“Listen, Daughters of Light”: The Epithalamium and Musical Innovation in Twelfth-Century Germany
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This chapter examines the Epithalamium or Bridal Song that concludes the Speculum virginum in the earliest manuscripts of the treatise. Its text and music, integrally related to the Speculum as a whole, provide the vehicle through which “the daughters of light” can obtain a foretaste of ultimate union with Christ. The structure of the Epithalamium parallels that of the Proper for the Office of Lauds in its alternation of antiphon and response. The Epithalamium provides a sung response to the text of the Speculum virginum. The musical settings adhere to contemporary theoretical norms, such as promoted in the treatises of Berno of Reichenau and William of Hirsau, as well as in the preface to the Cistercian antiphonary (ca. 1147). The songs illustrate a tendency, defended by Anselm of Havelberg in the mid-twelfth century, for religious communities to develop “new ways of psalmody” so as to better express their own liturgical identity.
KeywordsTwelfth Century British Library Early Source Sixth Mode Musical Practice
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