Stephen Bonta's research on seventeenth-century Italian music, particularly for strings, spans more than 30 years. Included in this selection of his published articles is his seminal study of the early history of the bass violin which proved to be the foundation for his subsequent articles on the early history of the violoncello. In addition to the discussions of secular instrumental music, the volume features essays that explore Italian sacred music of the period, including Monteverdi's Marian Vespers.
Contents: Preface; Liturgical Practice and Sacred Music: Liturgical problems in Monteverdi's Marian Vespers; The uses of the sonata da chiesa; The use of instruments in sacred music in Italy 1560-1700; The Violoncello and Other Stringed Instruments: From violone to violoncello: a question of strings?; Terminology for the bass violin in 17th-century Italy; Catline strings revisited; Correlli's heritage: the early bass violin in Italy; The making of gut strings in 18th-century Paris; Further thoughts on the history of strings; Notation and Style: The instrumental music of Giovanni Legrenzi; The instrumental music of Giovanni Legrenzi: style and significance; Brossard's practice concerning the use of accidentals and the continuo in his instrumental music; A formal convention in 17th-century Italien instrumental music; General: The use of instruments in the ensemble canzona and sonata in Italy, 1580-1650; Chronological register of documents concerned with music (1583-1710) in Santa Maria Maggiore, Bergamo; The interpretation of notation in music for Italian instrumental ensembles in the mid- to late-17th century; Index.