I seem to remember reading about Purcell being particularly targeted by
this kind of mirthy-ful mis-attribution. My memory can well be wrong.
Most of Purcell's music was published posthumously and it was very
prolific (800 works for someone who died at age 36). Playford, the
publisher of the Orpheus Britannicus, may have had an interest in
stretching the attributions of (particularly bawdy) pieces to a famous
and respected musician, if only just for fun and financial gain --
I am a little bit suspicious that such a high brow musician could also
be the celebrated author of so many popular tavern songs. It is not
impossible that he actually wrote 200 songs and 50 catches, all the
while composing more serious stuff on the side just to make a living,
but it does not seem impossible either that among those 250 very profane
works some popular tunes directly issued from the taverns found their
way under his name, for sheer publicity purposes. "Pox on you" and the
"Indian queen" might be the fruits of the same mind, but did he have
time to do both really? I admit I don't have any solid proof, but I am
also highly suspicious of English publishing practices at the time
(before the first copyrights law) . I would be happy to be proven wrong
and recognize a truly ubiquitous genius. Also, theater music was
definitely a source of income, but catches were unlikely to provide much
financial support to the composer, while they would be for a publisher.
Just imagine if J.S. Bach was credited by a contemporary publisher with
a song entitled "Once, twice, thrice, I Julia tried", would that raise
an eye brow?? Just curious: did Mozart compose anything we'd consider
"bawdy" or tavern material?? Or other composers, besides Lasso??
On 08/09/2018 10:06 PM, howard posner wrote:
On Aug 9, 2018, at 9:15 PM, Alain Veylit <al...@musickshandmade.com> wrote:
Like Henry Purcell, who seems to have found his name attached to a very large
number of bawdy songs in 17th century England, if I recall correctly.
Is there any reason to think he didn’t write the music for all those catches?
I’m not aware that his authorship has ever been questioned.
He lived in an age of relaxed sexual mores and worked a great deal in the
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