Academic journal article Notes

Uno Gentile et Subtile Ingenio: Studies in Renaissance Music in Honour of Bonnie J. Blackburn

Academic journal article Notes

Uno Gentile et Subtile Ingenio: Studies in Renaissance Music in Honour of Bonnie J. Blackburn

Article excerpt

PRECLASSICAL Uno gentile et subtile ingenio: Studies in Renaissance Music in Honour of Bonnie J. Blackburn. Edited by M. Jennifer Bloxam, Gioia Filocamo, and Leofranc Holford-Strevens. (Collection "Épitome musical.") Turn - hout, Belgium: Brepols, 2009. [xxxv, 877 p. ISBN 9782503531632. i125.] Music examples, illustrations, inventories, tables, bibliography, indexes.

To honor the remarkably distinguished and fecund career of Bonnie J. Blackburn-scholar, author, editor, mentor, and colleague extraordinaire-Brepols and the Centre d'Études Supérieures de la Renaissance under Philippe Vendrix have produced a magisterial Festschrift of sixtysix essays contributed by an international who's who of early music specialists, ranging from an array of the most established names in the field ("senior doyens," as the preface notes, p. vii) to a generation or more of younger scholars inspired by Blackburn's example. Editors M. Jennifer Bloxam, Gioia Filocamo, and Leofranc Holford-Strevens (Blackburn's husband) deserve our highest kudos for shepherding this imposing tribute to completion and rewarding us with an impressive compendium of knowledge destined to become a cornerstone of Renaissance musicology.

Blackburn, presently an emeritus fellow at the University of Oxford's Wolfson College, is renowned for her diverse and impeccably crafted contributions to early music scholarship that address source studies, critical editions, theory, humanism, and a host of related topics. The Festschrift documents the magnitude of her achievement with a six-page bibliography of monographs, articles (a staggering 31), book chapters, dictionary articles, editions, translations, edited volumes, and reviews while still leaving unmentioned five epic volumes in the Monuments of Renaissance Music issued since 1996 by the University of Chicago Press under her oversight as series editor (the latest being vol. 13, Richard Sherr's 2009 edition of Masses of the Sistine Chapel: Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Cappella Sistina, MS 14), as well as numerous books she has copyedited for the Oxford, Yale, and California university presses and other key academic publishers. Launched in 1967 by her landmark predissertation article "Te Matrem Dei laudamus: A Study in the Musical Veneration of Mary" in The Musical Quarterly (53, no. 1: 53-76), this laudable record of productivity and accomplishment now spanning over four decades exhibits no signs of ceasing, as the bibliography's several "forthcoming" annotations confirm.

In lieu of a dust jacket, a striking reproduction from Parma's Galleria Nazionale of Leonardo da Vinci's gouache-on-wood painting of a female head known as "La Scapigliata" (ca. 1508) graces the volume's front cover, followed directly upon opening by Blackburn's engaging smile in the frontispiece's photograph-tandem images that radiantly capture the title's reference to uno gentile et subtile ingenio ("a gentle and fine mind," from Giovanni Spataro's letter to Giovanni del Lago, 30 October 1527, as edited and translated in A Correspondence of Renaissance Musicians, by Blackburn, Edward E. Lowinsky, and Clement A. Miller [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991], 323, 327). Accolades and gratitude peppered throughout the Festschrift's main text, footnotes, and list of contributors corroborate the title's salute to Blackburn, who, as Herbert Kellman and Lewis Lockwood af firm, "is radiant and excited about musicology" and "has consistently embodied historical scholarship at its best" (pp. xxx-xxxi). Equally commendable has been Black - burn's unwavering and generous mentorship of scholars throughout her career, setting a pioneering example that has especially inspired a cadre of notable women musicologists, many of whom honor her in this book.

Beyond celebrating Blackburn with an epic monument of formidable research from her admiring peers, the Festschrift, a massive tome nearly a foot high, 2.5 inches thick, and weighing close to six pounds, physically offers a splendidly imposing example of contemporary academic book production. …

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