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Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music: Giovanni Varelli
December 5 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pmFree
Giovanni Varelli (Magdalen College) Mapping Notational Dialects of Early Medieval Italy: Current Challenges and Future Prospectives
About the Series:
Convened by Margaret Bent, the long-established series invites younger and established international scholars to share new ideas and discoveries across a wide historical range. The presentation is followed by an extensive period of questions and discussion, with wine.
In his Annales Ecclesiastici (1588), the Renaissance cardinal and historian Cesare Baronio (1538–1607) defined the tenth century as Italy’s saeculum obscurum. Yet, surviving music manuscripts and fragments clearly show an utter burgeoning of different notational ‘dialects’ with an impressive array of musico-graphic creativity, stemming from complex institutional and ecclesiastical networks, and reflecting the highly unstable and fragmented political situation in Italy after the dissolution of the Carolingian Empire. The paper will explore the intricate topography of the earliest music scripts in the Italic peninsula (ca. 900-1050) and will present a close-up of specific graphic strategies for the visualisation of liturgical chant, exposing also their intersections with other material manifestations of written musical media at the turn of the first millennium.