1st Edition

Women in Convent Spaces and the Music Networks of Early Modern Barcelona

By Ascensión Mazuela-Anguita Copyright 2023
    316 Pages 80 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    316 Pages 80 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book presents the first study of music in convent life in a single Hispanic city, Barcelona, during the early modern era. Exploring how convents were involved in the musical networks operating in sixteenth-century Barcelona, it challenges the invisibility of women in music history and reveals the intrinsic role played by nuns and lay women in the city’s urban musical culture.

    Drawing on a wide range of archival sources, this innovative study offers a cross-disciplinary approach that not only reveals details of the rich musical life in Barcelona’s nunneries, but shows how they took part in wider national and transnational networks of musical distribution, including religious, commercial, and social dimensions of music. The connections of Barcelona convents to networks for the dissemination of music in and outside the city provide a rich example of the close relationship between musical networks, urban society, and popular culture.

    Addressing how music was understood as a marker of identity, prestige, and social status and, above all, as a conduit between earth and heaven, this book provides new insights into how women shaped musical traditions in the urban context. It is essential reading for scholars of early modern history, musicology, history of religion, and gender studies, as well as all those with an interest in urban history and the city of Barcelona.

    The book is supported by additional digital appendices, which include:

    • Records of inquiries into the lineage of Santa Maria de Jonqueres nuns
    • Development of the collections of choir books belonging to the convents of Santa Maria de Jonqueres and Sant Antoni i Santa Clara

    1. Mapping convents’ sounds in the city  2. Music as a commodity: Music, convents, and the economy of the city  3. Music as a symbol of political power and social status  4. Music to reach heaven  5. Beyond the city: Religious orders as national and international music networks


    Ascensión Mazuela-Anguita is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Granada, Spain.