Podcast 2: Sound and Song


with Bruce R. Smith (University of California), Perry Mills (King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon), Chris Marsh (Queen’s University, Belfast), and The Carnival Band.

In this podcast James interviews Bruce, Perry and Chris to find out what kind of sounds Nashe heard every day. We follow Nashe from the countryside to the city, courtesy of Perry’s reading of a noisy passage from William Baldwin’s Beware the Cat (1561). Bruce invites us to think about why sound was so important in the Elizabethan world, and to listen to some sounds of London past and present. With the help of The Carnival Band, Chris introduces us to some of the hit songs – ballads – that Nashe listened to, as well as a book Nashe wrote that was turned into a ballad, Christs Teares over Jerusalem (1593).

Bruce Smith’s contribution is based on his ground-breaking study, The Acoustic World of Early Modern England: Attending to the O-Factor (University of Chicago Press, 1999).

Perry Mills is Deputy Head at King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon and the Director of ‘Edwards Boys’, ‘one of the hottest tickets in town’ (Clare Smout), whose repertoire now includes Nashe’s Summers Last Will and Testament.

Chris Marsh’s contribution is based on his book Music and Society in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2010), and his current research as the Principle Investigator of an AHRC-funded project, 'Hit Songs and their Significance in Seventeenth-Century England'.

All of the songs heard in this podcast, performed by The Carnival Band, will be available on the ‘Hit Songs’ website in 2018/19.