Music, Body, and Desire in Medieval Culture: Hildegard of Bingen to Chaucer
Ranging chronologically from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries and thematically from Latin to vernacular literary modes, this book challenges standard assumptions about the musical cultures and philosophies of the European Middle Ages. Engaging a wide range of premodern texts and contexts, from the musicality of sodomy in twelfth-century polyphony to Chaucer s representation of pedagogical violence in the Prioress s Tale, from early Christian writings on the music of the body to the plainchant and poetry of Hildegard of Bingen, the author argues that medieval music was quintessentially a practice of the flesh.
The book reveals a sonorous landscape of flesh and bone, pleasure and pain, a medieval world in which erotic desire, sexual practice, torture, flagellation, and even death itself resonated with musical significance and meaning. In its insistence on music as an integral part of the material cultures of the Middle Ages, the book presents a revisionist account of an important aspect of premodern European civilization that will be of compelling interest to historians of literature, music, religion, and sexuality, as well as scholars of cultural, gender, and queer studies.
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Alan of Lille allegory Ambrose antiphon argues Augustine Augustine's Baudri bodily cantus chant chapter Chaucer Cistercian cithara Clement clergeon conductus death described desire devotional discussion divine early Christian embodied erotic Eurydice exegetical flesh Gertrude Guidonian Hand harmony harp Helfta Hildegard Hildegard of Bingen homoerotic human body Ibid imagery incarnational Jacques de Vitry language Latin Legatus Leoninus Leoninus's liturgical Lydgate manuscript Mechtild medieval musical melody metaphor Middle Ages musical body musical performance musical sonority musicology mythographer narrative nature nuns organum Orpheus Orpheus's Orphic Ovid's Ovide Ovide moralisé Ovidian passage Passion patristic Pecham's pedagogical Philomena praevia plainchant pleasure poem poet poetic polyphony practice praise Prioress's Tale produced Psalm psaltery quod religious represents resonance rhetorical Scivias sense sexual singing sodomitical somatic song soul sound Speculum strings Symphonia Thomas of Cantimpré tion torture tradition treatise twelfth century violence virga Virgin visionary Vita voice women words writings
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