Domestic Sacred Music in Jacobean England: John Amner’s Sacred Hymnes … for Voyces and Vyols (1615)
Citation:Mark Keane, 'Domestic Sacred Music in Jacobean England: John Amner’s Sacred Hymnes … for Voyces and Vyols (1615)'
RIAM DMusPerf Mark Keane.pdf (Doctorate thesis) 5.573Mb
The choral and instrumental compositions of John Amner have been eclipsed by other English Renaissance composers, yet his printed collection of music from 1615, Sacred Hymnes of 3. 4. 5 and 6. Parts for Voyces and Vyols, is comparable in style, content and structure to other publications from the Elizabethan and Jacobean era. This dissertation provides a critical re-evaluation of John Amner supported by new biographical details and a more comprehensive review of the role of patronage throughout his life in order to generate a more detailed profile of the composer. It assesses his contribution of composition while Master of the Choristers at Ely Cathedral, the publication of Sacred Hymnes as an addition to the sacred domestic music market in England and the instrumental compositional output found in various collectors’ partbooks. A dichotomy in the practice of recreational music in English society is explored through a consideration of the iconography and symbolism of the title page of Sacred Hymnes, with a view to elucidating the intimate relationship between domestic musicmaking and the practices of piety and prayer. This is further developed with an analytical narrative that investigates the texts and terminal inscriptions with the aim of discovering a theme or theological ideology. The terminology associated with this small canon of music is examined and a clear differentiation between music for the domestic chamber and church chancel is established. Amner’s compositional forms and harmonic vocabulary are explored while reflecting on the role of instrumental forces and the emerging popularity of the Consort Anthem. This is enhanced by highlighting examples of compositions written for the domestic setting that found their way into choir partbooks, which either purposely or unintentionally, reanimated Renaissance church music. Finally, the legacy of Amner’s compositions is evaluated with an appraisal of English provincial choir partbooks, transcriptions and the dissemination of his Sacred Hymnes with specific reference to the collections of John Merro and Thomas Hamond. The dissertation concludes with an exploration of the manuscript inscriptions found in extant copies of Sacred Hymnes such as those belonging to Conyers Darcy. A comparative assessment of liturgical and secular sources is included to differentiate between the accompaniment style for viol consort and the organ.
Author: Keane, Mark
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available