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Jeffrey Levenberg
Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong 19047-8025 China)
Italian Compose Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613): Insights from Giovanni d'Avella's Regole di musica

Preparation of an article and monograph on the music of Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613).

Italian Renaissance composer and prince Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613) composed both secular and sacred music, gaining notoriety due to the unusual style of his music as well as his scandalous personal life.  Gesualdo’s sacred music raised such controversy during his lifetime that the Church placed him under edict at the height of the Roman Inquisition.  While the style of his music remains difficult to understand, Gesualdo influenced later generations and thus remains important in the historiography.  Yet, lacunae among the primary source records from the Gesualdo castle and the Kingdom of Naples have precluded a complete understanding of the original conception and reception of his music, both secular and sacred.  A newly recovered Neapolitan treatise on music, however, stands to fundamentally transform current notions about Gesualdo’s life and works. Giovanni d’Avella penned a defense of Gesualdo after the public censuring of his music. The wide range of cultural contexts underpinning this singular document await exploration in the Franciscan Order’s archive in Naples.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Intellectual History; Music History and Criticism; Renaissance History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2016 – 7/31/2016