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.

chapter |8 pages


part I|2 pages

The spaces of music in Rome

part II|2 pages

Palaces and theatres

chapter 2|15 pages

Drawing as a performative act

33Carlo Marchionni at the Villa Albani, Rome

part III|2 pages

Devotional spaces

chapter 4|16 pages

Was man made for the Sabbath?

66Site, space, and identity in Jesuit musical life 1

chapter 6|17 pages

Blinding light and gloomy darkness

Illumination, spectatorship, and the oratorio in baroque Rome

part IV|2 pages

Streets and squares

chapter 7|17 pages

Sound and sensorial landscape

114Early modern Rome as a full urban experience

chapter 8|17 pages

“Comprando la maraviglia con l’impossibilità”: The role of music in the space of a torneo

An unknown score of I Furori di Venere (Bologna 1639) 1

part V|2 pages

Villas and gardens

chapter 9|13 pages

Cultural life at Villa Lante di Bagnaia (1683–1685)

150Family, gardens, and sociability

chapter 10|15 pages

The “teatro delle acque”

Music and spectacle at Villa Aldobrandini during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

part VI|2 pages

Crossing boundaries

chapter 11|15 pages

Inside and outside a national church

181Music, ceremonies, and nationality in early modern Rome 1

chapter 12|11 pages

From the villa to the public theater

The Chigi and “Roman” opera in Siena