Medieval Music and the Art of Memory
By (author) Anna Maria Busse Berger
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Medieval Music and the Art of Memory by Anna Maria Busse Berger
Book DescriptionThis bold challenge to conventional notions about medieval music disputes the assumption of pure literacy and replaces it with a more complex picture of a world in which literacy and orality interacted. Asking such fundamental questions as how singers managed to memorize such an enormous amount of music and how music composed in the mind rather than in writing affected musical style, Anna Maria Busse Berger explores the impact of the art of memory on the composition and transmission of medieval music. Her fresh, innovative study shows that although writing allowed composers to work out pieces in the mind, it did not make memorization redundant but allowed for new ways to commit material to memory. Since some of the polyphonic music from the twelfth century and later was written down, scholars have long assumed that it was all composed and transmitted in written form. Our understanding of medieval music has been profoundly shaped by German philologists from the beginning of the last century who approached medieval music as if it were no different from music of the nineteenth century. But Medieval Music and the Art of Memory deftly demonstrates that the fact that a piece was written down does not necessarily mean that it was conceived and transmitted in writing. Busse Berger's new model, one that emphasizes the interplay of literate and oral composition and transmission, deepens and enriches current understandings of medieval music and opens the field for fresh interpretations.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520240285
(229mm x 152mm x 25mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 10-May-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Anna Maria Busse Berger
Cambridge History of Fifteenth-Century Music, Hardback (July 2015)
Through forty-five essays by leading scholars, this Cambridge History brings fifteenth-century music to life for both specialists and general readers.
Mensuration and Proportion Signs, Hardback (January 1993)» View all books by Anna Maria Busse Berger
Sets the origin of musical mensuration and proportion signs in the context of other measuring systems of the 14th century. This book also traces the evolution of the mensural notational system to the threshold of the modern system of notation.
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Author Biography - Anna Maria Busse Berger
Anna Maria Busse Berger is Professor of Music at the University of California, Davis and the author of Mensuration and Proportion Signs: Origins and Evolution (1993).
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