Performance Practices and Architectural Spaces of the Italian Madrigal


organised by

Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini

Istituto Italiano di Musica Antica

Italian Institute for Applied Musicology

Palma Choralis · Research Group



Virtual Conference

13-15 December 2024

The Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, the Istituto Italiano di Musica Antica (ISTIMA), the Italian Institute for Applied Musicology, and the Palma Choralis · Research Group are pleased to invite submissions of proposals for the virtual symposium «Performance Practices and Architectural Spaces of the Italian Madrigal», to be held from 13 to 15 December 2024.

Moving away from the composer-based model established by Alfred Einstein in his monumental study, recent scholarship on the Italian madrigal has greatly expanded its scope of investigation, tackling a variety of subjects that span from the social ramifications of the genre to its relations with print and manuscript cultures. Despite this recent expansion, the question of performance practice, including the spaces in which this repertoire was performed, remains understudied.

This conference aims to enrich our understanding of how and where Italian madrigals were performed. To this end, the conference will address issues ranging from improvisation and ornamentation to the training of performers. Further, the conference will explore the variety of private or public spaces where madrigals were performed, such as ridotti, loggias, and gardens, shedding light on the mutual relationship between architecture, acoustics, and music making. Thus, the conference will also offer an interdisciplinary outlook that combines architectural studies with musicological scholarship.

The symposium is open to musicologists and performers as well as scholars of the visual arts and architecture. We welcome papers on a wide range of themes, including, but not restricted to:

  • Musical forces (line-ups, vocal ranges, instrumentation)
  • Gender issues (female ensembles in courtly, monastic, academic, and theatrical contexts)
  • Vocal arrangements (contrafacta, adaptations, translations)
  • Use of instruments (replacements, doublings, intabulations, short-scores, continuo realization)
  • Ornamentation and diminution
  • Poetic and musical improvisation
  • Acting, staging, and dancing
  • Music embodiment and visual aspects of the performance
  • Historical treatises, chronicles, and archival documentation
  • Iconography
  • Pedagogy and training
  • Performance contexts and occasions (weddings, banquets, civic and religious celebrations)
  • Performance spaces and venues (camerini, ridotti, loggias, gardens, ephemeral architecture, etc.)
  • Construction practices and architectural spaces
  • Acoustics and architectural criteria for space design
  • Performance traditions of the 20th and 21st centuries (sources, editions, programming, recordings)

Programme Committee:

  • Roberto Illiano (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Marcello Mazzetti (University of Padua, Palma Choralis, ISTIMA)
  • Fulvia Morabito (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Emiliano Ricciardi (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • Elisa Sala (University of Brescia – DICATAM)
  • Massimiliano Sala (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Livio Ticli (Conservatorio di Livorno, Palma Choralis, ISTIMA)

Keynote Speakers:

  • Stefano Lorenzetti (Conservatorio di Musica ‘A. Pedrollo’, Vicenza)
  • Jessie Ann Owens (University of California, Davis)
  • Richard Wistreich (Royal College of Music, London)

The official languages of the conference are English, French, Italian and Spanish. Papers selected at the conference will be published in a miscellaneous volume.

Papers are limited to twenty minutes in length, allowing time for questions and discussion. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and one page of biographical information.

All proposals should be submitted by email no later than ***28 April 2024*** to <>. With your proposal please include your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail and telephone number) and (if applicable) your affiliation.

The committee will make its final decision on the abstracts by May 2024, and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter. Further information about the programme and registration will be announced after that date.

For any additional information, please contact:

Dr. Massimiliano Sala

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