Vocal techniques in Italy
     in the second half of the 16th century

EARLY MUSIC, VOL 9 NO 4, OCTOBER 1981, pp. 486-495

     The early music movement has encouraged many excellent singers to cultivate various types of anti-Romantic vocal production, but we still fashion our Renaissance voices after criteria that are really less secure than those by which the instruments of the period are reconstructed. I think the time is ripe for an infusion of objective knowledge into this field of intuitive endeavours, and I think we can obtain it by reading the theorists of the day in the light of modern knowledge about the physiology of the voice.
     In this article I should like to explain some anatomical features of the voice in order to show how certain historical depictions of singing and contemporary remarks by four representative theorists of the late Renaissance in Italy (Vicentino, Zarlino, Maffei and Zacconi) can tell us rather more than we might imagine possible about such stylistic matters as timbre, agility, articulation and power. I shall begin by distinguishing broadly between early and modern (that is, Romantic) techniques, but it will become obvious that even within the limits of late 16th-century Italian singing, more than one basic technique was used. In fact Zarlino and Zacconi both made, as we shall see, the same explicit distinction between cappella singing, which was loud, and camera singing, which was softer and more agile.
     An important step from early to Romantic vocal techniques took place at Lucca on 17 September 1831, when, in the course of the first Italian performance of Rossinis William Tell, the young and ambitious French tenor Gilbert Duprez used, for the first time in public, the so-called chest c". In effect Duprez extended to the entire vocal gamut the stentorian manner of singing which tenors like Domenico Donzelli were already using in the middle register. (1)
     The emerging Romantic techniques had in common a new way of manipulating tension in the vocal cords and, along with this, a new way of changing from the middle to the upper register of the voice. In this context the position of the larynx (see illus.2) became a discriminating element among various types of voices in Romantic singing. These three pointsthe manipulation of tension in the vocal cords, the method of changing to the upper register, and the position of the larynxneed some explanation. (2)

    Tension in the vocal cords. Being muscles, the vocal cords have the capacity to contract themselves actively, and when we speak out emotionally they become rigid in a continuous, isometric contraction that is a hallmark of Romantic singing technique. This rigidity of the vocal cords allows the lungs to operate upon them at a higher pressure, which produces a correspondingly more powerful sound. But at the same time they are less nimble, and it takes a greater effort to negotiate passaggi and the like.
     There is another way to manipulate the vocal cords tension. They can be stretched by other muscles within the larynx, pulling at them indirectly via a sideways movement of the little funnel-shaped cartilages to which they are attached at the rear (see illus.3). Their own active contraction can then be limited mainly to the control of intonation. This technique, combined with the Renaissance technique for changing to the upper register, results in the cords being generally longer and more flexible; but they are still capable of contracting somewhat in order to colour the vocal timbre for fine nuances of expression. This kind of technique must have been used by Renaissance camera singers, otherwise they could never have improvised the elaborate graces and passaggi prescribed in so many treatises of the day. (3)

    Changing to the upper register. Here again the Romantic techniques (which are, of course, among the most widely practised today) entail a greater degree of active contraction by the vocal cords. In both the older and the more modern techniques the Adams apple is tipped forward by muscles outside the larynx and thereby stretches the vocal cords. In the older techniques this is achieved by pulling forward the upper horns at the back of the Adams apple (illus.4a): whereas in Romantic techniques the Adams apple is pulled down (illus.4b):

    For some reason the muscles attached to it from above react by tugging upwards (just as they do when we yawn); the vocal cords join in the fray, as it were, and so reach that more vigorous contraction which is needed for the very powerful, stentorian high notes of modern operatic singing.
     For the less energetic mechanism of the older techniques, the forward tipping of the Adams apple can be facilitated by using a rather forward position of the jaw. We can see this position of the jaw in many Renaissance and Baroque depictions of singing (see illus.1 and 5), and to this day Neapolitans use it both in singing and in speaking. (4) If you try it, you may sense that while the front wall of the throat is also drawn forward, the jaw itself remains free to move vertically.

    Position of the larynx. Manuel Garçias Traité complet de lart du chant (Paris, 1840) presented in systematic detail a new technique which Garçia had first encountered in Italy in 1832 and which had made its first appearance in Parisian opera in 1837; he stated that its greatest novelty consisted in keeping the larynx constantly lower than in the older techniques. (5) Quite apart from the effect of this lower position upon the working of the vocal cords within the larynx, it darkens the voice by enlarging the resonating chamber of the throat.
     The timbre produced by the larynx itself is strongly modified by the shape and size of the throat and mouth. In effect, certain limited parts of the spectrum, called formants, are favoured by the successive resonating chambers of the throat and mouth (see illus.6), and the changes of timbre due to their respective shapes at various moments are perceived as vowels.
     Among the vowel formants the first two are particularly important (see illus.7 overleaf). The lowest one depends upon the throat cavity (because it is larger than the mouth) and gives the voice much of its basic colour. The second formant depends upon the mouth cavity and is responsible principally for comprehensibility. The more the frequency band of the mouth formant is differentiated among the vowels, the more comprehensible the words will be; but at the same time the less the frequency band of the throat formant changes, the more homogeneous the general timbre will be.
     Garçias rule to keep the larynx constantly low favours a relatively homogeneous timbre, which he and his contemporaries called voix sombrée. In this, the most widespread type of Romantic voice, (6) all the vowels have a throat formant corresponding to the kind of oo sound (as in boom) that a ventriloquist might make if he sought to produce as deep a groan as possible without altering his smile. (Try this while touching your Adams apple, and you will feel it moving down.)
     The dramatic quality of the voix sombrée is gained at a price, however, because the base of the tongue is anchored to a bone whose own position is determined by that of the larynx (see illus.2). If the larynx is constantly pulled down, the tongue has less freedom to differentiate the mouth volumes for each vowel.

    From what I have said so far one can see, first, that the older techniques favoured suppleness and agility rather than power, and secondly, that the dramatic timbre of the modern voix sombrée is achieved by lowering the larynx so much that the tongues ability to form the different vowels is hampered. Before going on to the Italian theorists, I should like to discuss in slightly greater detail the relationship between homogeneity of timbre and comprehensibility among the vowels, and address briefly the issue of vibrato.
     We tend to consider a voice homogeneous in timbre when the pitch of the first formant remains fairly constant during the pronunciation of the different vowels. When the size of the throat cavity changes perceptibly with each vowel, the effect is one of increased clarity at the expense of consistency in the vocal timbre. When the jaw is held forward (as in Renaissance singing), the size of the throat cavity is slightly increased and thus stabilized, and so the vowels are somewhat rounded (see illus.8a). When the throat is enlarged even more by lowering the larynx, however, the timbre becomes very homogeneous and, indeed, all the vowels are oo-coloured (see illus.8b).
     I should mention that the vocal glaze which tends to characterize singing in general is due in part to another formant that is always to be found at the level of about 3,000 Hz (i.e. around f-g), though it is variable in width and intensity according to the particular vocal technique adopted. When a singers vocal cords are more rigid than is normal in Romantic-style singing however, harmonics altogether higher than this singing formant gain in prominence and contribute to the timbre a brilliant, somewhat acerbic reediness which can vary from a needle point to a clearly metallic resonance. We shall see that Zacconi refers to this as a so-called head voice (voce detta voce di testa) and warns singers to avoid it.
     The effect of vibrato upon the voice is more perceptible among the higher harmonics than the lower ones, and since modern techniques tend to concentrate energy in the higher harmonics, the vibrato seems more prominent than it really is. So closely are these two aspects of modern singingthe metallic sound of the higher harmonics and the accentuated vibratoassociated with each other that today we often perceive a non-metallic voice with a moderate vibrato as having none at all. Listen carefully to a recording while changing the timbre with the bass-treble dial: this cannot convert a Romantic-style tenor sound into a Renaissance-style one (or vice versa), but it can show to what a surprising degree our perception of vibrato depends upon the upper harmonics.
     A singer can, with considerable effort, reduce the vibrato so much that the voice becomes fixed. But it would be naive to assume that quite this extreme must normally have been involved in the welldocumented Renaissance and Baroque chamber-style practice of firming or, alternatively, vibrating the voice for expressive reasons. (7) (The Italian verb fermare is not as strong as fissare.) In the more sonorous church singing I think it is reasonable to suppose that vibrato was a constant element, but never so prominent as it later became in the Romantic theatre. The whole question of vibrato does of course need to be examined at greater length and with reference to Baroque as well as Renaissance sources.

    The earliest of the four theorists I should like to consider here, Nicola Vicentino, is the one whose information is perhaps the most oblique. In his Lantica musica ridotta alla moderna prattica (Rome, 1555), the discussion of various aspects of performance (such as phrasing, accentuation, pronunciation and expressivity) touches occasionally upon matters of vocal technique. In book 4, chapter 17, Vicentino prescribes that:

per commodita dei cantanti, & acciò che ogni voce commune possi cantare la sua parte commoditamente ... mai si dè aggiognere righa alcuna, alle cinque righe, ne di sotto, ne di sopra, in nissuna parte, ne manco mutar chiavi

for the convenience of singers and in order that every common voice can sing its part commodiously ... no ledger lines should ever be added to the five lines of the stave, neither above nor below, in any voice-part; nor indeed should the clefs be changed.

    This restricting of each voice to a very moderate range shows that Vicentino did not expect singers to change up into a high register at all. By further specifying that this convenience will suit good voices as well as those which are not very elegant and powerful (questa commodità sarà communa, si alle voci buone, come a quelle non troppo gagliarde & potenti) Vicentino implies that good voices (presumably those of professional singers) were capable of greater extensions; but the limit he sets still guarantees both facility of emission and comprehensibility of the words.
     A few pages later, in chapter 29, Vicentino mentions that in churches ... one will sing with full voices and with a large number of singers (nelle chiese ... si canterà con le voci piene, & con moltitudine de Cantanti). Here we can see a foreshadowing of the distinction between cappella and camera singing which Zarlino (and later Zacconi) made explicit. We should not be misled, incidentally, by the expression moltitudine de Cantanti. It is merely Vicentinos way of distinguishing between choral singing and the normal practice for madrigals of no more than one singer to a part. The musical resources of the Roman basilicas did not go beyond 16 or 18 singers, including the three or four boys who took the cantus part. (8) These singers were paid, and obviously a small choir was more economical than a large one.
     In the same chapter Vicentino also remarks that in the bass parts the full-voiced singer cannot manage to articulate quickly (nelle parti basse il Cantante à voce piena non possi accommodarsi à proferirla correndo). The only physiologically reasonable explanation for this remark is that choral singers must have compensated for the imbalance between their small number and the need to fill the church with sound by means of a vocal technique which involved enough of an active contraction of the vocal cords (and probably also of muscles outside the larynx) to hamper their agility in the bass tessitura.
     One of our most important sources of information about Renaissance vocal techniques is a letter on singing addressed by Camillo Maffei to the Count of Alta Villa and published in Naples in 1562. (9) Some of Maffeis scientific explanations are by modern standards quaintly misinformed (not to say fantastic), and some approximate to the truth in a manner that may have involved a certain amount of luck. At one point Maffei says, for instance, that the place where passaggi are produced is that very one in which the voice is formed; (10) and vocal agility does in fact depend upon the ability of muscles within the larynx to modify rapidly the tension of the vocal cords. (The sensation is well known to experienced singers.) Even a sceptic, however, must grant the value of Maffeis quite precise statements relating to articulation. Two of these occur amongst Maffeis rules on the singing of gorgheggi:

La sesta è, che distenda la lingua di modo, che la punta arrivi, e tochi le radici de denti di sotto.

The sixth rule is that the tongue is distended in such a way that the point arrives [at] and touches the roots of the lower teeth. (11)

    The constancy of this position of the tongue in the pronunciation of all the vowels is indeed indispensable to any singer who wishes to match the welldifferentiated mouth formants of speech (so that the words can be understood) without sacrificing a modicum of constancy in the throat formants (for a homogeneous timbre). This is a particularly important rule for camera singing in what Monteverdi was to call the seconda pratticathat is, music in which the text is of primary importance. (12)

La settima è, che tenga la bocca aperta, e giusta, non più di quello che si tiene quando si ragiona con gli amici.

The seventh rule is that the mouth be kept open, and properly no more than that which it is kept when one reasons with ones friends. (13)

    Again this refers to camera singing, which is relatively quiet, and enables the singer to produce vowel sounds similar to those of speech. Giorgiones Il cantore appassionato (illus.l) illustrates this very well, and from Maffeis musical examples we can see that the range which he required of the voice was quite limited, as Vicentino had prescribed, so a greater opening of the mouth (only necessary for the emission of high sounds) would merely have looked awkward.
     In another set of rules Maffei includes a discussion of some of the Italian vowels:

La quarta è, che piu volontieri si faccia il passaggio nella parola, e sillaba dove si porta la lettera, o, in bocca col possaggio, che nellaltre; Et accioche questa regola sia meglio intesa, hora la dichiaro, le vocali (comogniun sa) sono cinque, delle quali, alcuna come è lo, u porta uno spaventevole tuono allorecchia. ... Et alcuna, si come è lo, i, portando col passaggio, rappresenta unanimaletto che si vada lagnando per haver ismarrita la sua madre; pure si può concedere chal soprano istia manco brutto il passaggiare per lo, i, challaltre voci. Laltre vocali che rimangono, si ponno senze scrupolo portare, pure fando fra loro comparatione, dico che lo è la migliore, percioche con essa si rende la voce piu tonda, e con laltre, oltre che non cosi bene sunisce il fiato, perche si formino i possaggi, sembianti al ridere, pure non istringendo tanto questa regola; mi rimetto al buon giudicio del cantante.

The fourth rule is that one more readily does passaggi upon a word or syllable that carries the [Italian] letter o in the mouth with the passaggio than upon the other letters; and in order that this rule be better understood I now declare that the vowels (as everyone knows) are five, among which the one that sounds like oo carries a terrifying tone to the ear. ... And the one like ee if carried in a passaggio represents a little animal that goes about whining for its lost mother; yet one can concede that with the soprano the passaggio with ee is less ugly than with the other voices. The other remaining vowels can be carried without scruple, yet making comparison among them I say that o is the best, because with it the voice is rendered more round, and with the others, not only is the breath not united so well, but also passaggi are formed that resemble laughing; yet not being too strict with this rule I leave it to the singers good judgment. (14)

    One could dismiss as curiosities Maffeis choice of o as the best vowel for passaggi, instead of ah, and his descriptions of the oo and ee sounds. But a more coherent interpretation is that being Neapolitan he took for granted that forward position of the jaw which favours o and shades the ee sound (in a typically Neapolitan way) just enough to make his picturesque description feasible.
     Anyone who reads the whole letter can tell that it is about camera singing. In another letter Maffei showed himself aware that cappella singing was different when he remarked that

un'altro non vorrebbe sentir se non passaggi di garganta, un lodar il cantar dolce, e soave, un'altro il cantar nella cappella

Some would wish to hear only passaggi di garganta; some praise sweet and suave singing, some cappella singing. (15)

    Part 3, chapter 46 of Gioseffo Zarlinos Istitutioni harmoniche (Venice, 1558) includes a discussion of singing. Zarlino is explicit about the two vocal techniques:

ad altro modo si canta nelle Chiese et nelle Capella publiche, & ad altro modo nelle private Camere: imperoche ivi si canta a piena voce ... & nelle Camere si canta con voce piu sommessa & soave, senza fare alcun strepito

in churches and public cappelle one sings in one manner, and in private camere in another: for there in cappelle one sings in full voice ... and in camere one sings with a more submissive and suave voice, and without yelling.

    Zarlinos remarks about safeguarding the clarity of the poetry complement those of Maffei:

se ... udimo alle volte alcuni sgridacchiare (non dirò cantare) con voci molto sgarbate, & con atti & modi tanto contrafatti, che veramente parino Simie, alcuna Canzone & dire come sarebbe: Aspra cara, e salvaggia e croda vaglia; quando doverebbono dire; Aspro core, e selvaggio, e cruda voglia; chi non riderebbe?

if ... on some occasion we heard people screeching some song (I do not say singing) with very ungraceful voices and with actions and methods so counterfeit that they truly appeared to be monkeys, and saying what would be Aspra cara, e selvaggia e croda vaglia (Bitter darling, and savage and craggy value) when they should have said Aspro core, e selvaggio, e cruda voglia (Bitter and savage heart, and crude wilfulness), who would not laugh ?

    So Zarlinos observation of poor madrigal singing, when taken together with our depictions of exemplary singing (with the jaw forward) and with Maffeis sixth rule (that the tongue remain in contact with the roots of the lower front teeth), gives us a coherent and fairly precise indication of camera technique.
     In his Prattica di musica (Venice, 1592) Ludovico Zacconi, like Zarlino a generation before, distinguishes explicitly between soft camera and loud cappella singing:

chi dice che col gridar forte le voci si fanno; s'inganna ... perche molti imparano di cantare per cantar piano & nelle Cammere, ove s'abborisce il gridar forte, & non sono dalla necessità astretti a cantar nelle Chiese, ò nelle Capelle ove cantano i Cantori stipendiati

he who says that one makes a voice by crying out loud is deceived ... because many learn to sing softly and in camere (where loud singing is abhorred) and are not constrained by necessity to sing in churches and in cappelle where paid singers sing. (16)

    He criticizes unduly soft as well as unduly loud singing, but is particularly sensitive to the harsh (or should we call it brilliant ?) timbre produced by singing too loud:

gl'insegni il modo di ... raffrenar la voce per non superare gli altri: ne però permetta che canti si piano, che una Musica ove egli è introdutto a cantare paia vota, ò senza quella parte: perche l'uno, l'altro sono deffetti insupportabili

let him learn how to ... refine the voice in order not to drown the others; nor however is it permitted to sing so softly that music in which he is introduced to sing appears empty or without that voice-part; because both are intolerable defects.

Si guardi ancora, di non seguitare quel si (da buoni) biasmato stile, di cantar si forte, che piu forte cantar non possa.

Be alert also not to follow that style, condemned by good singers, of singing so loud that one couldnt sing louder.

molti hanno voce detta voce di testa; la quale è da cantanti produtta con un certo suono frangibile, & il frangente è una certa cosa che per ogni poco si sente; e però si avertiscono a moderarglila; sì perche non habbiano da superare gli altri; sì anco perche la detta voce di testa il piu delle volte offende

many have what is called a head voice, which is produced by singers with a certain fragile sound, and breaking is a certain thing which every so often is heard; and yet let them be advised to moderate it in order not to outstrip the others and also because this head voice is usually offensive

Et quelli che si ritrovano in luoco ove convengano gridar forte, avertino d'intonar le figure giuste, allegre, con voce ne forzata ne men lenta; ma con tanto quanto la natura li concede: perche la forzata voce essendo deffettuosa sempre offende. ... Similmente nel cantar piano nelle alte non si debbano forzare se commodamente non vi arivano: perche meglio è di fingerle, ò di taccerle.

And let those who find themselves in a place where it suits their interests to cry out loud take care to sing the notes correctly and gaily, and with a voice neither forced nor slow; but with such strength as nature grants them, because a forced voice, being defective, always offends. ... Similarly, in singing high notes quietly one should not force them if they do not come out conveniently; because it is better to fake or omit them. (17)

Zacconi was a remarkably thorough writer, and his discussion includes the following references to techniques of breathing:

Due cose si ricercano à chi vuol far questa professione petto, & gola; petto per poter ... un tanto numero di figure à giusto termine condurre; gola poi per poterle agevolmente sumministrare: perche molti non havendo ne petto ne fiancho, in quattro over sei figure convengano i suoi disegni interrompere.

Two things are to be sought in whoever wishes to follow this profession: chest and throat; chest in order to be able to carry to their proper termination ... a large number of notes; and then throat so that one can render them with ease; since many, having neither chest nor body [fiancho], in four or six notes find it convenient to interrupt their melodic designs. (18)

    Here the term petto (chest) seems clearly to refer to the singers respiratory capacity (that is, how much breath he can muster). But Zacconi also uses another term, fiancho (literally, flank), and here I think he is evoking the sensation of work that is felt at the level of the last pairs of ribs when the belly muscles make a real contribution to the control of ones respiration in singingwhich is something quite distinct from (though of course related to) the quantity of breath. For reasons too elaborate to set out here, (19) the effective use of these muscles is a technique indispensable for mastering the art of gorghe and passaggi. At the same time it is a technique ignored by Garcia, who speaks exclusively in terms of making the fontanella (the front muscles between the chest and belly, where the ribs divide) re-enter. (20)

    Summary. In both camera and cappella techniques the position of the larynx seems to have been quite free, and there was nothing of that dark and dramatic timbre which in Romantic techniques is achieved by keeping the larynx so low that the tongues ability to differentiate some of the vowels is rather hampered. A certain degree of rounding in the vowels was achieved by keeping the jaw somewhat forward (and, according to Maffei, the tongue always in contact with the lower front teeth). This contributed to homogeneity of timbre without limiting the singers ability to project the different vowel sounds.
     In camera singing the clarity of the vowels was further helped by not opening the mouth much more than in speaking. In cappella singing the mouth was opened wider for a bigger sound: the slight loss of clarity in the vowels was no doubt less damaging in liturgical music, where the listener was likely to know the words already and so needed only to recognize them, than it would have been in madrigals and dramatic music, where the poetry was, at this point in the history of Italian music, often of paramount importance and extraordinary quality.
     At the same time, the timbre of cappella singing probably sounded less homogeneous, in one important sense, than that of camera singing, because it was sufficiently loud and energetic to include some brilliant or harsh harmonics in the frequency range, above 3,000 Hz, where the ear is particularly sensitive (and where an infants squalling is concentrated).
singing was basically full voiced and forte in character (though never stentorian), and our concept of a cappella music should be in keeping with this fact. The dynamics of camera singing ranged freely from pianissimo to forte (or in modern terms mezzo forte). Its expressivity was often so intimately bound up with the timbres and sentiments of Italian poetry that the effect would have been quite lost in the acoustics of a large church. The expressive resources of a cappella music, on the other hand, were more a matter of such compositional features as elegant cadences, finely constructed lines and sophisticated placing of imitative entries and changes of texture: the singers main task was to project these features by means of good phrasing and agogics, subtle rhythmic licence, and relatively moderate shadings of loudness and timbre. (It is no accident that the church exalted Palestrinas style more than Victorias, even though Victorias music was on the whole more warmly expressive.) One often associates dramatic intensity with loudness, but for Renaissance singing the equation has to be reversed. Camera singing was more dramatic than cappella singing because singers who were not obliged to use an active contraction of the vocal cords in order to make themselves heardnot even when changing to the upper part of their rangecould manipulate their voices with more suppleness for agility in melodic embellishments (which were one of the principal means of expression in secular music, but unwelcome in liturgical music) and also for dramatic shadings of timbre, vibrato and dynamics.

(Translationby Mark Lindley)


1 Vicende degli stili del canto dal tempo di Gluck al 900, in A. Della Corte, Canto e bel canto (Turin, 1933), pp.244-5

2 A good introductory text in English is F. D. Minifie and others, Normal Aspects of Speech, Hearing, and Language (New York, 1973).

3 See H. M. Brown, Embellishing Sixteenth-century Music (London, 1976), pp.xi-xii and chaps. I alld 2.

4 An exemplary 18th-century reference to it is in G. B. Mancini, Riflessioni pratiche sul canto figurato (Milan, 3/1777), p.11O: Every singer should place the mouth as it is common to do when one smiles naturally, i.e. in such a way that the upper teeth are perpendicular to and slightly distanced from the lower (Ogni cantante deve situar ia sua bocca, come suol situarla, quando naturalmente sorride, cioé in modo, che i denti di sopra siano perpendicolarmente, e mediocremente distaccati da quelli di sotto).

5 M. P. R. Garçia, Traité complet ... (Paris, 1840), chap.3. See also Histoire de l'Académie royale des sciences (Paris) for the year 1841, note 2 of the entry for 12 April.

6 This is Raoul Hussons technical description from his La voix chantée (Palis, 1960), pp.127-30. For this and other vocal techniques see also R. Husson, Physiologie de la phonation (Paris, 1962), pp.503-6, and A. Wicart, Le chanteur (Paris, 1944), pp.226-34.

7 M. Uberti and O. Schindler, Contributo alla ricerca di una vocalità monteverdiana: il colore, Congresso internazionale sul tema Claudio Monteverdi e il suo tempo: relazioni e comunicazioni. Venezia, Mantova e Cremona 1968, ed. R. Monterosso, pp.530-32 It may be of interest that Zacconi, who defined tremolo as la voce tremante (Prattica di musica, t.60r), states: The tremolo in music is not compulsory, but its use not only shows sincerity and ardour but also embellishes the song (f.54v: Il tremolo nella Musica non é necessario; ma facendolo oltra che dimostra sincerità, et ardire; abellisce le cantilene) .

8 See A. Damerini, Coro, in A. Basso ed., La musica (Turin, 1966-7 1), ii, p. 133. See also the lists of performers of the Cappella Giulia during the years 1571-89, published by G. Rostirolla in his study La Cappella Giulia in Sdn Pietro negli anni palestriniani, Atti del convegno di studi palestriniani 1975 (Fondaz, 1977), pp. l72-202, from which it is evident that the number of singers varied but was always between 13 and 19.

9 A modern edition of the text is in N. Bridgman, Giovanni Camillo Maffei et sa lettre sur le chant, Revue de musicologie, 38 (1956),pp.10-34.

10 ibid,p.19

11 ibid,p.20

12 I cite with pleasure F. Razzi, Polyphony of the seconda prattica, EM 8/3 (July 1980), pp.298-311, an article whose development I witnessed during three years of teaching at the Istituto Musicale in Pamparato.

13 Bridgman, op cit, p.20

14 ibid, p.28

15 ibid, p.9 From the same passage, H. M. Brown rightly inters (op cit, p.64) that not everyone could or would improvise passaggi. 16 t.52v

17 ff:52v-55v. I am reasonably certain that Zacconis voce di testa was loud, but in any case Caccinis criticism of falsetto singing may be worth mentioning here (Le nuove musiche (Florence, 1601/2), f:Car): faked voices cannot give rise to the nobility of good singing, which comes from a natural voice suited to all the notes (dalle voci finte non può nascere nobiltà di buon canto: che nascerà da una voce naturale comoda per tutte le corde).

18 f.58v

19 I discuss this in La tecnica vocale: dispense di anatomia, fisiologia e fonetica (Parma, 1980).

20 Garcia, Op cit, chap. 4