The Origins of the Genre of the English Masque

UDC [78.7.034] (410.1)

Alla Sokolova
The Odessa National A. V. Nezhdanova Academy of Music, Odessa.

ORCID 0000-0002-4841-6342


Keywords: Masque, “Mummers”, dance, costume, Tudor dynasty, Italian “intermedio”.

Abstract. This paper aims to analyze the scientific works of leading British researchers to identify the origins of the stages of the formation of the English Masques genre, the influence of continental culture on the Masques genre, understanding the specific features of the first prototypes of the Masques, as well as the “early” Tudor Masques, including the Masques of the times of Henry VIII and Elizabeth І.
Research methodology. Twenty-one publications by leading English scholars on this subject are considered, including archival data and historical choirs. The materials of the scientific literature are studied using logical, historical, chronological, problem-chronological and historical-retrospective methods.
Results. It has been revealed that Masque is a musical-theatrical performance, a stylized hybrid, where acting, dancing, chorus, musical interlude, poetry, masquerade costume, and stage design are closely intertwined and interact with each other. The origins of English Masques date back to the folk traditions and customs of England, the traditions of Christmas or seasonal festivals, and the development and formation of Masques was influenced directly by Italian and French culture. However, the English Masques had specific genre peculiarities inherent in the exclusively English version of the musicaltheatrical performance.
The masques become a key pastime in the Tudor royal court, where the royal court play an important role.
Novelty. In this paper, an attempt has been made to comprehensively investigate the origins of the English Masque genre, as well as to characterize the influence of continental European culture on the development of early English Masques.
The practical significance. The materials of this study can be used at lectures and seminars on the history of foreign culture, theory and history of culture in secondary and higher education institutions.

Author Biography.

Alla Sokolova, Ph.D. (Pedagogical Sciences), The Odessa National A. V. Nezhdanova Academy of Music, Odessa.


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Published: March 10, 2020.

Vol 17 No 1 (2020).