chapter  7
11 Pages

Singing poetry in compagnia in sixteenth-century Italy


Among all the printed Italian musical editions of the sixteenth century, the Dialogo della musica by Antonfrancesco Doni certainly seems one of the most original. Out of the four partbooks printed by Girolamo Scotto in 1544, those of the alto, tenor, and bass parts conform to standard presentational norms, with the notable exception of their format, that of a large quarto, much more imposing than the small oblong format usually used by printers of the time. For the most part, the music that they contain is a collection of Italian madrigals, supplemented by a few Latin motets and a French chanson that are by composers who were mostly active in the north of Italy.