Music and Philosophy in the Middle Ages

My chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Western Music and Philosophy has just appeared.

BL, Harley 4335, French translation of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy

This large book project is now out and my contribution forms chapter 7 and covers music and philosophy in the Middle Ages. OUP hasn’t given me any sort of access that I can post here, sadly, so I hope most of you have institutional access.

In short, the chapter outlines some of the varied relationships between music and philosophy in the Middle Ages. As one of the disciplines of the mathematical quadrivium, musica concerns issues of acoustics but the notation and ontology of music additionally relate to grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Furthermore, music is related to the boundaries between human and non-human animals and overlaps with, while not being completely subsumed by, sonic practices, something I cover in a subsection called ‘Unsound Studies’, which encapsulates some of my problems with Sound Studies’s treatment of historical materials!

Medieval music was also implicated in writings on ethics, which give evidence of music’s role in gendered and political identity formation, which I treat here a little bit. Finally, the chapter considers what sort of knowledge musical knowledge was in the Middle Ages and why modern thinking might struggle with various aspects of music’s relation to philosophy in this period.

Full reference:

Leach,  Elizabeth Eva. ‘The Middle Ages.’ Chap. 7 In The Oxford Handbook of Western Music and Philosophy, edited by Tomás McAuley, Nanette Nielsen, Jerrold Levinson, with Ariana Phillips-Hutton as Associate Editor, pp. 137-56. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.

DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199367313.013.8

New Publication: The Edinburgh Companion to Literature and Music

Long-gestating co-editing project finally published as part of 700-page book. Continue reading “New Publication: The Edinburgh Companion to Literature and Music”

Review of a new collection of essays on Adam de la Halle

This clerihew didn’t make it into my review of this new volume of essays on Adam de la Halle: Continue reading “Review of a new collection of essays on Adam de la Halle”

Do trouvère melodies mean anything?

My article on three songs by Blondel de Nesle just appeared in Music Analysis. Continue reading “Do trouvère melodies mean anything?”

Review of edition of medieval motets in a songbook

My review of a very interesting recent edition of motets in Trouvère chansonnier T has just been published.

I can’t tweet this link directly, but OUP allows me to post it here. It should give access to the full text of my review of Motets from the Chansonnier de Noailles. Ed. Gaël Saint-Cricq with Eglal Doss-Quinby and Samuel N. Rosenberg. Pp.192 (A-R Editions, Middleton, Wis., 2017) $360. ISBN 978-0-89579-862-6 in Music & Letters 99/2 (2018), 281-285. Full text link.

Resonance in Richard de Fournival

My co-authored article with French literary scholar Jonathan Morton on the sonic aspects of Richard de Fournival’s Bestiary of Love has just appeared in the journal Romania. Continue reading “Resonance in Richard de Fournival”

Review of book on Trecento song texts

My review of  Lauren McGuire Jennings’s book on Trecento song texts has just been published.
Many of you can get this through your library if it gets JRMA, in which case please use these links:

Elizabeth Eva Leach
Journal of the Royal Musical Association

Volume 140, Issue 2 pp. 445-449 | DOI: 10.1080/02690403.2015.1089022

Taylor and Francis, who publish JRMA, have given me at link to the full text, which is restricted to 49 downloads. Please only download this text if you’re really going to read the review. When the 49 downloads are done, I’m assuming that the link will no longer work and/or you’ll be asked for money. The link is here: Free download (49 copies only)

New Book: Manuscripts and Medieval Song

Deeming Leach coverCopies of my new co-edited book now received! Continue reading “New Book: Manuscripts and Medieval Song”

Recent Trends in the Study of Music of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Centuries

Jointly authored article in Renaissance Quarterly now out. Continue reading “Recent Trends in the Study of Music of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Centuries”

Review of Helen Deeming’s edition of Songs in British Sources (with link to full text)

My review of Helen Deeming’s edition of Songs in British Sources (Musica Britannica, vol. 95), has just become available via the advance access section of Early Music. Continue reading “Review of Helen Deeming’s edition of Songs in British Sources (with link to full text)”