MUSIC IN THE WORLD OF TRAVELS
The extensive bibliography about travels in the Ancient Times and in the Middle Ages has hardly focused on the musical experiences in the so called “unknown lands”. Not even the studies about the travel literature have focused on the topic in deep. This volume collects an extraordinary set of synthetic essays, written in a narrative style, which attest the encounter with music of peoples from Mediterranean to Africa, from the steppes to Asia. It’s been a while that the University of Bologna-Ravenna, under the direction of the renowned musicologist F. Alberto Gallo, inquires into the encounter between travellers and the soundscapes of the other worlds. This Atlas thus focuses on the experience of meeting the other, through the special and privileged lens of music. The traveller acts as an anthropologist: he has musical experiences, in distant lands, mostly as listener, and he discovers the peculiarities and the place of music in other societies. On the occasions of embassies, pilgrimages, merchant travels, religious and profane festivities, the traveller can grasp sounds and rhythms, even if he doesn’t know the local idioms: music spreads strongly without the need of an aware cultural mediation. Music, like food, smells and architectures, connoted the anthropic landscapes which travellers met. The volume opens with the Greek-Roman world, both with the mythical or legendary travels, and with the real ones. The chronological period here covered spans from to the Late Antiquity up to the end of the XV century. The travels are organized chronologically and grouped by geographical areas. Following the Historical Atlas of Music in the Middle Ages (2011), a project of Vera Minazzi with the contribution of F. Alberto Gallo, also for this volume many among the most prominent scholars of medieval musicology have been involved, along with anthropologists, historians, art historians, philosophy and literatures researchers. The work is fascinating for its enjoyable style of writing combined with a rigorously scientific structure. The chapters are organized on an interpretative scheme: this work is an innovative and reference contribute for the Antiquity and the Middle Ages musicological studies. Even the artistic and cultural exchanges or “borrowings” are highlighted. The Atlas consists of almost fifty short chapters, enriched by iconography and cartography, mostly unpublished and strictly related to the texts.