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Commedia

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Full-Text Articles in Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture

Music And The Act Of Song In Dante’S ‘Purgatorio’ And ‘Paradiso’, Kevin Brownlee Dec 2018

Music And The Act Of Song In Dante’S ‘Purgatorio’ And ‘Paradiso’, Kevin Brownlee

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Journal of Dante Studies

The present paper explores the relation between the vernacular words used to designate the Act of Song, and the inscribed texts of the Sung Music itself, by considering a set of key cases first in Purgatory and then in Paradise. It focuses on important moments of structural and literary transition, at the same time as showing how sung sacred texts relate to each other (and to other kinds of passages) in important functional ways. I examine how song works in five key moments of the protagonist’s journey: the exit from the final terrace of the Purgatorial mountain, and the ...


Singing For Dante In ‘Purgatorio’ 30–31, Helena Phillips-Robins Dec 2018

Singing For Dante In ‘Purgatorio’ 30–31, Helena Phillips-Robins

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Journal of Dante Studies

This essay investigates types of sociality enacted through song, as depicted in Dante’s Earthly Paradise. The first section of the essay argues that the singing of Psalm 30 (In te, Domine, speravi) in Purgatorio 30 is a way of enacting a particular mode of compassion. In the second section of the essay I argue that Dante’s depiction of Psalm 30—together with his depiction of the antiphon sung in Purgatorio 31, the Asperges me—invites a devotional response from the reader. The sociality of prayer can involve not only the characters, but also the readers of the Commedia ...


“Temprando Col Dolce L’Acerbo”: Instrumental And Vocal Polyphony In The ‘Commedia’, Francesco Ciabattoni Dec 2018

“Temprando Col Dolce L’Acerbo”: Instrumental And Vocal Polyphony In The ‘Commedia’, Francesco Ciabattoni

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Journal of Dante Studies

This essay tracks the historical-musicological context of the lemma “organi” / “organo” as it appears in Purg. 9.144 and Par. 17.44. Drawing from medieval treatises and monks’ descriptions such as Raban Maur, Notkerus Balbulus, Baldric of Dol, Aelred of Rievaulx, and Wulstan, the author uses intertextual evidence to show that Purg. 9.144 (“quando a cantar con organi si stea”) evokes a great pipe organ as was found in some medieval churches. The essay also argues that Par. 17.43–44 (“come viene ad orecchia / dolce armonia da organo”) should be understood as a polyphonic organum that serves the ...


“Scores For A Particular Chemical Orchestra”: The ‘Commedia’ And The Matter Of Sound In Osip Mandelstam’S ‘Conversation About Dante’, Andrea Gazzoni Dec 2018

“Scores For A Particular Chemical Orchestra”: The ‘Commedia’ And The Matter Of Sound In Osip Mandelstam’S ‘Conversation About Dante’, Andrea Gazzoni

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Journal of Dante Studies

This paper discusses the implications of the wide-ranging use of sound in Osip Mandelstam’s 1933 essay “Conversation about Dante,” a landmark in the twentieth-century reception of Dante. With a special focus on the sound mo-tives incorporated in Mandelstam’s description of the Commedia, the Con-versation is analyzed as a study in the receptiveness of the reader, as it is acti-vated by the poetic speech of Dante in a call-and-response relation. At the same time, the paper explores issues of individuation, as reading through sound brings the reader back to his or her historicity and presentness, and of trans-formation, as ...