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Title: Music and print : book production and consumption in Ferrara, 1538-1598
Author: Dennis, Flora Marian
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2002
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This study examines the relationships between the court, the printing trade and music from the publication of the first printed music book in Ferrara until the departure of the Este from the city after the death of Alfonso II. It explores the extent to which an image of the court was deliberately constructed and projected through the medium of print. Close study of the books produced reveal Ferrara to be unusually sophisticated in its manipulation of print as musical propaganda. The thesis opens with a historical survey of the relationship between the court and the output of the Ferrarese press in general, and considers the ways in which the individual enthusiasms of successive dukes affected book production. A second chapter then examines the role of the Ferrarese post of ducal or state printer. Using the comparative examples of Mantua, Florence, Parma, Bologna and Rome, the various motives for appointing ducal printers are investigated, the terms and conditions of their employment compared and the effects of the post on their output assessed. Music printing in Ferrara is considered in detail in the third chapter. Ferrara was unusual in being a courtly centre of music-printing during the first half of the sixteenth-century (1538-50); production was revived briefly in 1571 and then flourished from the 1580s until the end of the century. The connections between musical activity at the court and the printing of music in the city are considered, revealing that local printers were only partially reliant upon the court for their musical output. In the fourth chapter, which focuses on Baldini's exceptional editions, the music books themselves are examined in detail. Following the methods established by Roger Chartier, the influence of typographical, visual and material elements of design, format and presentation is discussed in relation to the books' reception. The fifth chapter concerns the operations of the Ferrarese music book trade, looking both at what happened to Ferrarese-printed music books once they left the presses and at the kind of books available to sixteenth-century customers in the city. An unpublished inventory of a Ferrarese bookshop from 1550 is included, together with a comparison of two substantial contemporary collections of music: the Este library and the collection of the aristocrat Antonio Goretti. Consideration of these different contexts shows that the Ferrarese music book did not serve a single function, but a variety, according to a range of social, cultural, economic and historical factors.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available