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Conclusion: Songbook Medievalisms

Conclusion: Songbook Medievalisms

(p.203) Conclusion: Songbook Medievalisms
Marisa Galvez
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the intimate ties of the songbook genre to national and aesthetic interests by historicizing how the songbook has been regarded as a philological object in various literary traditions. From the early modern period to the present, songbook scholarship has shaped literary canons and cultural traditions. Yet scholars have approached the dual aspect of the songbook as a source and container for heterogeneous material in a manner that reflects the mediation of philology by dominant ideologies, aesthetic values, or personal interests. From the moment of their compilation to their use as sources for modern critical editions, songbooks have been crucial to the discussion of the periodization and creation of literary canons. The encounter with vernacular songbooks, especially ones that seem to border the traditionally defined periods of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, has evolved throughout history according to intellectual or political dispositions. Thus, this book has sought to present the Medieval songbook as both a physical artifact and a generic concept, the duality challenging unified narratives of poetry.

Keywords:   songbooks, genre, aesthetic interests, national interests, Medieval period, narratives, poetry

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