Plague, a devastating and recurring affliction throughout the Renaissance, had a major impact on European life. Not only was pestilence a biological problem, but it was also read as a symptom of spiritual degeneracy and it caused widespread social disorder. Assembling a picture of the complex and sometimes contradictory responses to plague from medical, spiritual and civic perspectives, this book uncovers the place of music - whether regarded as an indispensable medicine or a moral poison that exacerbated outbreaks - in the management of the disease. This original musicological approach further reveals how composers responded, in their works, to the discourses and practices surrounding one of the greatest medical crises in the pre-modern age. Addressing topics such as music as therapy, public rituals and performance and music in religion, the volume also provides detailed musical analysis throughout to illustrate how pestilence affected societal attitudes toward music.
Introduction; 1. Medicine for the body and soul; 2. Sympathetic resonance, sympathetic contagion; 3. Devotions on the street and in the home; 4. The cult of St Sebastian; 5. Madrigals, Mithridates, and the plague of Milan.
Remi Chiu is Assistant Professor of Music at Loyola University Maryland. He specialises in Renaissance music history and has an interest in the history of medicine and disability studies.
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Dimensioni: 245 x 15 x 170 mm Ø 500 gr
Illustration Notes:10 b/w illus. 99 music examples
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