Devotional Listening and the Montpellier Codex

Emma Dillon

in The Sense of Sound

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199732951
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932061 | DOI:

Series: The New Cultural History of Music Series

Devotional Listening and the Montpellier Codex

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This chapter explores the supermusical effect of the repertory of devotional motets in light of the evidence for sound in prayer. It illustrates the close affinity between the sounds associated with prayer and the aural effect of the motet, and argues that the ethical meanings of prayer sound offer a new context in which to understand the sound of the motet. It also argues there were material affinities between prayer and motets, illustrating how the Montpellier Codex, the largest compendium of the ars antiqua motet, derived certain design features from Books of Hours. It culminates with a close reading of the devotional motet in situ, showing how audiences made sense of motet sound via a range of activities including singing, listening, reading, and meditating.

Keywords: Motet; Montpellier Codex; Books of Hours

Chapter.  13758 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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