Early Music Articles

Carlo Gesualdo

Carlo Gesualdo: Composer or Crazed Psychopath?

October 3, 2022

Article from The Guardian originally published 18 Mar 2010 (https://www.theguardian.com/music/tomserviceblog/2010/mar/18/carlo-gesualdo-composer-psychopath) Carol Gesualdo. He’s the Italian composer-prince who murdered his wife and her lover, was into wild bouts of self-flagellation, and…

Luther at the Diet of Worms, by Anton von Werner, 1877

What is the Reformation and Why is it so Important to Sacred Music?

October 17, 2017

from The Concise Guide to Western Music, Barbara Russano Hanning (Professor of Music, The City College and Graduate Center, CUNY) The Reformation began as a theological dispute that was set…

The Vespers

April 4, 2017

In 1610 Monteverdi published one of his finest works, the Vespers, comprising a Mass, 2 Magnificats, 11 “motets,” and an orchestral sonata. In it he combines solos, ensembles, choral writing…

Commedia dell’arte and Early Opera

May 16, 2016

by Jon Cranny – stage director for Il Tirinto As with much of western culture, it started with the Greeks – comic drama, commedia.  But alas only fragments of the…

The History of The Lute

February 14, 2016

You’ve been to early music concerts and noticed a rounded back instrument being strummed or plucked, reminiscent of William Shakespeare and harking back to the sounds of John Dowland – the lute.  But do you know much about this instrument?

Recently I was doing a little research and came across this essay written by Jonathan Santa Maria Bouquet, an instrument builder and based out of Edinburgh University.  Read on…

Bernardo Pasquini – Italian Composer & Renowned Virtuoso Keyboard Player

February 9, 2016

Italian composer, Bernardo Pasquini was one of the foremost keyboard impresarios of his time. Born in Tuscany, he served in Rome from the 1660s as a highly connected organist, teacher,…