Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 May 2020
This chapter describes the educational institutions of post-Reformation England and the conflicted role music, theater, and dance played in English life and educational schema. According to English conduct books and prescriptive literature, music and dance were necessary skills for accomplished gentlemen and gentlewomen to possess; they might also be useful for students at charity schools, who sought socio-economic improvement through marriage or the procurement of apprenticeships. Yet, as many scholars have noted, there was also a strong suspicion and overt antipathy toward music-making, playacting, and dancing – some religious thinkers believed that these activities could lead to lasciviousness, decadence, and effeminacy. Others expressed concern that female students might develop inappropriate relationships with their music and dance teachers.
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