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This project aims to explore the relationship between French airs de cour and English ayres (or airs) in the early 17th century. Although the first collection of airs de cour was published in 1571 by Adrian LeRoy, airs de cour were most popular was in the 17th century during the reign of Louis the XIII, with composers the Pierre Guédron, Antoine Boësset and Etienne Moulinié. The popularity of the English ayre began with John Dowland’s publication First Booke of Songes or Ayres in 1597 and continued with composers such as Thomas Campion and John Danyel. There are apparent similarities between these songs and influences between the two. It seems the term air was popularized by the French and made its way to England. Both songs are strophic and tend to use homophonic textures. This project will investigate the similarities, differences, and influences between these songs by focusing primarily on airs with lute accompaniment by French composers Pierre Guédron, Antoine Boësset and Etienne Moulinié, and English composers John Dowland, Thomas Campion and John Danyel.

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