39596 - Documentation for the Musical Heritage

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course addresses the study of music as an essential component of cultural heritage through the reading and contextualization of music books (manuscripts and prints) and other documents (textual, sonic and iconographic) of musical interest, from the ancient age to our times. At the end of the course the student should be able to identify and contextualize the main types of musical sources and to apply his knowledge to their valorisation.

Course contents

General part. In this introductory part, the main types of documents constituting the musical heritage will be presented : manuscript and print music books, opera booklets, musical instruments, audiovisual media, musical representations, etc.

This part of the course will be integrated by seminars illustrating the main international databases dedicated to music repertoires, and the digital archives dedicated to musical iconographic sources and libretti set up in the Music Laboratory of the Department of Cultural Heritage.

Specialized part. The book of music in the XV and XVI century: typologies, functions, representations. The monographic part of the course will first illustrate the main typologies of the 15th century manuscripts from the material point of view and from that of the specific functions of conservation, use and transmission of the various liturgical and profane repertoires.

Particular attention will therefore be given to the innovations introduced by the advent of music printing, starting from the Odhecaton (Venice, 1501). The course will then take into account the publishing strategies of the first printers and the impact of the books published in Venice and Rome in the sixteenth century not only on musical production but also on the social and cultural function of the music book. In this context, a special attention will be devoted to the realistic representations of musical books, often included by 16th and 17th-centuries artists in their in portraits, 'concerts' and still life paintings.

 At the end of the course a guided tour will be organized at the International Museum and Bologna Music Library.


The course will be heldin the second semester, starting on Tuesday, March the 19th 2019


I Beni musicali Salvaguardia e valorizzazione. Atti della Giornata di Studi (Roma, 29 Novembre 2016), a cura di Antonio Caroccia, Ariccia, Cover, 2018.

V. BORGHETTI, Il Manoscritto di musica tra Quattro e Cinquecento, in Il libro di musica. Per una storia materiale delle fonti musicali in Europa, a cura di Carlo Fiore, Palermo, Epos, 2004, pp.89-114;

I. FENLON, Musica e stampa nell’Italia del Rinascimento, Milano, Edizioni Silvestre Bonnard, 2001;

Venezia 1501. Petrucci e la stampa musicale, catalogo della mostra a cura di I. Fenlon e P. Dalla Vecchia, Venezia, Edizioni della Laguna, 2001.

- N. GUIDOBALDI, Percorsi musicali nel Fondo Natura morta della Fondazione Federico Zeri, ne La Natura morta di Federico Zeri, a cura di Andrea Bacchi, Francesca Mambelli, Elisabetta Sambo, Fondazione Federico Zeri, 2015, pp. 247-261.

- Museo Internazionale e biblioteca della musica. Guida al percorso espositivo, a cura di L. Bianconi e P. Isotta, Bologna, Studio Costa, 2006.


Further bibliographic and material references for specific aspects will be provided during the lessons.

Students non attending to the lectures are required to read the texts listed in the bibliography and are invited to contact the teacher to agree a personalized work program for the examination.

Teaching methods

Readings and seminars; the course will also include guided visiting to the Department of Cultural Heritage's Musical Laboratory, and a guided tour to the Museo e Biblioteca internazionale della musica (Bologna). 

Assessment methods

The exam consists of an oral interview aimed at assessing the critical and methodological skills and knowledge acquired by the student, who will be invited to confront the texts, the themes and the methodological issues faced during the course and during the seminars.

The students will be required to elaborate an individual job, to be agreed with the teacher and presented in seminar form during the last lessons of the course.

Students non attending to the lectures are required to read the texts listed in the bibliography and are invited to contact the teacher to agree an alternative work program for the examination.

The assessment of the exam will take into account, in particular, the student's ability to use readings, sources, and exam bibliography to illustrate contents and issues, and to establish links between them .

The examinator will therefore assess the mastery of the content and the ability to synthesize and analyze the concepts, and the ability to express themselves in a language appropriated to the subject matter.

The student’s achievement of an organic vision of the themes dealt with in the lesson together with their critical use, good expressive mastery and specific language will be evaluated with excellence marks; formative gaps and / or inappropriate language, will lead to votes that will not exceed the sufficiency.

Furthermore, the active participation of the student in cultural initiatives (study days, conferences, conferences, book presentations) organized by the teacher will be positively evaluated. 

Teaching tools

PC, video projector, CD player.

Office hours

See the website of Nicoletta Guidobaldi