Venetian woodwind instrument makers, 1680–1805: Their interaction with the guild
|Collana||Recercare - Rivista per lo studio e la pratica della musica antica - Journal for the study and practice of early music|
|Dimensioni||17×24, pp. 158|
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Craft guild systems from the Middle Ages to the mid nineteenth century were responsible for transmission of specialist knowledge, while simultaneously providing a mechanism for controlling various aspects of society: the economy, social security and welfare of its members. The primary aim of this paper is to re-assess the function of the turners’ guild in Venice from 1680 to 1805, with specific reference to the woodwind instrument makers. Evidence presented suggests that, contrary to previous hypotheses, guild rulings supported the manufacture of woodwind instruments in Venice during this time. No singular methodological approach has been applied to the contemporary statutes of the guilds and related archival documents. Rather, a scavenger method of examination is used, which includes: archival search techniques; translation into English from Italian and related dialects; and biographical inquiry. Information emerging from a Venetian archive shows that the turners’ guild in Venice was divided into three specialist factions, each using their own materials. The ivory turners were able to work with the mixed media found on woodwind instruments from 1680 until the nineteenth century. Further documentation places the maker Domenico Perosa and the family names Anciuti and Castel within this same guild. In light of hitherto unexamined guild documents, Venetian maker Andrea Fornari’s petition — pivotal in earlier arguments — is re-interpreted. Read within the context of the guild regulations, this petition indicates that the guilds were allowing a progressive technology while protecting their own members’ rights to exclusive use of the manufacturing techniques.