By Peter Loewen

ISBN-10: 900424817X

ISBN-13: 9789004248175

Song in Early Franciscan suggestion is an interdisciplinary research exploring the vast relevance of song in Franciscan hagiography, artwork, theology, philosophy, and preaching among 1210 and 1300a interval overlaying their swift ascendancy in medieval society as an Order of clerics.

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M. Cap. (Zwolle: W. E. J. Tjeenk Willink, 1954). 25 “Alimentando una religiosità con solido e accurato sapere agiografico, la Legenda maior ha contribuito a diffondere di Francesco rappresentazioni umili ma pervase da Potenza” (Da Campagnola, “Introduction” to the Legenda maior, 770). 24 chapter one Yet, despite the prohibitions of 1266 against other vitae, by the chapter of Padua in 1276, Girolamo da Ascoli was already requesting further unpublished information about Francis. Such renewed interest in early witnesses to the Franciscan story persisted into the early fourteenth century and led to the compilation of several important florilegia.

Francis through the words of his earliest biographers, one is struck by the frequent representation of musical events, and the way these interact with other aspects of the Franciscan narrative. We encounter music at several junctures in the life of St. Francis, from the time before his conversion to piety, to the years shortly before his death. So recurrent is the theme of music, in fact, that it seems to emerge from the narrative like a Leitmotif, bearing witness to Francis’s character. At one level, examples of musicianship appear to serve as illustrations of the performative nature of Francis’s affective piety; yet at a more profound level, the art of music seems to represent a kind of analogue for his kinetic, and sometimes volatile, spirit.

Francis19 Representation of music within the visual hagiography proves enormously enlightening, because it gives us a means of understanding how various medieval audiences may have interpreted Francis’s musical identity, within the context of his personality. The narrative strategies on view in the historiated panels and frescos produced in Italy between the midthirteenth and early-fourteenth centuries portray music as a core feature of Francis’s character. For example, the thematic organization of events from the life of St.

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Music in Early Franciscan Thought by Peter Loewen


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