Lisanne Vroomen (University of Antwerp), Ruusbroecgenootschap, Universiteit Antwerpen, Prinsstraat 13, GK 34.101, B-2000 Antwerpen, Lisanne.email@example.com
In previous research, it has been stated that vernacular religious songs could be targeted at and used by young women, e.g. since renunciation of the world is an important topic for this genre. This article explores the themes of conversion, repentance and renunciation of the world in the religious song manuscript Berlin, SBB-PK, mgo 185. Although these themes are often present in the songs, it is, based on solely this information, problematic to conclude that the codex was intended for young women who were at the beginning of their conversion. They could have used the songs, but nevertheless, the themes might also have been important for women who had been living a (semi)religious life for a while. In addition, this article shows that elements of secular songs were incorporated in the formal elements of the devout songs, even though the world is rejected in a lot of the songs. Melodies of worldly songs were adopted and elements from secular May songs were taken over. The so-called substitution motive cannot explain this intermingling of secular and religious songs.
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