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«Fonti Musicali Italiane» è la rivista della Società Italiana di Musicologia dedicata alle ricerche sulle fonti. Pubblica saggi in italiano, inglese e francese, relativi alle fonti utili alla ricerca sulla storia della musica in Italia: cataloghi e studi su manoscritti, edizioni musicali, libretti; spogli di periodici musicali e non; documenti d’archivio, carteggi, epistolari; documentazione utile alla ricerca organologica e iconografica; discografie; interventi sulle nuove tecnologie in rapporto alla ricerca sulle fonti musicali. I saggi pubblicati su «Fonti Musicali Italiane» intendono offrire – accanto ai materiali documentari presentati – una loro attenta valutazione critica. Ogni volume contiene infine un’ampia Rassegna bibliografica in cui sono elencati monografie, saggi, edizioni di musiche comparsi nell’anno precedente in Italia e all’estero, e relativi alla musica italiana.

«Fonti Musicali Italiane» è una rivista peer-reviewed che si attiene a una revisione double-blind per la selezione e la pubblicazione dei saggi. 

Fonti Musicali Italiane, 4 (1999)

Inserito in Fonti Musicali Italiane


  • Gian Giacomo Stiffoni, Per una biografia del compositore napoletano Nicola Conforto (Napoli 1718 - Madrid 1793): documenti d'archivio, libretti conservati nella Biblioteca Nacional di Madrid, fonti musicali manoscritte e a stampa. Abstract
  • Dascia Delpero, Il «Giornale enciclopedico di Milano» (1782-1797) e la «Gazzetta enciclopedica di Milano» (1780-1802): due nuove fonti per la storia della musica milanese. Abstract.
  • Luca Aversano, Il commercio di edizioni e manoscritti musicali tra Italia e Germania nel primo Ottocento (1800-1830). Abstract.
  • Giuseppina Mascari, Contributo ad un catalogo delle opere di Giovanni Pacini: melodrammi autografi e copie manoscritte conservati presso la Biblioteca Comunale di Pescia. Abstract.
  • Patricia B. Brauner, Le edizioni critiche di opera italiana dell'Ottocento: scopi, fonti, metodi e futuro. Abstract.
  • Maria Rita Coppotelli, Il fondo della Società teatrale internazionale (1908-1913) conservato presso l'Archivio storico capitolino di Roma. Abstract.
  • Roberto Leydi, Discografia della musica popolare italiana - Sicilia. Abstract.
  • Rassegna bibliografica: 1998, a cura di Carmela Bongiovanni con la collaborazione di Sonia Teramo.


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Gian Giacomo Stiffoni

For a biograpy of Nicola Conforto: archive documents, librettos stored in the National Library of Madrid, manuscript and printed musical sources

Among the many Neapolitan composers who, after an initial activity in Italy, worked abroad during the central years of the eighteenth century, Nicola Conforto (Naples 1718 - Madrid 1793) is probably one of the least studied despite his privileged position as court composer when he was living in Spain during the reigns of Ferdinand VI and Charles III.
Conforto's Italian period is characterized by the composition of works commissioned by various theatres of the peninsula, especially those of Naples, for which he wrote opere serie (for the San Carlo, Antigono in 1750 and Adriano in Siria in 1754) and Neapolitan "commedeja pe' mmuseca", the latter mostly performed at the Teatro dei Fiorentini. In 1755, he moved definitely to Spain on the insistence of Farinelli, at that time director of the royal music at the Bourbon court, where composed a few opere serie and serenades for the Buen Retiro and Aranajuez theatres up to 1759 when Charles III decreed the interruption of all performances. After that, and apart from two serenades written respectively in 1764 and 1765, Conforto dedicated himself almost exclusively to teaching music, above all to the Infantas of Spain and to Prince Don Gabriel.
Through a revision of known sources and after reexamining some of the data available to date, this paper traces, with the help of unpublished documents, a detailed biographical profile of the composer and a review of his works from the Neapolitan period to the last years of his residence at Madrid. The study includes three appendices. The first appendix contains transcriptions of the archival documents that are of particular interest with regard to the life of the composer. The second, instead, presents a catalogue of the librettos set to music by Conforto which are today in the Biblioteca Nacional of Madrid, a first attempt at bringing to public notice the highly interesting collection of Italian librettos available in that library. Finally, the third appendix contains a catalogue, as far as possible complete, of the manuscript and printed sources of the works of the Neapolitan composer.

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Dacia Delpero

The «Giornale enciclopedico di Milano» and the «Gazzetta enciclopedica» di Milano: two new sources for the history of music in Milan

The «Giornale enciclopedico di Milano» (edited by the Genoese priest Gaetano Morandi and published by the Pirola brothers twice-weekly, and three times a week from 1794-96), and the «Gazzetta enciclopedica di Milano» (published by Gaetano Motta once a week from 1780; twice a week from 1799 to 1802) are notable both for the wealth of musical news reported and for the fact of being two journalistic initiatives that are almost unknown, at least from the viewpoint of musicological research. Both periodicals contain a historical-political section (political news and local events) and a literary section. As far as musical events are concerned, the two publications give more space to reviews and criticisms of opera and ballet performances at the Scala and Canobbiana theatres of Milan and at the Teatro Arciducale of Monza. Plentiful information is also given on the singers (e.g. Luigi Marchesi), dancers and choreographic and scenographic elements; in one of the first numbers of the «Giornale», there is also a list of the orchestra members. Ample coverage is given as well to public concerts (such as the charity concerts held regularly in Lent for the benfit of the Pio Istituto Filarmonico), to private concerts (held at court, in the palaces of the nobility and in colleges), to the religious ceremonies with music which were held in the churches of Milan, especially on particular occasions (the funerals of Maria Theresa, of Joseph II and of Leopold II; weddings; Te Deum for victories of the Austrian armies, etc); to processions accompanied by music and to performances of oratorio. There are also regular reports in both periodicals on the activities of the two maestri who succeeded each other as choirmaster of Milan cathedral: Giuseppe Sarti and Carlo Monza. In addition to these news items, there are notices announcing the sale of instruments and musical editions, either produced by Milanese engravers or imported from abroad. Finally, both the «Giornale» and the «Gazzetta» give information on new books of musical interest, sometimes publishing reviews and extracts: for instance, the treatises of Bertezen, Pizzati and Vallotti, the historical texts of Mattei and Gervasoni, the critical essays of Arteaga and Manfredini.
All this information is discussed in the introduction to the paper, while the news items concerning music (with the exception of editorial and commercial announcements) are presented in detail in the appendices.

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Luca Aversano

The commerce of musical editions and manuscripts between Italy and Germany in the early nineteenth century

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, German music publishers pursued a policy of expansion abroad for the dual purpose of finding new commercial outlets and of acquiring items so far unavailable on the domestic market. During these early years there was in Italy a flourishing of enterprises active in the field of music and qualified for cooperating with foreign partners wishing to establish business relations. In this context, a regular and intensive commerce of musical editions and manuscripts developed between Germany and Italy. In this paper the author reconstructs the strategies and mechanisms of this trading, using as sources the correspondence of some of the leading German publishing houses (Breitkopf & Härtel, André, Simrock, Hoffmeister & Kühnel, Kühnel & Peters) and, on a minor scale, the announcements of Italian publishers in the press of that time. In the first part of the paper, the role of Leipzig is evidenced as the point of confluence of international commerce in music between Italy and North Europe and the activating processes and economic aspects of the business transactions are then analyzed following two fundamental models: a) trade “à condition”, in which the correspondent assumes responsibility for managing and selling a stock of musical items which remains the property of the wholesaler; b) trade on account of a retailer which foresees the sale of the goods to the correspondent with a high cash discount. The case is also examined of business relations based on the exchange of printed music or of other goods, including strings and instruments. In addition, the description is given of shipment methods, conveyance routes, type of goods traded and marketing techniques.
The second part of the paper deals with the activities and territorial distribution of Italian correspondents (mainly music publishers, music dealers and booksellers); Milan, Venice, Naples and Trieste (in that order) account for the major number of correspondents.
The results of the research show that the diffusion of German music in Italy during the early years of the nineteenth century is essentially a phenomenon of economic-commercial character, far more extensive and in-depth than was suggested by the research on public performances and their audiences. Finally, the discovery of the intensive trade of musical editions between Italy and Germany substantiates, for the first time in the history of the book trade, the existence of relations of a certain importance between the two geographical areas.

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Giuseppina Mascari

Contribution to a catalogue of Giovanni Pacini's works: autograph operas and manuscript copies stored at the Pescia Municipal Library

The largest collection of autographs, copies, sketches and outlines of operas by the composer Giovanni Pacini (1796-1867) is now to be found in the Municipal Library of Pescia. This material was presented to the Library in 1942 by Adele Fantozzi Pacini, widow of Giovanni Pacini great-grandson of the maestro. In this paper a first attempt has been made to catalogue the manuscripts of operatic music (autographs and copies of complete operas, instrumental and vocal parts of various operas, autograph sketches and outlines) kept at the Pescia Municipal Library; these documents form the more consistent part of the collection which in addition includes autographs and copies of instrumental and sacred music, printed music, librettos, correspondence between the composer and his family and friends. In presenting the material, efforts have been made to comply as far as possible with the present configuration of the collection. The forms, compiled according to RISM series A/II specifications, also contain an index of the contents of the scores and an ample wealth of notes. In addition, at the end of the four sections there is a general index and an index of the incipit quoted. Finally, attention is drawn to the fact that some sources are reported here for the first time while others, quoted incorrectly in some lexicons, have been rectified.

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Patricia B. Brauner

Critical editions of nineteenth-century Italian opera: the goals, the sources, the methods and the future

The critical editions of Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, and Verdi share similar goals and methods adapted to the particular characteristics of the individual composer. This paper surveys the criteria of these four editions and the current state of publication, gives the locations of the surviving sources, and illustrates problems in using the sources for critical editions. Finally, it suggests some implications of information technology for the making of critical editions. While publication has been facilitated by the survival of the majority of the composers' autograph scores, their existence does not mean that editing them is uncomplicated: for example, a single work may have an array of sources, each with authority in its own arena—the original autograph; any autograph materials relating to revisions; contemporary copies; early printed editions and piano-vocal reductions. Scholars and editors frequently study the sources in photographic reproduction, although the critical editions have attempted, whenever possible, to ensure that editors work with the manuscripts themselves before publication. Casa Ricordi and the Fondazione Rossini have independently undertaken to photograph the autograph manuscripts held in their archives and to store them as computer images. These projects will reduce use of the autographs, thus preserving them from the stress of handling, while at the same time facilitating their study because of the essential interchangeability of the actual and virtual manuscripts.
The issues of diffusion of electronic images and text on the Internet and of the possibility of publishing critical editions in electronic format, with its potential to link text and image and to follow branching paths of investigation, need to be considered seriously by the committees for the critical editions. But even publication of high-resolution facsimiles (in print or electronically) cannot eliminate the need for critical editions, in which editors collate and evaluate the sources in the light of how compositional conditions and a composer's methods affected his autographs.

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Maria Rita Coppotelli

The fondo of the Società Teatrale Internazionale at the Capitoline Historic Archives

The Società Teatrale Italo-Argentina (S.T.I.A.) and the Società Teatrale Internazionale (S.T.In.) were founded respectively in 1907 and 1908 (the first at Buenos Aires and the second at Rome) on the initiative of two eminent organizers: the impresario Walter Mocchi and Count Enrico di San Martino e Valperga (at that time president of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia). The Capitoline Historic Archives of Rome houses a conspicuous collection of documents - unpublished and until now unknown - relative to the vicissitudes of the S.T.In. and of the S.T.I.A. during the period 1908-1913, which have enabled us to outline for the first time the history of these two companies and to obtain a detailed picture of the management of Italian theatres at the beginning of the twentieth century. The nineteen main folders - in course of being inventoried - contain, divided into hundreds of files and subfiles, letters written by key-personalities like Walter Mocchi, Enrico di San Martino, Enrico Polese and Pietro Mascagni, contracts stipulated with artists, agreements between S.T.I.A. and S.T.In. and between the latter and the Executive Committee for the festivities in 1911. The S.T.I.A. was founded by Mocchi for the purpose of organizing and managing the opera seasons of leading South American theatres, engaging companies from Italy prepared to tour overseas during the months in which Italian theatres were closed. In order to realize this ambitious objective in the best possible way, it was essential for the S.T.I.A. to gain control also of a good number of Italian theatres, which proved possible thanks to the creation of the S.T.In., a company that proceeded to acquire the Teatro Costanzi of Rome and take over the management of some of the major Italian theatres (Regio of Turin, Regio of Parma, Petruzzelli of Bari, Carlo Felice of Genoa, Politeama Adriano of Rome); the Conte di San Martino was nominated president of the S.T.In. Created as an Italian subsidiary of the S.T.I.A., the S.T.In. soon showed its wish to be autonomous: the company aimed at controlling the theatrical world of Rome and at organizing the grand season of 1911 in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Unity of Italy. The diversity of aims and the many interests involved created strong disagreements and made the relations between the two companies very turbulent. The paper retraces these events, with particular reference to the seasons of the Teatro Costanzi in Rome (at that time directed by Mascagni), based not only on archival documentation but also on reportages in the Roman daily newspapers.

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Roberto Leydi

Discography of Italian popular music - Sicily

The fourth part of the classified reference list of Italian popular music is dedicated to Sicily; here, too, as in the previous parts, the list covers 33 rpm lp and cd, 45 rpm and ep and 78 rpm records.


Fonti Musicali Italiane, 3 (1998)

Inserito in Fonti Musicali Italiane


  • Marco Gozzi, Le fonti liturgiche quattrocentesche con notazione della Biblioteca comunale di Trento. Abstract.
  • Ausilia Magaudda - Danilo Costantini, Un periodico a stampa di antico regime: la «Gazzetta di Milano». II parte: Spoglio delle notizie musicali per gli anni 1642-1685. Abstract.
  • Luisa Cosi, Settecento musicale inedito tra Napoli e Terra d'Otranto: professioni e società di musica attraverso nuove fonti d'archivio. Abstract.
  • Licia Sirch, La stanza della memoria. L'archivio della Società filarmonica di Cremona. Abstract.
  • Tiziana Grande, Contributo alla storia della Biblioteca del Conservatorio di Napoli: gli anni 1889-1935. Abstract.
  • Alessia Ferraresi, Alberto Franchetti: una biografia dalle lettere. Abstract.
  • Renato Meucci, Gli strumenti musicali nell'Italia meridionale nei secoli XVI-XIX. Abstract.
  • Fiamma Nicolodi - Maria Adelaide Bacherini - Andrea Chegai, Per un censimento della letteratura musicale a stampa nelle biblioteche toscane (secoli XV-XIX). Abstract.
  • Rassegna bibliografica: 1996-97, a cura di Carmela Bongiovanni, con la collaborazione di Sonia Teramo.


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Marco Gozzi
Fifteenth-century liturgical manuscripts with notation in the Municipal Library of Trento

The Trentino abounds in musical manuscripts and fragments of plainsong of the fifteenth century which are of considerable importance and which have been up to now neglected by scholars and researchers. The importance of these musical and liturgical documents is increased by the fact that, in most cases, these books were used in the same geographical area, and at the same period of compilation, as the celebrated musical Trento codex of fifteenth-century polyphony. The largest collection of manuscripts of this type is to be found in the Municipal Library of Trento (BCT) and consists of the following codices:

  1. BCT, ms. 1588: Vesperae et Missae sanctorum (Antiphoner-Gradual);
  2. BCT, ms. 1617: Gradual-Vesperale of 1492, from Prazöll (Bolzano);
  3. BCT, ms. 1787: with the lives and Offices of Saints Emmerano and Wolfgang;
  4. BCT,.ms. W 1795: Historiae rhythmicae of Saints Stanislas, Adalbert and Hedwig;
  5. BCT, ms. 1947/1: Gradual (25-28 December)-Antiphoner;
  6. BCT, ms. 1826: Franciscan Antiphoner de sanctis.
The paper describes these codices in detail, analyzing the contents and submitting for each manuscript hypotheses on dates, origins and historical contexts, evidencing the numerous points in common with the polyphonic repertory contained in the Tr 87-93 codices. The presence of brief tropes (particularly in the Glorias) and of other liturgical characteristics (numerous Sequences and Alleluias differing from the Roman-Franciscan tradition) demonstrates the strong influence in these manuscripts of the liturgical practices of German-speaking countries, in particular the neighbouring diocese of Passau. Another characteristic encountered in some manuscripts is the absence of the Gradual in the proprium missae (indicating that the section was not sung), but this could be a specific local feature.


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Ausilia Magaudda - Danilo Costantini
The "Gazzetta di Milano", a printed periodical of the Ancien régime. Part II: selection of news items concerning musical events for the years 1642-1680

The paper is based on a selection of information regarding musical events in the State of Milan, drawn from the «Gazzetta di Milano», for the years 1642-1680. The introductory essay evidences the more important, or unknown, news items, for instance among others: music theatre performances; masses, vespers, funeral offices; Te Deums of thanksgiving for the nomination of cardinals or for military victories; performances in honour of saints with "musica isquisita"; concerts in churches on the occasion of beatifications or canonizations; dances in aristocratic palaces; academies with "sinfonie di suoni e canti"; music performances in colleges and monasteries, etc. In addition, particular attention is given to the fundamental role played by the Spanish governors and the nobility.
Appendix A includes 559 items of musical information; Appendix B contains the chronology of theatrical performances with music in Milan (1649-1699) drawn from the "Gazzetta di Milano". There is also an analytical index.

Inizio pagina Luisa Cosi
From Naples to the Terra d'Otranto: unknown features of the eighteenth century musical world, musical professions and societies discovered by researching new archival sources

The paper gives the results of an exhaustive work of research into notarial records and Catasti onciari which covered organ-builders, guitar-makers, choirmasters, singers, music teachers and players of all kinds of instrument who were active in south Apulia during the eighteenth century. The image emerges of a flourishing musical microcosm, notable for the quantity and quality of the enterprises continually undertaken during the decades and, in particular, in the middle of the eighteenth century, when Lecce (the chief town of what was at that time an extensive province) gained the designation of "little Naples" - in other words, the second city in importance of the Bourbon kingdom - for the splendour and exuberance of its artistic traditions.
The productive cycle of music in the Terra d'Otranto in the eighteenth century was therefore relatively autochtonous: in fact, practically all the musical professions of the time were represented in this peripheral environment, often through the versatility of one single artist who moved freely (and well rewarded) between churches, palaces and theatres - and even more often through forms of association between musicians (supported in this instance by three notarial documents given in the Appendix).
At the same time, the musical milieu of the Terra d'Otranto was almost entirely conditioned by and moulded on the example of Naples, as can be seen from the "commuting" of numerous less illustrious maestri between the province of origin and the capital of the kingdom, through an activity programmed to accept and reflect without delay artistic forms and contents.

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Licia Sirch
The Archive of the Pia Istituzione Musicale in Cremona

The object of research was the fondo of the Pia Istituzione Musicale, preserved at the State Library of Cremona, which consists of an archive of documents and a collection of music. The last-named includes around 130 musical editions (mainly vocal scores of nineteenth-century operas) and 234 manuscripts. The aim of the investigation was first to identify the nucleus of the collection so as to portray the identity of the entire fondo.
The Pia Istituzione Musicale of Cremona was a self-governing society of mutual assistance whose aim was to assist and provide pensions for local musicians using funds realized either from concerts or from financial operations. The authors of the project, and therefore the administrators and organizers, were the representatives of the city's musical institutions, that is: the Kapellmeister and harpsichordist at the theatre (Ruggero Manna), the first violin and conductor of the theatre orchestra and of the choir (Carlo Bignami), the coordinator of the wind instruments and music teacher of the orchestral players (Giovanni Maini). The collection - which did not constitute (except to a very minor degree) the repertory of the Pia Istituzione - was instead drawn from three principal sources. The first - the donation of don Cesare Paloschi, who had various responsabilities in the Società filarmonica di Cremona (1816-1855 circa) - consists of manuscripts which can be dated as falling between the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century and containing sacred and symphonic music by Haydn, Pleyel, Witt, Wranitsky, Küffner and Mozart, as well as some musical editions published by Johann André of Offenbach-am-Main. The second, contributed by the Manna family, formed part of the repertory of the company of buffi, the Ragazzi napoletani, who were active in Italian theatres from the end of the eighteenth to the beginning of the nineteenth century. The mother of Ruggero Manna was, in fact, Carolina Bassi, one of the favourite singers of Meyerbeer, Rossini and Mayr. The Manna donation includes full scores of operas by Cimarosa, Fioravanti, Guglielmi, Portogallo, Pavesi and Rossini, and opera excerpts by the above composers as well as by Mayr, Meyerbeer, Paer and Pacini. The third contribution consists of manuscripts of Italian symphonies (Bonfichi, Fioravanti, Nicolini, Rolla, Dusik...) found in the repertory of the Società filarmonica di Cremona in the second decade of the nineteenth century and donated by one of the families which founded the society. The three sources of the collection provide tangible evidence of three aspects of musical civilization in nineteenth-century Cremona in that they are closely related to the didactic, institutional and idealistic activities of its protagonists and supporters.
Transcriptions of the antique inventories and the catalogue of the manuscripts actually present in the library are given in the Appendix.

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Tiziana Grande
Contribution to the history of the Naples Conservatory Library during the years 1889-1935

The history of the library of the Conservatorio S. Pietro a Majella is still little known, particularly for the years following the death of Francesco Florimo, librarian from 1826 to 1888. The librarians who succeeded Florimo were all well-known personalities in the literary and musical world of the time and contributed notably to the present set-up and organization of the library.
On the basis of documents in the Conservatory Archives, the paper reconstructs approximately fifty years of the history of the library. Contrary to what has long been assumed, the library added to its original collection also after Florimo. In particular, when Rocco Pagliara was librarian (for over twentyfive years), the library acquired important autographs, first editions, librettos, letters and heirlooms. The management of Pagliara, however, was so chaotic and 'personal' that a ministerial inspection became necessary in 1914. The inspection marks a significant moment in the life of the library as it was then put in the hands of the poet and scholar Salvatore Di Giacomo, librarian of the Biblioteca Nazionale of Naples, who brought his experience of twenty years in a public library to the Conservatory and provided S. Pietro a Majella, for the first time, with inventories, registers and regulations. His successor, Fausto Torrefranca, musicologist of international fame, drew up extensive plans for restructuring the library - since he considered that, given its importance, it should be transformed into an up-to-date centre of study and research equal to the other major music libraries of the world - but did not succeed in realizing them. After him, Guido Gasperini, president of the Association of Italian Musicologists, renewed the patient work of inventorying the immense patrimony of the library that had been begun by Di Giacomo and completed the cataloguing of the autograph material and of the historical collection, publishing in 1934 the printed catalogue which still today represents an indispensable tool for consulting the greater part of the original fondo of the library of the Conservatorio di S. Pietro a Majella.

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Alessia Ferraresi
Alberto Franchetti: a biography

The discovery of a substantial and interesting corpus of letters has permitted the reconstruction, even if for a relatively short period of time, of the biography of Alberto Franchetti, the Turin musician who was active between the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. Addressed for the most part to his father, Raimondo and to the superintendent of the Carlo Felice Theatre of Genoa, Cesare Gamba, the letters (which are the property of his heirs) not only throw light on the artistic tastes of Franchetti and on his aesthetic ideas, but also provide specific information on his operas. In particular, the letters examined give information on the beginnings of Franchetti's musical career; on the vicissitudes of the performances of Asrael, Fior d'Alpe, Il signore di Pourceaugnac; on the origins and performance of Germania; on the relations between Franchetti and the librettist Luigi Illica and with the publishers Ricordi and Sonzogno; on his projects (never completed) for the operas Tosca, Maria Egiziaca, Macboulè.
The later period of Franchetti's life has been reconstructed on the basis of the recollections of his daughter Elena. A particularly important document dates back to this period: the score of the last work of Alberto Franchetti, Don Bonaparte, which he finished a year before he died and which was never published and has remained unknown until today.

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Renato Meucci
Musical instruments in Southern Italy (XVI-XIX centuries)

The research on musical instruments may largely benefit from Southern Italian sources, witnessing the existence of many instruments devised or improved in that area, as well as of many inventions successfully exported from.
This study deals either with the description of instruments themselves or the explanation of unusual names found in musical treatises, in literary sources, and in musical scores from Southern Italy.
These instrumental traditions survived for centuries, but eased off - or even arrested - during the last one hundred years, after the political reunification of the Italian Peninsula.
Amongst many others, the following items are discussed: viola 'da arco' and 'da mano' (bowed and plucked vihuela), chitarrino or bordelletto (gittern), chitarra spagnola (baroque guitar), colascione (a long necked 'lute'), tiorba a taccone (quilled theorbo), mandolino, chitarra a sei corde (classic guitar), chitarra-lira (lyre-guitar), lira organizzata (organized hurdy-gurdy), arpa doppia (double harp), sambuca lincea and tricembalo (enharmonic harpsichord and clavichord), cembalo pieghevole (folding harpsichord), spinetta rettangolare (virginal), fortepiano a tangenti (Tangentenflügel), pianoforte, corde (strings), sordellina (Italian musette bagpipe), buttafuoco (a sort of tamburin de Béarn), vox humana (a tenor oboe), tromba da caccia (horn), neocorno (a bugle), armonica and melodium (musical glasses), glasschord (crystallophone), etc.

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Fiamma Nicolodi - Maria Adelaide Bacherini - Andrea Chegai
A census of printed musical literature in Tuscan libraries - XVth to XIXth centuries

In the years 1995-1998 the Tuscan Region - Cultural Assets and Libraries Department - financed a three-year project for cataloguing the texts of printed musical literature from 1470 to 1899 that are preserved in the libraries of Tuscany. This initiative was set up concurrently with the activity of LESMU-Lessico Musicale Italiano (Italian Music Lexicon). The paper presents the results of the census of printed books in Italian, Latin and other European languages on musical theory, aesthetics and criticism (treatises, epistolary biographies, pamphlets and also dedications, prefaces to scores, etc.) in the possession of the principal Florentine libraries (Conservatorio L.Cherubini, Laurenziana, Marucelliana, Nazionale, Riccardiana-Moreniana). Attention is then drawn to new findings and to the possibility of integrating, correcting and completing information extracted from current repertories.

Fonti Musicali Italiane, 2 (1997)

Inserito in Fonti Musicali Italiane


  • Francesco Facchin, Le fonti di polifonia trecentesca italiana alla luce degli ultimi ritrovamenti. Parte prima. Abstract.
  • Antonio Addamiano - Arnaldo Morelli, L'archivio della cappella musicale di S. Maria in Vallicella (Chiesa nuova) a Roma nella prima metà del Seicento. Una ricostruzione. Abstract.
  • Patrizia Florio, La produzione editoriale dei Carulli: Milano 1823-1833. Abstract.
  • Consuelo Giglio, La musica nei periodici dell'Ottocento e del primo Novecento pubblicati a Palermo. Abstract.
  • Giorgio Sanguinetti, Un secolo di teoria musicale in Italia. Bibliografia critica (1850-1950). Abstract.
  • Roberto Leydi, Discografia della musica popolare italiana, III: Sardegna. Abstract.
  • Rassegna bibliografica: 1995-1996, a cura di Carmela Bongiovanni.


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Francesco Facchin

The sources of fourteenth-century polyphony in the light of the latest discoveries. First part

Studies on Italian Medieval music of the last decade have been characterized by a new impulse toward research. This has been made possible on the one hand by the discovery of new and important documentary and musical sources and on the other by the constant clarification of the web of intercrossing relationships - the role of musicians, musical chapels, religious Orders, musical archives, trade - that convey a remarkably more elaborate picture of Medieval musical life. It is at the same time important to notice that methods apparently distant from this field of study, as ethnomusicology and anthropology, have recently become closer to these studies. These contributions have enabled us to reconsider the already known aspects of musical philology in a new light and to read the well known phenomena of alteratio of textual traditions in a wider sense, as the development of a 'history of thought' through the production of musical events.
The first part of the essay intends to assess the amount of sources of Italian fourteenth-century polyphony and of the specific studies concerning them. Manuscripts and fragments recovered in Italy and abroad from 1985 to date and the specialiazed bibliography produced from the same date are examined. In particular: a) new Italian sources of polyphonic fourteenth-century music; b) new foreign sources connected to Italian sources or containing a repertory also found in Italian sources; c) mew sources for the study of simple poliphony in the Veneto.

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Antonio Addamiano - Arnaldo Morelli

The archive of the musical chapel of Santa Maria in Vallicella (Chiesa nuova) in Rome in the first half of the 17th century. A reconstruction

The idea of attempting a reconstruction of the musical archive of Santa Maria in Vallicella (Chiesa Nuova) in Rome in the first half of the 17th century arose from the publication of the Catalogo del fondo musicale della Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuele II di Roma (Rome, 1989). On that occasion, a relevant number of manuscripts originally possessed by the Chiesa Nuova were brought to light. The greater part of these can be dated between the late 16th and the early 17th century.
Further discoveries of manuscripts and printed books pertaining to the Chiesa Nuova in various Roman libraries, together with two inventories dated 1608 and 1794, have unabled us to reconstruct the msucial archive as it appeared in the first part of the 17th century.
The inclusive examination of this material and of the archival documents (concerning the acquisition and restoration of books, payments to singers and choir masters, work on organs and organ galleries) has led us to outline the contemporary presence of different performance practices (the 'a cappella' polyphony without organ continuo, motets for few voices with organ continuo, and polychoral music), alternatively employed in accordance with the importance of the different liturgical feasts.

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Patrizia Florio

The publishing house of Carulli (Milan, 1822-32)

In 1822 Giuseppe Antonio Carulli started a music publishing business within the precincts of the Milan Conservatoire which remained there until 1828, the date of his removal to 984 Contrada di Santa Radegonda. After Carulli's death in 1830, his son Benedetto (clarinettist and teacher at the Conservatoire) continued the business until 1832. In 1832-33 the firm was taken over by Ricordi. The Carulli publishing house printed mainly instrumental music by Milanese composers, the majority of whom were connected with the Conservatoire, with a repertoire which concentrated on fantasias and variations on operatic themes. The editions were frequently part of periodical series containing pieces for specific instrumentation.
The catalogue of the music publishing house includes approximately 300 plate numbers and has been reconstructed by means of examining the editions themselves, the lists of the Censor's office, the periodical press and the Ricordi catalogue. Arranged chronologically by plate number, the catalogue gives for each edition the date of publication, title, name of publisher, eventual inclusion in a periodical series, instrumentation and presentation, name of dedicatory (if any), edition number in the Ricordi catalogue. An index of names accompanies the catalogue.

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Consuelo Giglio

Music in nineteenth and early twentieth-century periodicals published in Palermo

The distribution of periodicals on musical topics in Italy during the nineteenth century evidences a notable geographical homogeneity, including also Sicily. The lines along which the newspapers of Palermo developed are significantly similar to those of the most representative journals in Milan. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, both in Palermo and in Milan, the reports on music were limited to generical information supplied by the political newspapers. The first "politico-literary", "informative-entertainment" and "fashion, variety and theatre" periodicals with ample music sections (like the "Passatempo per le dame" or "Il vapore") appeared in Palermo during the Thirties, concurrently with the affirmation of similar journals in Milan ("La moda", "Il pirata"). During the decade following 1848, many periodicals of fine arts, literature, theatre and variety (first and foremost "La lira") began to give preference to music, adapting themselves to the new public demand. The first magazines devoted entirely to theatrical news ("Corriere dei teatri", "Corriere teatrale") appeared in Palermo only after Italy had become one nation and were short-lived; their premature demise was due to the brevity of theatrical seasons and to the scarcity of theatrical agencies. The first periodicals dedicated entirely to music appeared even later still; in fact, it was not till 1894 that a publisher, Luigi Sandron, first issued "Sicilia musicale" which survived until 1910 despite financial difficulties. The publication of the "Gazzetta musicale di Palermo" (1874-76) and "La musica" (1886), like the later "L'arte musicale" (1898), was due to the individual enterprise of musicians connected with the Conservatoire.
Several magazines of varied subject-matter appeared at the end of the century giving ample space to music ("Psiche", "Flirt", "La Sicile illustré"), an essential feature of the intense life of fashionable society in the belle époque, and proved more permanent. With these elegantly illustrated publications, Palermo shared the new Italian predilection for the image. During the first years of the twentieth century, the city ranged itself with the national trend through the proliferation of newspapers of theatrical advertising, published by agencies in this sector, while occasionally specialized magazines of a more intellectual character were also published ("Rassegna d'arte e teatri", 1922-36). The periodicals of musical interest have been catalogued in alphabetical order, accompanied by the data held to be more important for musicological research; in addition, a chronological list has been compiled of the same periodicals to assist in following their development. Separately, newspapers of general interest with music features are listed which were published during the same period.

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Giorgio Sanguinetti

Music theory in Italy 1850-1950: a critical bibliography

It is generally acknowledged that, after padre Martini, Italian theorists of music suffered an abrupt extinction. The reasons for this misconception are historically well-grounded. Throughout the 19th century, while other European countries developed more 'rational' theories, Italy was an operatic monoculture whose theoretical mainframe was the time-honored Neapolitan tradition of the partimento. In this period there were two main issues: some of the theorists, such as Luigi Felice Rossi, tried to update the partimento merging it with the idea of the fundamental bass or Fétis's theory of tonality; others, like Abramo Basevi and Luigi Mazzucato, were more interested in developing a philosophy of tonality.
About the turn of the century the rise of modern music was accompanied by an increasing urge to find new harmonic systems. A leading role in the development of theory was played by music journals which published essays, reviewed treatises and pamphlets, and offered space for discussion. The common ground among the new harmonic systems theories is that most of them were 'centric', i.e. they described an enlarged, even over-embracing harmony, but without relinquishing a tonal center. Luciani claims that the dominant function consitutes the true essence of music; and Frazzi (who described the octatonic collection in 1929) suggests that the octatonic scale consistutes a summary of the dominant chord.
The present bibliography lists more than 600 entries including treatises, manuals, essays and translations published in Italy from 1850 to 1950. Each entry includes a brief discussion of the content; a history of the development of Italian thought on music theory during the period is presented in the introduction.

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Roberto Leydi

Discography of Italian popular music - Sardinia

The third part of the classified reference list of Italian popular music (first part: Northern Italy, in "Le fonti musicali in Italia", 7, 1993; second part: Central Italy, in "Fonti musicali italiane", 1, 1996) is dedicated to Sardinia; here, too, as in the previous parts, the list covers 33 rpm lp and cd (multi-regional and only Sardinia), 45 rpm and ep and 78 rpm records.


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