'Dialogues of Byrd and Sidney: performing incompleteness'

Katie Bank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article offers a reading of Byrd’s setting of Sidney’s text ‘O you that hear this voice’ from Byrd’s 1588 publication Psalms, sonets, and songs of sadness and piety that positions the piece as a practical performance of the negotiation surrounding changes in episteme that unfolded over the seventeenth century. Musical analysis of William Byrd’s settings of poetry by Philip Sidney has proven to present significant hermeneutic challenges. This article presents an observation of an anomaly within one of Byrd’s settings that echoes many similar challenges Sidney scholars have encountered when analysing the poet and his works on their own. This incongruity in Byrd’s setting of Sidney’s verse can be read as related to contemporary concern regarding the role of the arts in understanding and trusting sense perception, as well as the role of the performer(s) in the creation of musical meaning in late-sixteenth century England.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdoi: 10.1111/rest.12224
JournalRenaissance Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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