Title

Sights for Sounds: The Roles of Illuminated Initials in Italian Music Manuscripts

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Masterʼs Research Paper

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Art & Art History

First Advisor

Scott Montgomery

Second Advisor

Annette Stott

Keywords

Initials, Illuminated initials in medieval Italian music manuscripts -- Specimens, Music -- Manuscripts -- Italy, Music -- Italy -- 16th century

Abstract

The scholarship on illuminated initials is substantial, yet there is a significant absence of information when discussing the initials found in music manuscripts specifically. In this paper, I endeavor to supplement the current scholarship by focusing my research on music manuscripts produced in Italy between 1250 and 1500 A.D. in order to provide examples of the relationships between image, music, and text in the context of use. I use mainly iconographic research methods, though a considerable amount of background information is reliant on the research of other authors in the field of medieval philosophy and theology. Through my research I have concluded that the use of illuminated initials in medieval Italian music manuscripts enhances the function of the manuscript by providing another layer of understanding which audience members could use to aid them in their meditation, prayer, and in the performance of the music.

Comments

Copyright held by the author. DU faculty and students may access digitized MRPs by logging in with their DU ID in the Library's Catalog. Those not affiliated with DU may request digitized or microfilmed MRPs through interlibrary loan. Hard copies of MRPs are available to use by appointment in the Art Office in the Shwayder Art Building on campus.

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