Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Andy 60s: Music References By William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet (Parting is such sweet sorrow) : A painting by Frank Madox Brown (1870).

"Who is it in the press that calls on me,
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music..."

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616) made more than 500 references to music in his plays, sonnets, and poems. Do you know from which play the above quotation came from? No romance here, but a tragedy indeed.

Below are 6 meager samplings of some of them. Images are also shown of musical instruments used during that period.
 Musicians: Baroque Artists, Dutch; Artist: Dirck Hals; Oil On Wood; The Hermitage; St. Petersburg, Russia, 1623.
It is my soul that calls upon my name.
How silver-sweet sound lover's tongue by night,
Like softest music to attending ears!

(Romeo and Juliet: 2: 2)
A guitar-like musical instrument used during the Elizabethan period in England in the 14th and 15th Century, the golden age of English history, when Queen Elizabeth I was the ruler.
Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits (1980) composed by Mark Knopfler.

The Taming of The Shrew (Katharina and Petruchio); Artist: Washington Alston 1809; South Carolina US.

Preposterous ass, that never was so far to know the cause that music was ordain'd!  Was it not to refresh the mind of man after his studies or his usual pain?

(The Taming of the Shrew: 3: 1)

A modern interpretation from Bristol's Old Vic in 2018 supplied by Mature Times

If music be the food of love, play on...

(Twelfth Night: 1: 1)
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sound,
Is fit for treason, stratagems, and spoils...

(The Merchant of Venice: 5: 1)
The Egyptian Queen: 19th Century engraving: Granger Collection New York

Give me some music; music, moody food
Of us that trade in love

(Anthony and Cleopatra: 2: 5)

US President Ulysses Grant asks Senator Carl Schurz to play on a flute he proffers using the same Shakespearean quote.

Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?
Call me what instrument you will,
Though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me.

(Hamlet: 3: 2)
Love theme from 'Romeo and Juliet' called, A Time for Us' by Henry Mancini in 1968.

Images and Videos from Google and YouTube Subscribers.


facebook chats said...

Nice to know that William Shakespeare was nuts about music.

Andy Young
Yes he was Stephen. I guess it's natural for most, even in the 16th and early 17th Century.

“The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils... Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.”

― Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

facebook chats said...

Daisy Koh
He also wrote “If music be the food of love play on...” 12 Night😁

Andy Young
Yes Daisy, It's at #3 on the posting. From Orsino. Thanks very much.

Irene Yap
Most interesting read Andy!! Just great!!

Andy Young
Thanks Irene. You've always been very encouraging. Glad you like the post. And thanks to the others who LIKE this post.


How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
(The Merchant of Venice, 5.1.63-66)

I have a reasonable good ear in music.
(A Midsummer Night's Dream, 4.1.28)

What did thy song bode, lady?
Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan,
And die in music:—
Willow, willow, willow.
(Othello, 5.2.292-5)

Most heavenly music!
It nips me unto listening, and thick slumber
Hangs upon mine eyes.
(Pericles, 5.1.293-95), Pericles

Taken from:

JAMES KWOK said...

Thanks for your postings - always entertaining, educational an bringing back memories.
I'm thinking of the many movie adaptations of Shakespeare plays including 'West Side Story' based on 'Romeo and Juliet'; the 'Lion King' based on 'Hamlet'.

You will remember this line from 'Twelfth Night': 'If music be the food of love, play on."

So my yang berhormat abang, please blog on.

Cheers and blessings.

facebook chats said...

Stephen Han
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Thanks to the above readers who LIKE this post.

P. Brady said...

An inspiring reminder of the fact that music should always be seen as a form of art, linked with arts and compliments the work of artists and writers alike. Indeed, “if music be the food of love, play on.”

Cedric Collars said...

Shakespeare quoted sonnets and verses and Beethoven in his Moonlight Sonata produced music only and with the passage of time our present-day musicians produce lyrics with music which is a combination of Shakespeare and Beethoven rolled into one and we now have the likes of Paul Anka, David Gates and Bread and the Beatles. Yes, we have evolved into a more artistic culture. Enjoy the evolution my friends.