‘Inclosed in this tabernacle of flesh’: body, soul, and the singing voice

Wistreich, R. (2017) ‘Inclosed in this tabernacle of flesh’: body, soul, and the singing voice. Journal of the Northern Renaissance, 8. ISSN 1759-3085

Abstract

This essay considers how early modern constructions of the singing voice are embedded into a range of philosophical discourses that spread far wider than the usual concerns of music scholarship. Taking as a case study, Battista Guarini's poem 'Mentre vaga Angioletta' (1581), it investigates of some of the broader concepts, both philosophical and ‘scientific’, which lie behind the poem’s engagement with the operation of a particular singing voice, and its effects on the body of the one who listens. It provides a model for fresh ways of considering a fundamental human phenomenon, that is important to comprehending early modern consciousness.

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