Marenzio Online Digital Edition – beta version

The Marenzio Online Digital Edition (MODE) is a critical edition of the secular music of Luca Marenzio (ca. 1553-1599), one of the most influential composers of the European Renaissance. MODE is the product of an international collaboration that started in 2006 with a conference held at Harvard University, the proceedings of which were later published by Brepols. In 2011 the project was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Numerous people and institutions have supported the project along the way.

MODE makes Marenzio’s music available to musicians and scholars for free on the world wide web. It integrates music philology and digital technology by introducing an innovative model for producing and disseminating modern editions of musical repertoires of the Western tradition. In the input phase, the musical sources--i.e., the partbooks of the madrigal books--are digitally collated with the software application Aruspix, improving speed and accuracy via optical music recognition. In the output phase, the music is presented through a dynamic web-based digital interface based on Verovio in which the critical commentary and other materials interact productively with the musical text. The encoding of the original musical notation follows the criteria recommended by the Music Encoding Initiative.

The edition is fully optimized for desktop and mobile devices and can be used on most operating systems. Users can visualize the music in different formats (including modern and original clefs), open the critical apparatus directly in the score, play the music in MIDI format (or, when available, in a recording by a vocal ensemble), and download the music in PDF format.

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Launch of the edition (BETA version)

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new website! This beta version includes information pages about the project and a front-end to the edition. The first available madrigal book is Il sesto libro de madrigali a cinque voci (1594), edited by Daniele Filippi. The following three madrigals have been recorded by the vocal group La Pedrina in collaboration with MODE:

  1. Anima cruda sì, ma però bella
  2. Ah, dolente partita
  3. Deh, Tirsi, Tirsi, anima mia, perdona

All madrigals are available as MIDI files.

Forthcoming: Il quarto libro de madrigali a sei voci (ed. Lucia Marchi), Il primo libro de madrigali a quattro voci (ed. Christine Jeanneret), and Il primo libro de madrigali a cinque voci (ed. Giuseppe Gerbino).

Collaboration with La Pedrina

In collaboration with MODE, the Swiss ensemble La Pedrina has released a CD devoted to Marenzio’s Pastor fido settings. They are presented not in the order in which they were published, but in the order in which they appear in the play, in an attempt to recompose the musical fragments of Guarini’s drama. La Pedrina performance also explores the supple declamatory and dramatic style of several of these madrigals by alternating solo interpretations with polyphonic realizations. The recordings are linked to the relevant madrigals in MODE.

Amherst, MA, April 17 2016

Paper: “Performance and Editing in the Marenzio Online Digital Edition,” Mauro Calcagno and Giuseppe Gerbino. University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Italian Madrigal Symposium.

Boston, April 2 2016

Paper “The Marenzio Online Digital Edition (MODE).” Laurent Pugin. The Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Session Digital Technologies and Renaissance Music: Critical Editions, History of Style, and Analysis.

Philadelphia, July 20-22 2015

Workshop in Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania, supported by Penn Libraries and the Price Digital Humanities Lab

Paper: “The Marenzio Online Digital Edition (MODE): Reading and Performing Music in a Web-Based Dynamic Environment.” Mauro Calcagno and Laurent Pugin. Keystone Digital Humanities Conference, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania.

Review by Kate Van Orden

MODE mentioned by Kate Van Orden (Harvard University) in a Review Essay published in Renaissance Quarterly: “Recent Trends in the Study of Music of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Centuries” (Authors: Elizabeth Eva Leach, David Fallows and Kate Van Orden), Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 1 (Spring 2015), pp. 187-227, at 219-220.

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Philadelphia, March 5 2015

Presentations at the University of Pennsylvania: “Italian Madrigals on Tablet: The Marenzio Online Digital Edition (MODE).” Mauro Calcagno, Giuseppe Gerbino, Laurent Pugin. Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania.

Colloquium by Laurent Pugin to the students in the Doctoral Program in Musicology.

New York, 23 October 2014

Paper “The Marenzio Project,” Laurent Pugin, Mauro Calcagno, and Giuseppe Gerbino. Symposium “Early Music in the Digital Domain and Beyond, Columbia University.

For a presentation of the event, see the article in the Columbia Spectator

Charlottesville, 22 May 2014

Paper “The Marenzio Online Digital Edition: The User’s Perspective.” Mauro Calcagno and Laurent Pugin. University of Virginia, Music Encoding Initiative Conference, Roundtable, "From Scholar to User via MEI: Digital Editing and Publishing vis-à-vis Library Ways and Means.”

New Orleans, October 29 2012

Paper “New Digital Projects for the Study and Dissemination of Medieval and Renaissance Music: The Marenzio Project.” Mauro Calcagno, Laurent Pugin, Giuseppe Gerbino. Joint meetings of the American Musicological Society, Society for Ethnomusicology, and the Society for Music Theory.

Rome, July 7 2012

Paper “The Marenzio Online Digital Edition.” Mauro Calcagno and Laurent Pugin. The Nineteenth Congress of the International Musicological Society, Session of the IMS Study Group: Musicology and Computer Applications.

Cambridge, MA, April 7-8 2006

Papers by Etienne Darbellay, Giuseppe Gerbino, Christine Jeanneret, and Laurent Pugin, delivered at the conference “Music, Poetry, and Patronage in Late Renaissance Italy: Luca Marenzio and the Madrigal,” curated by Mauro Calcagno. Harvard University, Music Department.

For a review of the 2016 volume, which includes the proceedings of this conference, see Music and Letters, Volume 99, Issue 2, May 2018, pages 287–290.