The Enchantment of Song in Guillaume de Machaut
We are delighted to welcome Porfessor Sarah Kay, New York University to deliver the latest in the IMRS/IAS "Beauty in the Middle Ages and Renaissance Seminar Series"
In the 13th century the lyric undergoes a process of disenchantement. Words become disconnected from music and from the expression of desire. But this gives rise to a counter mouvement that reaffirms the unicity of song (as opposed to its division into two complementary disciplines, words and music) and its (even dangerously) affective intimacy. Guillaume de Machaut manifests this development most fully in his Remède de Fortune. Appealing to the models of both Boethius and Orpheus, he sets about the seemingly contradictory aims of singing in a way that will be pure song, singing to voice the inspiiration of desire, and singing as part of an aesthetic that can be formalized and even taught.
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