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The performance of early sixteenth-century polyphony in Italian convents

The performance of early sixteenth-century polyphony in Italian convents
The performance of early sixteenth-century polyphony in Italian convents
This article explores evidence for polyphonic music in Italian convents during the first half of the 16th century. It presents a summary of documentary evidence relating to conventual music in the pre-Tridentine era, alongside practical evidence from contemporary treatises regarding methods by which convent choirs could develop a polyphonic repertory from existing music. It revisits claims for mandatory downwards transposition of music written in high clefs, and considers two manuscripts—Verona, Biblioteca Capitolare, Ms.761 and Brussels Bibliothèque du Conservatoire Royal de Musique, Ms.27766—in the light of this investigation. The article aims to open up a conversation regarding the status of convent polyphony in the early 16th century, shedding new light on its importance and advocating a fresh approach to the possibility of female performance for the Franco-Flemish repertory of the great papal and ducal chapels.
convent polyphony, early music, nuns, Renaissance, Italy
1741-7260
195–215
Stras, Laurie
b1021221-b68d-4a48-bf3c-890e5a63438a
Stras, Laurie
b1021221-b68d-4a48-bf3c-890e5a63438a

Stras, Laurie (2017) The performance of early sixteenth-century polyphony in Italian convents. Early Music, 45 (2), 195–215. (doi:10.1093/em/cax023).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article explores evidence for polyphonic music in Italian convents during the first half of the 16th century. It presents a summary of documentary evidence relating to conventual music in the pre-Tridentine era, alongside practical evidence from contemporary treatises regarding methods by which convent choirs could develop a polyphonic repertory from existing music. It revisits claims for mandatory downwards transposition of music written in high clefs, and considers two manuscripts—Verona, Biblioteca Capitolare, Ms.761 and Brussels Bibliothèque du Conservatoire Royal de Musique, Ms.27766—in the light of this investigation. The article aims to open up a conversation regarding the status of convent polyphony in the early 16th century, shedding new light on its importance and advocating a fresh approach to the possibility of female performance for the Franco-Flemish repertory of the great papal and ducal chapels.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 April 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 July 2017
Published date: 31 October 2017
Keywords: convent polyphony, early music, nuns, Renaissance, Italy
Organisations: Music

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 402244
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/402244
ISSN: 1741-7260
PURE UUID: bd07d3bc-3c28-4950-87f7-4aa0115a00f8
ORCID for Laurie Stras: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0129-2047

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Nov 2016 09:23
Last modified: 28 Jul 2018 00:35

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