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Silence as relation in music: two political applications in early modern times

Abstract : [...] This chapter is structured in four parts. First, it introduces the function of silence in music theory, where silence is defined as a relation framing agential capacity. The second part of the chapter explores the differences between Middle Ages politics and Renaissance politics in the Italian peninsula. The differences show that, during the Renaissance, the princes increasingly concentrated power, but that they also aimed at promoting models of pacified social conduct without any references to religion. Part three sets up a link between the two previous parts by connecting how political leaders practiced silence in the Italian peninsula during the sixteenth century, which was inspired by musical conceptions. The section argues that the usage of silence within the Italian cities allowed politicians to transform society by rejecting a religious conception of silence and by giving some directions for ‘civilization.’ The fourth part of the chapter shows that diplomacy was also impacted by these changes. Silence practices inspired by music were progressively used to respond to the anarchic condition facing diplomats at the time; they were also a source of diplomatic practice that did not aim at silencing others but at cultivating prudence in international interactions. [...]
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Frédéric Ramel. Silence as relation in music: two political applications in early modern times. Sophia Dingli; Thomas Cooke. Political Silence. Meanings, Functions and Ambiguity, Routledge, pp.146 - 161, 2019, 9781138097353. ⟨hal-03393810⟩



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