Book Series Music History and Performance: Practices in Context, vol. 2

Musical Text as Ritual Object

Hendrik Schulze (ed)

  • Pages: 220 p.
  • Size:216 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:35 b/w
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2015

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54074-0
  • Paperback
  • Available


"This is a useful book (...)" (Clifford Bartlett, in: Early Music Review, January 2016)


Texts often occupy a central role within ritual practices. They serve as prescripts for the organization of the ritual or as explanation of cosmological backgrounds, as records of ritual performance, or simply as items that are handled and recited during the performance itself.

Musical texts may assume some of these roles within certain ceremonial procedures, especially in serving as prescripts for recitation, but also as ritual paraphernalia (for example, where collectors are concerned). Most importantly, they may serve as records of the performance of those rituals in which music forms a central part, as is the case with opera productions.

This volume aims to identify the mechanisms according to which texts, and especially musical texts, may become ritual agents in their own right. It assesses the value of such texts as sources for the reconstruction of rituals, and discusses questions of how the ritual aspects of these texts may be represented in modern editions. While the main focus is on music, contributors from a variety of other fields concerned with textual studies (Egyptology, Classical and Modern Indology, Jewish and Islamic Studies) facilitate comparison between different types of texts, emphasizing different approaches to the subject.


Introduction, Hendrik Schulze

1. Text and Tradition

‘I Bring Many Boxes Filled with Manuscripts on Papyrus and Big Leather Rolls …’, Andreas H. Pries

Ritual Text in Hindu Initiation, Christof Zotter

Performance Sources of ‘Spoken’ Drama: Incidental Music on the Nineteenth-Century German Stage, Antje Tumat

Texts of Musical Practice – Sources for Interpretation and Fragments of Performances, Christa Brüstle

From Patronage to Collectionism: Dissemination of Roman Cantata Score in France, Alessio Ruffatti

Roman Cantatas Manuscripts (1640–80): A Musical Cabinet of Curiosities, Christine Jeanneret

2. Text and Ritual

Ritual Text and Music in Turkish Alevism: Dimensions of Transmission and Bearers of

Knowledge, Janina Karolewski

Performing Vows: Rituals of Transition in the Nunneries of Early Modern Venice, Jonathan Glixon

The Symbolism of Modal Design, Gregory Barnett

‘Every Friday evening music is performed in the Hall of Mirrors …’ Claudio Monteverdi and the Rituals of Courtly Exchange in Early Seventeenth-Century Italy, Tim Carter

Rhythm, Agency and Divine Presence in the Garhwal Himalayas, Karin M. Polit

3. Text as Object

The Torah Scroll and Its Function as a Ritual Object in Jewish Culture, Hanna Liss

Collecting Opera Scores in the Seventeenth Century – Ritual Aspects, Norbert Dubowy

Seventeenth-Century Roman Cantata Manuscripts as a Source for a Material History, Arnaldo Morelli

The Score on the Shelf: Valuing the Anonymous and Unheard, Margaret Murata

Ritualistic vs Transcendental Work Concept: Editing Operatic Texts, Hendrik Schulze