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August 31st 2014

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Professor Leach to give The Dent Medal Lecture 2014

Last year, Professor Elizabeth Eva Leach was awarded the Edward J. Dent Medal by the Royal Musical Association for outstanding contributions to musicology. At this year’s annual meeting of the Royal Musical Association, she will be presented with the medal and will give the associated Dent lecture. It takes place on Friday 5 September 2014. The lecture is called ‘Sonic Tears: Machaut and Consolation’.

Professor Leach writes: ‘In my 2011 book, Guillaume de Machaut: Secretary, Poet, Musician, I proposed that the varied but unified contents of Machaut’s works not only teach his audience how to live and love, but how to live with love and the suffering it could potentially cause in the specific context of the aristocratic court. In short: poetry and song console. The central figure in Machaut consolatory poetics is Esperance (Hope), who relates to Love; her chief antagonist is Fortune, who relates to death. Re-addressing this issue in the light of my more recent interest in psychoanalytical approaches to love poetry and psychological approaches to performance, this paper will explain why Machaut’s specifically musical form of consolation might have been particularly useful and timely.’

More details about the 50th RMA conference can be found here.

There is a session of the conference (‘Words, images, notation: crossing boundaries in medieval music’) built around the Dent Lecture, chaired by Dr Margaret Bent. Other Oxford speakers at the conference include Professor Suzanne Aspden and DPhil student Ellen Davies.

Credit: The University of Oxford Faculty of Music website.

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