Holy Concord within Sacred Walls

Holy Concord within Sacred Walls : Nuns and Music in Siena, 1575-1700

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This volume examines musical culture both inside and outside seventeenth-century Sienese convents. In contrast to earlier studies of Italian convent music, this book draws upon archival sources to reconstruct an ecclesiastical culture that celebrated music internally and shared music freely with the community outside convent walls. Colleen Reardon argues that cloistered women in Siena enjoyed a significant degree of freedom to engage in musical pursuits. The nuns produced a remarkable body of work including motets, lamentations, theatrical plays and even an opera. As a result, the convent became an important cultural centre in Siena that enjoyed the support and encouragement of its clergy and lay community.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 158 x 232 x 30mm | 639.56g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 3 line drawings and numerous music examples
  • 0195132955
  • 9780195132953

Review quote

Reardon's robust, contextualized view of convent life subtly deconstructs ... simplistic views.... Historically acute. * Anthony Pryer, Times Literary Supplement * The great strength of her book is its contextual richness, and its importance lies too in the way in which she reveals that convent music played an intrinsic part not only in monastic but also in secular existence, and how it came to be a prized expression of civic culture in early modern Siena. * Music & Letters * Holy Concord within Sacred Walls is an adept and fascinating account of many facets of early modern life, both within and without the cloister, refracted through the prism of musicology. * Music & Letters * The book's structure allows Reardon to produce both engaging narrative and thick description, deftly combining archival reporting, musicological observation, and insightful interpretation with an energetic and good-humoured style. * Music & Letters * Colleen Reardon's study of nuns and music in late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Siena is a welcome addition to the burgeoning body of scholarship illuminating the lives of early modern religious women ... the book powerfully evokes convent life, rounding out its accounts of music-making together with occasionally surprising and piquant details of the daily matters that concerned female monastics. * Music & Letters *show more

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