Home Site Map Back

Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1827, Sunday, April 3, 1831.

Foundation of Italian Church Music.

About the middle of the fourteenth century, we may take the first symptom of taste and cultivation in the church music at Rome and Naples; it then consisted of plain-chant for four voices, sometimes aided by a choir, and this, owning to the large size of the Italian churches, was necessarily numerous to produce any effect, but the difficulty of procuring choristers was every day felt more and more. To give some idea of this difficulty, it is only necessary to state, that even in the latter part of the fifteenth century, the choir of the principal church, both at Rome and Naples, was comprised almost entirely of Spaniards, Belgians, and French. To remedy this, and likewise to provide some place for the cultivation of native talent, the academies were set on foot, and hence the real, though remote origin of the present conservatorio. Harmonicon for April 1.