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Song Loves the MassesHerder on Music and Nationalism$
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Johann Gottfried Herder and Philip V. Bohlman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234949

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234949.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

Singing the Sacred Body

Singing the Sacred Body

Essay on Lieder der Liebe (1778)

(p.105) 3. Singing the Sacred Body
Song Loves the Masses

Philip V. Bohlman

University of California Press

With his three-chapter book, Lieder der Liebe (Songs of Love), Herder not only contributed to the long tradition of translating the biblical Song of Songs (Hebrew, Shir ha-shirim), but published critical new perspectives on the confluence of religion and literature with an aesthetic formed from embodiment and sexuality. Herder combines earlier translations, especially those in the Middle High German repertories of medieval minnesingers and from the sixteenth-century Martin Luther Bible, and weaves his own paraphrases of the songs into them, emphasizing the beauty and sensuality of the biblical poetry. The English translation in chapter 3 of Song Loves the Masses captures what Herder called “the spirit of Hebrew poesy” and the ways it engenders a modern musical aesthetic.

Keywords:   Bible, Jerusalem, Minnesingers, Orientalism, Sexuality, Shulamit, Solomon, Song of Songs, Translation

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