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Curious and Modern InventionsInstrumental Music as Discovery in Galileo's Italy$
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Rebecca Cypess

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226319445

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226319582.001.0001

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“Curiose e moderne inventioni”

“Curiose e moderne inventioni”

Biagio Marini’s Sonate (1626) and Carlo Farina’s “Capriccio Stravagante” (1627) as Collections of Curiosities

Chapter:
(p.117) Chapter 4 “Curiose e moderne inventioni”
Source:
Curious and Modern Inventions
Author(s):

Rebecca Cypess

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226319582.003.0005

In their most bizarre compositions Biagio Marini and Carlo Farina employed the violin in new, virtuosic ways to imitate the sounds of other instruments and of animals. These pieces activate a display of musical curiosities akin, I suggest, to the curiosities of art and nature that resided in early modern Kunstkammern—proto-museums in which the collector sought to categorize and analyze artifacts from their social and natural worlds. Using evidence from those collections, I interpret these humorous musical works as part of a broader attempt to probe the boundary between nature and artifice. Indeed, the composers’ own words, found in titles, rubrics, prefaces, and appendices, suggest that these sonic animations constitute attempts to capture and recreate all of the sounds of life.

Keywords:   curiosities, collecting, Kunstkammer, Biagio Marini, Carlo Farina, violin, virtuosity, representation, nature, artifice

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