Sights for Sounds: The Roles of Illuminated Initials in Italian Music Manuscripts
Date of Award
Masterʼs Research Paper
Art & Art History
Initials, Illuminated initials in medieval Italian music manuscripts -- Specimens, Music -- Manuscripts -- Italy, Music -- Italy -- 16th century
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.
Kane., Mary Elisabeth Irene, "Sights for Sounds: The Roles of Illuminated Initials in Italian Music Manuscripts" (2012). Master's Research Papers. 334.