That Old and Antique Song We Heard Last Night

DuffinNow, good Cesario, but that piece of song,
That old and antique song we heard last night.
Twelfth Night (2.4.3)

Rebecca Sheir, host of our Shakespeare Unlimited series with the Folger Shakespeare Library, interviews Ross W. Duffin, professor at Case Western Reserve University, about musical hints in Shakespeare that have been flying over the heads of most audiences and readers for 400 years.

Listen to the podcast here.

Duffin is the author of the award-winning Shakespeare’s Songbook (2004), a title that only suggests the book’s broader story. Duffin includes the songs performed within Shakespeare’s plays—but also those that are not sung, but simply alluded to. Familiar to audiences of the day, these songs’ words or phrases added meaning to the plays—long-lost implications and suggestions that his book seeks to restore.