Desire and Pleasure in Seventeenth-Century Music by Susan McClary

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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, and she also links desire and pleasure to the many technical innovations of the period. McClary shows how musicians—whether working within the contexts of the Reformation or Counter-Reformation, Absolutists courts or commercial enterprises in Venice—were able to manipulate known procedures to produce radically new ways of experiencing time and the Self.

About Susan McClary

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Susan McClary is Professor of Music at Case Western Reserve University. She is the author of many book including Conventional Wisdom: The Content of Musical Form and Modal Subjectivities: Self-Fashioning in the Italian Madrigal, both from UC Press.
Published March 6, 2012 by University of California Press. 360 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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