Schriftzug Romana Repertoria

Music History


In the 17th and 18th century, the musical cultures of Venice, Rome and Naples attracted numerous European musicians, in search of a musical education or to study the Italian style. Some of them established themselves as permanent residents in the three cities. The research project examined and compared the position of European musicians in Venetian, Roman and Neapolitan musical life. Researching the aesthetic, social and political conditions for their integration into the respective local musical environment resulted in a differentiated portrayal of the complex Italian Baroque style around 1700.

Tapping social and cultural historical sources, which had not been considered before, is at the heart of the project. In order to analyse them for cultural exchange and demarcation processes, a repository of personal data has been developed, collecting data from those European musicians who were in Venice, Rome and Naples between 1650 and 1750. The database reflects not only the mobility (travel paths), the economic situation (payment and employment by patrons), cultural aspects (language skills and musical performances), but also networks of foreign musicians in the three cities.

The Franco-German project was co-funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

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Financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and executed in cooperation with the DHI Rome and the Bavarian State Library in Munich, the project aims at a digitisation of the Music History Department’s Libretti-Collection. In 1979, the DFG had made the acquisition of an anthology of librettos from private collectors possible. Including rare librettos of operas, oratorios, cantatas and festive music from the 17th, 18th and 19th Century, the anthology documents the early phase of public opera in Venice (1637-1734) almost completely. The Institute also holds additional period and modern libretti prints. Due to its elevated source value, the libretti inventory is in high demand by library users. Thanks to this project, the libretti holdings have been inserted in the online catalogue of the DHI Rome’s Music History Department and the Virtual Library of Musicology. Linking the catalogue entries to the digitized files offered online by the Bavarian State Library since 2011, a convenient full text search within the libretti is now possible.