Jacopo da Bologna

Jacopo da Bologna (fl. 1340 – c. 1386) was an Italian composer of the Trecento, the period sometimes known as the Italian ars nova. He was one of the first composers of this group, making him a contemporary of Gherardello da Firenze and Giovanni da Firenze. He concentrated mainly on madrigals, including both canonic (caccia-madrigal) and non-canonic types, but also composed a single example each of a caccia, lauda-ballata, and motet.[1][2]

His setting of Non al suo amante, written about 1350, is the only known contemporaneous setting of Petrarch's poetry.[3][2]

Jacopo's ideal was "suave dolce melodia" (sweet, gentle melody).[2] His style is marked by fully texted voice parts that never cross. The untexted passages which connect the textual lines in many of his madrigals are also noteworthy.[4]

He is well represented in the Squarcialupi Codex, the large collection of 14th-century music long owned by the Medici family; twenty-nine compositions of his are found in that source, the principal source for music of the Italian ars nova, alongside music by Francesco Landini and others.[5] A portrait of Jacopo is found in this manuscript, and another possible portrait is found in a north-Italian manuscript, Fulda, Landesbibliothek, Hs. D23, fol. 302.[6][page needed][2] However, the identification of Jacopo as the subject of the painting in the latter source was made by a hand later than the manuscript copyist's, throwing some doubt on its reliability.[7]

In addition to his compositions, Jacopo also wrote a short theoretical treatise, L'arte del biscanto misurato,[8][9] which is influenced by French notational theory.[2] He may also have been active as a poet, to judge from the autobiographical texts of the madrigals Io me sun un che, Oselleto salvazo, and Vestìse la cornachia.[2]

Selected bibliographyEdit

  • Fischer, Kurt von. 1973. "'Portraits' von Piero, Giovanni da Firenze und Jacopo da Bologna in einer Bologneser Handschrift des 14. Jahrhunderts?" Musica Disciplina 27: 61–64.
  • Fischer, Kurt von. 1988. "Drei unbekannten Werke von Jacopo da Bologna und Bartolino da Padova?" In Miscelánea en homenaje a Monseñor Higinio Anglés. 2 vols. Edited by Miguel Querol, et al., 1:265–81 Barcelona: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 1958-61. Reprinted in Studi musicali 17: 3–14.
  • Marrocco, W. Thomas. 1954 The Music of Jacopo da Bologna. University of California Publications in Music 5. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1954. (Appendix C is an English translation of Jacopo's treatise.)
  • Marrocco, W. Thomas (ed.). 1967. Italian Secular Music, by Magister Piero, Giovanni da Firenze, Jacopo da Bologna. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century 6. Monaco: Éditions de l'Oiseau-Lyre.
  • Nádas, John. 1985. "The Transmission of Trecento Secular Polyphony: Manuscript Production and Scribal Practices in Italy at the End of the Middle Ages". Ph.D. diss. New York: New York University.


  1. ^ Marrocco 1954, pp. 14–6, 27–8.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Fischer, Kurt von; Agostino, Gianluca d' (2001). "Jacopo da Bologna". In Sadie, Stanley; Tyrrell, John (eds.). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed.). London: Macmillan. ISBN 9780195170672.
  3. ^ Petrobelli, Pierluigi. 1975. "'Un leggiadretto velo' ed altre cose petrarchesche", Rivista Italiana de Musicologia 10:32–45.
  4. ^ Cuthbert, Michael Scott. 2006. "Trecento Fragments and Polyphony Beyond the Codex". Ph.D. diss. Cambridge: Harvard University. p. 192.
  5. ^ Marrocco 1954, p. 6.
  6. ^ Fischer 1973.
  7. ^ Fischer 1973, p. 62.
  8. ^ Jacopo da Bologna. 1933. L' arte del biscanto misurato secondo el Maestro Jacopo da Bologna, edited by Johannes Wolf. Regensburg: Bosse.
  9. ^ Marrocco 1954, pp. 146–55.

External linksEdit