Lieu : Institut historique allemand (Rome, Italie) / Bibliothèque apostolique vaticane (Vatican)
Dates : 11-13 décembre 2019
Date limite de réponse à l’appel : 15 mars 2019
The compositional developments between the late Middle Ages and the early modern period were accompanied by a multifaceted change of requirements to musical performance practice, which correlated with the rite and mass piety and enduringly affected the experience of liturgy and music. The most distinctive impact of this progress is epitomised by the installation of singer balconies and organ galleries on which top-class music ensembles and organists often performed and which served as stages for musical excellence. The permanent display of music advanced to become a core segment of sacred architecture while the potential of these spaces to promote identification becomes evident in numerous graffiti, as the singer pulpit in the Vatican Cappella Sistina exemplifies. Luca della Robbia’s and Donatello’s cantorie for the Florentine cathedral or Jacopo Sansovino’s pergoli in the Venetian St Mark’s Basilica are prominent examples of the high artistic value, which already was ascribed to singer pulpits in the Renaissance period. Beginning in 15th century Italy, the polychoral musical performance practice became a European phenomenon in the 17th and 18th centuries and required the modification of venerable churches and the integration of music spaces in new sacred buildings. Moreover, the polychoral experimentation and opulent musical compositions for festive occasions made ephemeral music stages necessary in order to take full advantage of the acoustics and musical potential of the church interior. However, since Alexander VII’s Editto sopra le musiche (1665), popes increasingly opposed the architectural exposure of musicians who distracted the faithful from the liturgy with their visible and audible performance.