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The Sense of SoundMusical Meaning in France, 1260-1330$
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Emma Dillon

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199732951

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732951.001.0001

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(p.92) 3 Charivari
The Sense of Sound

Emma Dillon

Oxford University Press

This chapter contrasts the sound of the everyday city with one of the more radical occurrences that could take place in that environment: the noisy ritual of charivari. The chapter begins with exploration of documentary records of charivari in synodal statutes, comparing them to records of permitted civic rituals, with particular attention to sonic prohibitions. It contrasts the ecclesiastical record with the highly contrived representation of charivari in the Roman de Fauvel, exposing the gap between charivaric sound and its written record. In illustrating how such transgressive sounds were translated into durable archive, it demonstrates how music itself was one surprising medium for representing charivari, and how there was an affinity between certain kinds of musical sounds and the unruly sonority of the living ritual.

Keywords:   Charivari, Roman de Fauvel, motet, sottes chansons, fatras

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