This provocative and important collection of essays came out of a conference entitled “Music in the Mediterranean Diaspora” held at the Villa I Tatti, Florence, in May 2017. The intention of that conference was to “[privilege] displacement as its critical lens with the specific aim of crystalizing new theoretical approaches to mobility,” asking “how border-crossing histories can shift our critical appraisal of cultural production and, conversely, how the study of musical performance can help us sight instances of ethnic encounter, creolization, and cultural métissage that are otherwise difficult to trace.”1 Invoking “mobility” and linking it directly to a practice-centered approach is an ambitious contribution to a historiography capable of turning the tide on what Kate van Orden bluntly calls “conventional, composer-centric histories of Renaissance and Baroque music” (p. 12), in this case by “shattering the coherence of static accounts rooted in national, religious and ethnic identity into a glittering...
Seachanges: Music in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Worlds, 1550–1800, edited by Kate van Orden
RICHARD WISTREICH is Professor of Music History at the Royal College of Music, London. He works on aspects of performance and materiality, currently focusing on the role of voice in the construction of early modern identity. He coedited The Cambridge History of Sixteenth-Century Music (2019) and has published widely on Claudio Monteverdi. He has also had a long and distinguished career as a singer, specializing in music of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Richard Wistreich; Seachanges: Music in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Worlds, 1550–1800, edited by Kate van Orden. Journal of the American Musicological Society 1 August 2023; 76 (2): 513–518. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jams.2023.76.2.513
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