Most delicate Musicke
In the 16th century the Church of England was convinced that all art led to sin. The human being’s fate was thus predestined. Stephen Gosson described the downward spiral caused by the arts in his “Schoole of Abuse” (1579):
„...from Pyping to playing, from play to pleasure, from pleasure to slouth, from slouth to sleepe, from sleepe to sinne, from sinne to death, from death to the devill. “
And still, or maybe because of these restrictions, an immense artistic force is found in the masterpieces of vocal and instrumental polyphony of the time. Renaissance composers such as William Byrd, Christopher Tye and Antony Holborne combine the most impressive compositional craftmanship with the melancholic stance of this period in English history.