Skip to content

Paul Oskar Kristeller – songs v. speeches

June 3, 2014

“Apparently, when the legal significance of oratory had faded into the background, and when it was considered merely as a piece of entertainment, poetry and music became its successful rivals and finally replaced it entirely during the sixteenth century. Such a change of taste has again occurred in recent years, and nowadays at public celebrations musical performances are better liked by most people than ceremonious oratory. This change seems to reflect a transformation that is taking place in the habits and ideas of a society or culture. Bored and dissatisfied with the traditional formulas that no longer evoke strong convictions, and unable to produce new ideas that have a common appeal, people are more at ease in the neutral atmosphere of play and of music where the underlying ideas are disguised in an imaginative language that need not be translated into the prose of reason and of every day life.”

(from ‘Music and Learning in the Early Italian Renaissance,’ originally published in Journal of Renaissance and Baroque Music (1947), and reprinted in Renaissance Thought and the Arts)


From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: