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Paisagens sonoras urbanas: História, Memória e Património

Vanda de Sá
Antónia Fialho Conde

O papel dos músicos, instrumentistas e construtores de instrumentos na identidade das paisagens sonoras

«Musico Napolitano»: Chances and Perspectives of Research for a Neapolitan Biographical Index

Angela Fiore, Claudio Bacciagaluppi et Rodolfo Zitellini


«Musico Napolitano» is a biographical index dedicated to all music professionals active in the city of Naples between the 16th and 19th centuries. At that time, Naples was indeed a meeting point for musicians coming from different parts of Italy and Europe. The database aims at gathering, extracting, and establishing connections in the great amount of biographical data contained in the various typologies of archival and bibliographical sources dedicated to the history of music and musicians of the Neapolitan viceroyalty. The structure of «Musico Napolitano» is organized in different indexes, including transcribed names, standardized names, institutions and professions. A «fuzzy search» function permits to retrieve data regardless of the different spellings of personal names in historical sources. The project started in 2014 at the University of Fribourg (CH), and it reaches now the first concrete results. Thanks to the digital functionalities it is now possible to add missing pieces to the biographies of musicians; to better interpret the circulation of musicians in the city; to reconstruct the musical activity of some city institutions; to have new data on musical practice in its different forms. The creation of a continually updated index of simple reference, open to further contributors, and giving access to more detailed biographical information for each name, allows to easily map the presence, integration, and mobility of musicians in the urban texture of Naples.

Texte intégral

The «Musico Napolitano» index and its methodological context

  • 1 Neapolitan musical spectacles, both sacred and secular, were characterised by a complex succession (...)

1From the 17th century onwards, Naples was a primary centre of interest and a focal point for European music. It was a locus of learning for many composers on the Continent and a laboratory for innovations that changed the musical language. During its two centuries of Spanish dominion and its subsequent rule by the Austrians, the reign of Charles of Bourbon (1735-1759) and the first decades of the reign of his son Ferdinand IV (up to the revolution of 1799), its intense circulation of music and musicians established Naples as a capital of music. Music was everywhere: in theatres, churches and conservatories, but also in noble palaces and in the streets of what was one of the largest urban populations on the Continent.1

  • 2 See: Prota-Giurleo 1952, Croce 1966, Di Giacomo 1928; Cotticelli-Maione 2006; Magaudda-Costantini 2 (...)

2This extensive musical activity is testified to today by the huge quantity of surviving primary sources (such as chronicles, account books, deeds, documents internal to its institutions, correspondence etc.). Many studies of archival Neapolitan sources today provide us with reports on the spectacular nature of Neapolitan life thanks to the copious documents in the different archives of Naples and the chronicles and journals of the time such as the Gazzetta di Napoli.2

3The large volume of data that would need to be processed by scholars makes it almost impossible to get a broader picture of musical activity in Naples by tracing the occupations and movements of individual musicians. The idea of creating a database arose from the difficulties encountered by the present authors in comparing the many published and unpublished sources that are available today. The «Musico Napolitano» biographical index aims to connect the extensive extant data about music professionals active in Naples that has emerged from assorted sources. Only by carefully reading, analysing and comparing the sources can we hope to reconstruct the artistic and biographical paths of dozens of musicians both famous and less famous. The online presentation of such data, regardless of whether it has already been published or freshly discovered, will permit us to analyse it in new ways.

  • 3 The Gallerie-Estensi project foresees the creation of databases subsequent to the identification, c (...)

4The «Musico Napolitano» project is situated within the methodologies of the digital humanities: when analysing the content of historical documents, computer-aided tools allow us to create meaningful relationships within the data collected that could not be identified using non-computational methods. In recent years, many studies have been established that are dedicated to the digital humanities and based on the development of resources for humanistic research (digital archives, databases and computational tools for analysis and consultation). For instance, an important project sponsored by the Gallerie Estensi-Modena was recently launched at the University of Modena-Reggio Emilia. It is aimed at building a digital platform for the study and enhancement of the historical heritage of the House of Este. Specifically, the musical sources preserved today in the Biblioteca Universitaria Estense will be related to other artistic and cultural expressions at the Este court in order to construct a cultural ‘map’ of its geographical and historical, artistic context.3

5The «Musico Napolitano» index also intends to turn its gaze towards urban musicology and soundscape studies in order to consider music as a social, political and cultural activity, not just as something artistic. In fact, musicology is currently looking with increasing interest at the relationships between cities and the music they produce, through an analysis of historical soundscapes. The Historical Soundscapes Meeting in Evora is one of the positive results of this growing interest.

6With their social, material and cultural resources, cities have been a prerequisite for the growth of music production. There are already excellent examples of projects and platforms designed to explore urban contexts and to recreate the sound of historical places through the use of interactive maps and digital supports. One notable example is the digital platform «Paisajes sonoros históricos (c.1200-c.1800)», which has been created by Luis Juan Ruiz Jiménez and Ignacio José Lizarán Rus to explore historical urban soundscapes in Andalusian cities.4

7In this sense, reconstructing and mapping the musical activity of the various institutions of Naples can help us to understand how music was a central part of Neapolitan urban culture, and how much it contributed to the construction of the cultural identity of the city itself.

The project

8The database itself is designed to be as simple as possible. The main goal is to reveal and highlight relationships rather than to provide a repository for transcriptions of archival documents. Data should not be duplicated if it exists and is easily accessible elsewhere, meaning that only the core data from previously published materials will be maintained in the database. This information is classified in various indices, including a transcription of the name as it appears in the source, a standardised form of the name, the institutions, the role played by the artist, etc. This information, while it may at first glance seem basic, provides all the necessary data points needed to reconstruct a network of people active in the city. Another key concept of the database is that names are given exactly as they appear in the document, and are linked to their standardised form. This is important because it permits a «Google Books» approach to searching, using a «fuzzy search» algorithm. This means that names are matched approximately, making it possible to search without knowing the precise spelling of a name. For example, Saverio Carcais, a violin player, is variously cited also as «Carcai», «Carcaio» and «Carcajus».

9These «workers» appearing in the database are not only musicians (singers, instrumentalists, composers and choirmasters), but also belong to all those related professions (librettists, impresarios, etc.) that prove essential in reconstructing the network of musical and theatrical activities in Naples.

10To allow as much freedom as possible for future development, no date ranges have been fixed for the project. However, most studies of Neapolitan music based on archival documents relate to the 17th and 18th centuries.

  • 5 Bacciagaluppi-Fiore-Zitellini, 2014; Bacciagaluppi-Fiore-Zitellini, 2015a.
  • 6 Notably: Cafiero 1999; Cafiero-Marino 2009; Columbro-Maione, 2008; Cotticelli-Maione 2006; Magaudda (...)

11This index was created in 2014 at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, where it is currently hosted ( It was first presented at the 16th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music in Salzburg, and subsequently also in two printed articles.5 The first phase of work on the «Musico Napolitano» online biographical index was concluded in 2018. The index contains the most important data collected in recent research and was previously issued only on paper or CD-ROM.6 The data input also includes some previously unpublished sources that emerged from private research conducted by the authors. The open, user-friendly structure of the index enables any interested researcher to collaborate by contributing further data.

Looking into the data

12There are certain structural limitations to investigating archival data that are obviously reflected in «Musico Napolitano» and that should be kept in mind while mining the database. First, documentary data concerns mostly everyday events: in other words, preserved documents do not reflect any kind of hierarchy of historical importance. This is a category intentionally created by the eye of the historian. Thus at present, the names of many well-known Neapolitan composers are mentioned only rarely and by chance in «Musico Napolitano». Secondly, the data registers the presence of a name, but one cannot draw any conclusions from the absence of names, since we have no ambition to achieving completeness of coverage in any domain.

13The unprecedented amount of data collected on one platform encourages us to pursue new lines of investigation. Data can be examined in the long term, over many generations. Thanks to the amount of data collected in one place, it is easier to notice recurring trends or parallels in the range of activities, in the networks constructed by musicians, and in the performing forces of different institutions. In what follows here, we shall offer several examples of questions that can be addressed using the index.

  • 7 Cafiero 1999, p. 796, n. 98.

14First, the traditional concept of music as a family trade can be explored. The organ-building family Cimmino can be traced over four generations: Felice Cimmino was active in the 1690s, Fabrizio and Francesco in the 1720s and 1730s, another Francesco and Antonio between the 1780s and the 1800s, and finally another Fabrizio in the 1810s and 1820s. The De Martino family was also active as organ builders over many generations: Giuseppe between the 1680s and the 1710s, Tommaso and Giacomo in the 1730s, Domenico in the 1750s. Among string players, we note the long-lasting tradition of the Sabatino family. Giovanni was active from the 1680s to the 1730s, Francesco and Nicola from the 1730s to the 1750s. A Gioacchino is mentioned only once in 1736, but the name resurfaces in the 1760s and 1770s (is it the same person?). Finally, in 1793 we still find a violin player by the name of Sabatino in the church of San Paolo Maggiore. Among brass players, we may assume that some family relationship existed between the two documented musicians by the name of Marotta. Domenico entered the Conservatorio della Pietà de’ Turchini in 1694 and was still active as a trumpet player for the Cappella di San Gennaro in 1759. Saverio is recorded as having been a member of the orchestra in the Teatro San Bartolomeo in 1734 and 1735. Family relations also include female names. Two granddaughters of Domenico Cimarosa, Sofia and Costanza, enrolled at an early age in the short-lived «Real collegio di musica delle donzelle», a music college reserved for girls training as singers that existed between 1806 and 1832.7 The pupils of this institution also included Adelaide la Blache and Teresa Manfroce, who quite possibly were relatives of the bass Luigi Lablache and of the composer Nicola Manfroce respectively. However, the recurrence of a surname is in itself no proof of a family relationship: we cannot state with certainty whether Bartolomeo Piano, a pupil of the Conservatorio della Pietà de’ Turchini in 1696 and a violinist at the Cappella di San Gennaro in 1734, was related to Gennaro Piano, a brass player at the Cappella di San Gennaro between 1730 and 1778, or if either was from the same family as Girolamo Piano, a renowned bass who was active between 1731 and 1734 at the Cappella Reale and the Teatro dei Fiorentini (and later also in theatres outside Naples, in Palermo and Venice).

  • 8 Di Giacomo 1928, p. 226.

15The «fuzzy search» capabilities allow one to search the database for unknown or obscure people, while the indexed standard names enable the careers of better-known individuals to be tracked. We can also add information to the biography of a well-known artist, but above all, we can reconstruct the life of an unknown musician. For this reason, the database allows biographical data to be entered so that a contributor can provide supplementary information for names unknown in standard music dictionaries. For example, there is no biographical information in The New Grove or MGG on Domenico de Matteis, a Neapolitan violinist. Salvatore Di Giacomo wrote in his book I quattro antichi Conservatori di Musica a Napoli that De Matteis was a teacher at the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo from 1712 to 1732. According to Di Giacomo, De Matteis was a violinist «soprannumerario», an additional musician in the Cappella Reale in 1727; he played first violin from 1736 to 1756. De Matteis was also the teacher of Giovan Battista Pergolesi.8 However, archival sources testify that his activities as a violinist were much more intense than this: in 1721 and 1744 he was at the female convent of Santissima Trinità as a violinist; in 1722 he began to work with the Cappella del Tesoro di San Gennaro; in 1726 he worked at the church of Santa Maria la Nova; from 1730 to 1735 he was at the Teatro San Bartolomeo; in 1736 at the church of San Domenico Maggiore; and in 1743 he was a violinist at the church of Santa Maria della Stella. The additional information we now have about the activity of this violinist enables us to write a biographical entry on him today.

16There are also cases of musicians whose scores are preserved today for whom there is, however, no biographical information. Chronicles and accounting documents tell us about the musical activity of Giuseppe De Bottis, the author of «Mitilene Regina delle Amazzoni». De Bottis was a composer for the Teatro de’ Fiorentini and Teatro San Bartolomeo and a musician of the Cappella Reale. He was also active as a ‘maestro di cappella’ in the house of the Prince of Bisignano and in several sacred institutions including the Conservatorio della Solitaria, the church of San Luigi di Palazzo, the church of Gesù Nuovo, and the church of Santa Maria la Nova.

17Scrolling through the section dedicated to «Biographies», we also find evidence of the versatility of the musicians, who as a rule were active at several institutions at the same time. Andrea Amendola, a name otherwise not widely known, was active in the 1720s and 1730s as an organist and ‘maestro di cappella’ at the Monastero di Santa Maria della Provvidenza ai Miracoli, at the Monastero di Santa Maria del Divino Amore, at the Monastero della Santissima Trinità delle Monache, at the Casa Santa degli Incurabili, and at the Cathedral. The successful violoncello player Francesco Supriani, principally active for the Real Cappella, is also to be found playing for the churches of San Domenico Maggiore and Santa Maria della Stella, for the Cappella di San Gennaro, for the Teatro San Bartolomeo and for the Seggio di Nilo (a town district council).

18There are also exceptional cases of extremely dynamic musicians: for instance, Francesco Feo worked between 1715 and 1734 as a composer for three theatres in Naples and as «maestro di cappella» for eleven churches, four monasteries and seven congregations. He was also a «maestro» in two men’s conservatories. The same goes for Gaetano Veneziano, Domenico Sarro and Leonardo Leo, all leading names in the Neapolitan music school. It is therefore not surprising that we find the same versatility in lesser-known artists.

19The role lists also enable us to trace the popularity of single instruments and other details about performing forces. We find harp players («arpista») and cornetto players («cornettista») enrolled only up to the 1690s. On the other hand, clarinet players only surface by the 1810s. That does not mean that the clarinet was altogether unknown, but that specialised professionals were engaged only around that time. Only 18 mentions are made of horn players against 125 trumpet players. This does not mean that the horn was not in use, but rather that the same musicians played the horns and the trumpets. In fact, of the 18 horn players, five are also mentioned as trumpet players (Antonio Casalini, [Giuseppe] Romano, Cesare Biancone, Giuseppe Ercolani, and Gaetano Pigneri).

  • 9 In the 17th century, girls’ conservatories attempted to remedy social distress in Naples by providi (...)
  • 10 Fiore 2012, pp. 22-44.

20The institution index reveals the thriving musical activities in venues of different kinds. There were some 120 religious venues that supported music performances. The list of «Conservatori» is noteworthy – i.e. educational and charity institutions for children, comprising many more than the celebrated four music conservatories for boys. Even girls’ conservatories were closely connected to the most popular figures of the Neapolitan music scene. These institutions were created especially to house and provide education for disadvantaged orphans and poor girls, who were taught grammar, Christian doctrine, needlework and also music. Often the education of the girls was assigned to external teachers.9 In this regard, one of the most significant, representative examples is the Conservatorio di Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, an institution founded in 1589 to house the orphan daughters of Spanish soldiers in Naples. A few years after the conservatory was founded, we find many examples relating to the teaching of singing or an instrument. In 1601 we find an unknown musician called Domenico Manso as the singing teacher of the young girls of the school. In 1607, Aurelio Sassano taught «de cantar […] a las Virgines». In 1652, Andrea Anzalone, from one of the most famous families of musicians in Naples, was tasked with teaching «a las monjas de esta Santa Casa de cantar». Between 1659 and 1669 the Venetian Cristofaro Caresana worked as a music teacher at Soledad. Pietro Bartilotti then took over from Caresana. Bartilotti was also the director of the Conservatorio of Santa Maria di Loreto. He was at Soledad from 1671 to 1698, with the title of music teacher and ‘maestro di cappella’. From 1708 to 1724 Gennaro Ursino held the position of ‘maestro’, followed by Giuseppe De Bottis from 1725 to 1736.10

21In addition to singing lessons, the orphans used to take lessons on string instruments, which were taught at the Soledad from 1640 onwards. We find Onofrio Mirabello as «Maestro de tocar rebichèn», followed by Juan Angelo Durso, whose tasks were to teach «las monjas de esta Santa Casa de tocar violin [...]». Francesco Antonio D’Angelo, another forgotten musician who was probably active in the Cappella Reale as a tenor and violin player around the 1650s, was «maestro de violini» at the Soledad from 1656 to 1670. We must also note the presence at Soledad of Pietro Marchitelli, who was one of the most important violinists of the time. He was otherwise active in the Cappella Reale of Naples and taught the violin to the nuns in the Soledad.

22But the Soledad is not an isolated case, for there were dozens of girls’ conservatories in Naples that taught music: Bonaventura Veneziano and Francesco Sabatini were violin teachers at the Conservatorio di Santa Maria di Costantinopoli, while Nicola di Napoli is mentioned as a viola teacher at the Conservatorio delle Figliole di San Gennaro. In the Conservatorio della Nobil Arte della Seta, an institution founded to welcome the girls of the affiliates of a Neapolitan corporation called «Arte della Seta», the unknown virtuoso Nunzio Labruzzo and the chapel master Nicola Consolo taught the violin to the nuns and orphans between 1733 and 1736. Another example is the Conservatorio dello Spirito Santo, an institution created for the daughters of members of a confraternity, where we have proof that it included nuns called «virtuose monache». In this conservatory, we find also Gaetano Veneziano and Nicola Fago as chapel masters. A similar example is the Hospital of Sant’Eligio, another institution created to house orphan girls. There are reports in 1729 of music lessons being given to the sisters by Francesco Durante, along with other musicians who were afterwards forgotten.

23We must emphasise that this is something entirely new and almost unknown for the city of Naples, where music education was generally thought to have been the privilege of the four male conservatories. As we have seen, archival documents attest to the presence of renowned musicians – the same who worked in the male conservatories. By cross-checking different sources, the database can help us to reconstruct the teaching staff of these forgotten institutions and, at the same time, it can broaden our perspective of music historiography in Naples.

24The search terms «casa» and «palazzo», «principe» and «marchese» reveal the importance of private houses for upholding the urban music system. Only princely homes had the means to engage a private ‘maestro di cappella’. Gregorio Pinto, Prince of Montaguto, could call on the services of one the most successful composers of his day, Domenico Sarro, in 1716. The Prince of Stigliano hired no less a figure than Alessandro Scarlatti as composer and Farinelli as singer in 1723. Some ten years later, the Marquis of Arena – an ancestor of the amateur composer Pasquale Caracciolo (died 1838) – could only afford a lesser-known composer as «maestro di cappella», Nicola Conte; in line with his social status, he also employed a «maestro di ballo», the otherwise unknown Giovanni Andrea Bottaro. But even the house of a successful musician such as Nicola Grimaldi (Nicolino) could become a venue for musical activities, for it is mentioned four times between 1719 and 1724.

25The index can also help us to reconstruct the music staff active at an institution over the centuries. It is essential for tracing the history of both prestigious and smaller music groups active in Naples.

26The Cappella Reale has always been considered the most renowned musical institution in the city. It was founded when Viceroy Pedro de Toledo decided in 1555 to set up an instrumental and vocal ensemble whose task was to accompany the religious and social ceremonies of the court. The Cappella Reale included the best composers and soloists in town, and its mission was to prepare decorative and occasional sacred music that constituted the obligatory background for all official and solemn events. Its duties were of course associated primarily with the activities of the vice-regal court, but travellers’ accounts and documents related to the sacred institutions offer us clear information on the participation of the Cappella Reale in the various ceremonies of the Neapolitan liturgical calendar. Alongside the prestigious Cappella Reale, other music groups were also active in Naples.

  • 11 Cotticelli-Maione 2006; Magaudda-Costantini 2009; Fiore 2017.

27The Chapel of the Cathedral of Naples, also known as the Chapel of the Archbishop, was a vocal and instrumental ensemble reporting directly to the Archbishop’s court. Its task was to satisfy liturgical needs in the countless sacred institutions of Naples. It was of similar importance to vice-regal institutions in Naples, but regrettably there are no specific studies of it as yet. The references to it in the documentation of the Neapolitan sacred institutions are now included in the database, and these allow us to know the names of the chapel masters who were active at the Cathedral from the late 17th to the mid-18th centuries, such as Domenico Arcucci in 1681, Francesco Mariniello in 1688, Pietro Bartilotti at the end of the 17th century, Angelo Durante in 1720, and Andrea Amendola and Giacomo Sarcuni in around 1730. We also find here the name of a choirmaster: Alfonso Cangi.11

  • 12 Musical activities at the Tesoro were connected above all to the three feasts of S. Gennaro, in Sep (...)

28The Cathedral was also linked another musical institution, the famous Cappella del Tesoro di San Gennaro (San Gennaro being the patron saint of Naples). In 1527, the city was reputedly saved from the plague after its people swore a vow to San Gennaro, so afterwards, they decided to build a chapel dedicated to him within the Cathedral. Building actually only started in 1608, and it was completed some 40 years later. This chapel, called the «Tesoro», was inaugurated in 1646. It was probably that same year that the vocal and instrumental ensemble bearing its name was founded. It was expected to provide the music for the feast days devoted to the saint.12 Until a few years ago, the earliest information about the Cappella del Tesoro dated from the 1660s when the maestro di cappella was Filippo Coppola. He was followed in 1686 by Francesco Provenzale; Cristofaro Caresana took on the responsibility of composing music for the Tesoro in 1699; when he died in 1709, he was succeeded by Nicola Fago.

  • 13 Columbro-Maione 2008.

29The extant data on the Cappella del Tesoro, taken from the private archives of the institution, was published in 2008 by P. Maione and M. Columbro and is now included in the database.13 The functionality of «Musico Napolitano» can help us to visualise easily the complete musical staff of the Cappella del Tesoro from the beginnings of the 17th century to the close of the 18th.

30It is precisely this possibility for cross-referencing several documents that allows us to get an impression of the multifaceted network of musical activities in Naples. The daily presence of music in innumerable venues and genres arguably made the soundscape of Naples unique in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Future developments

31«Musico Napolitano» is entirely based on open-source software. The team of «Musico Napolitano» will be delighted to share its experiences and to help other researchers in implementing and adapting its software to the needs of similar investigations.

32In fact, an initial adaptation and application of the «Musico Napolitano» software is currently envisaged in the context of a research project based in Switzerland.14 The available evidence suggests that there was a close connection between the rise of the conservatories as places of musical education, and the professionalisation of (female) instrumentalists. In this way, the Swiss conservatories can be seen as early examples of the integration of women in public working life in the 19th century. There was also a large exchange of students between Switzerland and other European countries. In this way, conservatories contributed to multilateral cultural exchange. The aim is to construct a biographical index of pupils at the oldest Swiss conservatories, from the time they were founded up to the outbreak of World War I. Similar efforts, though using different software applications, are currently underway at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris (a prosopographical database of students at the Conservatoire)15 and at the Sophie Drinker Institut in Bremen (a biographical dictionary of female instrumentalists at German conservatories).16

33Further developments are also planned for the «Musico Napolitano» software itself. The dynamic links between the historical map of Naples and the institutions mentioned in the archival documents will be improved by adding geolocation data to the records of the «Institution» index. In addition, the possibility of implementing a meta-search and name-retrieval, not only from «Musico Napolitano» itself, but also from databases of related interest (such as the ones previously mentioned), is currently being examined.

34While the initial input of data can be considered to have now been concluded, work on the biographical index «Musico Napolitano» is by no means at an end. The project team hopes that this index might provide a model for others, stimulate dialogue and promote collaborations with other, similar research initiatives that have the same aim of retrieving and providing information on musicians’ networks in order to reconstruct the past soundscapes of European cities.


BACCIAGALUPPI, Claudio; FIORE, Angela; ZITELLINI, Rodolfo (2015a) – Musico Napolitano: An Online Biographical Index of Music Professions in Naples. Early Music. Vol. 43, pp. 673-676

BACCIAGALUPPI, Claudio; FIORE, Angela; ZITELLINI, Rodolfo (2015b) – Musico Napolitano: indice delle maestranze musicali attive a Napoli. Studi pergolesiani / Pergolesi Studies. Vol. 10, pp. 209-225.

CAFIERO, Rosa (1999) – Istruzione musicale a Napoli tra decennio francese e restaurazione borbonica: il “collegio di musica delle donzelle” (1806-1832). In CAFIERO, Rosa; MARINO, Marina (a cura di) – Francesco Florimo e l’Ottocento musicale. Reggio Calabria: Jason, pp. 753-825.

CAFIERO, Rosa; MARINO, Marina (2009) – La musica della Real Camera e Cappella Palatina fra restaurazione e unità d’Italia. II: organici e ruoli (1815-1864). Studi musicali. Vol. 38, pp. 133-206.

COLUMBRO, Marta; MAIONE, Paologiovanni (2008) – La Cappella musicale del Tesoro di San Gennaro di Napoli tra Sei e Settecento. Napoli: Turchini.

COTTICELLI, Francesco; MAIONE, Paologiovanni (2006) – Le carte degli antichi banchi e il panorama musicale e teatrale della Napoli di primo Settecento: 1732-1733. Studi pergolesiani / Pergolesi Studies. Vol. 5, CD-ROM.

CROCE, Benedetto (1966 [1891]) – I teatri di Napoli. Roma-Bari: Laterza.

DI GIACOMO, Salvatore (1928) – I quattro antichi Conservatori di musica a Napoli, 2 voll. Palermo: Sandron.

MAGAUDDA, Ausilia; COSTANTINI, Danilo (2009) – Musica e spettacolo nel Regno di Napoli attraverso lo spoglio della “Gazzetta” (1675-1768). Roma: ISMEZ.

FABRIS, Dinko (2005) – Dal Medioevo al decennio napoleonico e oltre: metamorfosi e continuità nella tradizione napoletana. In BRYANT, David; QUARANTA, Elena (a cura di) – Produzione, circolazione e consumo. Consuetudine e quotidianità della polifonia sacra nelle chiese monastiche e parrocchiali dal tardo Medioevo alla fine degli Antichi Regimi. Bologna: Il Mulino, pp. 227-281.

FIORE, Angela (2012) – La Cappella di Santa Cecilia dei Musici di Palazzo di Napoli. Nuove acquisizioni dall’Archivio del Conservatorio della Solitaria. Fonti musicali italiane. Vol. 17, pp. 25-44.

OLIVIERI, Guido (1999) – Aggiunte a “La scuola musicale di Napoli” di F. Florimo: i contratti dei figlioli della Pietà dei Turchini nei protocolli notarili (1667-1703). In CAFIERO, Rosa; MARINO, Marina (a cura di) – Francesco Florimo e l’Ottocento musicale. Reggio Calabria: Jason, pp. 717-752.

PROTA-GIURLEO,Ulisse (1952) – Breve storia del Teatro di Corte e della musica a Napoli nei secoli XVII-XVIII. In DE FILIPPIS, Felice; PROTA-GIURLEO, Ulisse (a cura di) – Il Teatro di Corte del Palazzo Reale di Napoli. Napoli: L’Arte Tipografica, 1952, pp. 19-77.


1 Neapolitan musical spectacles, both sacred and secular, were characterised by a complex succession of events that constituted a great employment opportunity for both foreign musicians and local artists. The theatre circuit was one of the leading sectors of vice-regal Naples with three principle theatres: the Teatro di San Carlo, the Teatro San Bartolomeo and the Teatro dei Fiorentini. The blossoming of music in the theatres also reflected a highly complex network of specialised operators such as composers, singers, instrumentalists, dance teachers, impresarios and so on. The sacred music scene was likewise varied and well supported. Monasteries, convents and churches enjoyed an intense artistic and musical life. Even the smallest chapels of the roughly 500 churches in Naples would seem to have featured music. Besides the many city institutions, musicians were also employed in the private palaces of the nobility. See: Cotticelli-Maione 2006; Cotticelli-Maione 2015; Magaudda-Costantini 2009.

2 See: Prota-Giurleo 1952, Croce 1966, Di Giacomo 1928; Cotticelli-Maione 2006; Magaudda-Costantini 2009; Fabris 2005.

3 The Gallerie-Estensi project foresees the creation of databases subsequent to the identification, cataloguing and metadata capture of the cartographic heritage (edited by Sara Belotti), the musical manuscripts (by Angela Fiore) and the archives of literary sources (by Andrea Lazzarini) of the Este house. The project is taking place under the scholarly oversight of the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Studies of the Università degli Studi di Modena-Reggio-Emilia.

4 See:, retrieved 16 April 2018.

5 Bacciagaluppi-Fiore-Zitellini, 2014; Bacciagaluppi-Fiore-Zitellini, 2015a.

6 Notably: Cafiero 1999; Cafiero-Marino 2009; Columbro-Maione, 2008; Cotticelli-Maione 2006; Magaudda-Costantini 2009; Fabris 2005; Fiore, 2012; Olivieri 1999.

7 Cafiero 1999, p. 796, n. 98.

8 Di Giacomo 1928, p. 226.

9 In the 17th century, girls’ conservatories attempted to remedy social distress in Naples by providing girls with an adequate spiritual and cultural education. Internal rules give us some information about the organisation of the time and the education imparted to young nuns and schoolgirls. See: FIORE 2017, pp. 185-202.

10 Fiore 2012, pp. 22-44.

11 Cotticelli-Maione 2006; Magaudda-Costantini 2009; Fiore 2017.

12 Musical activities at the Tesoro were connected above all to the three feasts of S. Gennaro, in September, May and December, each one having its octave and involving a cycle of three evenings with processions and performances both outdoors and in the chapel.

13 Columbro-Maione 2008.

14 See the beta version,, retrieved 1. March 2019. The project “Integrative Listening. A Historical Perspective on Aural Skills Training”, is being financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (No. 169368).

15, retrieved 5 April 2018.

16, retrieved 5 April 2018.


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