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Desire and Pleasure in Seventeenth-Century Music - California Scholarship Online
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Desire and Pleasure in Seventeenth-Century Music

Susan McClary


In this book, Susan McClary examines the mechanisms through which seventeenth-century musicians simulated extreme affective states—desire, divine rapture, and ecstatic pleasure. She demonstrates how every major genre of the period, from opera to religious music to instrumental pieces based on dances, was part of this striving for heightened passions by performers and listeners. While she analyzes the social and historical reasons for the high value placed on expressive intensity in both secular and sacred music, she also links images of desire and pleasure to the many technical innovations of ... More

Keywords: modal analysis, origins of tonality, virtuosity, Divine Love, Counter-Reformation, toccata, sonata, cantata, opera, oratorio, tragédie lyrique, dance

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780520247345
Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520247345.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Susan McClary, author