The music collection was established along with the ducal library during the Ferrara era, from the end of the thirteen-hundreds to the mid-fifteen-hundreds, and included codices for use in the chapel or the music hall, often for the “Concerto delle dame” performances. 

The music collection was established along with the ducal library during the Ferrara era, from the end of the thirteen-hundreds to the mid-fifteen-hundreds, and included codices for use in the chapel or the music hall, often for the “Concerto delle dame” performances. During the sixteen-hundreds, the Modenese court welcomed new genres and forms (such as Opera, Oratorio and Cantata) under the cultural stimulus of Francesco II: thanks to the Duke, Modena became an important musical centre with the practice of composition connected to the Accademia dei Dissonanti. Display editions are often enriched with illuminations, ornamentation, calligraphic drawings and delicate binding that emphasise the importance of both the object and its recipient, whilst materials for performance use reflect the canons of the straightforward score, both handwritten and printed. During the seventeen-hundreds, French, German and Austrian compositions were prevalent as well as theatrical performances. The eighteen-hundreds saw the enthusiastic production of opera librettos, reflecting the city’s passion for this genre. Bequests and donations have further enriched the Estense music collection, one of the best appreciated worldwide by both musicologists and musicians.

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