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Medieval History

Journal

2020

Cessation

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Full-Text Articles in History

The Cessation Of Music In The 'Paradiso', William Mahrt Dec 2020

The Cessation Of Music In The 'Paradiso', William Mahrt

Bibliotheca Dantesca: Journal of Dante Studies

This article explores Dante’s narrative use of music in the Paradiso as it leads to his ultimate vision of God. Unlike the Inferno and Purgatorio, the Paradiso seems to be suffused with continuous music, one that is inherent in the unending motions of the heavens. In the Paradiso, however, there is also much mention of the absence of sound. There are at least fifteen instances that describe a person or a group suddenly falling into silence, either as a natural conclusion of a speech, or unexpectedly as a momentary interruption of music. This article contends that the purpose of ...