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Abstract

Processions were an integral part of Venetian religious and civic life. State and church were inextricably intertwined, since the doge served not only as the head of the civil government, but also as the governor of the ducal church of St. Mark’s, by far the most important ecclesiastical institution in the city. Processions on feast days as well as processions celebrating civic events all culminated in some kind of religious service.

Ducal processions included the two instrumental ensembles of the doge: his pifferi and his six long silver trumpets. Other instruments and singers from St. Mark’s also participated in official processions. Aside from ducal processions, the city’s confraternities and many churches mounted their own processions, often including instruments and singers on their patron saints’ feast days, the first Sunday of every month, during Holy Week and for funerals of members. These processions were very frequent, often wound through various parts of the city, and were a major factor in displaying governmental authority, the city’s institutions and in creating a sense of civic identity and unity. The article concludes with an account of the four-day celebration of the coronation of the Dogaressa Morosina Morosini Grimani 4-7 May, 1597 to illustrate the intertwining and integration of processions, religion, governmental authority and public entertainment, all accompanied by music, in a spectacular example of the unifying effects of such festivities.

Author Biography

Jeffrey Kurtzman, Professor of Music at Washington University in St. Louis, has published books on Claudio Monteverdi, on the 1610 Vespers of Monteverdi, and on 16th and 17th century Italian sacred music as well as critical editions of the Monteverdi Vespers, Monteverdi Masses, a 10-volume series of Seventeenth-Century Italian Music for Vespers and Compline, and numerous articles on 16th- and 17th-century Italian music. Together with Anne Schnoebelen he has published a detailed catalogue of some 2000 prints published in Italy of music for the mass, office and Holy Week, 1516-1770 in the series Instrumenta of the Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music. He is also the General Editor of the Opera Omnia of Alessandro Grandi published by the American Institute of Musicology and General Editor for Special Projects of the Web Library of Seventeenth-Century Music. The founder of the international Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, he currently serves on the Editorial Boards of their Web Library of Seventeenth-Century Music and the Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music, and has been named an Honorary Life Member by the Society. He also serves on the advisory boards of several early music performing ensembles.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Fig. 1. Jakob Heintz-Procession to the Redentore.jpg (37029 kB)
Fig. 1. Jakob Heintz-Procession to the Redentore.jpg

Fig. 2. Gentile Bellini, Procession in Piazza San Marco.png (866 kB)
Fig. 2. Gentile Bellini, Procession in Piazza San Marco.png

Fig. 3. Gentile Bellini, Procession in Piazza San Marco, detail of singers and instrumentalists.jpg (14 kB)
Fig. 3. Gentile Bellini, Procession in Piazza San Marco, detail of singers and instrumentalists.jpg

Fig. 4. Gentile Bellini-Procession in Piazza San Marco, detail of pifferi.jpg (45 kB)
Fig. 4. Gentile Bellini-Procession in Piazza San Marco, detail of pifferi.jpg

Fig. 5. Jost Amman, after Titian, Procession of the Doge in Venice.jpg (63 kB)
Fig. 5. Jost Amman, after Titian, Procession of the Doge in Venice.jpg

Fig. 6. Giacomo Franco, Disembarkation at San Giorgio Maggiore.jpg (125 kB)
Fig. 6. Giacomo Franco, Disembarkation at San Giorgio Maggiore.jpg

Fig. 7. Procession in St. Mark's Square on Palm Sunday, frame 1.jpg (93 kB)
Fig. 8. Matteo Pagan, Procession in St. Mark's Square on Palm Sunday, frame 2.jpg (85 kB)
Fig. 9. Matteo Pagan, Procession in St. Mark's Square on Palm Sunday, frame 3.jpg (86 kB)
Fig. 10. Procession in St. Mark's Square on Palm Sunday, frame 4.jpg (91 kB)
Fig. 12. Procession in St. Mark's Square on Palm Sunday, frame 6.jpg (82 kB)
Fig. 12. Procession in St. Mark's Square on Palm Sunday, frame 6.jpg (82 kB)
Fig. 13. Procession in St. Mark's Square on Palm Sunday, frame 7.jpg (87 kB)
Fig. 14. Procession in St. Mark's Square on Palm Sunday, frame 8.jpg (85 kB)
Fig. 15. Giacomo Franco, Corpus Christi Procession.jpg (74 kB)
Fig. 16. Domenico Tintoretto, Dogaressa Morosina Morosini Grimani in coronation dress.jpg (49 kB)
Fig. 17. Vicentino, Embarkation of Dogaressa Morosina Morosini Grimani.jpg (55 kB)
Fig. 18. Giacomo Franco, The Dogaressa enroute to the Doge's palace .jpg (103 kB)
Fig. 19. Vicentino, Arrival of the Dogaressa Morosini Grimani at the Doge's Palace, detail, left-hand side.jpg (63 kB)
Fig. 20. Vicentino, Arrival of the Dogaressa Morosini Grimani at the Doge's Palace, detail , right-hand side.jpg (55 kB)
Fig. 21. Vicentino Dogaressa Morosina Morosini in procession in St. Mark's Square.tiff (4042 kB)

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