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Thomas Morley is concerned about you.

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Thomas Morley  (1557 – 1602) 

When you - well, a few of you, maybe - reflect on the English Madrigal School, Thomas Morley is central, mainly due to his injection of Italian flavour into the rather spotted-dickishness of the form (see notes to Orlando Gibbons for arguments to this). Like Gibbons, he studied under William Byrd, and indeed cited him as a mentor in his sacred works, but it was Morley's singable, colorful madrigals that became extraordinarily popular - think: Now is The Month of Maying; the Baby Got Back of its time. On top of this, Morley was a shrewd entrepreneur, and was granted the monopoly of music printing by Queen Elizabeth - whom he shamelessly and publicly fawned over - in 1596, promoting not only his own compositions, but the Italian madrigal in general, producing volume after volume of collected works. There is even evidence of Morley composing for Shakespeare's (a neighbour, and fellow Italophile) plays - something that surely added to his popularity and distribution network. 

Shoot, False Love, I care Not

We know what you're thinking, but this is actually just a lighthearted rebuke of Cupid's arrow. "But now I do perceive, thy art is to deceive." The author no longer fears love's power: "And every simple lover, thy falsehood can discover." It is, however, the very core of the Italian-inspired madrigal to lace everything with double entendre, so fill it in how ever you like. This piece represents Morley at the height of his fa-la-la-la-la-la-la best. 

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