Still Another Book of Small-Scale Motets: Sebastián Raval’s Motecta (1600)

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‘Still another book of small-scale motets: Sebastián Raval’s Motecta (1600)’ Lodovico Viadana’s Cento concerti ecclesiastici (Venice: Giacomo Vincenti, 1602), a collection of small-scale motets with basso continuo, is still considered ‘chronologically the first publication to include a basso continuo with sacred vocal music’. It has become the epitome of the advent of the Baroque in Italian sacred music. But, as has been argued in recent times, both the basso continuo and the concertato style were used at the end of the Renaissance all over Italy. Furthermore, there are examples of books with similar scope prior to Viadana’s [such as Asprilio Pacelli’s Chorici psalmi et motecta quatour vocum. Liber primus (Rome: Niccolò Muzi, 1599), and Gabriele Fattorini’s I sacri concerti a due voci ... co'l basso generale per maggior commodità de gl'organisti (Venice: Riccardo Amadino, 1600)]. Probably because these books do not fit comfortably into the geographical boundaries and periodization of the Baroque (traditionally understood as a development of North Italian origin occurred in the seventeenth-century), they have received little attention until recently. This paper seeks to examine another book of small-scale motets, Sebastián Raval’s Motecta selecta organo accomodata (Palermo: Giovanni Antonio de Franceschi, 1600). This almost unknown publication is one of the first solo-motet volumes with thoroughbass ever published. Although only one partbook is extant, it provides yet another piece of evidence that this avant-garde language was known even in a remote parts of Italy at least two years before Viadana’s Cento concerti was published.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventMusic for Liturgy and Devotion in Italy around 1600 - The University of Manchester, Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Nov 20165 Nov 2016


ConferenceMusic for Liturgy and Devotion in Italy around 1600
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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