The Vision of Music in Saint Hildegards Scivias: Synthesizing Image, Text, Notation, and Theory (includes audio CD)

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9781937330217: The Vision of Music in Saint Hildegards Scivias: Synthesizing Image, Text, Notation, and Theory (includes audio CD)

This book reassembles song texts and music from the final vision in St. Hildegard of Bingens prophetic work, Scivias (c1151). This Vision of Music provides text and images for a celebration of musics power. Here seven exalted groups of people each receive two pieces of music. Scivias provides the texts for these 14 Sympho- nia songs and contains the dialogue for a morality play, but the music notation is found elsewhere: in the compendium of Hildegards works, the Riesenkodex. The Scivias version appears to be the prototype for Hildegards famous proto-opera, Ordo Virtutum, likely composed for the Disibodenberg monastery, where smaller forces were available than at the Rupertsberg convent. Given that Hildegard received her visions with all of her senses, we can examine the Vision of Music in the knowledge that she intended all parts of her musical visions, or symphonia, to be brought together. With the aid of a ten-stringed psaltery that set the mode for each musical composition, she had the pitches literally at her fingertips to teach her pieces to her nuns, effectively assigning the heavenly macrocosm found in the Vision of Music to each of the ten strings of her instrument. The essay contains a fully-reconstructed performing edition, in Latin and English, of the Scivias musical drama.

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About the Author:

CLAIRE FONTIJN is Associate Professor of Music at Wellesley College. She has published on flute-playing techniques of the eighteenth century and on creative women of the Baroque period. Her first book, Desperate Measures: The Life and Music of Antonia Padoani Bembo, on a Venetian noblewoman who composed music for Louis XIV in France, published by Oxford University Press in 2006, won ASCAPs Nicolas Slonimsky Award for Outstanding Musical Biography and honorable mention in the competition for the Pauline Alderman Award for Scholarship on Women in Music, in 2007. Her Fiori Musicali (edited with Susan Parisi) is currently a Finalist for the Ruth Solie Award for a Collection of Essays from the American Musicological Society.

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