Chapter

Rapt Attention

Andrew Dell'Antonio

in Listening as Spiritual Practice in Early Modern Italy

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780520269293
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950108 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520269293.003.0002
Rapt Attention

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This chapter discusses the connection between the various uses of the concept of affetto in the discourse on preaching, the visual arts, and musical practice, particularly in the evocation and contemplation of mystical delight and transcendent union with the divine. It focuses on musical manifestations associated with the presentation of the Eucharist, the moment in the mass considered most crucial to early modern reformed catholic spirituality. The implication of this musical iconography leads to an examination of the role played by Jesuit ideas and institutions in reinforcing particular models of mystical contemplation and to some initial observations about spirituality informed listening and its role in the construction of ideal elite listening practices in early seventeenth-century Italy. The characterization of earthly music as an analogue to heavenly sounds is not unique; it could be considered a common place in Catholic commentary from the church fathers to the present day.

Keywords: affetto; post-Trident; the Eucharist; Jesuit ideas; seventeenth-century Italy; Catholic commentary

Chapter.  8147 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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