“Persuasive Imitation: Mimesis as Musical Expression 1480–1540”
My dissertation work focuses on the conception and development of music as a mimetic, or imitative art. In particular, I study the development of word-painting in Latin polyphony and its relationship to developments in spiritual meditation exercises and in rhetoric. Each of these saw an increased interest in mental imagery, how to create it, and the effect it has on readers and listeners of creating belief and inciting emotion. I also look at how developments in polyphonic music such as pervasive imitation and a more conscious use of mode provided Renaissance polyphony with the tools to imitate its text more effectively than before.
Supervisors: Julie Cumming, Peter Schubert