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

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

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Annual Journal of Research 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 ...


From Casella To Cacciaguida: A Musical Progression Toward Innocence, Thomas E. Peterson 2018 University of Pennsylvania

From Casella To Cacciaguida: A Musical Progression Toward Innocence, Thomas E. Peterson

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Annual Journal of Research Studies

The essay draws an arc between the episodes of Casella and Cacciaguida under the sign of music. It explores the symmetry between the brief encounter with the minstrel who sings lines from Dante’s poetry, and the extended episode with Dante’s ancestor, who instructs him about his destiny. The symmetry is at once biographical, as the two scenes are among the most personal in the Commedia, theoretical, as they exemplify the relations between poetry and music expounded on in De vulgari eloquentia and Convivio, and theological, in a sense consistent with the writings of Augustine and Boethius. If Mars ...


Dante, Liszt, And The Alienated Agony Of Hell, Tekla Babyak 2018 University of Pennsylvania

Dante, Liszt, And The Alienated Agony Of Hell, Tekla Babyak

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Annual Journal of Research Studies

Dante Alighieri’s Inferno portrays Hell as an alienated realm in which the doomed spirits must spend eternity in isolation and regret. The Hungarian composer Franz Liszt (1811–1886) responded to this work with his Dante Symphony (1857) based on the Inferno and Purgatorio, in which he gave musical form to Dante’s textual expressions of agony. Throughout this two-movement work, Liszt offers a musical translation of the theological and emotional world portrayed in Dante’s Divina Commedia. This article examines Liszt’s evocations of silence, memory, regret, and redemption in the Dante Symphony. These evocations are enhanced by Liszt ...


Nineteenth- And Twentieth-Century Musical Adaptations Of Dante’S ‘Commedia’: ‘Dante’S Greatest Hits’, Maria Ann Roglieri 2018 University of Pennsylvania

Nineteenth- And Twentieth-Century Musical Adaptations Of Dante’S ‘Commedia’: ‘Dante’S Greatest Hits’, Maria Ann Roglieri

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Annual Journal of Research Studies

Composers through the centuries have tried to depict Dante’s Commedia in music, using Dante’s verses, characters, and design for Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, and their compositions. This paper looks at some of the trends in musical adaptations of the Commedia and also some of the “greatest hits”—in the author’s opinion. Works by James Norton, Patric Standford, Jacob ter Veldhuis, David Denniston, Franz Liszt, Donald Martino, Tod Machover, Anita Saij, Allik and Mulder, and Theodore Wiprud are discussed.


“Dentro A La Danza De Le Quattro Belle” (Purg. 31.104): Dance In Dante’S ‘Commedia’, Madison U. Sowell 2018 University of Pennsylvania

“Dentro A La Danza De Le Quattro Belle” (Purg. 31.104): Dance In Dante’S ‘Commedia’, Madison U. Sowell

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Annual Journal of Research Studies

Missing from standard reference works on Dante’s Commedia are separate entries devoted exclusively to dance or dancing. Primary sources for the history of dance in the Italian Trecento derive from tablatures (musical notations), scattered iconographic images, and literary works, such as Boccaccio’s Decameron and Dante’s Commedia. Representations of dancing in these works invariably double as a symbolic language or meta-commentary on the surrounding narrative. The interpretation of dance’s role in late medieval art and literature depends not only on the context but also on the type of dance depicted. This article focuses on the allegorical roles ...


Conversations With Francesca: Tchaikovsky, Liszt, And Wagner (And Zandonai And Granados And Rachmaninov) Go To Hell, Jess Tyre 2018 University of Pennsylvania

Conversations With Francesca: Tchaikovsky, Liszt, And Wagner (And Zandonai And Granados And Rachmaninov) Go To Hell, Jess Tyre

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Annual Journal of Research Studies

Tchaikovsky completed his tone poem Francesca da Rimini in 1876, during the period he was attending the premiere of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at Bayreuth. Critics of the work drew comparisons with the Tetralogy and faulted what seemed to be Tchaikovsky’s derivative inspiration. Indeed, the composer him-self acknowledged Wagner’s influence. In this paper, I set aside influence to consider intertextual dialogues between Tchaikovsky’s work and others by Liszt, Zandonai, Rachmaninov, and not Wagner’s Ring, but Tristan und Isolde. Drawing upon theories by Klein and Peirce, I examine parallelisms of topic, melodic contour, tonal motion, and timbral ...


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

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

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Annual Journal of Research 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 2018 University of Pennsylvania

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

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Annual Journal of Research 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 ...


Stasis And Carnal Song: Dante’S Medusa And The Siren, Fiorentina Russo 2018 University of Pennsylvania

Stasis And Carnal Song: Dante’S Medusa And The Siren, Fiorentina Russo

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Annual Journal of Research Studies

In his epic journey, Dante experiences entrapments, digressions, and ultimately new apertures, leading him forward on his journey to Paradise. The hag-siren of Purgatorio 19 is one of the primary figures, whose song sways the poet in a moment of reverie, embodying a de-mobilizing entrapment most unique and perilous within the poem. While the patristic and medieval traditions have traditionally portrayed the siren as a figure for the deleterious effects of music on the soul, Dante scholarship has glossed the dolce serena as a coordinate for the Medusa of Inferno 9. The siren's association with the Medusa implicitly harkens ...


Ironizing Ugolino, David Heinsen 2018 University of Pennsylvania

Ironizing Ugolino, David Heinsen

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Annual Journal of Research Studies

This article analyzes an adaptation of Canto 33 of the Inferno, a musical setting of Count Ugolino composed by Gaetano Donizetti (1828). The composition is first presented within the frame of its contemporaneous aesthetic, one that treats Ugolino as a pathos-inspired tale of human suffering. Donizetti’s composition, however, fails to align itself to this tragic reading due to structural contradictions that prevent the listener from sympathizing with the musical agent. To address this divergence, the article extends the most recent theories of musical narrative by Byron Almén and Michael Klein to propose an ironic reading of the work, essentially ...


Dante Decrypted: Musica Universalis In The Textual Architecture Of The ‘Commedia’, C.S. Adoyo 2018 University of Pennsylvania

Dante Decrypted: Musica Universalis In The Textual Architecture Of The ‘Commedia’, C.S. Adoyo

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Annual Journal of Research Studies

For seven centuries scholars have speculated about the structural design of Dante’s Commedia but remain perplexed by the poem’s comprehensive ar-chitecture. This study undertakes a strictly empirical quantitative analysis of Dante’s magnum opus to address this lacuna. The outcome of this analysis enumerates the correspondence between the foundational rationale of the Commedia’s textual architecture and both physical and metaphysical concepts of Ptolemaic cosmology and Pythagorean principles of harmony and propor-tion as described by Boethius. The poem manifests a musically and mathemat-ically meticulous design conceptualized as musica universalis and expressed as musica instrumentalis that echoes Paschal and ...


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

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

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Annual Journal of Research 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 ...


“Canzone... T’Ho Allevato Per Figliuola D’Amore”: Three Songs Of Love In Dante’S ‘Vita Nuova’, Alfred R. Crudale 2018 University of Pennsylvania

“Canzone... T’Ho Allevato Per Figliuola D’Amore”: Three Songs Of Love In Dante’S ‘Vita Nuova’, Alfred R. Crudale

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Annual Journal of Research Studies

This paper examines the poetics and musicality of three canzoni of Dante’s Vita Nuova and explores how four fundamental musical elements produce specific meanings while evoking a desired emotion in the reader. “Donne ch’avete intelletto d’amore,” the first canzone of the Vita Nuova, initiates Dante’s poetry of praise as it contributes to the elation of the first third of the work. The two later canzoni, “Donna pietosa” and “Li occhi dolenti,” however, transition the Vita Nuova to a more somber and finally grief-stricken piece. Analysis of the musical elements of these three poems demonstrates how Dante ...


Magis Brugge: Visualizing Marcus Gerards’ 16th-Century Map Through Its 21st-Century Digitization, Elien Vernackt 2018 Musea Brugge and Kenniscentrum vzw

Magis Brugge: Visualizing Marcus Gerards’ 16th-Century Map Through Its 21st-Century Digitization, Elien Vernackt

Artl@s Bulletin

Marcus Gerards delivered his town plan of Bruges in 1562 and managed to capture the imagination of viewers ever since. The 21st century digitization project MAGIS Brugge, supported by the Flemish government, has helped to treat this map as a primary source worthy of examination itself, rather than as a decorative illustration for local history. A historical database was built on top of it, with the analytic method called ‘Digital Thematic Deconstruction.’ This enabled scholars to study formally overlooked details, like how it was that Gerards was able to balance the requirements of his patrons against his own needs ...


Back Matter, Medieval Feminist Forum, V.54, No.1, Summer 2018, 2018 University of Iowa

Back Matter, Medieval Feminist Forum, V.54, No.1, Summer 2018

Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality

No abstract provided.


Passion Through Slander: Saintliness, Deviance, And Suffering By Speech In The Book Of Margery Kempe, Connor Yeck 2018 Western Michigan University

Passion Through Slander: Saintliness, Deviance, And Suffering By Speech In The Book Of Margery Kempe, Connor Yeck

The Hilltop Review

A late medieval mystic prone to violent bouts of sobbing, Margery Kempe suffers a range of verbal abuse in her titular text, ranging from simple rumors, to outright accusations of heresy and possession. While we might accept such accusatory speech as indicative of the era and Margery’s controversial role as a public “holy woman,” further investigation reveals a narrative strongly driven by the notion of “suffering by slander,” and the weight attributed to the spoken word. The Book of Margery Kempe shows us an oral culture filled with “deviant speech,” and within its own rhetorical construction as a text ...


Beyond Male And Female: A Look Into Early Medieval Gender, Megan Leville 2018 The College at Brockport

Beyond Male And Female: A Look Into Early Medieval Gender, Megan Leville

Student Research Awards

This paper examines gender and gender identity in early medieval Europe based on the writing of Gregory of Tours.


The Corporate Guild Order Control Of The Florentine Republic In The 13th And 14th Century, Milad D. Mohammadi 2018 New York University

The Corporate Guild Order Control Of The Florentine Republic In The 13th And 14th Century, Milad D. Mohammadi

Grand Valley Journal of History

This paper discusses how professional guilds in the 13th and 14th century Florentine Republic rose to power and how they maintained the structure and mechanisms of their power. Furthermore, this paper demonstrates how the Florentine Republic during this period was completely dominated by these guilds through their cultural, economic, and political influence. This paper explains how the rise of aristocratic families as the new power structure ended this guild based society in the late 14th century.


Front Matter, Medieval Feminist Forum, V.54, No.1, Summer 2018, 2018 University of Iowa

Front Matter, Medieval Feminist Forum, V.54, No.1, Summer 2018

Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality

No abstract provided.


Of Queens, Incubi, And Whispers From Hell: Joan Of Arc And The Battle Between Orthopraxy And Theoretical Doctrine In Fifteenth Century France, Helen W. Tschurr 2018 University of Puget Sound

Of Queens, Incubi, And Whispers From Hell: Joan Of Arc And The Battle Between Orthopraxy And Theoretical Doctrine In Fifteenth Century France, Helen W. Tschurr

Honors Program Theses

This project focuses on examining the nuances of fifteenth century religious gender theory through an exploration of the Trial of Condemnation (unduly maligned in the historiography) against Joan of Arc. Employing a lens of the theological concept of the “Bride of Christ,” (as defined by Dylan Elliot, Johanne Chamberlyne, Gilbert of Hoyland, and Peter Abelard) in studying this text, as well as the contemporary pro-Joan propaganda texts of Christine de Pizan, Jacques Gelu, and Jean Gerson,suggest a departure from current historiographical positions on medieval perceptions of gender and sex identity. Both Joan (in the trial) and her popular supporters ...


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