37. Marsh, Christopher. 2010. Music and Society in Early Modern England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Mehl, Dieter. 1965. The Elizabethan Dumb Show. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Palmer, Daryl W. 1992. Hospitable Performances: Dramatic Genre and Cultural Practices in Early Modern England. West Lafayette: Purdue Research Foundation.Google Scholar
  40. Price, David C. 1981. Patrons and Musicians of the English Renaissance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Questier, Michael. 2006. Catholicism and Community in Early Modern England: Politics, Aristocratic Patronage and Religion, 1550–1640. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Reese, Gustave. 1954. Music in the Renaissance. London: J.M. Dent.Google Scholar
  43. Strong, Roy. 1977. The Cult of Elizabeth: Elizabethan Portraiture and Pageantry. Hampshire: Thames and Hudson.Google Scholar
  44. Suerbaum, Ulrich. 1994. Performing Royalty: The Entertainment at Elvetham and the Cult of Elisa. In Word and Action in Drama: Studies in Honour of Hans-Jürgen Diller on the Occasion of his 60th Birthday, ed. Günter Ahrends, 53–64. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher.Google Scholar
  45. Thomson, Leslie. 2016. Dumb Shows in Performance on the Early Modern Stage. Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 29 (Winter): 17–45.Google Scholar
  46. Watson, Thomas. 1590. The First Sett of Italian Madrigals Englished. London.Google Scholar
  47. Wilson, Jean. 1980. Entertainments for Elizabeth I. Woodbridge: D.S. Brewer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations