Lute Music by Adam Cockerham Gets Us Into the Shakespearean Mood

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Earlier this week, lutenist Adam Cockerham paid WQXR a visit, getting us in a perfectly normal Shakespearean mood. The instrument, which developed out of the oud and is a forerunner of the modern guitar, enjoyed great popularity in Europe during the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Cockerham closed out his performance with two pieces, “Tarleton’s Jigg” and “Tarleton’s Resurrection.” They were written by John Dowland — one of the most prominent composers for the lute — and named for Richard Tarleton, a famous actor and clown of Elizabethan England, active about a generation before Shakespeare. According to Cockerham, he was actually an inspiration for some of Shakespeare’s similarly comic-oriented characters, including Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Yorick from Hamlet.

Take a listen and be sure to listen all weekend for some fine Shakespeare-inspired music — and some great giveaways.