Dante's Journey to Polyphony
Published: June 2014© 2010
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 256 Pages
Illustrations: 6 b&w illustrations
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.05
256 Pages, 6.00 x 9.05 x 0.68 in, 6 b&w illustrations
In Dante's Journey to Polyphony, Francesco Ciabattoni's erudite analysis sheds light on Dante's use of music in the Divine Comedy. Following the work's musical evolution, Ciabattoni moves from the cacophony of Inferno through the monophony of Purgatory, to the polyphony of Paradise and argues that Dante's use of sacred songs constitutes a thoroughly planned system. Particular types of music accompany the pilgrim's itinerary and reflect medieval theories regarding sound and the sacred.
Combining musicological and philological scholarship, this book analyzes Dante's use of music in conjunction with the form and content of his verse, resulting in a cross-discipline analysis also touching on Italian Studies, Medieval Studies, and Cultural History. After moving from infernal din to heavenly harmony, Ciabattoni's final section addresses the music of the spheres, a theory that enjoyed great diffusion among the early middle ages, inspiring poets and philosophers for centuries.
‘Ciabattoni makes a brilliant contribution to the field of music. He has provided scholars with a vivid picture of the practice of singing improvisational polyphony in the Commedia.’ Eleonora M. Beck, Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association: March2011
'Ciabattoni's detailed and elegant description of the use of music within the Divine Comedy provides us with a meticulous analysis of Dante's diverse musical references and their sources... His book will surely be fascinating and useful to anyone with a strong interest in the interactions between music and literature.' Aliyah Shanti, Early Music America: Summer 2011
'Dante's Journey to Polyphony is a brilliant example of the precious contribution musicology can offer when applied to the study of literature. It is beautifully written and thoroughly researched work that addresses the still underrepresented topic of Dante and music... After reading this book it will be hard to deny the fundamental unity of all musical references in the Comedy.' Lorenzo Salvagni, Annali d'Italianistica - vol 28:2010
‘Incorporating the most recent musicological and philological research, Ciabattoni takes a fresh new look at the Divine Comedy and reveals that Dante’s use of the different styles of music is a carefully calculated, integrated, and essential component of the pilgrim’s voyage. Brilliantly reasoned and beautifully written.’Timothy J. McGee, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto
‘Dante’s Journey to Polyphony is innovative, original, and well researched. Francesco Ciabattoni’s deep knowledge of music, musicology, and literature breaks new ground in the field of Dante and music.’ Alessandro Vettori, Associate Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey