Keynote 1: Nuns and chant in Southern Italy

Tuesday, 6 July 2021, 17.00-18.00, Room 209 Luisa Nardini (The University of Texas at Austin)

Although studies in musicology have been increasingly recognizing the contribution of nuns in the production of sacred music, the role of earlier medieval Benedictine nuns is generally neglected. This presentation highlights the creativity of Benedictine nuns in southern Italy before the thirteenth century through the analysis of manuscripts tied to female establishments. It addresses the possibility that not only nuns were able to compose and transcribe liturgical chants, but that they were also active participants in the social and cultural life of their times and entertained privileged exchanges with extra regional institutions. In turn, it posits the notions of the urban ‘diffused’ scriptorium (exemplars could be borrowed among several institutions) and of the continuous interchange between written and oral modes of book production.