Athens Concert Hall, 4-6 November 2003
Music as Metaphor in Délie by Maurice Scève
In his Solitaire Second (Lyon 1555), Pontus de Tyard refers to a new kind of musical notation, with which his friend Maurice Scève had chosen to experiment. One cannot read the work of the Lyonais poet M. Scève (ca. 1500 - ca. 1560) without noticing that music plays a preponderant rôle in it: with the exception of the love poem Délie, only scholars nowadays read works such as Microcosme and Saulsay, in which there are numerous references to “musica mundana” and to “the music of the spheres”, as these notions were understood by the average sixteenth-century “common reader”, while in the elegiac “Eclogue” Arion “musica instrumentalis” holds the first rank. The present paper aims at pointing out the rôle played by music as a metaphorical expression in the poetry of M. Scève through Platonism (and Neo-Platonism) in the late Renaissance.