'Verbum cordis' e 'ministerium vocis': il canto emozionale di Agostino e le visioni sonore di Ildegarda di Bingen

Title'Verbum cordis' e 'ministerium vocis': il canto emozionale di Agostino e le visioni sonore di Ildegarda di Bingen
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsPanti, Cecilia
EditorCristiani, M, Panti, Cecilia, Perillo, G
Ancient AuthorsAurelius Augustinus (PHI 2468), Hildegard of Bingen (GMO)
Book TitleHarmonia mundi: musica mondana e musica celeste fra antichità e medioevo: atti del convegno internazionale di studi: (Roma, 14-15 dicembre 2005)
Series TitleMicrologus' library 19
PublisherSISMEL edizioni del Galluzzo

This essay concerns the controversial topic of voice and singing in Saint Augustine and Hildegard of Bingen. Starting with the Augustinian dialectic, specifically with his theories on significance and mental language, the essay proposes a new reading of the famous statements on sacred chant in his 'Confessiones' and on jubilation (iubilum), the sine verbis song of praise described in the 'Enarrationes in psalmos'. The final part of the contribution focuses on the functions of the voice in Hildegard's thought, and stresses how her prophetic voice, sprung from divine illumination, was tightly linked to her explication of the mental word (verbum cordis). The service of the voice (ministerium vocis) allows the prophetic voice to incarnate in the divinely inspired song of praise, so that the celestial visions-auditions are musically rendered with a florid and highly individual 'verbal physicalness'. Thus, Hildegard offers a very personal solution to the phonemic impasse of the Augustinian jubilation.

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