work. In addition to vocal songs and numerous instrumental cues there are
thousands of references to music throughout the plays and many of the poems.
This book discusses Shakespeare's musical imagery according to categories defined
by occurrence in the plays and poems. In turn, these categories depend on their
early modern usage and significance. Thus, instruments such as lute and viol
deserve special attention just as Renaissance ideas relating to musical
philosophy and pedagogical theory need contextual explanation. The objective is
to locate Shakespeare's musical imagery, reference and metaphor in its
immediate context in a play or poem and explain its meaning. Discussion and
explanation of the musical imagery suggests a range of possible dramatic and
poetic purposes these musical references serve.
'Wilson's contribution is to catalog the "over 200 references to music and nearly 400 musical terms in Shakespeare's works"; he explains their meanings and explores their possible dramatic, poetic, and symbolic functions...This well-grounded study includes 414 notes and more than 15 pages of bibliography.'-Choice Magazine