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Singing the News is the first study to concentrate on sixteenth-century ballads, when there was no regular and reliable alternative means of finding out news and information. It is a highly readable and accessible account of the important role played by ballads in spreading news during a period when discussing politics was treason. The study provides a new analytical framework for understanding the ways in which balladeers spread their messages to the masses. Jenni Hyde focusses on the melody as much as the words, showing how music helped to shape the understanding of texts. Music provided an emotive soundtrack to words which helped to shape sixteenth-century understandings of gendered monarchy, heresy and the social cohesion of the commonwealth. By combining the study of ballads in manuscript and print with sources such as letters and state records, the study shows that when their topics edged too close to sedition, balladeers were more than capable of using sophisticated methods to disguise their true meaning in order to safeguard themselves and their audience, and above all to ensure that their news hit home.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781138553477
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Jenni Hyde is Associate Vice-President of the Historical Association. A former music teacher, folk singer and classically-trained soprano, she holds a doctorate in history from the University of Manchester and a PGCE in music from Edge Hill University College. She is Honorary Researcher in History at Lancaster University and an Associate Lecturer at Liverpool Hope University. She has published articles for both journals and popular magazines.
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