Studies in Italian Sacred and Instrumental Music in the 17th Century: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Studies in Italian Sacred and Instrumental Music in the 17th Century

1st Edition

By Stephen Bonta


352 pages

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Hardback: 9780860788782
pub: 2003-10-27

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Stephen Bonta's research on seventeenth-century Italian music, particularly for strings, spans more than 30 years. Included in this selection of his published articles is his seminal study of the early history of the bass violin which proved to be the foundation for his subsequent articles on the early history of the violoncello. In addition to the discussions of secular instrumental music, the volume features essays that explore Italian sacred music of the period, including Monteverdi's Marian Vespers.


'There is a higher proportion of articles new to me than I expected, so I was very pleased to have my attention drawn to them, and recommend it to all who perform 17th-century music.' Early Music Review 'Bonta’s writings are essential materials to all those studying the early history of stringed bass instruments and the performance of seventeenth-century Italian instrumental music. The Ashgate collection makes readily available his contributions for generations to come. Although many of Bonta’s arguments for the use of the early bass violin in favor of the G violone may be challenged, it is clear that the field of early stringed bass research owes a debt of gratitude to this scholar. To Stephen Bonta, a sincere thank you for his scholarly spirit, inquisitive nature, and trail-blazing research.' The Online Journal of Bass Research

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Liturgical Practice and Sacred Music: Liturgical problems in Monteverdi's Marian Vespers; The uses of the sonata da chiesa; The use of instruments in sacred music in Italy 1560-1700; The Violoncello and Other Stringed Instruments: From violone to violoncello: a question of strings?; Terminology for the bass violin in 17th-century Italy; Catline strings revisited; Correlli's heritage: the early bass violin in Italy; The making of gut strings in 18th-century Paris; Further thoughts on the history of strings; Notation and Style: The instrumental music of Giovanni Legrenzi; The instrumental music of Giovanni Legrenzi: style and significance; Brossard's practice concerning the use of accidentals and the continuo in his instrumental music; A formal convention in 17th-century Italien instrumental music; General: The use of instruments in the ensemble canzona and sonata in Italy, 1580-1650; Chronological register of documents concerned with music (1583-1710) in Santa Maria Maggiore, Bergamo; The interpretation of notation in music for Italian instrumental ensembles in the mid- to late-17th century; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
MUSIC / General