There is a striking similarity between Marian devotional songs and secular love songs of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Two disparate genres--one sacred, the other secular; one Latin, the other vernacular--both praise an idealized, impossibly virtuous woman. Each does so through highly stylized derivations of traditional medieval song forms--Marian prayer derived from earlier Gregorian chant, and love songs and lyrics from medieval courtly song. Yet despite their obvious similarities, the two musical and poetic traditions have rarely been studied together. Author David J. Rothenberg takes on this task with remarkable success, producing a useful and broad introduction to Marian music and liturgy, and then coupling that with an incisive comparative analysis of these devotional forms and the words and music of secular love songs of the period. The Flower of Paradise examines the interplay of Marian devotional and secular poetics within polyphonic music from ca. 1200 to ca. 1500. Through case studies of works that demonstrate a specific symbolic resonance between Marian devotion and secular song, the book illustrates the distinctive ethos of this period in European culture. Rothenberg makes use of an impressive command of liturgical and religious studies, literature and poetry, and art history to craft a study with wide application across disciplinary boundaries. With its broad scope and unique, incisive analysis, this book will open up new ways of thinking about the history and development of secular and sacred music and the Marian tradition for scholars, students, and anyone with an interest in medieval and Renaissance religious culture.
It has become widely accepted among musicologists that medieval music is most profitably studied from interdisciplinary perspectives that situate it within broad cultural contexts. The origins of this consensus lie in a decisive reorientation of the field that began approximately four decades ago. For much of the twentieth century, research on medieval music had focused on the discovery and evaluation of musical and theoretical sources. The 1970s and 1980s, by contrast, witnessed calls for broader methodologies and more fully contextual approaches that in turn anticipated the emergence of the so-called 'New Musicology'. The fifteen essays in the present collection explore three interrelated areas of inquiry that proved particularly significant: the liturgy, sources (musical and archival), and musical symbolism. In so doing, these essays not only acknowledge past achievements but also illustrate how this broad, interdisciplinary approach remains a source for scholarly innovation.
The Oxford Anthology of Western Music, Volume One: The Earliest Notations to the Early Eighteenth Century, accompanies chapters 1-11 of The Oxford History of Western Music, College Edition*, by Richard Taruskin and Christopher H. Gibbs (9780195097627). From ancient Greek music and Christian plainchant to the keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti, this comprehensive volume includes a rich assortment of landmark musical scores. These include works found in many surveys as well as important pieces that are rarely anthologized, including Antoine de Févin's Missa super Ave Maria; Adrian Willaert's Benedicta es; the Overture and Act 3 of Jean-Baptiste Lully's Atys; Dietrich Buxtehude's Durch Adams Fall; and an aria from Jean-Philippe Rameau's Castor et Pollux. Designed with students in mind, this unique collection includes introductory essays at the beginning of each piece and an index of names and terms. A corresponding set of recordings* (2 CDs) contains all musical examples from the anthology in high-quality MP3 format (9780199768288).