Musica Naturalis: Speculative Music Theory and Poetics, from Saint Augustine to the Late Middle Ages in France

Musica Naturalis: Speculative Music Theory and Poetics, from Saint Augustine to the Late Middle Ages in France

by Philipp Jeserich
     
 

Musica Naturalis delivers the first systematic account of speculative music theory as a discursive horizon for literary poetics. The title refers to the late medieval French poet Eustache Deschamps, whose 1392 treatise on verse writing, L'Art de Dictier, famously casts verse as "natural music" in explicit distinction to song, which Deschamps defines

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Overview

Musica Naturalis delivers the first systematic account of speculative music theory as a discursive horizon for literary poetics. The title refers to the late medieval French poet Eustache Deschamps, whose 1392 treatise on verse writing, L'Art de Dictier, famously casts verse as "natural music" in explicit distinction to song, which Deschamps defines as "artificial." Philipp Jeserich links the significance of the speculative branch of medieval musicology to literary theory and literary production, opening up a field of study that has been largely neglected. Beginning with Augustine and Boethius, he traces the discourse of speculative music theory to the late fifteenth century, giving attention to medieval Latin and vernacular sources. Ultimately, Jeserich calls for the conservatism of Deschamps’s poetics and develops a new perspective on the poetics and poetry of the Grands rhétoriqueurs.

Given Jeserich's reliance on the intellectual inheritance of late medieval French poetics and poetry, this book will appeal to English-speaking specialists of Old and Middle French, as well as scholars of the French Renaissance. It will also interest English-language medievalists of several other disciplines: intellectual historians and specialists of English, as well as scholars of Italian and Iberian literature.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781421411248
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
11/14/2013
Series:
Rethinking Theory
Pages:
568
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Daniel Heller-Roazen

Philipp Jeserich has written a wide-ranging and meticulously documented study of a fundamental question in medieval aesthetics, which sheds new light on the relation between poetics and music theory in the Middle Ages.

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