Between about 1580 and 1690, early modern England experienced three interrelated developments: first, the growth of a successful commercial popular music industry, centred on London, which served a socially broad national market; secondly, the development of political parties, emerging from the political and religious turmoil of the period, which impinged significantly upon the newly burgeoning popular music industry and its markets; thirdly, a substantial increase in the per capita consumption of alcoholic drinks across all social classes, for reasons of sociability rather than health or nutrition. This article explores the unexpected effects of these changes on cultures of politics, drink and song across the whole period. In particular, it explores the way in which the Cavaliers of the 1650s and the new ‘Tory’ party of the 1680s used the medium of song to encourage excessive drinking and the political and social denigration of sobriety in order to promote loyal obedience.
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