Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Folger Exhibitions
• Past Exhibitions
Noyses, Sounds, and Sweet Aires
Tavern Sounds

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

"Fidlers, Who are Properly Call'd a Noise"

Tavern Sounds

Wild and raucous, English taverns were places to gather, drink, and celebrate.  Amidst the laughter and occasional brawls, visitors would have heard a group, or a noise , of fiddlers playing, ballad singers crooning, and revelers singing catches and rounds while partaking of tobacco, ale, and sack (white wine imported from Spain).


It is not surprising that music books compiled for amateur use included a number of these humorous and even salacious tunes.


This collection, with words only and no music, contains ballads, songs, and catches—typical pub fare. The engraving on the title page juxtaposes upper-class and lower-class taverns.


In the top scene, Apollo dispenses "nectar" to five drinking and smoking gentlemen at an inn. In the lower, a bagpiper provides music for dancing in a tavern signed with a "rose."



Next »
N.D. An antidote against melancholy: made up in pills. London, 1661

Additional Information

Among the ballads, songs, and catches in An antidote to melancholy, there are a number that praise the virtues of carousing: "The exaltation of a pot of good ale"; "A glee in praise of wine"; "Three several songs in praise of sack"; and "The ballad of the brewer" are just a few.

Bookmark and Share   
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623