Marco Gurrieri: Database on life and correspondence from/to French musicians actives in the courts of North of Italy

The main goal of this STSM was to find letters from/to French musicians active in Verona during the Renaissance period and archival documents concerning their professional life, in order to gather information and data for an existing prosopographical database about musicians’ careers – Prosopographie des chantres de la Renaissance directed by David Fiala and Philippe Vendrix at the CESR in Tours. The town of Verona has been evidently chosen because of its historical and geographical importance during the Renaissance.


As a result of my new in situ research, two other institutions have been added to the initially previewed list of institutions of where to search for archival documents and letters (the Archivio di Stato, the Archivio Storico della Curia and the Biblioteca Capitolare) : the Accademia Filarmonica and the Biblioteca civica (hosting a section of the municipal archives). Here I have also found several useful bibliographical contributions by local scholars.


The final outcomes of my research can be shortly recapitulated as follows:

  • a list of more than 300 items of musicians active in Verona between 1480 and 1600, all including detailed and documented information (with archival references) about their professional life;
  • a structured Excel database of almost 50 letters of musicians, providing diplomatic transcriptions, material analysis (dimensions, seals, watermarks, countermarks, etc.), and bibliographical references (if any).


Concerning the prosopographical part of this STSM, the newly collected data about musicians’ careers have permitted me to correct or to complete some aspects of the existing musicological literature. Among the transcribed letters, some stand out for their importance. Of particular interest is the group of 10 letters by the Franco-Flemish composer Jan Nasco (of which only 7 have been partially published, as excerpts in essays by local scholars), or 2 letters containing the name of the French composer Lambert Courtois. Several until now unknown letters were found, in particular 2 letters dealing with the Italian composer Orazio Vecchi, and some unpublished letters by members of the Accademia Filarmonica housed in the Archivio di Stato.