The Library of a Royal Court Musician in 18th-Century Lisbon

The Manifesto dos libros de António de Figuieredo Ramos, 1769

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Abstract

Central to the activities of the Real Mesa Censória instituted in 1768 was the order made in July 1769 for lists of books in private libraries, shops and printing presses in an effort to control the circulation of books and ideas in Portugal. Thanks to this activity, records of extremely important libraries that were to be dispersed over time have been preserved (Torre do Tombo, Lisbon). Outstanding among them is the Manifesto dos livros of António de Figueiredo Ramos, a violinist in the Real Orquestra da Câmera, also music theorist and composer; he is principally known today for having composed music for O baile mascarado of which only the libretto survives. His total library numbered over 275 works – the majority theological and historical – with some 40 music books (and manuscripts) and nearly 30 works in a section called Poesia that record over 25 libretti of operas in Italy, Spain and Portugal. While most works in his library were printed in contemporary Portugal, the music books and libretti constitute an extremely important international collection dating from 1533 onwards. This Manifesto is the most important evidence for a substantial private music library of the mid 18th century. This paper provides for the first time an exact (as possible) interpretation and analysis of the two sections, Poesia and Musica, and an appreciation of the significance of this collection in terms of then current fashions in performance and discourse. Drawing upon further documentation originating in Lisbon, it also attempts to provide more biographical information about this musician and airs the question of whether he was indeed the same as the António de Figueiredo do Espirito Santo (Ramos) named in slightly earlier documentation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages11
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventENIM 2016 – VI Encontro de Investigação em Música (org. SPIM) - Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal
Duration: 3 Nov 20165 Nov 2016

Conference

ConferenceENIM 2016 – VI Encontro de Investigação em Música (org. SPIM)
CountryPortugal
Period3/11/165/11/16

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Nelson, B. M. B. (2016). The Library of a Royal Court Musician in 18th-Century Lisbon: The Manifesto dos libros de António de Figuieredo Ramos, 1769. 11. Abstract from ENIM 2016 – VI Encontro de Investigação em Música (org. SPIM), Portugal.