Music always played an important role in the theatre. In the 17th century music was an inherent part of the staging, not only of the operas that appeared in the Low Countries during that century, but also of the plays. In a large number of plays music is a structural element of the text in songs or in choruses. Moreover each production appealed to musicians for the accompaniment, the creation of an atmosphere, as an intermezzo, etc. Up to now only tentative studies about the musical dimension of the 17th century theatre in the Low Countiries have been published. The project will consider the literary and musicological aspects as well as the dramaturgical aspects of the music, on the one hand in Amsterdam, where from the beginning of the century a professional theatre existed, on the other hand in the rest of the Netherlands and in Flanders where the plays were usually performed by the rhetoricians, although in some towns there was an evolution towards a professional theatre. The project will research the importance of the musical dimension on the 17th century stage on the basis of litarary and musical parameters concerning the production, the authors and the performers, as well as the public, paying special attention to institutional, geographical, gender and genre differences.