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Modal SubjectivitiesSelf-Fashioning in the Italian Madrigal$
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Susan McClary

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234932

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234932.001.0001

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Night and Deceit: Verdelot's Machiavelli

Night and Deceit: Verdelot's Machiavelli

(p.38) Two Night and Deceit: Verdelot's Machiavelli
Modal Subjectivities

Susan McClary

University of California Press

It has become customary in musicology to situate the madrigal and music of the sixteenth century within a neoplatonic framework, with particular reliance on the Italian pythagorean Marsilio Ficino. Within that framework, concepts undeniably crucial to Renaissance culture (for example, harmonia) dominate, rising explicitly to the surface in polemical debates over compositional propriety in the fin de siècle madrigal. However, a wide range of intellectual contexts coexisted in the sixteenth century, some complementary but others mutually antagonistic. For instance, this same period also nurtured Baldassare Castiglione's Book of the Courtier (1528), a self-help guide for those who would pass themselves off as members of the elite, and Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince (1513), which marks the beginning of modern political theory. Some of the first madrigals were composed for Machiavelli's 1526 production of his play La Mandragola (The Mandrake), among the most celebrated comedies in the Italian language. The French musician Philippe Verdelot figures among the earliest practitioners of the new genres of madrigals.

Keywords:   madrigal, music, Marsilio Ficino, Niccolò Machiavelli, La Mandragola, Philippe Verdelot

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