Singable texts So relatively little researched has emblem literature been that new subgenres can still be identified. This is shown by the collection of emblem books with songs and music. In this group of emblem books the poets have made part of their emblems singable, or have added a singable text to their emblems. By doing so, combinations of text, a picture and music were made, which were meant to be looked at, read and sung. This unusual literature requires an active reader, who participates in contemplating the picture, in reading the poetry, and in singing the song or playing the composition.
The phenomenon of emblems with songs and music is partly rooted in a meditational tradition, whereas some of the books are merely meant as a pleasurable pastime. The majority were written for private meditation or to stimulate mystical experience.
On the basis of the material, a series of all known emblem books with songs and music from the Low Countries has been collected by Dr. Raasveld. The publication of the material, which has been largely unknown until now, enables literary scholars, art historians and musicologists to investigate this new corpus of emblem books with songs and music, for example, to focus on the changing relationships between text, pictures and music. This collection also demonstrates the importance of emblem literature for musicological research into the role of music in private meditation, the reception of music in literary contexts and the history of music in Western Europe.