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The Power of Music: the Significance of Contrafactum in Execution Ballads

McIlvenna, Una (2015) The Power of Music: the Significance of Contrafactum in Execution Ballads. Past & Present, 229 (1). 47 -89. ISSN 0031-2746. E-ISSN 1477-464X. (doi:10.1093/pastj/gtv032) (KAR id:54888)


This paper looks at how song was employed across Europe for centuries as a

vehicle for broadcasting news about crime and executions, and how this performative medium

could both frame and mediate the message of punishment and repentance. In particular, it

focuses on the ancient, pan-European tradition of contrafactum, the setting of new words to old

tunes, that was a feature of this early form of news media, revealing the significance of the

choice of music to the transmission of information.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/pastj/gtv032
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Una McIlvenna
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2016 12:48 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 03:37 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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