Cultures in Counterpoint: Music, Image, and Text in Medieval Iberia

From the end of Roman rule in the fifth century until the Age of Exploration began in the fifteenth, medieval Iberia was a land that saw constant change in its political players and frontiers and a complex and dynamic environment of social, economic, and cultural interaction within but especially between members of the three monotheistic religious traditions that held sway in various parts of the peninsula during this period: Christians, Jews, and Muslims. 

With the facsimile of Alfonso X ‘el Sabio’s’ Cantigas de Santa Maria at its heart, this exhibition  brings together visually rich manuscripts in facsimile from Spain, North Africa, and the Middle East to explore in counter-point these three, highly expressive, traditions.  And in its rich imagery of musical performance, the Cantigas also gestures visually towards another dynamic field of cultural interaction—that of musical composition and instrumentation—that the
residency of the Rose Ensemble helps to bring to life hundreds of years later.

Stacy Beckwith, Associate Professor of Hebrew
Yaron Klein, Assistant Professor of Arabic
Victoria Morse, Associate Professor of History
William North, Associate Professor of History

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facsimiles, rose ensemble, exhibits
18 April 2011
From site: Gould Library