Article Title

Visions with Voices: The Rhetoric of Memory and Music in Liturgical Drama


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

If the idea that liturgical drama originated in the musical troping of the Mass is now widely accepted, several fundamental questions concerning the rhetoric and reception of music remain nonetheless unanswered. From the earliest Visitatione sepulchri ceremonies to the first liturgical dramas, music helped to communicate aesthetically a devotional message to participants and, later, to worshippers and spectators. While the role of music in the origins of liturgical drama has been discussed by such scholars as William Smoldon, E. Catherine Dunn, and C. Clifford Flanigan, analysis of its· remarkable rhetorical power has remained largely suggestive.1 In the present study, I argue that the time-honored sisterhood of the two discourses of music and rhetoric played a crucial role in the ontological shift from ritual to representation now known to have given rise to liturgical drama.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.