Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music - An unstopped string: new perspectives on the rise of the lira da braccio and its medieval predecessors

Event speakers
Jacob Mariani (University of Oxford)
03 December 2020 17:00

This seminar will be held on Zoom. To register, please use this form. Please make sure to register at least a week in advance of the seminar you wish to attend. For further information about the procedure for joining, please see the series termcard.

It is currently held that lira da braccio of the ‘High Renaissance’ took its morphology from the late medieval Italian fiddle (It. viella or viola), where classicising efforts and new performance practices further transformed the instrument into a vehicle for chordal accompaniment. However, the mechanisms and historical roots of this transformation are far from clear. Using updated photos of Italian iconography, this presentation reviews various narratives about the features and functions of bowed string instruments from 1300-1500. In doing so, it attempts to untangle the historical evidence from the needs and influences of the Early Music Movement and its modern reconstructions.  

Discussants:Marc Lewon (Schola Cantorum, Basel) and Michael Lowe (Wootton)