The Walters Art Museum

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Seeing Music in Medieval Manuscripts


Saturday, June 28, 2014Sunday, October 12, 2014


10:00 AM–05:00 PM

Seeing Music in Medieval Manuscripts

Medieval painters often filled their manuscripts with scenes of everyday life that included charming illuminations of people and animals playing musical instruments and dancing. Many of these images, however, functioned as sophisticated symbols that conveyed a complex understanding of man’s relationship with the order of the universe. Musical harmony and dissonance were thought to mirror the perfection of heaven as well as the disorder of evil. This exhibition, composed of approximately twenty manuscripts and objects, will explore music in its relationship with philosophy, religion, and the arts during the Middle Ages.

Listen to a sampling of "Hosanna", as sung from a 14th-century Italian musical manuscript on display now:

Special thanks to:

Jason Kissel, the music director of the First & Franklin Presbyterian Church, for the use of the chapel for the recording session.

Sandra Smith, for her recording equipment and expertise.

The quartet of singers from The Peabody Renaissance Ensemble, part of the Early Music Program of the Peabody Institute:

  • Andrew Hann (soloist), tenor/haute-contre
  • Eli Anders, tenor
  • Nathan Daniels, baritone
  • Donald Juedes, tenor


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