Paratextual frames: A material study of Ottaviano Petrucci's four-voice Venetian motet prints, 1502-1505
Schade, Melody Marchman
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This dissertation constitutes a material study of the four-voice motet prints published in Venice by Ottaviano Petrucci between 1502 and 1505. These prints, Motetti A, Motetti de passione de cruce de sacramento de beata virgine et huiusmodi, Motetti C and Motetti Libro Quarto, coincided with a burgeoning silent reading culture that was interested in and attuned to devotional reading--particularly as it was made available through books of hours ( horae )--and thus, represented a new opportunity for early sixteenth-century singers, readers, and collectors. This dissertation considers how the relationship between motet print, reader and horae might have encouraged a devotional attitude from readers and singers of these volumes. Chapter 1 considers horae, late medieval reading practice, and the intertwined relationship between reading and prayer. Many of the material aspects of the prints--especially size and mise-en-page ("page layout")--are similar to those of contemporaneous books of hours ( horae ) and their likeness might have encouraged a reading posture that resonated with devotional reading. Additionally, pictorial evidence is presented that suggests that by the mid-sixteenth century at least one family may have considered printed music in this manner. Chapter 2 takes the page as a formal starting point and, building upon the work of Gérard Genette and Bonnie Mak, extends the discussion of materiality to considerations of paratexts. Here, a nuanced reading of the mise-en-page, which considers the page layout, typeface, musical font, and table of contents ( tavolae ), reveals a web of intellectual and devotional associations available to a contemporary reader of Petrucci's four-voice Venetian motet prints. Chapter 3 explores the relationship between the page and the music-making that the page enabled and considers these through a study of a uniquely musical paratext--the fermata. Analytic apparatus advanced by both Robert Hatten and Bonnie Blackburn reveals that the concept of markedness as it relates to the visual, oral, and aural aspects of the page allows for all the elements of the page to coalesce in a manner uniquely familiar and meaningful to the devotionally attuned reader/singer of Petrucci's prints. In analyzing the material and paratextual features of Petrucci's motet prints, this dissertation engages with an array of theoretical, analytical, and historical frameworks. It simultaneously positions Petrucci's prints within a multivalent world of reading, printing, publishing, and singing and ultimately situates the prints within the realm of devotional activities.