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Sihler Lecture: Margot Fassler

  • Date: Tuesday, March 7, 2017
  • Time: 7:30 pm
  • Location: Center for Faith and Life, Recital Hall

Hildegard's Chants for Cosmos and Creation

Sihler Lecture 

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), a nun who wrote theological treatises, nearly 400 letters, and poetry, composed music, and designed art works, lived her entire life in the German Rhineland. There she became the head of a community of religious women, but also went to other nearby communities to preach. She was a scientist too, and had serious interest in the cosmos, its creation, and its meanings as a work of divine creation. This presentation describes the art works and music chosen for a digital model of the 12th-century cosmos, created day by day in accordance with Hildegard’s instructions, and using several of her compositions as well. The model is based primarily on two illuminations from Hildegard’s illuminated treatise Scivias, and Fassler describes the chants from Hildegard’s repertory that further explain the images and suggest their ways of moving and sounding. 


Margot Fassler, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy at University of Notre Dame and Director of the Program in Sacred Music, is also Tangeman Professor of Music History, Emerita, at Yale University. Her recent books include Music in the Medieval West and its accompanying Anthology (New York, 2014), Life and Latin Learning at Paradies bei Soest, 1300-1425: Inscription and Illumination in the Choir Books of a North German Dominican Convent (co-authored with Jeffery Hamburger, Eva Schlotheuber, and Susan Marti), 2 vols. (Munster, 2017), and Medieval Cantors and Their Craft (ed. with Katie Bugyis and Andrew Kraebel) forthcoming from York Medieval Press, 2016. Fassler is Vice President of the Medieval Academy of America and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

The event is co-organized by the Departments of Women and Gender Studies and Music.

Questions? Contact Charlotte Kunkel, 563-387-1624