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Vestito a ponti d'oro e a cento corde in seno - 'History, repertoire and playing-techniques of the Italian salterio in the eighteenth century'

The present study of Franziska Fleischanderl is the first comprehensive and fundamental compendium on the Italian salterio of the eighteenth century. It sheds light on its genesis in the ecclesiastical environment, its dissemination and use in all regions of Italy, its social rise to the highest circles of the aristocracy, its virtuoso professionals and noble amateurs, and last but not least, its original genre-spanning repertoire. It is a great peculiarity of the Italian salterio that it was played with three completely different playing techniques in equal measure. Either the strings were struck with two small hammers (battuto), plucked with the fingernails and fingertips (finger-pizz) or plucked it with plectra, that were fixed in metal finger rings and placed at the fingertips (plectra-pizz). The search for and reproduction of original playing utensils such as hammers and finger rings, as well as instructions for assigning the appropriate playing technique to the original salterio repertoire and mastering all three techniques, constitute the artistic research part of this study, which was conducted on an exceptionally well-preserved, beautifully decorated, original salterio made by Michele Barbi in Rome in 1725.

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