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The Lament And Augustine: Visions Of Disintegration And Transformation

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Chapter Summary

Characteristic as a genre in the Old Testament, recognizable in the Middle Ages as the Lamentationes of the Prophet Jeremiah, is sung not only during Holy Week, but is taken up as a compositional project. This chapter explores the emotional content of music and why laments as the vision of an emotional state nearly always either brings up the subject of music or includes it in a powerful partnership of tone and text in a dynamic coalition of music and words, specifically as sound substance, and the implications of this coalition for the expression of loss itself. Augustine's treatise on music was one of the first of his youthful, post-conversion writings, written together, or interspersed, with his works concerning the mind and soul. It is clear that the bond between Augustine and Aristotle is exemplified in the planctus-by Abelard, and Godefrey of St. Victor, included in the Carmina burana.

Keywords: Abelard; Aristotle; Augustine; Lamentationes of Prophet Jeremiah; planctus; sound substance



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