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Mirrors of Heaven or Worldly Theaters?Venetian Nunneries and Their Music$
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Jonathan E. Glixon

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190259129

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190259129.001.0001

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Daily Offices and More

Daily Offices and More

The Nuns in the Interior Church

(p.172) Chapter 5 Daily Offices and More
Mirrors of Heaven or Worldly Theaters?

Jonathan E. Glixon

Oxford University Press

The nuns themselves performed the Divine Offices in their choir, following procedures carefully outlined in ceremonial books, a few of which survive for Venice. In most cases, these were sung in standard plainchant, although Santa Teresa had a unique repertoire, and San Lorenzo had an unusual set of ceremonies for Holy Week, especially the Mandatum (washing of the feet). While some Venetian nunneries were known for singing polyphony around 1500, this tradition ended with the reforms a few decades afterwards. Later sources show evidence of falsobordone and primitive polyphony, and occasionally of some use of organ and other instruments by the nuns. An interesting exception to this is the nunnery of Santi Marco e Andrea di Murano, several of whose nuns achieved some fame as singers in the first half of the seventeenth century, for whom Carlo Filago composed a book of motets.

Keywords:   Divine Office, Mandatum, plainchant, falsobordone, polyphony, motet, Carlo Filago

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