This book collates 100 exhibits with accompanying essays as an imaginary museum dedicated to the musical cultures of Renaissance Europe, at home and in its global horizons. It is a history through artefacts—materials, tools, instruments, art objects, images, texts, and spaces—and their witness to the priorities and activities of people in the past as they addressed their world through music. The result is a history by collage, revealing overlapping musical practices and meanings—not only those of the elite, but reflecting the everyday cacophony of a diverse culture and its musics. Through the lens of its exhibits, this museum surveys music’s central role in culture and lived experience in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe, offering interest and insights well beyond the strictly musicological field.
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