“Going all the Way with Marot”: Empowerment in the Pastourelle Motet L’autrier m’esbatoie/Demenant grant joie/MANERE

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Abstract

The pastourelle motet was an important part of romance literature and the vocal polyphony of the thirteenth century. Its musical language was subtle and full of well-planned artistry in the combination of words and music. Both textual components frequently incorporated intertextual references to pre-existent songs and poetry; in performance the motet’s texted melodies were heard in combination. This design offered composers, performers, and listeners opportunities to hear individual pieces in several ways, some of them contradictory, and further invites resistant readings of even the more ostensibly misogynist works. The present discussion considers L’autrier m’esbatoie / Demenant grant joie / MANERE in relation to the prevailing power dynamics of the pastourelle motet. It presents potentially paradoxical readings: does this motet convey the typical tale of a knight ravishing his lover, a subversive one in which the female voice is anything but helpless, or a thinly veiled, obscene objectification of women’s musical bodies?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFemale-Voice Song and Women’s Musical Agency in the Middle Ages
EditorsAnna Katherine Grau , Lisa Colton
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherBrill
Chapter10
Pages271-296
Number of pages26
Volume5
ISBN (Electronic)9789004517035
ISBN (Print)9789004429680
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2022

Publication series

NameBrill's Companions to the Musical Culture of Medieval and Early Modern Europe
PublisherBrill
Volume5
ISSN (Print)2214-9511

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