Holy Concord within Sacred Walls: Nuns and Music in Siena, 1575-1700

Synopsis

This volume examines musical culture both inside and outside seventeenth-century Sienese convents. In contrast to earlier studies of Italian convent music, this book draws upon archival sources to reconstruct an ecclesiastical culture that celebrated music internally and shared music freely with the community outside convent walls. Colleen Reardon argues that cloistered women in Siena enjoyed a significant degree of freedom to engage in musical pursuits. The nuns produced a remarkable body of work including motets, lamentations, theatrical plays and even an opera. As a result, the convent became an important cultural center in Siena that enjoyed the support and encouragement of its clergy and lay community.