Ciconia’s motet for Pietro Filargos

Last week I gave a paper at the Practising Emotions collaboratory of the ARC Centre for the History of Emotions entitled “Civic Pride, Community and Friendship: Representations of Emotional Spaces in the Music and Oratory of Johannes Ciconia’s Padua”. During his time at Padua between 1401 and his death in 1412, the composer Johannes Ciconia wrote a series of motets that reference prominent events and figures associated with the city. As already discussed by several scholars (Clercx, Bent, Hallmark, Nosow), no less than three of his motets refer to successive bishops (or in one case a bishop-elect) of Padua. Although there is disagreement on when and where these motets might have been performed, their associations seem clear.

Continue reading “Ciconia’s motet for Pietro Filargos”

Ciconia at MedRen 2014

Another annual Medieval and Renaissance (MedRen) Music conference has drawn to a close. Held this year (3-6 July 2014) in Birmingham in the United Kingdom, an unprecedented number of delegates presented on a wide range of topics in Medieval and Renaissance music. As with all conferences, the opportunity to engage with each others scholarship continues long into the evening over dinner with friends and colleagues (some of whom I haven’t seen in person for years), often resulting in some new collaborations and projects. But the main event is naturally presenting a paper on recent research. Continue reading “Ciconia at MedRen 2014”

Johannes Ciconia’s “Merçe o morte” (with a free transcription)

Johannes Ciconia’s Merçe o morte is an extraordinary example of early fifteenth-century song. Several features set it apart, including the repetition of affective words using short melodic motifs, its extremely economical use of musical material, and indeed its immediate appeal to many listeners today. Continue reading “Johannes Ciconia’s “Merçe o morte” (with a free transcription)”

Music and Rhetoric at Padua

It’s been a while since my last post but I have no intention of adopting what is now an almost stereotypical attitude of apologetic resignation. I’ve been otherwise busy. Instead I intend to remedy my inattention with a slightly longer posting than usual! The last few months of research have been occupied with the question of emotion and music in preparation for the forthcoming joint conference of the Musicological Society of Australia and the International Conference on Music and Emotion entitled the Power of Music to be held in Perth, Australia, 30 November to 3 December 2011. After heading off in several directions including constructivist theories of emotion, psychological theories of emotion and the philosophy of emotion – the last of which proved to exude an irresistible attraction that nonetheless was leading me off in the “wrong direction” – my research arrived at both a surprising but in some ways not unexpected position that has blossomed into a conference paper and promises to be an avenue of further enquiry. Most of what follows isn’t in my paper, but serves to preface some interesting details. Continue reading “Music and Rhetoric at Padua”

Unusual signs and Angevin politics

In early 2006 I sent a draft piece examining some unusual examples of notation in some polyphonic songs from around 1400 to colleagues Yolanda Plumley and Anne Stone. To my pleasant surprise, Plumley and Stone invited me to contribute to their collection of essays on the famous Chantilly Codex. Most of the chapters in this collection originated at a conference held in mid September 2001 at Tours, France. It was much to my disappointment that I wasn’t able to attend this conference. On the other hand, a three-month sojourn earlier in the year researching in various European libraries had consumed most of my energy, resources and the patience of those I had to leave behind in Australia. Continue reading “Unusual signs and Angevin politics”