2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Fine Arts

Brides of Christ: Pre-Feminist Thought in Hildegard von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum
Jennifer L. Thomas
Dr. Marc Rice, Faculty Mentor

Nun, abbess, musician, poet, physician, mystic, Hildegard von Bingen is considered to be the most famous and influential composer of the 12th century, known primarily for her chant and monophonic plainsong settings of her own poetry. Less known, however, is that her surviving writings reveal her knowledge of and passion for the issues facing women of the Middle Ages, both temporal and spiritual. This paper is a discussion of this fascinating woman and her major musical composition, the Ordo Virtutum. Further, it elaborates upon the function of Hildegard’s music in her society and culminates in an analysis of the Ordo Virtutum with special focus on Hildegard’s use of mode, range, and text-music relationships to show her opinions on morality and womanhood.

Keywords: Hildegard von Bingen, medieval music, women's history, Ordo Virtutum, chant, morality play


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 19-3
Location: OP 1393 (Performance Hall)
Time: 10:15 am

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