39596 - Documentation for the Musical Heritage

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Teaching 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 the contemporary age. At the end of the course the student is able to identify and contextualize the main types of musical sources and to apply his knowledge to the musical heritage's enhancement.

Course contents

In the course 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 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 Odècaton (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 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 take place in the second semester, starting on Wednsday the   30th March 2022.


Beni musicali Salvaguardia e valorizzazione. Atti della Giornata di Studi (Roma, 29 Novembre 2016), Antonio Caroccia ed., 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, Carlo Fiore ed., Palermo, Epos, 2004, pp.89-114;

I. FENLON, Music, Print and Culture in Early Sixteenth-Century Italy, London, The British Library, 1995;

Venezia 1501. Petrucci e la stampa musicale, exhibition catalogue, I. Fenlon & P. Dalla Vecchia eds., Venezia, Edizioni della Laguna, 2001.

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

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

-S. SUATONI, Gli strumenti musicali. Dallo spettacolo al museo spettacolare. Tutela, valorizzazione, museologia, museografia. L’esempio del museo nazionale degli strumenti musicali, Roma, UniversItalia, 2019.

Teaching methods

Readings and seminars; the course will also include exercises in the Musical Laboratory of the Department of Cultural Heritage 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.

Attending students will be required to elaborate an individual job, to be agreed with the teacher and presented in seminar form during the last lectures.

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 individual work.

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.

Furthermore, the student's  active participation in cultural initiatives (conferences, lectures, book presentations) connected to the topics of the course, organized by the teacher or by the teachers of the Department of Cultural Heritage, will be positively evaluated.

The student’s achievement of an organic vision of the themes dealt within the lessons, together with their critical use and 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.

Teaching tools

PC, video projector, CD player.

Specific supports will be made available to students with DSA.

Office hours

See the website of Nicoletta Guidobaldi