chapter  15
12 Pages

Orality and sacred music in early modern Italy


Much of orality’s cultural world in early modern Italy has been studied from the perspective of the obvious sources: inquisitorial testimony, trials, oral epic, commedia dell’arte, balladry, and social history in general. Thus its relation to the sacred – if we can even isolate a separate category of the sacred – has had a lower scholarly prole. To the degree that the kind of social disciplining, ritual reform, and preoccupation with doctrinal precision once known as the Counter-Reformation seems to have privileged print culture, its effects have often been considered as negative for verbal creativity and performance.1