Music as Cultural Mission: Explorations of Jesuit Practices in Italy and North America
Place Published: Philadelphia
Publisher: Saint Joseph's University Press
Date Published: 2014
Book ID: 72
Early Modern Catholicism and the Visual Arts Series, Vol. 9
xii + 229 pages / index / 7 x 10 in. / 33 color and b/w images
Music as Cultural Mission: Explorations of Jesuit Practices in Italy and North America elucidates how the performing arts have played a seminal role in the cultural mission of the Society of Jesus. Drawing on unpublished archival documents, music, and dramatic texts performed in Italy and North America over the last four centuries, the volume features the work of leading scholars in Italy and the United States and offers a broad view of the Jesuits' influence on musical and theatrical practice.
Part I of this volume contains detailed explorations of the Jesuits' performing arts activities in Milan and within the Kingdom of Naples in the 17th and 18th centuries. Part II moves away from the discussion of Italy to explore the various models of performance and pedagogy used by Jesuits in the New World. As this volume demonstrates, music was an important part of what the Jesuits called "our way of proceeding" (noster modus procedendi). As preachers, teachers, scholars, and missionaries, they connected with the outside world and spread the Word of God through music.
Numerous scholars have documented the considerable history of the Jesuit commitment to the cultivation of music and closely related fields. This volume draws on that scholarship and expands it. Instead of focusing on the Society of Jesus's origins, the narratives in this book begin at least a century later and explore how music and theater functioned within the Jesuits' educational and evangelical ministries in Italy and North America.
The description of newly discovered archival sources set this volume apart from previous studies concerning the Jesuits in Italy. Similarly, the inclusion of essays devoted to the Post-Suppression activities of the Society, with particular emphasis on contemporary performances at Jesuit institutions such as Georgetown University and Boston College, reveals overlooked narratives of the Jesuits in America. The inclusion of a firsthand account by Michael Zampelli, S.J. & an active scholar/artist engaged in contemporary theater & underlines the continuing role of the Society as an agent for the patronage of the arts.
Anna Harwell Celenza, Ph.D. is the Thomas E. Caestecker Professor of Music at Georgetown University. She is the author of several scholarly books and is currently completing a study concerning jazz in Italy between the World Wars.
Anthony R. DelDonna, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Music at Georgetown University. He is a specialist on 18th-century Italian music, musicians, and culture. He is the author and editor of scholarly books on the 18th century and is currently working on studies of sacred music and instrumental genres.
"Enhanced with the inclusion of 33 full color and black-and-white images, an extensive Bibliography, and a comprehensive Index, Music as Cultural Mission: Explorations of Jesuit Practices in Italy and North America is a seminal body of extraordinary work and very highly recommended—especially for academic library Jesuit History and Musicology Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists."
Midwest Book Review
"The present decade may well be remembered as a golden age of scholarship on the Jesuits. Not only is the number of high-quality studies of the Society continually increasing, but many of these studies are published with excellent production values that will add to their appeal in years to come. The present volume, the latest addition to the series, "Early Modern Catholicism and the Visual Arts," continues this trend, with a richly illustrated and attractively produced result."
Paul Shore (University of Regina), Journal of Jesuit Studies
"This volume serves as a milestone in the study of the role of music in the Jesuit world during the baroque period as well as an example of a perfect methodology for the performance of this music in the modern age."
Dinko Fabris (University of Basilicata/Conservatorio di Napoli) Catholic Historical Review
"This book is useful both to the scholarly world of musicology and Jesuit history, as well as to the casual reader in Jesuit studies. The curious title of this book in its singular references to Italy and North America—nevertheless in a notable fashion—exemplifies current trends in the historiography of the Society of Jesus."
T. Frank Kennedy, S.J. (Boston College), Renaissance Quarterly
"The present volume is the ninth in the series entitled "Early Modern Catholicism and the Visual Arts." It is the first publication in the series to move beyond the visual arts and to engage with the art of music as employed within Jesuit ministries. . . . This collection of essays, all of which are worth reading, perhaps share the common thread of seeing musical life of various periods and places, not as a static form of high art, but as human, communal, creative activity."
Robert R. Grimes, S.J., (Fordham University), American Catholic Studies
"[This] volume represents a major step forward in Jesuit music studies, for which its editors and authors should be praised and thanked. In a field in which access to basic sources has been limited, the collection is most valuable not only for the excellent studies it contains but also for the future studies it makes possible. The production quality, including numerous full-color images, adds to the volume's appeal; Saint Joseph's University shows itself to be an exquisite bookmaker."
Daniel J. DiCenso, (College of the Holy Cross), Theological Studies
"The book offers a vast new cache of information that demonstrates the Jesuits' commitment to making music and their influence on the culture of music in early modern Italy."
Matthew Knox Averett (Creighton University), Sixteenth Century Journal