On 22 November the next edition of the Utrecht Colloquia in the Musicologies 2018-2019 will take place. Laura Slater (University of Oxford) will talk about the visual representation of sound in the manuscripts of Philippa of Hainault.
In recent years, there has been exciting cross-disciplinary work between art historians and musicologists, exploring the visual presentation of music in medieval devotional aids. Acting as visual cues for interior listening, reminders of sonic distraction or prompts towards a ‘sounding performance of prayer’, imagined or symbolic signs of sound have been usefully integrated into our understandings of medieval sensory perception and processes of religious meditation. Yet when art historians and musicologists study ‘psalters’, they are often still concerned with completely different types of manuscript. Art historians examine illuminated psalters made for devotional use by the laity. Musicologists focus on ferial or choir psalters designed as practical aids in liturgical performance. Unlike devotional psalters, it is standard for ferial psalters to contain extensive musical notation and additional liturgical material throughout.
Queen philippa of hainault
This talk explores a manuscript owned by Queen Philippa of Hainault, wife of Edward III of England, that bridges these disciplinary divides. It is securely associated with Philippa’s ownership through heraldic evidence. Extant marks and additions confirm its personal devotional use. Yet the manuscript also contains nearly one hundred not ated antiphons. Revealing aspects of Philippa’s daily religious routine and her personal devotional interests, this talk will explore the different ways in which the Psalter of Queen Philippa may have framed and evoked the experience of sacred sound. It will consider how the visual representation of sound may have enriched her religious observances, both in an intimate, individual context and in the more public arena of the royal chapel and ritual performances of queenly piety.