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Grant number like: FA-50189-04

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Jonathan E. Glixon
University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY 40506-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2004 – 6/30/2005

Music at the Nunneries of Venice

The approximately fifty nunneries of medieval and early modern Venice were important sites for the performance of music, both sacred and secular, and provided some of the few opportunities for Venetian women to act as sponsors of musical events. These activities, however, have gone virtually unnoticed by scholars. My project is the final stage of a study of musical activities by and for Venetian nuns, based primarily on archival documentation. Earlier phases of the work have demonstrated that while these women may not have been as active as performers and composers as their counterparts in such Italian cities as Bologna and Milan, they were key patrons of music, and celebrations and religious observances in their churches attracted the most important professional musicians of the city and a large and wide-ranging audience. The nuns also managed, sometimes illegally, both to hear and perform secular music, including opera, and to receive musical instruction. The first two thirds of the fellowship period will be devoted to the completion of the research in the Archivio di Stato and other Venetian collections. The remaining third will be spent writing the first draft of a monograph that will explore these musical activities and the place of Venetian nuns in the cultural life of the city.