Visit our Christmas Gift Finder
Singing the New Song: Literacy and Liturgy in Late Medieval England - The Middle Ages Series (Hardback)
  • Singing the New Song: Literacy and Liturgy in Late Medieval England - The Middle Ages Series (Hardback)
zoom

Singing the New Song: Literacy and Liturgy in Late Medieval England - The Middle Ages Series (Hardback)

(author)
£48.00
Hardback 312 Pages / Published: 04/01/2008
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket

In Singing the New Song, Katherine Zieman examines the institutions and practices of the liturgy as central to changes in late medieval English understandings of the written word. Where previous studies have described how writing comes to supplant oral forms of communication or how it objectifies relations of power formerly transacted through ritual and ceremony, Zieman shifts the critical gaze to the ritual performance of written texts in the liturgy-effectively changing the focus from writing to reading.

Beginning with a history of the elementary educational institution known to modern scholars as the "song school," Zieman shows the continued centrality of liturgical and devotional texts to the earliest stages of literacy training and spiritual formation. Originally, these schools were created to provide liturgical training for literate adult performers who had already mastered the grammatical arts. From the late thirteenth century on, however, the attention and resources of both lay and clerical patrons came to be devoted specifically to young boys, centering on their function as choristers. Because choristers needed to be trained before they received instruction in grammar, the liturgical skills of reading and singing took on a different meaning.

This shift in priorities, Zieman argues, is paradigmatic of broader cultural changes, in which increased interest in liturgical performance and varying definitions attached to "reading and singing" caused these practices to take on a life of their own, unyoked from their original institutional settings of monastery and cathedral. Unmoored from the context of the choral community, reading and singing developed into discrete, portable skills that could be put to use in a number of contexts, sacred and secular, Latin and vernacular. Ultimately, they would be carried into a wider public sphere, where they would be transformed into public modes of discourse appropriated by vernacular writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer and William Langland.

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 9780812240511
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 617 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm

You may also be interested in...

The Three Theban Plays
Added to basket
The Mabinogion
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
The Poems of Catullus
Added to basket
Poetics
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
The Complete Fables
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
Orpheus
Added to basket
£16.99
Paperback
The Aeneid
Added to basket
£14.99
Paperback
The Mighty Dead
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Metamorphoses
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
A Choice of Anglo-Saxon Verse
Added to basket
The Histories
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Poetics
Added to basket
£7.99
Paperback
Republic
Added to basket
£7.99
Paperback
The Iliad
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
The Riverside Chaucer
Added to basket
Antigone; Oedipus the King; Electra
Added to basket

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.