Peter Philips (c.1560-1628) was an English organist, composer, priest and spy. He was embroiled in multifarious intersecting musical, social, religious and political networks linking him with some of the key international players in these spheres. Despite the undeniable quality of his music, Philips does not fit easily into an overarching, progressive view of music history in which developments taking place in centres judged by historians to be of importance are given precedence over developments elsewhere, which are dismissed as peripheral. These principal loci of musical development are given prominence over secondary ones because of their perceived significance in terms of later music. However, a consideration of the networks in which Philips was involved suggests that he was anything but at the periphery of the musical, cultural, religious and political life of his day. In this book, Philips’s life and music serve as a touchstone for a discussion of various kinds of network in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The study of networks enriches our appreciation and understanding of musicians and the context in which they worked. The wider implication of this approach is a constructive challenge to orthodox historiographies of Western art music in the Early Modern Period.
'This is a fascinating … tome'. Early Music Review ’The essays are largely built on new research, and provide both new insights and valuable background information. This book will be a valuable addition to the collections of specialists and music libraries.’ The Consort ’We gain a fuller understanding of composers and their music by viewing them in their historical context: this assertion has been central to musicological research for the past several decades, and it is the premise of this volume of essays. The contributors offer multiple perspectives on the relationships among early modern composers and musicians and the social, cultural, and religious milieux in which they lived and worked.' Sixteenth Century Journal XLV/4 (2014)