The Look of the Voice

Wednesday, 1 February 2006 - 5:00pm6:30pm

Penn Humanities Forum, 3619 Locust Walk

The Look of the Voice

Seeing Medieval Song

Emma Dillon

Associate Professor of Music
University of Pennsylvania

Medieval words were inseparable from the voices that produced them. Even in the quiet of reading, the sight of the word conjured up sounds: the imagined voice of the author or the reader's own voice.

Penn musicologist Emma Dillon explores the visual signs in music manuscripts that depict the sound and timbre of the medieval word, ranging from the notation of sacred chant and secular song to the sometimes outrageous representations of noisy monsters intruding into texts intended for murmured prayer. Join us as Prof. Dillon explores the magic and mischief behind medieval music.


Prof. Dillon studies French music and manuscripts in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Her book, Medieval Music-Making and the Roman de Fauvel, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2002. She is currently writing a book called "The Sense of Sound: Music and Meaning in Thirteenth-Century France," which explores a variety of non-musical sound worlds, problems of their representation, and the ways they impinge on the reception of the 13th-century motet.

Prof. Dillon has published articles and reviews in Fauvel Studies, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, and Plainsong and Medieval Music. She took her Ph.D. at Oxford University.

 

Piper, c1300–1340. Detail in the border of a page of text. From the Luttrell Psalter. Shelfmark ID: Add.42130. Folio No: 176r (detail). British Library, London, Great Britain. Photo Credit: HIP / Art Resource, NY, ART183374