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Observations placeholder

Georges Rousseau - The Inflected Voice - Healing sorrow



Type of Spiritual Experience


Sigismondo d'India (c. 1582 – before 19 April 1629) was an Italian composer of the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras. He was one of the most accomplished contemporaries of Monteverdi, and wrote music in many of the same forms as the more famous composer.

Giulio Caccini (1551–1618),  - Florentine composer, significant innovator of the early Baroque era.  Francesca Caccini (1587–1640?) was Giulio's daughter, and a well-known opera composer in the early 17th century.  Settimia Caccini (1591–1638?) was also Giulio's daughter, a singer and occasional composer.

Francesco Rossi (?Bari 1625 –? after 1699) was an Italian composer, organist and Maestro di Cappella.

Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger (also: Johann(es) Hieronymus Kapsberger or Giovanni Geronimo Kapsperger; c. 1580 – 17 January 1651) was a German-Italian virtuoso performer and composer of the early Baroque period. A prolific and highly original composer, Kapsberger is chiefly remembered today for his lute and theorbo (chitarrone) music, which was seminal in the development of these as solo instruments.

A description of the experience

Georges Rousseau – The Inflected Voice

… the internal study of music history demonstrates what particular melodious voices have meant to their listeners.

This has been especially so in musical forms that reify grief and suffering, and there has even been agreement about some of these generalized effects on group audiences within specific cultures. The Renaissance song of sorrow, suffering and grief soothed not only the singer, who was often the bereaved sufferer, but also other listeners.

This is the tradition of song and suffering, voice and healing, developed by D'India, Caccini, Melli, Rossi, Kapsberger, and perfected by Monteverdi in laments such as

'Se I languidi miei sguardi'   and   'Disprezzata Regina'.

It continued through Purcell and Handel, although less forcefully and could be referred to as the 'Rodalinda school of soothing'. The natural voice captured in simple but poignant and passionate melancholic song calms the most turbulent passions.

The source of the experience

Musician other

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps


Music therapy