Sunday, April 27, 2014

Music for Sunday

I was listening to a lecture on 12th century mystics last night because I'm weird like that. Naturally Hildegard von Bingen came up, about whom entire volumes have been written by feminist scholars, rescuing von Bingen from the trash heap. She was an extraordinarily gifted woman who saw visions; wrote plays, medicinal texts, theological treatises, and more letters than you can count; ran a priory, and, in her spare time when she had nothing better to do, composed music. I think there's a movie about her on Netflix.

But, hands down, the thing about her that I find most interesting is that she invented her own alternative alphabet because she found herself having to make up words to describe things for which no words existed in Latin. I'm pretty sure that had she existed today, they'd try to put her on a boatload of antipsychotics and we'd have lost one of the world's most fascinating persons.

The video above features some of her music.

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