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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 720: Borders in Music and Liturgy

Tuesday 7 July 2020, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:William T. Flynn, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 720-aBorders in Music?: The St Stephen 'Farsed' Epistles Traditions
(Language: English)
Joan Maria Martí Mendoza, Institut de Ciències de l'Educació, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Index terms: Hagiography, Liturgy, Music
Paper 720-bAcross the Border: Dissonance and 'Imperfect Consonance' in Medieval Polyphony
(Language: English)
David Cohen, Research Group 'Histories of Music Mind & Body' Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics Frankfurt
Index terms: Music, Philosophy
Paper 720-cGendering St Agnes of Rome in 15th-Century Sequences
(Language: English)
Grace Pesticcio, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Index terms: Gender Studies, Hagiography, Language and Literature - Latin, Liturgy

Paper -a:
Saint Stephen was one of the most appreciated martyrs in the Middle Ages. His commemoration is December 26. This day is also the deacons feast. We know that the mass canon and religious music was yet established and variations were no place, but tropes appeared and enriched the mass music. The farsias are the last form of tropes and appeared in 12th century and their practice was very important in 13th and 14th century, and during to 18th and 19th century in some cities. I have found some farsed epistles' families, specially farsed in Latin but also in vernacular, in delimited areas of territory and their relation. For example, the Norman tradition in Rouen with Palermo, two different species of farsed traditions, are linked by one English manuscript. In my paper I will expose the different families of Saint Stephen farsed epistles', and their links around medieval western Europe.

Paper -b:
This paper reconsiders a unique and highly consequential development in western music history: the 13th-14th-century shift by which certain formerly 'dissonant' intervals - thirds and sixths and their compounds - were promoted to a higher status as the members of the newly created category of 'imperfect consonance', thereby crossing the previously impermeable conceptual borderline between consonance (consonantia, concordantia) and dissonance (dissonantia, discordantia). As I show, the treatise that initiates this development, Johannes de Garlandia’s 'De mensurabili musica' (c.1260), in the very act of re-drawing the consonance-dissonance boundary, inadvertently blurs or effaces it, betraying the ideological commitments that compelled this unprecedented theoretical act of liminal transgression.

Paper -c:
This paper will discuss how St Agnes of Rome’s gender is constructed in a 15th-century liturgical sequence. Through close textual analysis, it will examine how Biblical imagery, erotic language, and poetic features establish Agnes as a virgin, martyr, and bride of Christ. It shall discuss how borders between these highly gendered roles are blurred and subverted, existing both within and outside of the larger tradition of female sanctity. In particular, it will focus on how the language simultaneously portrays Agnes as a virginal figure and an object of sexual desire and the male gaze.