When Drake set sail from Plymouth harbour on 15 November 1577 at the start of his epic circumnavigation of the world he had with him on board the Pelican four professional musicians and at least one trumpeter... from the Introduction.
The three epoch-making voyages of Columbus (1492) Vasco da Gama (1497 and Magellan (1519 inaugurated the Age of Exploration the most intensive era of discovery in the history of the world. This book seeks to ascertain what part musicians played in the patterns of settlement which still determine many of the cultural and linguistic boundaries of the present-day world. The focus is on Englishmen but account will betaken of musicians representing the other leading colonial nations of Europe-France Spain Portugal and Holland.
This study deals with the hundreds of musicians who left their native country to serve on long-distance ships in the years between the accession of Elizabeth I and the end of the 17th century. Among the many subjects covered are musical duties at sea musicians as ambassadors on land musical trinkets for barter musicians of the East India Company musical instruments presented by the trading companies trumpeters drum and fife players amateur musicians musicians in the colonization of North America and much more.