Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherinilogocs

Research in Musicology





Brepols Publishers

Luca Lévi Sala

Scholarly Committee
Philip Bohlman (Chicago University)
Federico Celestini (Innsbruck University)
Michel Duchesneau (Université de Montréal)
Christoph Flamm (Lübeck University)
Erik Levi (Royal Halloway, London University)
Karen Painter (University of Minnesota)
Gemma Pérez-Zalduondo (Granada University)

This series publishes major musicological monographs on the relationship between music and politics from XVII century to the present, as well as multi-authors, multi-lingual volumes on this topic. The series also focuses on the co-operation of music criticism, pamphlets and the press as a mechanism for the expression of cultural power.


Vol. 1 - Protest Music in the Twentieth Century

edited by Roberto Illiano, Turnhout, Brepols, 2015 (Music, Criticism & Politics, 1), pp. xiv+418, isbn 978-2-503-56628-3

The subject of this monograph is protest music and ‘dissident’ composers and musicians during the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the forms with which dissent may be expressed in music and the ways composers and performers have adopted stances on political and social dissent. In the present volume, articles by scholars of different nationalities explore not only the way in which protest music is articulated in artistic-cultural discourse and the political matter, but also the role it played in situations of mutual benefit. Moreover, the phenomenon of dissent has been investigated within the contexts of musical historiography and criticism, approaching the topic from historical, sociological and philosophical points.

The Contributors are (in alphabetical order): Marie Bennett, John Cox, Christine Dysers, Marita Fornaro Bordolli, Mara Favoretto, Germán Gan Quesada, James Garratt, Stefano Gavagnin, Andrew S. Kohler, Russ Manitt, Henrik Marstal, Upa Mesbahian, Santiago Niño Morales, James O’Leary, Roger W. H. Savage, Giuseppe Sergi, Tatevik Shakhkulyan, Kara Stewart Meredith, Joe Stroud, David Thurmaier, Jessica Winterson.


Vol. 2 - Music and War in Europe from French Revolution to World War I

edited by Étienne Jardin, Turnhout, Brepols, 2016 (Music, Criticism & Politics, 2), pp. xii+468, ISBN 978-2-503-57032-7.

2014, with the commemoration of the centennial of the Great War, has been a productive year for research on the relation between music and this first world-wild conflict. Thanks to several conferences and publications, our knowledge about musical repertoire played at the home front, musical practices of soldiers, or war’s impact on the European musical life is expanding. While joining those efforts to shade light on this particularly misknown period of music history, this book aims to investigate the relationship between music and war by adopting a larger time-span: from the end of eighteenth century until the outbreak of the First World War, what kind of connections can be found between music, musicians or musical economy (edition, scores circulation, opera and concert programming, professionalization) and the different conflicts that torn the European continent apart? Bringing together more than twenty case studies dealing with several European wars, this volume also investigates the evolution of sound of war’s perception (by Martin Kaltenecker), and propose new perspectives based on recent 20th century music and war studies.


Vol. 3 - Nineteenth-Century Music Criticism

edited by Teresa Cascudo, Turnhout, Brepols, 2017 (Music, Criticism & Politics, 3), pp. xxiv + 526, ISBN 978-2-503-57497-4.

The “long nineteenth century” encompasses what has been described by some authors as “newspaper civilization”. Music was fundamental for many men and women who lived during that century. Not surprisingly, at this time, music was a common theme in the press. On the one hand, news, chronicles and criticism played a central part in the musical market, since the success of that market was predicated on the dissemination of information about performers, musical events and new repertoires. On the other hand, as we have observed, the prominence of music opened the door to new types of critical reflection in longer essays. Writings about music in those years were the result of artistic aspirations and preferences; the same writings also present evidence of prejudices and modes of perception marked by specific ideological issues. This volume collects twenty-two articles that address these issues, focusing on case studies in Europe and America. The collection reflects the growing importance of music criticism in particular and the press in general as objects of study for contemporary musicology.


Vol. 4 - Jehoash Hirshberg, Opera in Search of a Just Ruler for a Unified Italy

Turnhout, Brepols, 2017 (Music, Criticism & Politics, 4), pp. xvi+122, ISBN 978-2-503-57739-5.

With the establishment of Il Regno d’Italia in 1861 the heydays of Risorgimento opera as a powerful political tool were over. A new category of operas, which is the subject of the present book, was that of the politically oriented operas that replaced the waning category of the Risorgimento operas. Those operas turned public attention to the pitfalls and dangers of forming the new government of the unifying Italy. The new category commenced with Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra (1857), Un Ballo in Maschera (1859), and Don Carlos (1867), in which Verdi indirectly expressed his alarm at the dangers facing the future kings of Italy. A great many operas were composed in the decade of unification of Italy.  Chapter 1 suggests a classification of the operas into the categories of operas of intrigue-and-love, the last Risorgimento operas, operas of social criticism, arrangements of literary masterpieces, and religious operas, and then focusing on the new category. The major section of the book comprises case studies of five representative Italian operas of the 1860s: Isabella d’Aragona by Carlo Pedrotti, La Colpa del Cuore by Francesco Cortesi, Ruy Blas by Filippo Marchetti, Vitore Pisani by Achille Peri, and Fieschi by Achille Montuoro. Each chapter presents a summary of the plot, a detailed stylistic and formal discussion of each opera, and a discussion of the manner in which the music interprets the composer’s political and social views. A pre-condition for the selection of the case studies was that they elicited at least successo di stima in more than one city, and that they were favourbly judged by the critics, most importantly by Filippo Filippi. The use of musical forms in the service of drama, most importantly La Solita Forma,was of paramount importance and will be emphasized in the case studies and supported by the many musical examples from the unjustly forgotten operas.


Published with the Assistance of 'Direzione Generale per le Biblioteche, gli Istituti Culturali e il Diritto d'Autore' - MIBACT (ex circolare 108/2012 anno 2015)



Vol. 5 - Dance, Ideology and Power in Francoist Spain (1938-1968)

edited by Beatriz Martínez del Fresno and Belén Vega Pichaco, Turnhout, Brepols Publishers, 2017 (Music, Criticism & Politics, 5), pp. XXXVI+568, ISBN 978-2-503-57740-1

In 1938, the first regular Government of General Franco was constituted in the “national area”. Under this regime, and for almost 40 years between the end of the Civil War in 1939 and the death of the dictator in 1975, the arts in Spain developed inevitably within the frame of promotion, repression and control imposed by Francoism. In this sense, dance constitutes a privileged field of study to explore not only the propagandistic uses of ballet and dance, but also the construction of a national imagery through the activities displayed in diverse functional spectra of the time. This book aims to study systematically for the first time the relationship of dance with the dictatorial regime, the role models endorsed by the political party Falange Española, the traditionalist spheres and the so-called National-Catholicism, along with the propaganda and censorship strategies emanated from the State before 1968. Scholars from various disciplines —Musicology, Anthropology, History, History of Dance, Cinematography— analyse the ideological and political dimensions of choreographic art. Special attention is paid to the practises and discourses on Body, Gender and Nation and to the cultural policies regarding the Festivales de España organized by the Ministry of Information and Tourism. Furthermore, to the imagery of flamenco exhibited in government media and questioned in certain films, the processes of instrumentalisation of traditional dance as also to the existing mechanisms of control and transgression effected in dance halls and other spaces of sociability. Together with the cultural and biopolitical strategies of Francoism, the survival of concepts arising at that time is highlighted where it is still present in the performance and teaching of Spanish dance. 


Vol. 6 - Music and Power in the Baroque Era

edited by Rudolf Rasch, Turnhout, Brepols, 2018 (Music, Criticism & Politics, 6), pp. xii+463, ISBN: 978-2-503-58071-5.

Music always functions in a specific environment. And, viewed from the other side, environments use music to confirm and strengthen their identities. Institutions of power – monarchs and rulers of all sorts, governments, public institutions, ecclesiastical authorities, to name but a few — have in all times employed music to present themselves to the outside world, alongside other means such as architecture, fine arts, design and fashion. The present volume brings together a number of studies that all deal, in one way or another, with the question of how power was implemented in music in what is called the Baroque Era, roughly the seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth. The essays can be grouped under four main headings: court opera, ceremonial music, “musicians” and miscellaneous studies. Several essays discuss court opera, one of the most conspicuous musical forms with which a monarch could display his power. Examples are given of court opera practices in Vienna, Lisbon, Florence and other places. Music could also accompany festivities and ceremonies of all sorts, of very different kinds of institutions, courtly, civil or ecclesiastical. Examples of these practices are discussed that bring us to musical life in Rome, Milan, Florence, Avignon and Saint-Petersburg, among other places. Not only sovereign rulers could employ music to confirm their power, also lower-ranking powers such as nobility often invested in music in order to gain prestige. Various studies highlight this aspect of “music and power”. Finally, there are studies that deal with more general questions, such as the representation of power in Baroque opera, dedications of musical works to royals and other patrons, and the social status of musicians as they are positioned between patrons and public.The authors of the various chapters come from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Ukraine and the United States.


Published with the Assistance of 'Direzione Generale per le Biblioteche, gli Istituti Culturali e il Diritto d'Autore' - MIBACT (ex circolare 108/2012 anno 2015)



Vol. 7 - Music Criticism 1900-1950

edited by Jordi Ballester and German Gan Quesada, Turnhout, Brepols, 2018 (Music, Criticism & Politics, 7), pp. xiv+526, ISBN 978-2-503-58072-2.

This monograph focuses on the situation of Music Criticism throughout the first half of the twentieth century, Adorno, Stuckenschmidt, Stravinsky, Hindemith, Messiaen, Stage Music, Ballet, Opera, Avant-garde
The analysis of music criticism, and by extension music literature, has become over the last few decades one of the most active research fields in musicological studies. It has decisively contributed to a reinvigorated understanding of musical life from the 18th century to the present day. It has also provided new methodological tools in order to evaluate the construction processes of the socioeconomic and cultural circumstances that have determined the creation, performance, reception, and intellectual appraisal of the musical reality in contemporary societies. This monograph gathers up to 22 contributions that throw light on a broad range of topics and geographical and cultural areas concerning the situation of music criticism throughout the first half of the twentieth century. So, it offers appealing insights into some of the key elements which define the relationship between music and criticism during a pivotal historical period for the discipline.