The canzone villanesca alla napolitana: Social, Cultural and Historical Contexts, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The canzone villanesca alla napolitana

Social, Cultural and Historical Contexts, 1st Edition

By Donna G. Cardamone


348 pages

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The printed debut of the canzone villanesca alla napolitana occurred on 24 October 1537, in Naples. Fifteen anonymous 'rustic songs' were published by Johannes de Colonia in a pocket-sized anthology with a cover featuring three women with hoes tilling the soil. The adjective villanesca (from villano or peasant) in the strict sense of the word means rustic or crude, but in this new context it also intimates that Neapolitan poet-musicians had been affected by the instinctive lyrical traditions of everyday people. The articles in this volume trace the Neapolitan origins of this song form, and its subsequent development as it spread quickly throughout Italy in a succession of editions published in Venice and Rome, providing a diverse repertory of lively songs to amuse the privileged that held and attended academies. Several studies focus on key figures in this process, notably Ferrante Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno, and Orlando di Lasso. At the same time the author relates these developments to the contemporary political context, notably the rivalry of Spain and France for control of the Kingdom of Naples.


’Donna Cardamone has been the leading expert on the canzone villanesca alla napolitana, a genre of Neapolitan song of popular character, for more than thirty years.’ Music and Letters

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; The debut of the canzone villanesca alla napolitana; Musical and metrical forms of the canzone villanesca and villanella alla napolitana; Madrigali a tre et arie napolitane: a typographical and repertorial study; The Prince of Salerno and the dynamics of oral transmission in songs of political exile; Orlando di Lasso and pro-French factions in Rome; A colorful bouquet of arie napolitane; The salon as marketplace in the 1550s: patrons and collectors of Lasso's secular music; Guilio Bonagiunta: a composer with a progressive attitude; Orlando di Lasso et al.: a new reading of the Roman villanella book (1555); Erotic jest and gesture in Roman anthologies of Neapolitan dialect songs; Indexes.

About the Author

Donna Cardamone Jackson died in 2009. Before her retirement in 2007 she taught for 38 years at the University of Minnesota,

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