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FA-232540-16
Medieval Learning and Vernacular Music: The Songs of the Cleric-Trouvères
Jennifer Saltzstein, University of Oklahoma, Norman

Grant details: https://apps.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FA-232540-16

Rape and Repentance in Two Medieval Motets (Article)
Title: Rape and Repentance in Two Medieval Motets
Author: Jennifer Saltzstein
Abstract: Two thirteenth-century vernacular motets copied side by side in the Montpellier Codex tell a story of sin and repentance. In one a shepherd rapes a maiden, while in the other a penitent begs the Virgin Mary to forgive a great sin. The music of these two motets is nearly identical: one is a contrafactum of the other, and represents a conscious narrative continuation of the first. This article offers a close reading of this unusual pair of motets, interpreting their texts and polyphonic musical settings in the context of other motets, the pastourelle song genre, their liturgical tenor, the technique of contrafacture, the chanson pieuse, and the intertextual refrain repertory. The two motets constitute a medieval exploration of the boundary between seduction and rape, and the spiritual consequences of its transgression. Having placed the story told by the motets in the context of medieval attitudes toward rape in both legal and pedagogical spheres, I close by reflecting on the ethics of listening to artistic representations of violence for both medieval and modern audiences.
Year: 2017
Secondary URL: https://online.ucpress.edu/jams/article-abstract/70/3/583/92350/Rape-and-Repentance-in-Two-Medieval-Motets?redirectedFrom=fulltext
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Journal of the American Musicological Society
Publisher: University of California Press

Songs of Nature in Medieval Northern France: Landscape, Identity, and Environment (Article)
Title: Songs of Nature in Medieval Northern France: Landscape, Identity, and Environment
Author: Jennifer Saltzstein
Abstract: Thirteenth-century trouvère songs and motets often begin with a conventionalized introduction in which the sensory experience of a springtime landscape inspires the composer to think of his beloved and to sing. Long derided as insincere by critics or simply ignored, the “springtime opening” of the trouvères represents one of the largest bodies of nature imagery in medieval vernacular song. Drawing on a corpus of over one hundred songs and motets, this article offers an ecomusicological reconsideration of the springtime opening, revealing that the way individual medieval composers invoked nature imagery was often correlated with their status and geography. Aristocratic trouvères, who had ready access to open expanses of land on their estates, used the opening often and earnestly. An emerging group of urban trouvères, many of whom were educated clerics, rarely invoked the springtime opening, and when they did, they distanced themselves from it through clever inversions and parody. I argue that these divergent reactions to nature imagery likely reflected lived experiences in the environment, and further, that the songs bear witness to major changes in land management in urban and rural northern France. These songs and motets prompt observations about the relationships between nature, culture, and crisis in medieval and modern society.
Year: 2019
Primary URL: https://online.ucpress.edu/jams/article-abstract/72/1/115/109686/Songs-of-Nature-in-Medieval-Northern-France
Periodical Title: Journal of the American Musicological Society
Publisher: University of California Press

Musical Culture in the World of Adam de la Halle (Book)
Title: Musical Culture in the World of Adam de la Halle
Editor: Jennifer Saltzstein
Abstract: Contributors from musicology, literary studies, history, and art history provide an account of works of 13th-century composer Adam de la Halle.
Year: 2019
Primary URL: https://brill.com/view/title/26641
Access Model: Subscription only
Publisher: Brill
Type: Edited Volume
ISBN: 2214-9511
Copy sent to NEH?: No


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