Engaging with religious history and theological concepts through music composition: Ave generosa and The Song of Margery Kempe

Article


Inglis, B. 2023. Engaging with religious history and theological concepts through music composition: Ave generosa and The Song of Margery Kempe. Religions. 14 (5). https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14050640
TypeArticle
TitleEngaging with religious history and theological concepts through music composition: Ave generosa and The Song of Margery Kempe
AuthorsInglis, B.
Abstract

This article explores the intersections among music composition, religious history and spiritual texts, with their attendant concepts. It focuses on two works with medieval sources—the concert piece Ave generosa (1996) and the chamber opera The Song of Margery Kempe (2008)—which were featured in the online Gallery of the conferences in 2021 and 2022, respectively, of the British and Irish Association for Practical Theology (BIAPT). Through the lenses of semiotics and intertextuality, it explores the ways by which theological concepts and spiritual contexts can be evoked and ‘translated’ into musical sound, both instrumental and vocal. A sampling of the literature on medieval monasticism and St Hildegard of Bingen, whose corpus forms the source of Ave generosa, supports a musical exegesis of its ‘spiritual programme’. In the case of The Song of Margery Kempe, recent scholarship on the text frames examples of the multiplication of meanings provided by dramatisation and musical setting. Art in general and music composition in particular are presented as a commentary, or gloss, on both religious history and enduring spiritual themes, and a different way of thinking about religion and spirituality.

Keywordsreligious history; spirituality; mysticism; theology; music composition; St Hildegard of Bingen; Margery Kempe
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
LanguageEnglish
PublisherMDPI
JournalReligions
ISSN2077-1444
Electronic2077-1444
Publication dates
Print10 May 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited23 May 2023
Submitted05 Mar 2023
Accepted05 May 2023
Output statusPublished
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Copyright Statement

Copyright: © 2023 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Additional information

This article belongs to the Special Issue Researches with Spirituality and Music https://www.mdpi.com/journal/religions/special_issues/RSMUSIC

Web address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/14/5/640
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14050640
Web of Science identifierWOS:000997711700001
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https://repository.mdx.ac.uk/item/8q622

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