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Music General

The Oxford Handbook of Music and Medievalism

edited by Stephen C. Meyer & Kirsten Yri

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2020
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2020
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The Oxford Handbook of Music and Medievalism provides a snapshot of the diverse ways in which medievalism - the retrospective immersion in the images, sounds, narratives, and ideologies of the European Middle Ages - powerfully transforms many of the varied musical traditions of the last two centuries. Thirty-three chapters from an international group of scholars explore topics ranging from the representation of the Middle Ages in nineteenth-century opera to medievalism in contemporary video game music, thereby connecting disparate musical forms across typical musicological boundaries of chronology and geography.

While some chapters focus on key medievalist works such as Orff's Carmina Burana or Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, others explore medievalism in the oeuvre of a single composer (e.g. Richard Wagner or Arvo Part) or musical group (e.g. Led Zeppelin). The topics of the individual chapters include both well-known works such as John Boorman's film Excalibur and also less familiar examples such as Eduard Lalo's Le Roi d'Ys. The authors of the chapters approach their material from a wide array of disciplinary perspectives, including historical musicology, popular music studies, music theory, and film studies, examining the intersections of medievalism with nationalism, romanticism, ideology, nature, feminism, or spiritualism.

Taken together, the contents of the Handbook develop new critical insights that venture outside traditional methodological constraints and provide a capstone and point of departure for future scholarship on music and medievalism.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Stephen C. Meyer is Professor of Musicology at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music. He is the author of Carl Maria von Weber and the Search for a German Opera (2003) and Epic Sound: Music in Postwar Hollywood Biblical Films (2015) as well as numerous articles on topics ranging from nineteenth-century German opera to film music to the history of recorded sound. He is editor of Music in Epic Film: Listening to Spectacle (2016), and from 2014 to 2018 he served as the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Music History Pedagogy.

Kirsten Yri is Associate Professor of Musicology at the Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada. She has published widely on the role of the early music revival and the intersections between music and medievalism in American Music, Intersections, Early Music, and Women and Music. Her work on medievalism and rock music (Dead Can Dance, Black Sabbath, and Corvus Corax) has been published in Current Musicology, Popular Music, and Postmedieval. Her recent research examines parody, gender, and social programs in Carl Orff's Trionfi against a context of German contemporary literary and philosophical debates.