The Grand Theater of the World: Music, Space, and the Performance of Identity in Early Modern Rome

1st Edition

Valeria De Lucca, Christine Jeanneret

Published September 19, 2019
Reference - 236 Pages - 26 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781472488220 - CAT# Y289600
Series: Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera

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Music and space in the early modern world shaped each other in profound ways, and this is particularly apparent when considering Rome, a city that defined itself as the "grande teatro del mondo". The aim of this book is to consider music and space as fundamental elements in the performance of identity in early modern Rome. Rome’s unique milieu, as defined by spiritual and political power, as well as diplomacy and competition between aristocratic families, offers an exceptionally wide array of musical spaces and practices to be explored from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Space is viewed as the theatrical backdrop against which to study a variety of musical practices in their functions as signifiers of social and political meanings. The editors wish to go beyond the traditional distinction between music theatrical spectacles – namely opera – and other musical genres and practices to offer a more comprehensive perspective on the ways in which not only dramatic, but also instrumental music and even the sounds of voices and objects in the streets relied on the theatrical dimension of space for their effectiveness in conveying social and political messages. While most chapters deal with musical performances, some focus on specific aspects of the Roman soundscape, or are even intentionally "silent", dealing with visual arts and architecture in their performative and theatrical aspects. The latter offer a perspective that creates a visual counterpoint to the ways in which music and sound shaped space.

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