Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Between oral and written tradition- Reconstructing 'lost' singing practices of Quattrocento Italy

What kinds of vocal music were not typically transmitted in written musical notation? Can specific ‘lost’ song forms - siciliane, giustiniane, le Grechesche, gli stili “regionali“ nel canto del quattrocento - be more precisely identified than they have been until now, both in musicological research and in concert performance?

Patrizia Bovi

Patrizia Bovi is a researcher at the docARTES programme, doctoral programme in musical arts.

The subject of Bovi's research will be to reconstruct the particular vocal style of little-known song forms of late medieval / early Renaissance Italy. Sources such as surviving music compositions of later periods, contemporary literary chronicles and court payment records give hints about a ‘lost’ style of singing, that is, ‘lost’ in the sense that music historians and singers today have no clear idea about how these performances were sung - they were normally not written down in music notation as compositions. Further hints are given by regional traditions of orally-transmitted music in areas of Italy today. By making a synthesis of modern and historical data, against a background knowledge of written medieval music, it will be possible to approach the singing styles of such fascinating song forms as aer veneziano, siciliane and giustiniane


  • Prof. F.C. de Ruiter
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