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The Sense of Sound – Musical Meaning in France, 1260-1330 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Sense of Sound: Musical Meaning in France, 1260-1330

Emma Dillon


Among the most memorable innovations of music and poetry in thirteenth-century France was a genre that seemed to privilege sound over sense. The polytextual motet is especially well-known to scholars of the Middle Ages for its tendency to conceal complex allegorical meaning in a texture that in performance made words less, not more audible. It is with such musical sound that this book is concerned. What did it mean to create a musical effect so potentially independent from the meaning of words? Is it possible such supermusical effects themselves had significance? The Sense of Sound offers a ra ... More

Keywords: Motet, medieval music, sound, soundscape, Books of Hours, Paris, Adam de la Halle, prayer, Montpellier Codex, madness, charivari, marginalia, Bakhtin

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199732951
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732951.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Emma Dillon, author
University of Pennsylvania