01/2019: Outreach event at the Archive

On a bright January morning a class of 7th graders from the music programme of the Secondary School Quintino di Vona (Milan) visited the Archive of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo. Archivist Maddalena Peschiera and her collaborators, together with Daniele Filippi from the Polifonia Sforzesca Team, welcomed them and illustrated the treasuries of the Archive. Gaffurius’s Librone 1 and other gems from the musical section of the archive could not be missing among the showcased items! A tour of the cathedral’s monumental organ with organist Alessandro La Ciacera concluded this stimulating experience.


12/2018: A seminar on digital editions at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis

On December 6, 2018 the Polifonia Sforzesca research team engaged the community of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in a debate over digital editions of early music. We briefly presented our perspective and illustrated some case studies of existing editions, before opening a discussion with performers, teachers, scholars, and students, about such questions as:

  • Have you ever used a digital edition of music? If yes, how did you use it?
  • In an existing or imaginary digital edition, what features do you find most useful, or, on the contrary, useless?
  • How do you combine or balance the use of facsimiles and that of modern editions for purposes of study, analysis, performance?ù
  • Editions of vocal music often provide extensive critical notes about the sung texts, besides an historical introduction and the critical apparatus regarding both text and music: how often do you consult these different resources?
  • Ultimately, what do you wish from a new edition of the music you are interested in?

Both theoretical thoughts and practical examples from the participants’ daily life animated a vibrant and thought-provoking conversation.

Thanks to Martin Kirnbauer for hosting us in the series Donnerstags-Akademie, and to all the numerous participants for sharing their ideas with us.



FOTO: © Susanna Drescher 2016 www.susannadrescher.ch

2018.12.06._Donnerstags-Akademie_Polifonia sforzesca – Invitation


01-02/2018: Gaffurius goes digital

Thanks to funding from the SNF, and to a joint effort by the Veneranda Fabbrica, our research team, and the experts in the digital photography of musical manuscripts from DIAMM (the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music based in Oxford), the Libroni digitization campaign took place between January and February 2018.


In this gallery you see archivists Maddalena Peschiera and Alessandra Micheletto, photographers Lynda Sayce and Fred Cale, and musicologist Daniele Filippi sharing an intense week of work, research, and companionship.

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01/2018: Project Presentation at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis

On Thursday, January 18, 2018 the Polifonia Sforzesca Research Project was presented at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. After Agnese Pavanello outlined the project, Daniele Filippi introduced the forthcoming research portal, which will give open access to the main research results of the project. In turn, Cristina Cassia discussed the possibilities offered by digital editions of Renaissance music, and Rolf Wissmann elucidated the technical aspects connected therewith.

12/2017: Opening of the Cassette Ratti (Fourth Gaffurius Codex) at the Veneranda Fabbrica

In December 2017 Agnese Pavanello and Daniele Filippi visited the Archive of the Veneranda Fabbrica in order to have the long-awaited opportunity to see what remains of the Fourth Librone. The manuscript was severely damaged in a fire at the International Exposition of Milan in 1906; after preservative treatment, the fragments were arranged in a set of boxes, named Cassette Ratti after Achille Ratti (director of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in the 1910s, later Pope Pius XI), who supervised the process. In the 1950s the fragments were treated with chemicals at the Istituto di Patologia del Libro in Rome, in order to enhance the visibility of the text, and subsequently photographed. Our goal, shared with the archivist, Dr Maddalena Peschiera, was to determine the state of the fragments (never extracted from their boxes in the past sixty years), and evaluate whether they could be included in the upcoming campaign for the digitization of the Libroni. Two experts from the Istituto centrale per il restauro e la conservazione del patrimonio archivistico e librario (ICRCPAL), Dr Silvia Sotgiu and Dr Simonetta Iannuccelli, came from Rome, opened the boxes, and extracted the fragments. The verdict? Alas, judge by your eyes. A conservation plan is now being designed, and the safest option for us is to digitize (and digitally restore) the existing glass negatives made in the 1950s.

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Immagini distribuite con Licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 4.0 Internazionale.