European Musicians in Venice, Rome, and Naples (1650-1750): Music, National Identity, and Cultural Exchange

During the 17th and 18th centuries, many European musicians travelled to Venice, Rome, and Naples to experience the musical culture that appealed to all of Europe. While these musicians often came to receive a musical education and to study the Italian style, many of them stayed in these cities. This research project aims to look at the role of European musicians in the musical scenes in Venice, Rome, and Naples using a comparative approach. The study of the aesthetic, social, and political conditions under which the musicians sought to adapt to the local music scenes will help to achieve a differentiated depiction of the complex Italian baroque style around 1700.

The evaluation of previously unused sources from social and cultural history is at the core of the project. A register of European musicians spending time in Venice, Rome, and Naples between 1650 and 1750 is currently being compiled to evaluate processes of cultural exchange and differentiation. This data base is aimed to reflect the mobility (travel routes), economic conditions (hire and pay by patrons), cultural aspects (language skills and musical performances) as well as the networks established by foreign musicians in these three cities.