Resurrecting Forgotten Sound: Fans and Handbells in Early Modern Italy

Dennis, Flora (2010) Resurrecting Forgotten Sound: Fans and Handbells in Early Modern Italy. In: Everyday Objects: Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture and its Meanings. Ashgate, Farnham and Burlington, VT, pp. 191-210. ISBN 9780754666370

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Music and sound are ephemeral and immaterial. 'As it is born', wrote Leonardo da Vinci, describing the sense of hearing, 'so it dies, and it is as fleeting in its death as it is in its birth.' While the Western system of musical notation is capable of preserving certain aspects of historical, sonic exeperience, it evolved in order todirect performance, not record musical experience, and was applied to particular types of musical repertory. Unwritten pieces transmitted by ear 'died' with those who had memorised them. In the early modern period such notation obviously recorded only pitched, musical sound. The noises that resonated through the streets, houses, churches and fields of the past are preserved only in rare, and usually fleeting, textual descriptions.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Art History
Depositing User: Flora Dennis
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:32
Last Modified: 29 May 2012 13:25
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