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Instrument building and musical culture in seventeenth-century Malta: the luthier Mattheo Morales

Instrument building and musical culture in seventeenth-century Malta: the luthier Mattheo Morales
Instrument building and musical culture in seventeenth-century Malta: the luthier Mattheo Morales
By the seventeenth century, Malta had become a nucleus of cultural activity. It provides us with totally new perspectives on the production and consumption of music within a Mediterranean context. Though in some ways comparable to other European centres, its society differed in that there was a large presence of multi-national Knights of the Order of St John coming from the aristocracy of Italy, France, Auvergne, Provençe, Aragon, Castille, Léon, Portugal and Germany. Numerous Arab and Turkish slaves added to the cultural mix living in a concentrated area. This thesis uses the example of the Maltese instrument builder Mattheo Morales (1637-1698) as a lens through which to investigate musical culture in seventeenth-century Malta, addressing its connections to wider Mediterranean and European trends and its unique social and cultural circumstances. An affluent society and flourishing cultural atmosphere served as catalyst to foreign singers, instrumentalists, teachers of music and dance, and also to theatrical troupes. Morales was perfectly located in the city of Valletta, managing to carve for himself a very comfortable living, not only through his instrument building, but also by supplementing his earnings with regular investments in traders. Malta’s position in the central Mediterranean placed it at the crossroads of global trade and Morales’ transactions expose the vast web of trade routes with which he was personally connected. A meticulously detailed inventory of his goods drawn up after his death provides us with a very rare description of this craftsman’s home, with details of his furniture, furnishings, paintings, clothing, jewellery and silver items. In his workshop we find a number of different sizes of guitars, violins, sordini violins, bassi di viola, an arch guitar, a lute, a tromba marina, a spinet and also an instrument in the style of a Turkish tambura. Through his inventory and its ramifications, a broader picture of the musical life in Malta and the connectivity of the Island are made apparent. This thesis shapes our understanding of the significant cultural and musical activity taking place within a Mediterranean context.
University of Southampton
Borg Cardona, Anna
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Borg Cardona, Anna
c2e998d3-d8db-4b23-b9fb-4ca9fddb2768
Brooks, Laura
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De Lucca, Valeria
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Borg Cardona, Anna (2017) Instrument building and musical culture in seventeenth-century Malta: the luthier Mattheo Morales. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 298pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

By the seventeenth century, Malta had become a nucleus of cultural activity. It provides us with totally new perspectives on the production and consumption of music within a Mediterranean context. Though in some ways comparable to other European centres, its society differed in that there was a large presence of multi-national Knights of the Order of St John coming from the aristocracy of Italy, France, Auvergne, Provençe, Aragon, Castille, Léon, Portugal and Germany. Numerous Arab and Turkish slaves added to the cultural mix living in a concentrated area. This thesis uses the example of the Maltese instrument builder Mattheo Morales (1637-1698) as a lens through which to investigate musical culture in seventeenth-century Malta, addressing its connections to wider Mediterranean and European trends and its unique social and cultural circumstances. An affluent society and flourishing cultural atmosphere served as catalyst to foreign singers, instrumentalists, teachers of music and dance, and also to theatrical troupes. Morales was perfectly located in the city of Valletta, managing to carve for himself a very comfortable living, not only through his instrument building, but also by supplementing his earnings with regular investments in traders. Malta’s position in the central Mediterranean placed it at the crossroads of global trade and Morales’ transactions expose the vast web of trade routes with which he was personally connected. A meticulously detailed inventory of his goods drawn up after his death provides us with a very rare description of this craftsman’s home, with details of his furniture, furnishings, paintings, clothing, jewellery and silver items. In his workshop we find a number of different sizes of guitars, violins, sordini violins, bassi di viola, an arch guitar, a lute, a tromba marina, a spinet and also an instrument in the style of a Turkish tambura. Through his inventory and its ramifications, a broader picture of the musical life in Malta and the connectivity of the Island are made apparent. This thesis shapes our understanding of the significant cultural and musical activity taking place within a Mediterranean context.

Text
Thesis + amendments.23.5.2018. mbc - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 30 November 2020.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.

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Published date: November 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 422126
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422126
PURE UUID: 85be432b-21e1-4ec7-9749-ee3c2936acc6

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Jul 2018 16:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 18:20

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Contributors

Author: Anna Borg Cardona
Thesis advisor: Laura Brooks
Thesis advisor: Valeria De Lucca

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