The musica secreta or Concerto delle Dame—otherwise known as the singing ladies of Ferrara—has been well known in musicological circles since Angelo Solerti wrote about it in the early twentieth century, and since the 1970s it has had more and more play. But I do not recall seeing it in a book that uses the word “uxoricide” (a man who murders his wife) prior to Laurie Stras’s Women and Music in Sixteenth-Century Ferrara. She writes, “While uxoricides are not uncommon in Renaissance music history (during the sixteenth century, Ferrara even welcomed two from beyond its borders, Bartolomeo Tromboncino and Don Carlo Gesualdo), the Avogadri case is unusual, for it ends with the murderers meeting justice through capital punishment” (pp. 294–95). This juicy little sentence appears amid a discussion of musicians supported in Lucrezia d’Este’s will that subtly infuses the presentation of undiscovered music with an exposition of the violence...
Women and Music in Sixteenth-Century Ferrara, by Laurie Stras
BONNIE GORDON is Associate Professor at the University of Virginia and a founding faculty member of the university's Equity Center and Sound Justice lab. A music historian who works across disciplines and creative practices, she has published on sound and gender in the early modern world, and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate, and C-ville Weekly. She plays jazz, rock, and classical viola.
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Bonnie Gordon; Women and Music in Sixteenth-Century Ferrara, by Laurie Stras. Journal of the American Musicological Society 1 August 2022; 75 (2): 398–403. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jams.2022.75.2.398
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