Musical Improvisation in the Baroque Era

organized by
Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini (Lucca)

In collaboration with
Ad Parnassum. A Journal of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Instrumental Music

Lucca, Complesso Monumentale di San Micheletto
19-21 May 2017

Call for Papers

The Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini of Lucca, in collaboration with Ad Parnassum Journal, is pleased to invite submissions from scholars of proposals for the symposium on «Musical Improvisation in the Baroque Era» to be held in Lucca, Complesso monumentale di San Micheletto, from Friday 19 until Sunday 21 May 2017. Baroque culture liked testing the possibilities of every field of art. The new scientific mentality of the seventeenth century gave rise to a continuous experimentation whose music improvisation was an important part. The invention on the continuo bass, the evolution of the tonal system, the rich music theory production, the most part in manuscript, the close relationship between poetry, music, painting, architecture, are all signs of an open state of mind that this international conference aims to clarify. Luxury, rather than monumentality, was the real purpose of baroque art. Motion, not stillness, had to surprise listeners and viewers. Improvisation surprises listeners with motion and luxury, and it is one of the best key to understand the century.

The Symposium aims to investigate the many different facets of music improvisation in the said period. The scholarly committee particularly welcomes proposals that address the themes listed below, although other, related topics are also welcome:

  • Gesture and Improvisation
  • Improvisation into Composition
  • Issues of Performance Practice
  • Castratos and Instrumental Virtuosos
  • Improvisation in Instrumental and Vocal Music: Genres, Embellishments, Figuring Continuo
  • Contemporary Treatises and Aesthetics
  • Pedagogical Exercises and the Art of Partimento

Programme Committee:
• Simone Ciolfi, Rome
• Roberto Illiano, Lucca
• Fulvia Morabito, Lucca
• Massimiliano Sala, Bergamo
• Rohan H. Stewart-MacDonald, Warwickshire, UK

Keynote Speakers:
• Guido Olivieri (University of Texas at Austin)
• Giorgio Sanguinetti (Università Tor Vergata, Roma)

The official languages of the conference are English and Italian. Papers selected at the conference will be published in a miscellaneous volume.
Papers are limited to twenty minutes in length, allowing time for questions and discussion. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and one page of biography.
All proposals should be submitted by email no later than ***Sunday 19 March 2017*** to <>. With your proposal please include your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail and telephone number) and (if applicable) your affiliation.
The committee will make its final decision on the abstracts by the end of March 2017, and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter. Further information about the programme, registration, travel and accommodation will be announced after that date.
For any additional information, please contact:

Dr. Massimiliano Sala