". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, December 25, 2017

It Is Christmas! Finally!

     . . . . Bright blue sky such as we've not seen for a week. It rained for hours after midnight. 

Last night I was quite miserable on behalf of Santa and his reindeer in this part of the sky. This afternoon it's quite cold, getting colder. Down into the deep freeze by the middle of the week. 

Unknown Spanish Painter. Madonna with Christ Child and Angels Playing Music, Museo Lazaro Galdiano, Madrid.

Listening to Spanish court Christmas music of the Renaissance -- villancico. The term villancico mostly refers to secular compositions from the 15th and early 16th centuries, which are among among the earliest sectional music -- containing solo and polyphonic sections. These Spanish musical compositions are among the very first to be published that are specifically conceived for instruments; namely, a set of duets on different pitches, or tonos. However, among the generally secular villancicos are Christmas-themed, religious compositions. 

Adoration of the Magi , Central Panel, (1510), Hieronymus Bosch; Museo de Prado
Those from a little later -- the high Renaissance -- reveal the significance of Franco-Flemish influence on the development of polyphonic vocal style in Spain. Franco-Flemish style was dominant in Europe at the time, but the style spread everywhere via composers traveling to and from Spain, which was now part of the Holy Roman Empire. *

Thinking about what I need to do to start the winey beef stew, but I'm really thinking of Spain and the brilliant Queen Isabella I (1451 - 1504) and wondering if we're going to make it there, meaning Spain, this spring, as is being planned.

El V's  tearing apart the book room looking for some of my 'lost' research materials. Achoo dust starting to float, so only so much of this can be done in one go.

However!  Hooray, at least the centennial histories of Richland County, Mooreton Township and Brandenburg Township have been exhumed!  Still haven't found the family genealogies, and a buncha photos though.

The guys at the wine store gave me a mixed carton of wine -- and a bottle of champagne for Christmas!  I fell over in surprise when I took this delivery that I hadn't ordered.  I sure as heck am not the $pending level of cu$tomer who would rate this treatment, one knows.  But they threw me into that category.  This has never happened before.

Ooops, time to start chopping the beef and browning it! And opening the bottle of wine.  


* Or, perhaps equally accurately, now the Holy Roman Empire had become Spanish, due to the marriages of  Juana of Castile (a/k/a Juana the Mad, thanks to the ill-treatment of her Austrian husband and horrid, ignorant Spanish relatives), and Juana, Infanta of Spain and Portugal, and Archduchess of Austria.  IOW, the ambition of Austria (as would be Bourbon France's later) was to rule Spain, as Spain's was to rule Austria (and Bourbon France) and they both got what they wanted.  

Isabella I of Castile, depicted in the painting Virgen de la mosca at The Collegiate church of Santa María la Mayor (Church of Saint Mary the Great) in Toro, Zamora, Spain.

In terms of music as with so much else, the the achievements in learning and the arts sponsored at the humanist court of Isabella I of Castile and Leon, she of the Moorish - Jewish expulsion and geographical expansion, have long been neglected by European historians due to the backwater status Spain fell to after the Enlightenment, and then the ravages of the Napoleonic wars fought there in the British Peninsular Campaigns.

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