The history of music is deeply entwined with the history of the human body. As Tekla Bude argues, cultural understandings of sound and the body have affected how we have shaped and experienced our social world over many centuries. The perception and interpretation of sound are contingent on our human bodies, a fact that alone presents a clear rationale for Bude’s book, in which the properties of “sonic bodies” are defined as “mutually dependent, relational, historically contingent, and co-emergent processes that rely on dialectics of materiality” (p. 3). Bude’s source materials are represented by a variety of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century texts that invoke sound, including the work of English mystics and also extending to wider literature. The theoretical basis of her arguments relates her work to that of such musicologists as Katherine Zieman, Elizabeth Eva Leach, Bruce Holsinger, Emma Dillon, Andrew Hicks, and Anna Zayaruznaya, all of whom revel in...
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Review| April 01 2023
Sonic Bodies: Text, Music, and Silence in Late Medieval England, by Tekla Bude
Sonic Bodies: Text, Music, and Silence in Late Medieval England, by
University of Pennsylvania Press,
LISA COLTON is Professor of Musicology and Head of the Department of Music at the University of Liverpool. Her research interests include medieval music, women’s musicianship, and twentieth-century British music. She is coeditor of and a contributor to Music and Liturgy in Medieval Britain and Ireland (Cambridge University Press, 2022) and Female-Voice Song and Women’s Musical Agency in the Middle Ages (Brill, 2022). Her current research focuses on fifteenth-century English musical culture.
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Journal of the American Musicological Society (2023) 76 (1): 226–230.
Lisa Colton; Sonic Bodies: Text, Music, and Silence in Late Medieval England, by Tekla Bude. Journal of the American Musicological Society 1 April 2023; 76 (1): 226–230. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jams.2023.76.1.226
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