Use this resource to explore early modern English ayres—songs c. 1590–1660 featuring the clear expression of text. View editions featuring variant lyrics and musical notation; read scholarly essays about cultural context; and listen to audio recordings of historically informed performances.

Our beta website features the songs of Henry Lawes’s 1653 Ayres and Dialogues, a previously unedited compilation of songs in the declamatory style, emphasizing the speech-like rhythms of verse. The next stage of the project will focus on the ayres of the Shakespearean stage.

How to Use this Resource


Table of contents of Ayres and Dialogues, For One, Two, and Three Voyces (London, 1653), Folger L638, copy 1, A2v. By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library.