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The Advent of the Transverse Flute in Italy and its use in mixed consorts during the 16th and early 17th centuries

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ABSTRACT Title of Research: The advent of the transverse flute in Italy and its use in mixed consorts during the sixteenth and ear-ly seventeenth centuries Research Question: Which were the possible combinations of instruments that included flute and which occasions saw performances of these mixed consorts? Summary of results: The performance of vocal polyphony on instruments during the sixteenth century appears to be guided by two main ideas. On the one hand, musicians tried to imitate the a cappella choir with homogeneous instrumental consorts, or whole consorts, where the instruments belonged to the same family. On the other hand, they tried to maintain the polyphonic texture clear, letting instruments with a very different timbre play in a mixed choir, or mixed consort. Based on a wide array of sources (letters, chronicles, iconography, inventories, instruction treatises, and surviving instruments) my Research Paper investigates the possibilities of combining the flute with other instruments and with voices in mixed consort settings. My main conclusion is that whole and mixed consorts did not follow a completely separate development, but the two choirs would often overlap and integrate in many different combinations, with much freedom and invention. This consideration should encourage modern performers of secular Italian music of the sixteenth century to keep their mind open to the possibility of transforming a cappella compositions into colorful ensembles mixing voices and different instruments. Biography: Giuditta Isoldi studied at the Conservatory of Florence, where she graduated in Flute with Paolo Zampini. In 2010 she moved to the Netherlands where she focused her studies on Historical in-formed Performance Practice of the flute and she obtained a Bachelor in Traverso with Barthold Kuijken at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Next to Traverso, she studies baroque Oboe with Frank de Bruine. She is currently attending a Master in Traverso at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague with Barthold Kuijken, Kate Clark and Wilbert Hazelzet.

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