• Rosemarie Darby

Student thesis: Phd


The music of the Congregation of the Roman Oratory has been the subject of previous research relating to their spiritual exercises or oratories, which contributed to the development of the oratorio. This thesis, however, investigates the liturgical music from the Chiesa Nuova, the church of the Congregation of the Oratory in Rome. The period covered extends from 1575, when the Congregation was officially recognised, to 1644, when Girolamo Rosini, the final member of the Congregation to hold the post of maestro di cappella, died. After referring to literature that has described the Chiesa Nuova as an important centre for church music in Rome, the sources of what once formed a vast library of liturgical music are discussed with reference to other important archival material, such as inventories of the music including one from as early as 1592, which had not previously been discovered. The necessary historic background on the music establishment at the Chiesa Nuova supplies new evidence on the musicians involved, as well as the impact made by the Oratorian emphasis on music as an inspirational tool for devotion. The largest part of the thesis is given to a discussion of a representative sample of the music. These sources provide one of the most complete pictures of the provision of liturgical music in a single institution in Rome during that period. It presents the great diversity of styles that existed side-by-side, ranging from the small-scale motet to large-scale polychoral works. As much of the music only exists in manuscript copies or in rare early prints, thirty-two complete transcriptions of these unique sources are included. This study provides a valuable contribution to research into sacred music in Rome during a period straddling the two traditionally defined epochs of the Renaissance and Baroque and an era of renewed energy in the Church, as well as providing evidence to substantiate the reputation of the Chiesa Nuova as one of the greatest centres for church music in Rome during that period.
Date of Award31 Dec 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJames Garratt (Supervisor) & Thomas Schmidt (Supervisor)

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