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Title:Secular urban musical culture in Provence and Languedoc during the late Middle Ages
Author(s):Peters, Gretchen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Gushee, Lawrence
Department / Program:Musicology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
History, Medieval
Abstract:Despite France's prominent role in the history of medieval secular music, scholarship concerning its urban musical culture is generally limited to a few publications by nineteenth-century local historians; in contrast, several recent comprehensive studies building on scholarship of the past two centuries exist for the Low Countries and Germany. This unevenness in scholarship, and the resulting bias in our knowledge, has resulted in discussions of urban musical culture that unintentionally create the false impression that urban musical life outside of the Low Countries and Germany was weak or that necessary evidence to explore these cultures does not exist.
This dissertation examines musical culture in the three major cities of Montpellier, Marseilles, and Avignon in south-central France during the late Middle Ages, an area previously considered of little cultural, and specifically musical, interest. An important and regular source of employment for musicians in all three cities was the city government, which hired musicians to participate in processions and other civic celebrations, to perform from a central-tower, and to serve as public criers. The practices of civic patronage of music in this region were similar to those in the Low Countries and Germany, as well as elsewhere in Europe.
With few exceptions, in Provence and Languedoc civic employment constituted only a portion of a musician's annual income. Musicians, including those who held civic positions, performed in processions and festivities of confraternities, at private weddings, and on streets, at dances, and perhaps in bathhouses and taverns. They also helped support themselves by teaching music and making musical instruments. In addition, professional musicians frequently supplemented their income through non-musical activities, such as owning and operating bathhouses and taverns, renting property, and cultivating land.
Finally, this study thoroughly explores the socio-economic status of the medieval urban musician in southern France, a subject that has not received sufficient attention in existing literature. Urban musicians in Provence and Languedoc tended to fall in the lower and middle socio-economic classes along with members of other artisan professions. Like other artisans, musicians met various civic and social responsibilities, both as individuals and members of an organized profession.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Peters, Gretchen
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512512
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512512

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