Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology

Versuch über John Dowland und das Populäre

April 2019, 23. Jahrgang, Heft 90, pp 5-24

Essay on John Dowland and Popularity
The article investigates the possibilities and limits of regarding John Dowland and his music as »popular«, recently promoted in the aftermath of Sting’s Dowland-recordings. This well-established image of Dowland’s historical and contemporary reception is somewhat precarious. While on the one hand certainly not engaged in emphatic popular music of his time and decidedly considering himself a learned musician, Dowland’s marketing strategies, resulting in the creation of a public aesthetic self, on the other hand produce points of contact for today’s perspectives of popularity. Analysis of the song Flow my teares (Lachrimae) exemplarily tries to transfer questions of authenticity and masquerade to Dowland’s music. It reveals a playing with ›popular‹ as well as with ›learned‹ elements and their successful blending is offered as a possible cause for Dowland’s continuous, broad and immediate appeal.

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