Ceremonial, music and architectural space in the Patriarchal Church of the Magnanimous King: remaking roman models in Lisbon

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The paper aims to provide new insights on the relations between ceremonial, musical performance and the architectural space of the Royal Chapel of King João V of Portugal (promoted to the rank of Patriarchal in 1716) through a coordinated study of these three complementary fields. Considering the adoption and adaptation of roman aesthetical and ritual models from the Pontifical Chapels and Basilicas, it intends to address simultaneously the sound and the visual dimensions of a symbolic space of representation under a court that aspired to recreate in Lisbon the splendour of the Vatican and invested in the hiring of composers such as Domenico Scarlatti and Giovanni Giorgi. The study will address issues such as scenographic and decorative elements, the delimitation of hierarchical and ritual spaces, the place of singers, instrumentalists and chaplain-singers and the adoption of repertories, musical styles and performance practices according to ceremonial norms and the liturgical calendar. Making use of the remaining plans of the Patriarchal Church before the 1755 earthquake, published by Marie-Thérèse Mandroux-França, and other sources (liturgical diaries, scores, official documents and historical reports), it intends to show how the former Royal Chapel of the Lisbon Palace (Paço da Ribeira) has been expanded and adapted to the requirements of the new Patriarchal and how the organisation of the space inside it tried to emulate certain features common to the Sistine Chapel and the St. Peter’s Basilica. Likewise, imported musical repertoires and local compositions used during the Mass, the Divine Office and dynastic events, even though strongly marked by Roman influences, don’t constitute uncritical copies but result from judicious selection and assimilation under a new context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event17th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music - Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Jul 201617 Oct 2016


Conference17th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Royal Chapel of King João V of Portugal
  • Patriarchal Church of the Magnanimous King
  • Ceremonial
  • Musical performance
  • Architectural space
  • roman models
  • roman aesthetical
  • Lisbon (Portugal)


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