Blackburn, Bonnie J., and Laurie Stras, Eds, Eroticism in Early Modern Music

By Beclawski, Mariusz | Parergon, July 2016 | Go to article overview

Blackburn, Bonnie J., and Laurie Stras, Eds, Eroticism in Early Modern Music


Beclawski, Mariusz, Parergon


Blackburn, Bonnie J., and Laurie Stras, eds, Eroticism in Early Modern Music, Farnham, Ashgate, 2015; hardback; pp. 328; 20 b/w illustrations, 53 music examples; R.R.P. 70.00 [pounds sterling]; ISBN 9781472443335.

Many of this collection's ten contributions--exploring a variety of ways in which eroticism was embodied in music during the early modern period --come from 'Eros and Euterpe: Music and Eroticism in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries', a conference held at the University of Indiana in 2004. In her Introduction, Laurie Stras contends that obfuscation and double entendre complicate the reading of erotica from outside of ones own culture; eroticism and the recognition of it rely on the comprehension of an array of aesthetic principles and cultural codes. The essays here are largely empirical in nature, supplemented by lyrics and numerous illustrations and music examples.

The first essay, by editor, Bonnie J. Blackburn, is an intriguing examination of 'the gendering of various aspects of music theory' (p. 20), focusing on the music note, B Flat. …

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