Antonfrancesco Doni and the madrigal in Piacenza: the “Dialogo della Musica” revisited

Lucia Marchi
DePaul University


Antonfrancesco Doni (1513-74) published his Dialogo della Musica in April 1544, during the two years in which the author resided in Piacenza. A cri- tical re-evaluation of the work suggests that the Dialogo was the fruit of the numerous experiences of its author; at the same time, it reveals a strong link to Piacenza. Far from being at the margins of the musical scene in the penin- sula, the city appreciated the most innovative tendencies in secular practices, for example the so-called ‘black-note madrigal’. In Piacenza Doni was part of the Accademia degli Ortolani (dedicated to Priapus, the god of Gardens); its influence on the Dialogo is evident in the correspondence among characters, texts and music. In particular, the madrigal Noi v’abbiam donne mille nuov’a dire (Canto VI of the Dialogo) could have been included because it matched the Academy’s ironic and irreverent aesthetics. 

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