Category:Consort songs

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This is a listing of all consort songs on CPDL.

Consort song is a modern term for a form cultivated especially by English composers of the early Elizabethan era. It consisted typically of a setting of secular verse for a solo voice and a quartet of viols, although examples using two voices, and three or five viols, also exist. Byrd continued to write consort songs long after the form had fallen out of favour with his younger contemporaries; all the polyphonic songs in his 1588 collection originated as solo pieces with viol accompaniment, and his last publication from 1611 also includes several such items. Most of the items in Dowland's four books of songs also offer the option of performance as consort songs. Although superseded in the public taste in England by the Madrigal during the 1580s, the consort song style contributed to a great extent to the development of the verse anthem in the work of Byrd and Gibbons.


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