Icons of Sound : Voice, Architecture, and Imagination in Medieval Art book cover
1st Edition

Icons of Sound
Voice, Architecture, and Imagination in Medieval Art

ISBN 9780367568948
Published May 30, 2022 by Routledge
280 Pages 25 Color & 90 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Icons of Sound: Voice, Architecture, and Imagination in Medieval Art brings together art history and sound studies to offer new perspectives on medieval churches and cathedrals as spaces where the perception of the visual is inherently shaped by sound. The chapters encompass a wide geographic and historical range, from the fifth to the fifteenth century, and from Armenia and Byzantium to Venice, Rome, and Santiago de Compostela. Contributors offer nuanced explorations of the intangible sonic aura produced in these places by the ritual music and harness the use of digital technology to reconstruct historical aural environments.

Rooted in a decade-long interdisciplinary research project at Stanford University, Icons of Sound expands our understanding of the inherently intertwined relationship between medieval chant and liturgy, the acoustics of architectural spaces, and their visual aesthetics. Together, the contributors provide insights that are relevant across art history, sound studies, musicology, and medieval studies.

Table of Contents


Bissera V. Pentcheva

1. Singing Doors: Images, Space, and Sound in the Santa Sabina Narthex

Ivan Foletti

2. Sights and Sounds of the Armenian Night Office, as Performed at Ani: A Collation of the Archaeological, Historical, and Liturgical Evidence

Christina Maranci

3. The Glittering Sound of Hagia Sophia and the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross in Constantinople

Bissera V. Pentcheva

4. Transcendent Visions: Voice and Icon in the Byzantine Imperial Chapels

Bissera V. Pentcheva

5. Echoes and Silences of Liturgy: Liturgical Inscriptions and the Temporality of Medieval Rituals

Vincent Debiais

6. Sound, Space, and Sensory Perception: The Easter Mass in the Liturgy of San Marco, Venice

Deborah Howard

7. The Marble Tempest: Material Imagination, the Echoes of Nostos, and the Transfiguration of Myth in Romanesque Sculpture

Francisco Prado-Vilar

Epilogue: A Voice from beyond the Grave: Tintoretto among the Art Historians

Alexander Nemerov

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Bissera V. Pentcheva is Professor of Art History at Stanford University.