Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication Page

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pp. iii-v

Contents

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pp. vii-ix

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Acknowledgments

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p. xi

It is with the deepest gratitude that I recognize those who have helped me as I endeavored to write Music and the Language of Love. I wish to thank various institutions for providing essential logistical support: funding from the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, a CAFR grant from Providence College, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and financial support from...

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Note on Quotations, Translations, and Musical Examples

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p. xiii

All primary sources in French cited in this study retain their original spelling and punctuation. I include English translations within the body of the text and the French original in endnotes. Translations for complete airs and chapter 7 emblems are provided in the Appendix. All translations are my own unless otherwise indicated. Most translations of Bénigne de Bacilly’s treatise...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-9

This book is a study of French serious airs or love songs composed from the late 1640s through the 1660s by four of the most important composers of the seventeenth century: Michel Lambert, B

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Chapter 1: Music and Texts: An Overview of the Sources

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pp. 11-40

The French air, or solo song, was the most abundantly cultivated musical genre throughout the seventeenth century. There were airs de cour (courtly airs), airs à boire (drinking songs), airs à danser (dance airs), airs sérieux (serious airs), chansonnettes (“little” songs), and brunetes (any air with pastoral references, the actual name brunete not appearing in publications until...

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Chapter 2: Rhetoric and Meaning in the Seventeenth-Century French Air

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pp. 41-57

In France, the connection between rhetoric and music was first made explicit by members of the Neoplatonic academies of the sixteenth century.¹ For the academicians, all intellectual and artistic activity was part of a graded hierarchy of knowledge leading to the ultimate cognizance of God. Divine truth was pictured at the summit of a mountain; thus, “raising the intellect”...

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Chapter 3: Musical Representations of the Primary Passions

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pp. 58-95

The importance of “moving the passions” was a commonplace in seventeenth-century writings about French music (and about music in general) and was even incorporated into definitions of the French air, as in La Croix’s explanation of the chanson as “different melodies [that] follow the character [affect or passion] of the verse.”¹ Writers on vocal music insisted that the...

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Chapter 4: Setting the Texts

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pp. 96-137

In setting each phrase of the song texts, composers had to consider the entire lyric, for as Marin Mersenne asserts, in composing airs “one must . . . see what the entire subject of the discourse aims toward within the air.”¹ Insofar as each line of the poem relates to the text as a whole, each musical phrase necessarily relates to and serves to unify the complete piece. Most song texts in their...

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Chapter 5: Form and Style: The Organization and Function of Expressions, Syntax, and Rhetorical Figures

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pp. 138-184

The poetry set by composers of airs was a discourse intended to persuade the passions, and as such, subject to the emphasis that rhetoricians placed upon the organization of materials in a discourse. Bernard Lamy stressed that it was not enough to “understand a subject to the bottom”; one also had to put the “[subject] matter in Order in our minds.”¹ The organization of a text...

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Chapter 6: L’Art du Chant: Performing French Airs

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pp. 185-229

As Bacilly notes, “Singing is something more considerable than one imagines”;¹ thus, describing exactly how French airs should be performed is a difficult task. Even Bacilly, author of the most important seventeenth-century French treatise on the subject, acknowledges that the art of singing must be learned through study with a master who can demonstrate proper technique, pronunciation,...

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Chapter 7: Salon Culture and the Mid-Seventeenth-Century French Air [Includes Image Plates]

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pp. 230-267

The development of the French air after 1650 cannot be separated from a consideration of the Parisian ruelle.

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Chapter 8: The Late-Seventeenth-Century Air and the Rhetoric of Distraction

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pp. 268-287

If there were any doubt that the French air was considered a type of rhetorical discourse, the crusade launched by church leaders and moralists toward the end of the century to replace the secular air with a sacred counterpart eliminates any such uncertainty, for rhetoric and eloquence were the grounds on which the air was attacked. At the heart of this condemnation was the air’s expression...

Appendix: Translations for Musical Examples and Emblems

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pp. 289-295

Notes

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pp. 297-344

Bibliography

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pp. 345-367

Index [Includes About the Author]

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pp. 369-391