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Strumenti ad arco nell’iconografia della Commedia dell’Arte cinquecentesca: indizi sulle viole

Author Giulia Sarno
Series per archi
Nr. 11 (dicembre 2019)
Size 17×24, pp. 167 (65-99)
Year 2019
ISBN 9788870969993

This paper follows the one dedicated to the occurrences of the lira da braccio in the iconography of Commedia dell’Arte included in «per archi» n. 10 (2018), and to that it is tightly connected. After dealing with organological identification issues, the focus shifts on the investigation of the sources presenting Commedia dell’Arte performers playing instruments that can be described as viols. The documents show wide diversity in layouts: viols are used both by soloists and as part of an ensemble, both for instrumental performances and for the accompaniment of one or more singers. The heterogeneity of the profiles confirms the lack of standardization of the violin and viol families in this period. Nevertheless, the instruments show at least one common feature: they are small, handy, so that they can be played while moving (in the course of a physical action) and can easily be transported by traveling comici. Among the performative types presented in the sources, the serenade stands out as widely spread and for its tight bond with the comic dramaturgy.