Europa cantat

Liedkultur und Identität um 1600

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Silke Leopold Musikwissenschaftliches Seminar, Universität Heidelberg Heidelberg Deutschland

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This paper attempts to show how, at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, not only the relationship between text and music changed, but also and above all how the perception of language and speech established itself as a constituting medium for the musical invention. During the 16th century, when the content of the text guided the musical invention and polyphony created an emotional distance to the message of the text, it was still considered possible to compose in different textual and musical idioms (e.g. Orlando di Lasso’s Viersprachendruck). Later, musicians – composers as well as singers – concentrated increasingly on their respective mother tongues and the musical forms of expression available for these, especially in connection with the new instrumentally accompanied solo singing. The musical forms were closely related to the metrics of the respective language, but also to the idea of character stereotypes that were musically articulated in the different airs. Contemporaries were already aware of the difficulty of translating vocal music into another language. And so the first half of the 17th century is marked by a linguistic and musical differentiation of all the vocal forms that are subsumed under the name Lied.

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