The Chansons of Orlando di Lasso and Their Protestant Listeners

The Chansons of Orlando di Lasso and Their Protestant Listeners

Music, Piety, and Print in Sixteenth-Century France

Richard Freedman


University of Rochester Press



A study of how the secular lyrics of the French composer Orlando di Lasso were reworked by Protestant printers in the sixteenth century to convey new spiritual meanings.
This book aims to enrich our understanding of the French secular music of Orlando di Lasso, using those songs as a means of understanding a particular community of Renaissance readers and the music books they created. Lasso's secular songs figured quite prominently in a number of collections of devotional songs issued by Protestant printers in the late sixteenth century. Lasso's profane lyrics were changed to convey spiritual meanings. This study uses the example of such reworkings as a means of discovering how such a repertory was heard and understood by a particular community of listeners, and in so doing, it explores the history of these chansons in print, and the history of the spiritual attitudes that shaped their reception among the Huguenots.

Richard Freedman is Associate Professor of Music at Haverford College.

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January 2001
25 line illustrations
284 pages
9x6 in
Eastman Studies in Music
ISBN: 9781580460750
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
BISAC MUS048010, MUS020000, HIS037020
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Table of Contents

Music, Piety, and Printing in Sixteenth-Century France
The Chansons and Their Listeners
Courtly Love and Its Spiritual Tropes
The Poetry of Marot, the Carnivalesque, and the Preacher's Voice
Lasso's Chansons and the Spiritual Self
The Spiritual Conversion of Ronsard's Poetry
Lasso's Chansons in Printed Sets
Authorizing the Book


A very useful volume for the study of this period of musical history. CHOICE

A well-researched and informative study. EARLY MUSIC

Freedman's sensitive exposition of musico-textual meaning serves as a model for how to approach any texted sixteenth-century genre. . . Freedman's book is a uniquely positioned reception study that draws on a sixteenth-century audience's own responses to the realms of meaning inherent in a specific oeuvre. JOURNAL OF AMERICAN MUSICOLOGICAL SOCIETY

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