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  • Abstracts and Contributors

Anthony R. DelDonna
Beyond the Gilded Stage: Operatic Maestri and Instrumental Music in Late Eighteenth-Century Naples

The essay is focused on the instrumental music culture that flourished in late eighteenth-century Naples. A critical context for the cultivation of instrumental genres is the understanding of the educational curriculum within the four local conservatories. Their well-established methods, especially the didactic system of partimenti, provided technical rubrics for rapid composition and also emphasized critical skills at the keyboard whether the student was a specialist on the instrument or not, placing a premium on its role within instruction and musicianship in general. The diverse contexts, especially social, political, or artistic that fostered the composition and performance of instrumental music, namely contemporary salon culture and patronage, are also examined. By this time, Naples hosted a thriving international community, where performances of instrumental music were highly valued. Finally, the analysis of representative works of music produced for keyboard by leading operatic maestri, in particular Paisiello and Guglielmi, will help situate Neapolitan practices within the panorama of Europe. The findings of this essay point toward a rich array of future inquiries for scholars. Specifically, the unexplored culture and repertoire of instrumental music in late eighteenth-century Naples and how compositional strategies and performance practices were the basis for the formation of a distinct regional style that had both national and transnational dissemination.

Keywords: Eighteenth-century Naples, instrumental music, partimenti, Paisiello, Guglielmi

Anthony R. DelDonna ( is professor of musicology and director of the music program at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. His research has been published in The Journal of Musicology, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Early Music, Eighteenth-Century Music, Recercare, Studi musicali, and Civiltà musicale, and in scholarly volumes dedicated to the eighteenth century. DelDonna’s monograph Opera, Theatrical Culture and Society in Late Eighteenth-Century Naples was published in 2012.

Iván César Morales Flores
Music, Ritual, and Sacrifice: A New Afro-Cuban Aesthetic in Ebbó, an Opera-Oratorio by Louis Aguirre

The article approaches the musical dramaturgy of Ebbó (1998), an opera-oratorio by Cuban composer Louis Aguirre, from a holistic perspective. It directs special attention to the formal, structural, and syntactic aspects of the work’s musical discourse, while also delving into the Afro-Cuban religious and music-cultural references that [End Page 116] converge in its network of meanings. The close identification of the work with the religious system of Ocha-Ifá, as well as the composer’s experiences as a practitioner of Afro-Cuban religions (Palo Monte and Ocha-Ifá, popularly known as Santería), require an introduction to the philosophical, ethical, and symbolic universe of Yoruba origin that defines Cuban Santería. Ebbó, more than a representative work of late twentieth-century trends in Cuban music theater, stands as an avatar for a new type of singular, avant-garde Afro-Cuban aesthetic. It is an expression of the continuity and reinvention of a religious, aesthetic, and musical heritage deeply rooted in the Afro-Caribbean cultural patrimony.

Keywords: Opera-oratory, Louis Aguirre, Afro-Cuban music, Ocha-Ifá, Santería

Cuban musicologist Iván César Morales Flores ( is the recipient of the prestigious 2016 Musicology Award sponsored by Casa de las Américas and the 2006 National Musicology Prize “Argeliers León” from the Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba. He holds a PhD in the history and science of music from the Universidad de Oviedo, Spain (2015) and was visiting researcher in the Department of Iberian and Latin American Studies at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris III, in 2011. From 2005 to 2009 he was professor and chair of the Department of Musicology at Havana’s Instituto Superior de Artes. He is currently associate professor at the University of Oviedo and a member of the research group GIMCEL.

Gemma Pérez Zalduondo
“Eulogy of the Cheerful Rearguard”: Music in the Spain of the Rebels during the Civil War

The article, through archival and library sources from Basque and Andalusian cities, investigates the reasons for the constant presence of music in the press published on the Francoist side during the Spanish Civil War. Furthermore, given that the objective of...


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