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Chapter 8 - On the Shores of the Mediterranean: Italy, Sicily, and the Iberian Peninsula

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 April 2023

Helen Deeming
Affiliation:
Royal Holloway, University of London
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Summary

Between the twelfth and the fourteenth century, the Mediterranean Sea facilitated cultural exchange with profound effects on music. Chapter 8 witnesses the interaction of artists and musicians from Muslim, Jewish, and Christian traditions in Mediterranean locations such as Sicily and Iberia (now Spain and Portugal). We look at the cultural backdrop to the Cantigas de Santa Maria compiled at the court of Alfonso X of Castile-León, observing influences from Arabic and Hebrew poetry as well as Occitan and French song. Pilgrimage was another facilitator of travel and exchange, and repertories of polyphony and song from the pilgrimage sites of Santiago de Compostela and Montserrat point to the musical sounds that accompanied these journeys. A practical singing exercise offers readers a taste of the pilgrimage experience, by singing one of the songs provided for the rowdy pilgrims at Montserrat. In Italy, new religious movements inspired by St Francis of Assisi generated vernacular devotional songs in the form of the lauda, and in the fourteenth century - the era of Dante and Petrarch - the use of the Italian language for literature and song became paramount.

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

Further Reading

Cunningham, Martin G. (ed.) Alfonso X El Sabio: Cantigas de Loor (Dublin, 2000).Google Scholar
Cuthbert, Michael Scott, ‘Trecento I: Secular Music’, in The Cambridge History of Medieval Music, volume 2, ed. Everist, Mark and Kelly, Thomas Forrest (Cambridge, 2018), 1079–99.Google Scholar
Deeming, Helen, ‘Politics: Courts, Conquests, and Crusades’, in A Cultural History of Western Music in the Middle Ages, ed. Deeming, Helen and Leach, Elizabeth Eva (London, in press).Google Scholar
Haines, John, ‘The Transformations of the Manuscrit du Roi’, Musica Disciplina, 52 (1998–2002), 543.Google Scholar
Kapitaikin, Lev, ‘David’s Dancers in Palermo: Islamic Dance Imagery and Its Christian Recontextualization in the Ceilings of the Cappella Palatina’, Early Music, 47 (2019), 323.Google Scholar
Maloy, Rebecca, ‘Exchange: Liturgical Reform, Pilgrimage, and Saints’ Cults’, in A Cultural History of Western Music in the Middle Ages, ed. Deeming, Helen and Leach, Elizabeth Eva (London, in press).Google Scholar
Shiloah, Amnon, ‘Muslim and Jewish Musical Traditions of the Middle Ages’, in Music as Concept and Practice in the Late Middle Ages, ed. Strohm, Reinhard and Blackburn, Bonnie J. (Oxford, 2001), 130.Google Scholar

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