A consort may be "whole", that is, all instruments of the same family. For example, a set of viols played together would be considered a whole consort. A "broken" consort would consist of instruments from various families. For example, a broken consort could consist of viols and lute playing together. The term "broken consort" is of 20th century origin. It seems to derive from the term "broken music" referring to making divisions on a melody. The term consort in the 17th century referred to different instruments consorting together rather than a set of instruments of the same type.
Composers of consort music during the Elizabethan era include John Dowland, Anthony Holborne, and William Byrd. The principal Jacobean era composers included Thomas Lupo, Orlando Gibbons, John Coprario, and Alfonso Ferrabosco. Later 17th-century composers included Christopher Simpson, William Lawes, and Henry Purcell.
Culture: The Joy of Sax; Peter Bacon Traces the History and Current State of That Magical, Curly Bit of Brass, the Saxophone -and the Part It Plays in This Year's Lichfield Festival
Jun 28, 2004; Byline: Peter Bacon Musical instruments may have relatively short gestation periods -there was surely only the wink of a...