The 500th anniversary of the first music printing: a history of patronage and taste in the early years
AbstractOttaviano Petrucci published his first book of music, the Odhecaton A, sometime in the summer of 1501, 500 years ago. Since it was the first, Petrucci faced a number of special problems. Some were financial, for he could not know how many people would buy printed music, or how many books they would want. Consequently, there was a danger that he might not sell as many books as he needed to cover his costs. A related set of problems concerned the choice of music to print: would his books be bought by professional musicians and their institutions, or by dilettantes, courtiers and amateurs? Could chansons be expected to sell better than church music? Petrucci's answers to these problems would depend on whether he had to finance his editions himself, or whether some patron or musician would offer to underwrite an edition for him. Using bibliographical and biographical data, this paper argues that some of Petrucci's earliest editions were speculative ventures on the part of his partners and himself, while others were probably commissioned from Petrucci by an outside patron. Petrucci seems to have had to balance speculative with commissioned editions throughout his career: the market may not have been big enough to support only speculative editions. It was certainly not big enough to support more than one publisher of music. This situation seems to have continued well into the 1530s arguing that the big expansion in amateur musicians did not occur until then.
Copyright (c) 2001 Stanley Boorman
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in journal Musicological Annual by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.