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Historical references to London's sounds

A database of several hundred historical descriptions and references to London's sounds. They're drawn mainly from primary sources such as autobiographies, diaries and statutes, as well as novels written around the times they depict.

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 Pub life, music and song   1 3     1 5 3
 City-wide celebrations     3 2   3 3  
 Toasts, dinners and feasts     2 1       1
 Theatre and cinema audiences     2 1 1 1    
 Music and song in theatres     2 2   2    
 Public music and song outdoors     3   1 4    
 Education: Oratory and debate   1            
 Gambling and fairs     1 1 1 2 1  
 Sporting events   1 1 1 1      
 Families at leisure             1  
 Dancing             1  
 Local celebrations           1   1

Period referred to: 1660s

Sound category: Social > Pub life, music and song

Title of work: The Diary of Samuel Pepys

Type of publication: Diary

Author: Samuel Pepys

Year of publication: 1661

Page/volume number: 27 March 1661

Music at the Dolphin tavern in Tower Street

To the Dolphin to a dinner of Mr. Harris's, where Sir Williams both and my Lady Batten, and her two daughters, and other company, where a great deal of mirth, and there staid till 11 o'clock at night; and in our mirth I sang and sometimes fiddled (there being a noise of fiddlers there), and at last we fell to dancing, the first time that ever I did in my life, which I did wonder to see myself to do.

[The Dolphin was one of London's larger taverns and was situated in Tower Street. See the discussion at www.pepysdiary.com. A 'noise' was a non-pejorative term for a group of musicians. - IMR]

Period referred to: 1660s

Sound category: Social > Pub song and music

Title of work: The Diary of Samuel Pepys

Type of publication: Diary

Author: Samuel Pepys

Year of publication: 1660

Page/volume number: February 1660

Songs with Lock and Pursell

After dinner I back to Westminster Hall with him in his coach. Here I met with Mr. Lock and Pursell, Masters of Music, and with them to the Coffee House, into a room next the water, by ourselves, where we spent an hour or two [. . .] Here we had variety of brave Italian and Spanish songs, and a canon for eight voices, which Mr. Lock had lately made on these words: "Domine salvum fac Regem," an admirable thing.

[The 'Pursell' mentioned here cannot have been the composer Henry Purcell, who had only been born the previous year. Purcell's father, however, was a gentleman of the Chapel Royal, and sang at the coronation of King Charles II of England.]

Period referred to: 1660s

Sound category: Social > Pub song and music

Title of work: The Diary of Samuel Pepys

Type of publication: Diary

Author: Samuel Pepys

Year of publication: 1660

Page/volume number: January 1660

‘Very merry and drawn on with one song after another till it came to be so late’

Then wrote letters to Hinchinbroke and sealed them at Will's, and after that went home, and thence to the Half Moon, where I found the Captain and Mr. Billingsly and Newman, a barber, where we were very merry, and had the young man that plays so well on the Welsh harp.

[ . . .]

Thence we went to the Green Dragon, on Lambeth Hill, both the Mr. Pinkney's, Smith, Harrison, Morrice, that sang the bass, Sheply and I, and there we sang of all sorts of things, and I ventured with good success upon things at first sight, and after that I played on my flageolet, and staid there till nine o'clock, very merry and drawn on with one song after another till it came to be so late.