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Popular music in the culture of ambivalence : identity in the sixteenth-century low countries

Author: Jir Shin Boey; Massimo Michele Ossi
Publisher: 2010.
Dissertation: Thesis (Ph. D.)--Indiana University, 2010.
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : Manuscript   Archival Material : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The popular culture of the sixteenth-century Low Countries is represented in the works of Northern humanist writers and artists such as Desiderius Erasmus and Pieter Bruegel the Elder. In their works, Erasmus and Bruegel taught Christian discipline and social ideals often by exposing human weaknesses through carnivalesque inversions. As part of the same culture, popular music in the Low Countries also reflected the  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Named Person: Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck; Tielman Susato; Tielman Susato; Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Material Type: Thesis/dissertation, Manuscript, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Archival Material, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Jir Shin Boey; Massimo Michele Ossi
OCLC Number: 801413596
Notes: Computer printout.
Adviser: Massimo Ossi.
Description: xiv, [284] leaves : ill., music ; 29 cm.
Contents: Prologue --
The formation of religious faith : Introduction ; Religious indecision ; Issues within the Reformed Church, 1520-60s ; Expressions of compromise ; The fusion of horizons ; Conclusion --
The negotiation of middle-class identity : Introduction ; Music-making and the civilizing process ; Maintaining the social self ; The musical structures of social fantasy ; Self-cancellation ; Conclusion --
Self-reflexivity and the decivilizing process : Introduction ; The Dutch visual realm ; The decivilizing process ; Self-reflexivity in the keyboard variations of J.P. Sweelinck ; Conclusion --
Epilogue.
Responsibility: Jir Shin Boey.

Abstract:

The popular culture of the sixteenth-century Low Countries is represented in the works of Northern humanist writers and artists such as Desiderius Erasmus and Pieter Bruegel the Elder. In their works, Erasmus and Bruegel taught Christian discipline and social ideals often by exposing human weaknesses through carnivalesque inversions. As part of the same culture, popular music in the Low Countries also reflected the ambiguous or ambivalent aspects of the Northern Renaissance. In this dissertation, I look at how popular music of sixteenth-century Low Countries served as a discreet agent in the negotiation of religious, social, and self identities. Popular music mediated between sacred and secular realms in the Reformed movement, between civilized and uncivilized behavior in the performance of middle-class identity, and between control and impulse of the divided self. In the first chapter, I examine the problem of religious commitment and the role of psalm-singing in the formation of faith in the Reformed movement. Not only was the use of contrafacta in the Souterliedekens (Psalter Songs, 1540) effective as an instrument of religious outreach, it also demonstrated how spiritual meaning could be grounded in worldly terms. In the second chapter, I consider how self-cancellation is written into the civilizing process (in the learning of manners and cultivation of social distance) and study Tielman Susato's Musyck Boexken (1551) as an example. Even though Susato's songs were meant for a middle-class audience seeking to distance themselves from the lower class, the synthesis of refined and unrefined elements in the songs only showed more clearly the confused social desires of the audience. In the final chapter, I look at self-reflexivity in Dutch still-life paintings of the early seventeenth-century and observe how the sense of disequilibrium and disjuncture in these paintings can also be found in Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck's keyboard variations. In the way the variations refuse the idea of calculation and control, they reflect a "controlled decontrolling" of a decivilizing process. Within the different contexts, popular music opened the liminal space for the interrogation of spiritual reality, the suspension of social judgment, and the unraveling of the civilized self. By doing so, popular music extended various tactics for coping with unstable identities in a culture of ambivalence.

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