I am a doctoral researcher at the University of Manchester. My research focuses on the spiritual madrigal, an Italian vocal music genre of late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. The spiritual madrigal is part of musica spirituale, Catholic devotional music performed outside the liturgical ceremonies. The value of this type of music lies particularly in its intermediary position between the strictly sacred and the strictly secular.
For my thesis I examine a group of spiritual madrigals, the lyrics of which imitate biblical and liturgical texts (for example the Psalms or certain prayers) blending the poetic language and motives from the Bible, Italian poetic traditions and sometimes Classical poetry. I am interested in the cultural environment, in which the madrigals setting those texts to music were created and in how they fit into the general religious, musical and literary context of late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Italy. I hope that my research will shed a light on how deeply religious practices had penetrated early modern Italian cultural life and were, on their part, reshaped by secular culture.