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How Music Influenced English Poetry until 1750 Essay


During the period between 1650 and the 1750, there emerged many English poets. This was the period of consistent revolutions, notably the French revolution. The Great Britain at the time was a powerful country. One of such poets and a writer was Alexander pope. He was born in London between 1646 and 1717. “Rape of the lock” is considered as one of his most famous poems.

It is full of humor, as Alexander Pope himself expressed in his musical works (Durling 113). Alexander was a catholic, who revised and recited the daily verses in the catholic books. He is documented to have an exceptionally clear voice and eloquently melodious.

Most of the English writers of the 17th and the 18th century were in one way or other songwriters. A baroque style of writing was very famous at the time, as it was highly evident from 1600 to 1750, and originated from France. It evolved around the topics of affection and was used in England more so to express musical issues, which were at the time very much related to poetry.

This style engaged irregular artistic creativity. It was more related to the Catholicism ideas and later came to the general acceptance from the other European countries (Sadie 98). It was a sign of strength mixed with beauty.

This style found slowly found its way into the work of literature in England, and many writers learned much towards the religion subject during this period. John Donne and John Milton poetic powers were full of rhymes of baroque in nature or closely related. Mo re expressly said baroque was a style that enabled poets to put their work in motion.

Joseph Haydin with his friend Mozart founded the classical music in the middle of the 18th century. Beethoven, also of the 18th century, was instrumental in the classical music. Beethoven influenced many of the English poets, who came after him. His mastery in rhyming paved another more clear way in rhyming the poem lines.

Beethoven was also a poet of romantic poems. The rhyming used in the lyrics used by the composers of the 17th century was used to compose poem lines (Newell 204). In this period, the whole of the Great Britain was experiencing boost to the economy and, therefore, a conducive environment for music and performing arts was available. Thomas as Morley was an art song composer of the 16th century.

In addition, his songs were used in William Shake spear’s works and plays. One of his songs known as, “It was a Lover and his Lass” was regularly used. Most of the composers from the south of England opted more for lyrics, and that is why the poems of lyrics in nature came to take the central part in revolutionizing the old unrhymed poems. William shakes peare in his song “Sigh No More, Ladies” is intensely lyrical with regular rhymes. This is another example of how music influenced the poetry of the England.

Shakespeare, when he was writing, did not have a thought on the impact he was creating in contributing to the merger of music and poetry. John Donne, in his song ‘Go And Catch a Falling Star’ was a poet, but most of work was cited as song (Newell 202).

He was a renowned poet, but an instrument accompanied most of his poems. Music was so much tied to poetry during the 17th century. The most notable British poets and part singers were Donne Milton, Herbert, Tallis, Byrd, Gibbons, Tomkins and Weelkees. They played a crucial role in linking music to poetry.

In the above discussion, information that appertains to baroque style and sources from traditional English poetry has extensively been used. They are valuable in the sense that they harbor invaluable information concerning the music and poetry in England.

A detailed explanation on the same is given as well as the contribution that music made in the 17th and the 18th century (Newell 193). More effort has also been made in linking the old music and poetry and the modern poetry. More efforts have also been made in linking the old music and poetry with the modern one.

The above discussion has also tried to expound on the old writers experiences in their respective fields. For instance, Beethoven specialized on the romantic aspect of poetry and music, having gained much of the knowledge from William Shakespeare. Other poets and singers like John Milton and Alexander Pope inclined more on religious and political issues, which were present at the time.

Works Cited

Durling, Dwight. Georgic tradition in english poetry. Michigan: University of Michigan, 2004.

Newell, Charles. Grove dictionary of music and musicians: being the sixth volume of complete work. New York: Macmillan, 2002.

Sadie, Julie. Companion to Baroque music . California: University of California Press, 2001.

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IvyPanda. (2018, June 14). How Music Influenced English Poetry until 1750. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/how-music-influenced-english-poetry-until-1750/

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"How Music Influenced English Poetry until 1750." IvyPanda, 14 June 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/how-music-influenced-english-poetry-until-1750/.

1. IvyPanda. "How Music Influenced English Poetry until 1750." June 14, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/how-music-influenced-english-poetry-until-1750/.


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IvyPanda. 2018. "How Music Influenced English Poetry until 1750." June 14, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/how-music-influenced-english-poetry-until-1750/.

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IvyPanda. (2018) 'How Music Influenced English Poetry until 1750'. 14 June.

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