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Lasso’s Fleas: A Hungarian Connection for a European Topos

Lampert, Vera (2000) Lasso’s Fleas: A Hungarian Connection for a European Topos. Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 41 (1-3). pp. 57-75. ISSN 0039-3266

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Abstract

This essay examines some of the humorous responses to fleas in literature, painting, and, especially, music. While scholarship has been aware of the wide-spread popularity of the flea-topos, no attention has yet been given to its musical manifestations. One of Lasso’s two such compositions extends the geographic boundaries of the theme to remote Hungary. „Bestia curvafia pulices” turns up in a poem that Lasso set to music and published in his Les melanges in 1576. „Bestia curvafia” [whoreson beast] was an expression in Hungarian, which for centuries was one of the most common verbal abuses. The first registered occurrence of the defamation bestia curvafia is from 1507. It was known throughout the country. Both the presence of a Hungarian swearword in the title and the reference to a Hungarian town (Posonium) in the text prove the Hungarian origin of the text. – Transcription of the chanson „Bestia curvafia”.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music / zene, szövegkönyvek, kották > M1 Music / zene
M Music and Books on Music / zene, szövegkönyvek, kották > M1 Music / zene > M10 Theory and philosophy of music / zeneelmélet, muzikológia
Depositing User: Endre Sarvay
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2017 13:53
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2017 13:53
URI: http://real.mtak.hu/id/eprint/70027

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