Celestial Sirens: Nuns and Their Music in Early Modern Milan / Edition 1

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This study investigates an almost unknown musical culture: that of the cloistered nuns in one of the major cities of early modern Europe. These women were the most famous musicians of Milan, and the music composed for them opens up a hitherto unstudied musical repertory, which allows insight into the symbolic world of the city. Even more importantly, the music actually composed by four such nuns - Claudia Sessa, Claudia Rusca, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, and Rosa Giacinta Badella - reveals the musical expression of women's own devotional life. The two centuries of battles over nuns' singing of polyphony, studied here for the first time on the basis of archival documentation, also suggest that the implementation of reform in the major centre of post-Tridentine Catholic renewal was far more varied, incomplete, subject to local political pressure and individual interpretation, and short-lived than has commonly been assumed. Other factors that marked these women's musical lives and creative output - liturgical traditions of the religious orders, the problems of performance practice attendant upon all-female singing ensembles - are here addressed for the first time in the musicological literature.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198164081
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Series: Oxford Monographs on Music Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Glossary of Ecclesiastical Terminology
List of Abbreviations
List of Music Examples
1 Religious Women in Milan: From 'Counter-Reformation' to 'Early Modern Catholicism' 1
2 Patrician Institutions and their Medieval Heritage 27
3 From Social Disciplining to Spiritual Recreation 58
4 Conflict and Renown 90
5 Monastic Musical Traditions 123
6 Nuns' Music in the Milanese World-view 153
7 Ad usum Sanctimonialium 177
8 Continuity and Innovation from Antegnati to Rusca 209
9 A Nun's Music among the Genres of Mid-century Lombardy 268
10 Spirituality and Style in Cozzolani's Music 304
11 Solo Motets and their Background from Cozzolani to Badalla 366
12 Conclusion 415
App. A Documents 433
App. B Female Monasteries in the Diocese of Milan, c. 1600 474
App. C Printed Music Dedicated to Nuns in the Diocese, 1592-1679 478
App. D The Works of Sessa, Rusca, Cozzolani, Calegari, and Badalla 499
App. E A Reconstruction of Benedictine Vespers at S. Radegonda 507
App. F Two Compositions by Milanese Nuns 511
Bibliography 531
Index 549
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