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date: 10 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Medievalism—broadly construed as retrospective immersion in the images, sounds, narratives, and ideologies of the European Middle Ages—has left a powerful mark in both art music and popular music culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Picking up with the extent to which the distinction between medievalism and medieval studies is possible and/or desirable, the introduction acknowledges that medievalism involves multiple discourses of the Middle Ages, and even when its goal is recovery, it is embroiled as much in contextual modes as in scientific methods. As the chapter discusses, questions about authenticity and intentionality central to much of the scholarship on music histories of the Middle Ages, performance practices of medieval music, and medieval music revivals are valid, but they are called on to speak in a complex sociohistorical and aesthetic analysis. The introduction also provides an overview of several taxonomies that inform the theorization of medievalism as well as an overview of the six sections of the handbook and some of the themes (nationalism, romanticism, rejections of modernism) that connect them.

Keywords: medievalism, nationalism, romanticism, historiography, taxonomy, authenticity, modernism

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