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The songs of the period reflect the manners and tastes of all stations of its society and the range of emotions of its people. (Randy L. Neighbarger 1992).
The London theatre throughout the preceding years of the preeminence of Elizabeth was an exhilarating place. In a city of some hundred thousand people, where approximately fifteen to twenty thousand people attend the theatre every week, even if plays were performed throughout noontime, everybody had to work.
In that Era, music was new and Shakespeare was quick to make out the capability of music to acclimatize to the stage. Though Shakespeare did use several new masterpieces, numerous of the songs used in his dramatic works were formerly written songs, sometimes even popular music, adapted to fit the work.
Shakespeare's frequent tributes to the power of music, his apt use of musical terms and his many allusions to musical instruments, are, of course, well known. There were many good composers and theoretical writers hard at work during Shakespeare's time, and it is certain he had knowledge of these men and their works and made good use of it. Of course, in those days music was an important branch of education, as important as Latin or Fencing. (Randy L. Neighbarger 1992)
Diamond defines, there were two major kinds of music, art and vocal that used in the drama of Shakespeare. The art song was a convoyed solo song, typically only one stanza in length, through lyrics of greater complication than that of the admired ballad. These songs could be recently composed, or tailored for the framework of the play. (Diamond, Harold, 1991, pg 65).
Further Shakespeare exploited in his plays was vocal music usually ballads. This music was usually more than three stanzas of three to four stresses on every line. These songs would have been employed simply in part and then cut off by the end of the piece. There was a dual motive for this: partly as the extent of the majority of the popular ballads of the day was merely too great to be used with easiness, and also as the lyric of the portion all together might not be corresponding to the stratagem of the play, as a stanza or two might fit it adequately.
One new type of the popular music was the instrumental music. Though there is little left of the precise instrumental melodies used on Shakespeare's stage, what still exists is in the similar style as the well-liked instrumental music of the time. The miscellany of the range suggests that instruments were kept back to short as well as simple pieces, such as dances or marches.
According to Neighbarger, Music played two basic functions on the Elizabethan stage. It provided a realistic touch of pageantry and excitement in those scenes where music would normally be found in real-life situations, such as secular and religious ceremonies, battles, and banquets. Music also played a commentarial role, communicating to the audience some aspect of the
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