Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2010

Degree Name

DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Getz, Christine

First Committee Member

Stalter, Timothy

Second Committee Member

Eberle-Fink, Katherine

Third Committee Member

Contrada, Deborah

Fourth Committee Member

Kurtzman, Jeffrey


This thesis presents a complete scholarly edition of Ignazio Donati's Salmi boscarecci, a collection of Vespers music for multiple choirs composed while Donati was working for the city of Casalmaggiore between 1621 and 1623. Ignazio Donati (c.1568-1638) had a distinguished career that placed him in several important centers of music during his lifetime, including Urbino, Ferrara, Casalmaggiore, Novara and Milan, with his final position at the Duomo of Milan. Donati is regarded as an important composer of the period because of his varied and highly successful career as a maestro, his extensive list of publications, how often his music was reprinted and how he was represented in other collections. His Salmi boscarecciappears to have been disseminated throughout the Italian peninsula and into other parts of Europe, and was valued enough to be reprinted posthumously in 1639. The collection has received greater attention than many contemporary works in current scholarship because of the extensive introduction that outlines different performance configurations.

The Salmi boscarecciwere composed for twelve different voice parts plus organ continuo, and Donati wrote an extensive introduction which describes a variety of other performance options. This utilitarian approach allowed the collection to be performed in a variety of ways and with a large range of performing forces. The top six parts are for solo voices. The lower six parts are written for a combination of soloists, ripieno chorus, and instruments. Donati stated that the twelve parts may be split into several different combinations of voices and instruments. For example, the full set of parts could be divided into two, three or four choirs that could also be placed in separate areas of the church. The lower six parts could be performed by soloists, chorus and instruments, or by any group or combination thereof. If using only the top six books, the lower parts could also be transposed into higher ranges to make the collection accessible to nuns. The soprano line could be sung by a tenor if sopranos were scarce.

The Salmi boscarecciis discussed in terms of its flexibility, content (how it would be utilized in Vespers services) and performance options. The collection builds upon the extensive traditions passed on by prominent North Italian musicians that composed Vespers music for multiple choirs, such as Giovanni Gabrieli, Ludovica Viadana and Claudio Monteverdi. Thus, Donati's Salmi boscarecciwill be positioned within the larger seventeen-century Vespers traditions. Finally, Donati's life and career are examined, with special attention paid to the time period he served in Casalmaggiore, as he was hired and supported through the collaboration of several confraternities in Casalmaggiore.

A complete scholarly edition comprises the second half of the project. The edition includes the complete contents of the Salmi boscarecci: the response Domine ad adjuvandum me festina, settings of ten Vespers psalms (two of which have alternate versions), two settings of the Magnificat in separate tones, and a Mass. It also contains ripieno parts that were meant to be added to a mass in Donati's 1622 Messe.


xiv, 816 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 811-816).


Copyright 2010 Fred Curtis Kiser

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