Broken Harmony: Shakespeare and the Politics of Music by Joseph M. Ortiz PDF

By Joseph M. Ortiz

Music was once a subject matter of substantial debate in the course of the Renaissance. The proposal that tune can be interpreted in a significant means clashed on a regular basis with facts that tune was once in reality profoundly promiscuous in its program and results. thus, a lot writing within the interval displays a wish to beat back music's illegibility instead of come to phrases with its real results. In Broken Harmony, Joseph M. Ortiz revises our realizing of music's courting to language in Renaissance England. within the procedure he indicates the measure to which discussions of track have been ideologically and politically charged.

Offering a traditionally nuanced account of the early sleek debate over tune, besides shut readings of numerous of Shakespeare's performs (including Titus Andronicus, The service provider of Venice, The Tempest, and The Winter’s Tale) and Milton’s A Maske, Ortiz demanding situations the consensus that music’s affinity with poetry used to be generally accredited, or maybe wanted, by way of Renaissance poets. Shakespeare greater than the other early smooth poet uncovered the fault traces within the debate approximately music’s functionality in paintings, many times staging disruptive scenes of tune that disclose an underlying fight among textual and sensuous gurus. Such musical interventions in textual stories spotlight the importance of sound as a classy and sensory event self reliant of any narrative function.

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For an overview of ideas about music and musical practice in the Renaissance, along with many readings of musical moments in the plays, see David Lindley, Shakespeare and Music (London: Thomson, 1996). This is a welcome addition to the field and indispensable for future work on the topic. 22. Edward Rothstein, “Deciphering the Grammar of Mind, Music and Math,” New York Times, June 19, 2004. Di s c i p l i n i n g M u s i c 17 on music and mathematics — and the fact that it is considered “news” — reminds us of the unstable place that music has historically held among the various disciplines.

Di s c i p l i n i n g M u s i c 17 on music and mathematics — and the fact that it is considered “news” — reminds us of the unstable place that music has historically held among the various disciplines. 23 These disciplinary pangs do not represent mere philosophical differences but changing attitudes about what counts as authoritative forms of intellectual inquiry. Shakespeare’s plays and poems, as I will show, inscribe a similar struggle between competing forms of authority in Renaissance England, and they fully participate in its development.

Arthur Lake, Sermons with Some Religious and Divine Meditations (London, 1629), 197, cited in McColley, Poetry and Music, 88. 25 Browne’s liberal endorsement of “Taverne music,” with its suggestive pun on the polyphonic composer John Taverner, may be playful. Yet his defense shows that Reformist attacks on polyphony were not understood only within the context of a specific church debate, even at the height of Puritan revolution: the claim that even “vulgar” music is a “hieroglyphicall lesson” argues that Reformers have misunderstood the language of music altogether.

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