The Sublime and Sensibility in French Keyboard Music in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries
This dissertation examines the aesthetic elements of the keyboard music from the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in France, highlighting the concepts of the Sublime and Sensibility. In order to evaluate the aesthetic characteristics of the keyboard music, the discussion broadens to consider different forms of art such as literature, painting, architecture, sculpture and others that were within the same environment of cultural and artistic creativity. The focus of the study of keyboard music in this context, based the Sublime and Sensibility is based on the idea that those aesthetic concepts were reflections of the society in which the arts belonged. The formulations of the Sublime and Sensibility were firmly associated with the intellectual developments of society such as philosophy, science and rhetoric, as well as culture and the arts. Thus, the Sublime and Sensibility do not only apply to individual artistic expression, but also the relationship between different arts and also the arts and broader society. The period of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in France was transformational due to the decline of the idea of absolute monarchism in the late reign of Louis XIV, and the emergence of the Enlightenment. Accordingly, the intellectual current of the nation was in turmoil with this transformation of political and religious orthodoxy and the rise of egalitarianism, assisted by the pervasion of Cartesianism from earlier in the seventeenth century. Whilst the Sublime reflected the Ancien Régime of absolutism, Sensibility related to the new ideas of the Enlightenment. The discussions will link the currents of society, politics, religion, intellectualism, rhetoric and the arts that all fed upon each other and are all contextually related to the aesthetic characteristics of keyboard music in terms of the manifestation of the Sublime and Sensibility.
Advisor: Drummond, John; Deruchie, Andrew
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Music
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Sublime; Sensibility; France; Music
Research Type: Thesis