Et Lex Perpetua: Dying Declarations and Mozart’s Requiem
20 Cardozo L. Rev. (1999) 1621-48
“Et lex perpetua: Dying Declarations and the Terror of Süssmayr”, in D. Manderson (ed.), Courting Death (London: Pluto Press, 1999). pp 34-52
29 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 2, 1999
This essay presents a joint history of music and society in relation to legal change particularly in the law of evidence, around 1750. the paper argues that the dramatic changes in both fields reflected similar social transformations which together changed their normative structure and assumptions, their relationship to text, interpretation, and authenticity, and their affective, instrumental, and normative ambitions. The history of music and the history of law are imbricated and entwined. Mozart's Requiem and the law on Dying Declarations are both transitional moments in the birth of formalist in law and music alike; both reflect changing and powerful ideas about text, meaning, interpretation, and, ultimately, about death.
Keywords: Mozart Requiem, dying declarations, law of evidence, legal history 1750-1800, music history 1750-1800, positivism, formalism, interpretation
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