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Music, Piety, and PropagandaThe Soundscapes of Counter-Reformation Bavaria$
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Alexander J. Fisher

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199764648

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199764648.001.0001

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Music, Sound, and Processional Culture

Music, Sound, and Processional Culture

(p.245) Chapter Five Music, Sound, and Processional Culture
Music, Piety, and Propaganda

Alexander J. Fisher

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 explores the use of sound in Bavarian processional culture. While the visual appearance of Catholic processions was indeed striking, sound could extend the effect of processions over far wider areas, transforming entire cities into arenas for acoustic communication. The Corpus Christi processions assumed great proportions by the late sixteenth century, serving as a powerful symbol for Eucharistic dogma. Here the sounds of professional singers and instrumentalists, trumpeters and drummers, bells, and gunfire all dramatized the Eucharistic triumph for Catholic and Protestant observers alike. More novel were the processions on Good Friday that were extensions of Jesuit Lenten devotions, unfolding under the cover of dark with various forms of music and spectacle. The chapter then turns to processions of supplication, which often involved the recitation of litanies, and of triumph on occasions of military victories or sanctoral translations, occasions for obstreperous gunfire, trumpeting, and drumming.

Keywords:   space, urban, processions, Corpus Christi, Eucharist, music, gunfire, Good Friday, litanies

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