The importance of Marc'Antonio Ingegneri in the history of the Italian madrigal has hitherto lain in the fact that he was Claudio Monteverdi's teacher. However, his value to the modern musicologist is as a composer whose madrigal publications span the awkward period of change from the late 1560s to the late 1580s. To date, most scholarship has focussed either on the flowering of the madrigal in the early Cinqucento or on its late developments in the closing decades of the century; the mid-Cinquecento madrigal has remained largely unexplored.
This dissertation offers new archival evidence relating to Ingegneri's life and career and a survey of his surviving publications, comprising seven books and eight separate madrigals published in anthologies. It also addresses more general stylistic problems surrounding the mid-Cinquecento madrigal, such as cadential hierarchies and the relationship betwen text and musical structure, using Ingegneri's madrigals as illustrations. The final chapter of the dissertation places the madrigals in a contemporary context, using comparisons between Ingegneri's works and those of his masters and his peers, with a concluding examination of Ingegneri's influence on Monteverdi's early compositional style.