Book Series Epitome musical

The Museum of Renaissance Music

A History in 100 Exhibits

Vincenzo Borghetti, Tim Shephard (eds)

  • Pages: 532 p.
  • Size:230 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:250 col., 6 musical examples
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2023

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58856-8
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58857-5
  • E-book
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A history of Renaissance music told through 100 artefacts, revealing their witness to the priorities and activities of people in the past as they addressed their world through music.


"Like a veritable pop-up book, The Museum of Renaissance Music surprises its readers with the multidimensional quality of its content. Presenting a hundred diverse objects organized in different themed rooms, Borghetti and Shephard’s volume offers readers the experience of walking through an imaginary museum where objects “speak out” their complex web of allusion connecting texts, images and sounds. A veritable tour de force, this book brings history, art history, and musicology together to highlight the pervasive nature of music in Renaissance culture, and does so in a direct and effective manner that can be enjoyed by experts and amateurs alike."
Martina Bagnoli, Gallerie Estensi, Modena  

"With imaginative verve, The Museum of Renaissance Music contributes to a current explosion of material studies whose cacophony remakes our understanding of the Renaissance via “history by collage,” in this case understanding Renaissance musicking through the spatial affordances of the gallery with its multitude of “rooms” (travels, psalters, domestic objects, instruments, and much more), rather than through the traditional edited collection. The results are mesmerizing, indispensable."
Martha Feldman, University of Chicago

"This imaginary museum of Renaissance music, through a collection of one hundred exhibits, returns a proper share of sonority to objects, images, artworks and spaces. A fascinating reference book, offering a transformative vision of music in Renaissance culture, from domestic space to the global dimension."
Diane Bodart, Columbia University, New York

"The high-quality reproductions together with the knowledgeable commentaries are a treat for the eyes and mind of the reader. An entirely new type of music history book, this wonderful volume will appeal to scholars, music lovers, and students alike."
Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt


Vincenzo Borghetti is Associate Professor of Music History at the University of Verona. He holds a doctorate in musicology from the University of Pavia-Cremona and in 2007–08 was a fellow of Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Renaissance Italian Studies in Florence. His research interests are centred on Renaissance polyphony and opera. His essays and articles have appeared in Early Music History, Acta musicologica, Journal of the Alamire Foundation, and Imago Musicae, among other journals, and in several edited collections. In 2019 he was elected to the Academia Europaea.

Tim Shephard is Professor of Musicology at the University of Sheffield. He is the co-author of Music in the Art of Renaissance Italy (Harvey Miller, 2020), as well as numerous other books and essays on Italian musical culture in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. He currently leads the project ‘Sounding the Bookshelf 1501: Musical Knowledge in a Year of Italian Printed Books’, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.


This book collates 100 exhibits with accompanying essays as an imaginary museum dedicated to the musical cultures of Renaissance Europe, at home and in its global horizons. It is a history through artefacts—materials, tools, instruments, art objects, images, texts, and spaces—and their witness to the priorities and activities of people in the past as they addressed their world through music. The result is a history by collage, revealing overlapping musical practices and meanings—not only those of the elite, but reflecting the everyday cacophony of a diverse culture and its musics. Through the lens of its exhibits, this museum surveys music’s central role in culture and lived experience in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe, offering interest and insights well beyond the strictly musicological field.


• I. The Room of Devotions

Introduction (Matthew Laube)

1 Silence (Barbara Baert)

2 Virgin and Child with Angels (M. Jennifer Bloxam)

3 Madonna of Humility (Beth Williamson)

4 Virgin Annunciate (Marina Nordera)

5 The Prato "Haggadah" (Eleazar Gutwirth)

6 The Musicians of the Holy Church, Exempt from Tax (Geoffrey Baker)

7 A Devotional Song from Iceland (Árni Heimir Ingólfsson)

8 Alabaster Altarpiece (James Cook, Andrew Kirkman, Zuleika Murat, and Philip Weller)

9 The Mass of St Gregory (Bernadette Nelson)


10 Bernardino de Sahagún’s "Psalmodia christiana" (Lorenzo Candelaria)

11 The "Սաղմոսարան" of Abgar Dpir Tokhatetsi (Ortensia Giovannini)

12 A Printed Hymnal by Jacobus Finno (Sanna Raninen)

13 "The Whole Booke of Psalmes" (Jonathan Willis)

• II. The Room of Domestic Objects

Introduction (Paul Schleuse)

14 Commonplace Book (Kate van Orden)

15 Knife (Flora Dennis)

16 Playing Cards (Katelijne Schiltz)

17 Cabinet of Curiosities (Franz Körndle)

18 Table (Katie Bank)

19 Statue (Laura Moretti)

20 Valance (Katherine Butler)

21 Painting (Camilla Cavicchi)

22 Fan (Flora Dennis)

23 Tapestry (Carla Zecher)


24 Venus (Tim Shephard)

25 Sirens (Eugenio Refini)

26 Death and the Maiden (Katherine Butler)

27 Erotokritos Sings a Love Song to Aretousa (Alexandros Maria Hatzikiriakos)

• III. The Room of Books

Introduction (Elisabeth Giselbrecht)

28 Chansonnier of Margaret of Austria (Vincenzo Borghetti)

29 The Constance Gradual (Marianne C.E. Gillion)

30 The Bible of Borso d’Este (Serenella Sessini)

31 The Jistebnice Cantionale (Lenka Hlávková)

32 The Saxilby Fragment (Lisa Colton and James Cook)

33 "Le Jardin de Plaisance et Fleur de Rhétorique" (Jane H. M. Taylor)

34 "Hypnerotomachia Poliphili" (Massimo Privitera)

35 Embroidered Partbooks (Birgit Lodes)

36 "Grande Musicque" Typeface (Louisa Hunter-Bradley)

37 Coat of Arms of Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg (Elisabeth Giselbrecht)

38 The Eton Choirbook (Magnus Williamson)

39 "Liber Quindecim Missarum" (Paweł Gancarczyk)

40 "Les simulachres & historiées faces de la mort" (Katelijne Schiltz)

Imagined Spaces

41 The Musical Staff (Jane Alden)

42 Deduit’s Garden (Sylvia Huot)

43 Arcadia (Giuseppe Gerbino)

44 Heaven (Laura Ștefănescu)

• IV. The Room of Instruments

Introduction (Emanuela Vai)

45 Lady Playing the Vihuela da Mano (David R. M. Irving)

46 Double Virginals (Moritz Kelber)

47 Horn from Allgäu (Martin Kirnbauer)

48 Inventory after the Death of Madame Montcuyt (Emily Peppers)

49 Girl Playing the Virginals (Laura S. Ventura Nieto)

50 Vihuela (John Griffiths)

51 Bagpipes (John J. Thompson)

52 Kös (Kate van Orden)

• V. The Room of Sacred Spaces

Introduction (David Fiala)

53 The Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata, Florence (Giovanni Zanovello)

54 Hauptkirche Beatae Mariae Virginis, Wolfenbüttel (Inga Mai Groote)

55 A Sow Playing the Organ (Mattias Lundberg)

56 Ceiling with the Muses and Apollo (Tim Shephard)

57 St Katherine’s Convent Church, Augsburg (Barbara Eichner)

58 Misericord (Frédéric Billiet)

59 The Chapel of King Sigismund, Wawel Cathedral, Krakow (Paweł Gancarczyk)

60 The Bell Founder’s Window, York Minster (Lisa Colton)

61 Organ Shutters from the Cathedral of Ferrara (Sophia D’Addio)

62 The Cathedral of St James, Šibenik (Ennio Stipčević)

63 The Funeral Monument of the Princess of Éboli (Iain Fenlon)

• VI. The Room of the Public Sphere

Introduction (Robert L. Kendrick)

64 Street Music from Barcelona (Tess Knighton)

65 African Musicians at the King’s Fountain in Lisbon (Nuno de Mendonça Raimundo)

66 Songs for Hanukkah and Purim from Venice (Diana Matut)

67 A Tragedy from Ferrara (Laurie Stras)

68 A Bosnian Gravestone (Zdravko Blažeković)

69 Morris Dancers from Germany (Anne Daye)

70 A Princely Wedding in Düsseldorf (Klaus Pietschmann)


71 Mexico City – Tenochtitlan (Javier Marín-López)

72 Dijon (Gretchen Peters)

73 Milan (Daniele V. Filippi)

74 Munich (Alexander J. Fisher)


75 The Travels of Pierre Belon du Mans (Carla Zecher)

76 Aflatun Charms the Wild Animals with the Music of the Arghanun (Jonathan Katz)

77 Granada in Georg Braun’s "Civitates Orbis Terrarum" (Ascensión Mazuela-Anguita)

78 News from the Island of Japan (Kathryn Bosi)

• VII. The Room of Experts

Introduction (Jessie Ann Owens)

79 Will of John Dunstaple, Esquire (Lisa Colton)

80 Portrait Medal of Ludwig Senfl (Birgit Lodes)

81 Zampolo dalla Viola Petitions Duke Ercole I d’Este (Bonnie J. Blackburn)

82 A Diagram from the Mubarak Shah Commentary (Jeffrey Levenberg)

83 Cardinal Bessarion’s Manuscript of Ancient Greek Music Theory (Eleonora Rocconi)

84 The Analogy of the Nude (Antonio Cascelli)

85 The Music Book of Martin Crusius (Inga Mai Groote)

86 The World on a Crab’s Back (Katelijne Schiltz)

87 Juan del Encina’s "Gasajémonos de huzía" (Emilio Ros-Fábregas)

88 Josquin de Prez’s "Missa Philippus Rex Castilie" (Vincenzo Borghetti)

89 The Elite Singing Voice (Richard Wistreich)

• VIII. The Room of Revivals

Introduction (David Yearsley)

90 Instruments of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Martin Elste)

91 Dolmetsch’s Spinet (Jessica L. Wood)

92 Assassin’s Creed: Ezio Trilogy (Karen M. Cook)

93 "Christophorus Columbus: Paraísos Perdidos" (Donald Greig)

94 A Palestrina Contrafactum — Samantha Bassler 447

95 St Sepulchre Chapel, St Mary Magdalene, London (Ayla Lepine)

96 The Singing Fountain in Prague (Scott Lee Edwards)

97 Liebig Images of "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" (Gundula Kreuzer)

98 Das Chorwerk (Pamela M. Potter)

99 "Ode to a Screw" (Vincenzo Borghetti)

100 Wax Figure of Anne Boleyn (Linda Phyllis Austern)


Notes on Contributors 477

Bibliography 487

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