Volume 8, no. 1
JEFFREY KURTZMAN AND LINDA
MARIA KOLDAU. Trombe, Trombe d'argento, Trombe squarciate,
Tromboni, and Pifferi in Venetian Processions and Ceremonies
of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.
III. Pictorial Representations of Venetian Processions
Representations of Venetian Processions
Perhaps the most famous pictorial representation of a Venetian procession
is Gentile Bellini's huge canvas, Processione della Croce in Piazza
San Marco of 1496 housed in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice
(Figure 11). This
painting was originally commissioned by the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista
as one of a series of paintings commemorating miracles wrought by a
piece of the True Cross given to the Scuola in 1369 and treasured as
its prize possession.284
Bellini's Processione refers to a miraculous cure effected from
witnessing the relic during a procession in St. Mark's square on the
feast of Saint Mark, April 25, 1444.285
The members of the scuola are in the foreground, while musicians
appear at two places in the painting, both of them on the periphery
and somewhat obscure. In the foreground at the left are the singers
of the scuola and three instrumentalists playing a lute, a harp,
and a rebec.286
This is the typical ensemble of the scuole of the period, as
already discussed in paragraph
13.1. What concerns us at this moment, however, is the far right
of the painting, where one can see, not yet having rounded the corner
to pass along the front of the picture, the doge's banners, trombe
d'argento, and pifferi. The procession continues with the
ambassadors in varied costumes, followed by several symbols of the doge:
the doge's white candle, and later on, the doge's umbrella, the cushion
for the doge's crown, and ultimately, the doge himself.
In closer detail (Figure
12), one can see on the far right three of the eight comandadori
with their banners, followed by the six trombe lunghe, which
are not so long and large as those in the Matteo Pagan woodcut and Giacomo
Franco engraving described below and don't require the support of boys.
Since the trombe were enlarged to the size of those in the Pagan
and Franco representations in the period 1473–1478, Bellini's
painting, at least as far as the trumpets are concerned, seems historically
oriented to the period of the event it depicts rather than the date
of the painting itself.287
From each tromba there hangs a small banner. Only two of the
trombettieri are actually playing. The other four are carrying
their instruments propped on their shoulders with the bells in the air.
Immediately behind them march three of the doge's pifferi playing
shawms, followed by two trombonists. The nearer of the two is playing
a U-shaped double-slide instrument, while the figure in black to his
left is not playing and has his instrument resting on his shoulder in
the same manner as four of the trumpeters. The bell of this trombone
is smudged in the painting.288
Bellini's are among the earliest depictions of double-slide trombones.
[Return to paragraph
A particularly clear illustration of a ducal procession can be seen
in a long, eight-block xylograph by Matteo Pagan from 1556–59
in the Museo Correr, depicting the corteo in St. Mark's square
on Palm Sunday (Figure
19 and Figure
Pagan's full woodcut provides a detailed account of the roles, position
and costumes of the various personages in a ducal andata, as
well as a depiction of the traditional symbols of the doge, including
the doge's musical instruments.290
The second frame of this woodcut (Figure
14) shows six straight trumpets of extraordinary length, labeled
by Pagan in Latin as sex tubae argenteae and in Italian as sei
trombe di arzento. These trumpets are so long that they have to
be supported on the shoulders of six boys, one preceding each of the
trumpeters. Immediately behind the trumpets come six ambassadorial servants,
followed by the doge's six pifferi, labeled by Pagan as tubae
et barbiton and trombe piffari (Figure
15). The pifferi in Pagan's woodcut are shawms distinctly
larger than those in Bellini's Processione (just as the six trombe
d'argento are much larger). Pagan, as an artist, was apparently
not intimately acquainted with musical instruments, for his depictions
of the shawms are lacking in detail, and the trombone is especially
problematic: the last loop of a double-slide trombone would ordinarily
extend over the player's shoulder along the side of the head.291
In the Bellini painting some of the instrumentalists are not playing;
in Pagan's xylograph the position of some of the instruments is odd.
The two shawmists on the inside of the procession are holding their
instruments in the normal playing position, whereas the one between
them on the outside clearly holds his at a higher angle, and the other
two are holding their instruments straight out, as if they were mid-length
straight trumpets. These oddities are compounded by the presence of
five shawmists and only one trombone; the pifferi del doge normally
comprised four shawms and two trombones in this period. Pagan seems
to have exercised considerable artistic license with regard to the instruments,
as he did in the positioning of some of the elements of the corteo.
It is also curious that Pagan should have used the plural forms—tubae
in Latin and trombe in Italian—in identifying the single
trombone in his xylograph, though the pifferi del doge normally
did consist of more than the one trombone shown by Pagan. It should
not be surprising, however, that the trombone is called here a tromba
or tuba, since trombone is no more than an augmentative of tromba.
The Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca of 1612 lists the
word trombone under the entry tromba as "a musical wind
instrument" in contrast to the tromba itself, which is described
as a military [signaling] instrument.292
The contrast in size between the two instruments is emphasized in the
contemporaneous Italian-English dictionary of John Florio, where tromba
is defined as "any Trump or Trumpet," while a separate entry for
trombone describes it as "A Base or great Trumpet, or Sackbut."293
The 1741 edition of the Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca,
like Florio's dictionary, has a separate entry for trombone,
but still defines it as sorta di tromba.294
Thus, in all these definitions the trombone is a subcategory of the
trumpet. The Vocabulario, however, represents generic Tuscan
rather than Venetian usage. Despite Pagan's naming of trombones as trombe,
trombe are often clearly distinguished from tromboni in
Venetian account books and detailed descriptions of instruments and
By the same token, trumpets in Venice, as in other cities, were also
often referenced by their diminutive, trombetti, and some Venetian
documents refer to trombetti squarzadi, or trombetti et tamburi,
seemingly identifying the instrument as smaller than a full-size tromba.
However, the vagaries and ambiguities of scribal terminology caution
against making any definitive statement with regard to the meaning of
Pagan's use of the Latin term barbiton (which referred to a large
lyre in ancient times), evidently derives from the medieval Latin barbita,
defined in Domino Du Cange's Glossarium Mediae et infimae Latinitatis,
first published in 1678, as fistula pastoralis, appropriately
applied to the rather large shawms in Pagan's woodcut.297
[Return to: paragraph 9.4,
note 146, paragraphs 31.2,
Another woodcut of a procession, by the Fleming Jost Amman in the Graphische
Sammlung of the Stuttgart Staatsgalerie, is a copy of an earlier one
by Giovanni Andrea di Vavasson after an original by Titian from c. 1560
This large woodcut, comprising fourteen adjoined blocks, depicts the
ducal cortege traversing the piazzetta of St. Mark's and just
beginning to embark on the Bucintoro (the doge's ceremonial barge)
for what is evidently the feast of the Sensa (the wedding of
Venice with the sea). The eight standard-bearers have already mounted
and are clustered on the rear of the ship. The sei trombe d'argento
are not visible at all, and still on the embankment waiting
to embark are five pifferi, playing four shawms and one other
instrument whose identity is not obvious (detail, Figure
22). The shawmists all hold their instruments in the normal playing
position, but the first player on the backside of the cortege holds
his straight out, in the same position as two players in the Pagan woodcut.299
However, in this case the instrument has the appearance of a mid-length,
cylindrical trumpet with a particularly flared bell, rather than a shawm.
While it is not impossible that this instrument actually is a trumpet,
the normal constitution of the pifferi cautions against taking
Amman's illustration too literally, especially since there is no evidence
of trombones in the woodcut.
Other standard elements of a procession in trionfo follow: the
squires of the doge, the Patriarch attended by another man and followed
by two candles (not one as in other representations), the doge's throne
(faldstool) and crown (cornu), possibly the ballottino
adjacent to the bearer of the crown, the doge flanked by the papal legate
on his right and the imperial ambassador on his left, the doge's ceremonial
umbrella, three ambassadors, the doge's ceremonial sword, and the Signoria.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Giacomo Franco published
a set of engravings of Venetian life that includes a depiction of a
procession wending its way through St. Mark's square (Figure
Like Pagan some fifty years earlier, Franco has carefully labeled each
separate element in the procession, and again we can see, in their usual
position in the cortege following the eight banners, the six trombe
d'argento supported on the shoulders of six boys. The servants of
the ambassadors march between the trombe d'argento and the pifferi
del doge, just as in Pagan's woodcut. The pifferi in Franco's
procession comprise, as best we can tell from a somewhat unclear plate,
four shawms and two trombones, for a total of six pifferi (the
trombones appear to be in the middle, between the two pair of shawms).
Another engraving by Franco from the same 1610 set (Figure
24) illustrates the trombe d'argento and the pifferi
on board a ceremonial barge (called in Venetian dialect a peatone)
as the doge disembarks at San Giorgio Maggiore for Vespers on Christmas
Here again we see the six trombe lunghe, but as in the
Bellini painting, not so long that they require support from boys. This
point is quite interesting, for it suggests that in Franco's day and
possibly at other times as well, there were two sets of trombe lunghe,
one smaller than the other for easier transport aboard ship.302
Immediately behind the trombe four of the pifferi can
be discerned playing three shawms and one trombone (one of the shawms
is scarcely visible behind the front two). These players have not yet
disembarked, though the gangplank is down, ready for them to go ashore.
On the boat in the foreground, there are three other instrumentalists,
distinct from the official ensembles of the doge, playing shawms. [Return
to: paragraph 9.4, note
An undated engraving by J. van Vianen published by Pieter van der Aa
in the early eighteenth century entitled Il Doge in Processione (Figure
shows a serpentine corteo crossing the riva of the piazzetta,
led by several clerics (one holding a large cross) and what is probably
the Patriarch of Venice and two monks. Then the doge's official cortege
begins with the eight standards, the six exceptionally large trombe
lunghe, each pair supported by one boy, and five pifferi
without any ambassadorial servants between the instrumental ensembles.
All five pifferi are clearly playing shawms (one can even distinguish
the position of the reeds), and no trombone is present. Subsequent elements
of the procession proceed as in the Franco engraving except for the
absence of the grand captain, grand chancellor, and ballottino
before the appearance of the doge, who is flanked by the imperial ambassador
and papal legate. [Return to note 304.]
There are several notable aspects of Bellini's painting that contrast
with the Pagan and Amman xylographs and the Franco and Vianen engravings.
First, Bellini's trombe d'argento and shawms are smaller than
those in the later representations, except for Franco's engraving of
the doge disembarking at San Giorgio (Figure
24); in both of these representations the trombe do not require
the support of boys. Secondly, in Bellini's painting there is no group
of commanders (comandadori) without banners preceding the trombe
d'argento. Nor is there a contingent of ambassadorial servants between
the trombe d'argento and the pifferi as there is in both
Pagan's (Figure 13)
and Franco's (Figure
23) processions. In the Amman woodcut, neither the trombe d'argento
nor any possible group of ambassadorial servants are visible; the cortege
remaining on shore begins with the pifferi. In the Vianen engraving,
as in Bellini's painting, the pifferi follow immediately on the
heels of the trombe d'argento. In all of these representations,
a group of squires (camerari) follows the pifferi.
According to the Ceremoniale del doge published by Bartolomeo
Cecchetti, the trombe d'argento follow immediately after the
eight commanders carrying the banners, and the remaining commanders
come between the trombe d'argento and the pifferi rather
than between the banners and the trombe d'argento.304
A comparison of the Cerimoniale del doge as quoted by Cecchetti
with the Pagan and Franco processions can be seen in Table
1. The order in the Ceremoniale contains more elements than
the two labeled pictorial representations, and a few elements are located
in different parts of the cortege.305
This table illustrates the fact that while the order of many of the
principal elements of a procession in trionfo remained constant
over time, there were differences of detail from one epoch or even from
one procession in any particular period to another (cf. the contemporaneous
Pagan and Amman woodcuts), apart from the fact that certain components
were included or omitted depending on the festivity itself.306
Differences between Pagan's and Franco's depictions of a procession
are few: the doge's ceremonial crown (corno) doesn't appear in
Franco's engraving, and the imperial ambassador (Ambasciator Cesareo)
and the papal legate (Legato), both men flanking the doge, are
not found in Pagan's woodcut.307
Not all lavish civic processions were centered on the doge and the Signoria.
One of the most famous processions, because it was recorded in several
paintings and engravings as well as in detailed descriptions by Giovanni
Stringa, Giovanni Rota, and Dario Tutio, formed part of the festivities
celebrating the coronation of the Dogaressa Morosina Morosini Grimani,
May 4–7, 1597.308
When Marino Grimani had been elected doge two years previously, one
of the terms of his promissione was that his wife would be given
a coronation as dogaressa after at least one year had passed.309
This was the first time since 1557 that the wife of a doge had been
crowned; the celebration, continuing for four days, was stunning in
its sumptuousness and was described in painstaking detail by all three
The ceremonies were inaugurated with a major public procession commemorated
in three large paintings by Andrea Michieli detto il Vicentino as well
as two engravings by Giacomo Franco, one published in his Habiti
of 1610, and another that hangs independently in the Museo Correr (see
section 24). This procession
was similar to a ducal procession, with many of the same elements in
the same order, but without certain of the doge's symbols, such as the
eight banners or the doge's cushion and faldstool. In addition, the
procession included numerous invited gentlewomen and escorts as well
as a large contingent of trumpets, drums and pifferi.
In anticipation of the event, visitors came from all over Italy; on
the day of the coronation crowds of people gathered in St. Mark's square
and elsewhere, and all kinds of boats filled the canals. The sound of
trumpets and drums could be heard everywhere.311
Stringa relates the festive travel of the civic emissaries in the Bucintoro
from the Piazzetta San Marco to the personal residence of the doge at
San Luca on the Grand Canal. The procession of boats was led by the
brigantine of the broker's guild, outfitted in military fashion, from
which trumpets and drums played while artillery sounded continuously.312
On the Bucintoro itself were twelve trumpets and twelve drums,
and as the flotilla set off, not only were there volleys of artillery,
but also the ringing of bells.313
Upon arriving at the Grimani palace, the officials disembarked and solemnly
ascended the stairs to the sound of trumpets, drums, and artillery.314
After ceremonies in the Grimani palace, the dogaressa descended the
staircase accompanied by numerous gentlewomen and embarked on the Bucintoro
for her trip to the Piazzetta of St. Mark's. She was preceded onto the
boat by twelve trumpets, twelve drums, six pifferi and the six
long silver trumpets of the doge.315
As the Bucintoro and accompanying vessels traveled along the
Grand Canal they were viewed by people leaning out of windows, standing
on the roofs of houses, filling the streets, crowding the sides of the
canal and occupying bridges. Amidst the din could also be heard the
"sweet sound of many instruments," which echoed off the boats.316
to Stringa, the travel from the Grimani palace along the Grand Canal
was accompanied by the firing of arquebuses and artillery. Many of the
honored guests were carried on a special octagonal floating ceremonial
pavilion with vertical columns and domed roof, designed by Vicenzo Scamozzi
and known as the Teatro del Mondo. Twelve trumpeters and twelve
drummers were stationed on this boat, with two groups of six trumpets
each playing in alternation.317
[Return to note 173.]
The flotilla proceeded down the Grand Canal to the piazzetta of
St. Mark's, where they were saluted by more than four hundred pieces
of artillery and "the sound of a great quantity of trumpets and the
noise of a great number of drums."318
At the point of disembarkation, a giant triumphal arch had been constructed
with inscriptions and symbolic figures. Above an inscription honoring
the dogaressa was stationed a trumpeter representing Fame, who "having
put the trumpet to his mouth, made all the world resound with cheers
and praise of the princess."319
After disembarking, the dogaressa and her entourage processed around
the piazzetta under a canopy with a carefully ordered succession of
elements. According to Stringa, the procession included four hundred
invited gentlewomen and their escorts; representatives of all
the artisans' guilds walking two by two, each guild with its own insignia
carried by a standard bearer; twenty-four men dressed in livery who
played drums and trumpets (di tamburi, e di trombe); and another
twelve, dressed in scarlet, who played pifferi and short silver
trumpets (trombe corte d'argento).320
Groups of twelve trumpeters and twelve drummers are mentioned several
times in the chronicles, and the twelve pifferi and trumpeters
dressed in scarlet comprised the six pifferi del doge
supplemented by six short trumpets (in contrast to the doge's trombe
Scarlet was, in fact, the color of the livery of the doge's pifferi.
[Return to note 497.]
When the procession arrived at the door of St. Mark's, the trumpets,
drums and pifferi formed wings through which all the gentlewomen
proceeded into the basilica, and as the dogaressa entered the church,
there was a salute from the arquebusses and the sound of "drums, pifferi
and trumpets made the air resound with sweet melody."322
Once settled in the church, a Te Deum was sung, "instruments
and singers made lovely music while she was present, except during the
liturgy," and at the end of the ceremonies, the entourage was preceded
by drums as it exited into the courtyard of the ducal palace.323
The palace itself was gorgeously decorated for an elaborate reception
where the dogaressa was received "with the most beautiful music," and
as she passed from one room to another, each filled with decorations
and confections furnished by one of the various artisans' guilds, she
was greeted with "music full of infinite sweetness."324
The music was furnished by "lutes, cornettos, shawms, strings, and various
In fact, many of the individual guilds, each having decorated its own
room, also employed musicians. Both the goldsmiths and the tailors presented
trumpets and drums, while the shoemakers danced to the sound of various
The haberdashers utilized both instrumentalists and singers, the sword
makers were accompanied by sweet music, the dyers employed lutes and
"delicate voices", and the bakers boasted trumpets, drums, and piffari.327
The second day was given over to dancing and refreshments in the ducal
palace. During the day, the general celebration continued with "the
usual din of drums and trumpets throughout the city" and "playing and
singing" on boats that plied the canals.328
The general populace was invited to view the decorations in the palace,
from which they had been excluded the previous day. At midday, twelve
trumpets and twelve drums assembled in the courtyard of the palace to
announce the forthcoming celebrations in the Grand Council Hall.329
On the third day, in a papal mass celebrated by the papal nuncio in
St. Mark's, the dogaressa was presented with a silver rose blessed by
the pope. The procession into the church was led by the sound of drums,
trumpets, and pifferi.330
The mass that followed included instruments as well as the choir
(canti, & suoni), but Stringa does not specify which instruments.331
It is quite probable, given the documentation cited above of trumpets
playing in St. Mark's and other churches on especially joyous occasions,
that Stringa's suoni included the trumpets and even the drums,
which, if present, would most likely have sounded at the Elevation.
Following the ceremony of the rose, the dogaressa and her entourage
exited the main door of St. Mark's to the sound of piffari, trumpets,
The celebration continued once again in the ducal palace with a banquet
and dancing "to the sound of delicate voices,"333
culminating with a mock naval battle in the bacino. The event,
initiated by trumpets which continued to sound during the course of
the battle, was viewed by the celebrants from the windows of the Grand
After the battle ended and a prize was awarded, a splendid regata
of various types of boats made its way down the Grand Canal as far as
the Rialto to the sound of "warlike and musical instruments."335
Throughout the city the sound of trumpets and drums filled the air.336
Even after the doge and dogaressa retired for the night, the palace
remained open to noble visitors who could "hear the music in every room,"
and who danced until three hours after sundown.337
The fourth day the dogaressa made the rounds of the palace greeting
all the artisans' guilds, where she was treated again to the music of
instruments and voices.338
That night rain and wind forced the relocation of a sumptuous banquet
from the Portico Argonautico to the gran casa de' Foscari,
at the bend of the Grand Canal, where the celebration continued with
games, music and dancing.339
The coronation of the Dogaressa Morosina Morosini Grimani is one of
the rare instances where iconographical sources can be correlated with
a written description of the same event. In most other cases, iconography
and the accounts by Sansovino, Stringa and other chroniclers do not
overlap so closely. [Return to paragraph
Andrea Michieli detto il Vicentino (1539–after 1617) was a collaborator
of Tintoretto who painted a number of large scenes of Venetian history
for the doge's palace and several others for major churches in Venice
He executed three known large paintings depicting the first stages of
the coronation ceremonies for the Dogaressa Morosina Morosini Grimani,
the first two of which are owned by the Museo Correr; the third was
formerly owned by the Castello di Duino in Trieste, but was recently
sold at auction.341
Andrea Vicentino's first painting in this series (Figure
26) shows the dogaressa at the door of the Grimani palace on the
first day of the celebration, about to embark on the Bucintoro
that will convey her and her entourage to the piazzetta. Near the bow
of the barge can be seen three straight instruments extending outward,
while three others are scarcely visible near the stern. These are likely
meant to represent shawms, though they are similar to mid-length straight
trumpets. In the bottom left hand corner of the painting is a mid-length
straight trumpet announcing the event. To the right is Scamozzi's octagonal
Teatro del Mondo, with its vertical columns and domed roof. Some
of the dogaressa's accompanying gentlewomen are in the Bucintoro,
others in the Teatro del Mondo.
The second, even larger painting by Vicentino in the Museo Correr illustrates
the dogaressa and her entourage disembarking across a wooden gangway
at the piazzetta before her entry into the piazza. On the left of the
painting (Figure 27)
is a shawm (part of the pifferi) still in the Bucintoro,
while in the middle are two drums. On the far lower right (Figure
28) are two folded trumpets and a single drum as well as a third
folded trumpet in the distance slightly above and behind the two principal
trumpeters—all obviously in the act of announcing the arrival
of the dogaressa. All three trumpets have banners suspended from their
yards. The Teatro del Mondo is on the right above the trumpeters;
its passengers have already disembarked.
The third of Vicentino's representations of the coronation depicts the
dogaressa in corteo in the piazzetta of St. Mark's, though the
canopy under which Stringa says the participants processed is omitted
from the painting. Below and to the left of the campanile are
trumpeters, blowing mid-length straight trumpets (Figure
29) in all directions. Below and to the right of the campanile
is a battery of mid-length straight trumpets with their bells pointed
high in the air and blowing in a single direction (Figure
Vicentino's paintings depict two types of trumpet: 1) full-size folded
trumpets, serving a symbolic heraldic role at the edge of the second
painting; and 2) mid-length straight trumpets, one also serving in a
heraldic function in the first painting, and others as an integral part
of the dogaressa's entourage, announcing her presence in St. Mark's
square in the third painting. These latter are most likely the trumpets
accompanied by drums in Stringa's description of the procession arriving
at the home of the dogaressa to escort her to St. Mark's and which later,
together with drums and pifferi, formed wings to the entrance
of the church. Stringa also mentions a separate group of trombe corte
d'argento, instruments not illustrated in any of the Vicentino paintings.
These instruments may well have been even smaller than the mid-length
straight trumpets, perhaps the size of the elegant trumpet depicted
by Bernardo Strozzi in his Personification of Fame, now in the
National Gallery in London (http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/cgi-bin/WebObjects.dll/CollectionPublisher.woa/wa/work?workNumber=NG6321).
Such instruments would have been quite high pitched, probably a
fifth above the mid-length trumpets (see section
42). [Return to: paragraph 29.2,
Yet another depiction of the coronation festivities appears in an engraving
by Franco published in the Habiti of 1610 (Figure
In this illustration, the Bucintoro occupies center stage.
The dogaressa in her crown (cornu) can be seen at the rear of
the barge, together with some of her attending noblewomen, themselves
crowned by elaborate, doubly pointed hairdos. Other gentlewomen (nobilissima
schiera di gentildonne pomposamente vestite) are transported in
the octagonal pavilion, the Teatro del Mondo. The entire naval
procession is headed from the Grimani palace to the piazzetta. Franco's
engraving, therefore, fills in the temporal gap between the embarkation
of the dogaressa from her palace and her disembarkation at the piazzetta,
both scenes painted by Vicentino and described in detail by Stringa.
Instruments appear throughout this engraving. Toward the stern of the
Bucintoro, near the dogaressa, three of the pifferi del doge
can be seen with their instruments, probably shawms, extending outside
the boat. In the foreground the scene is announced by the symbolic heraldic
trumpet on the left—in this case a mid-length straight trumpet
with an especially wide bell—and an equally symbolic drum on the
right. A statuette with a similar symbolic trumpet surmounts the dome
of the Teatro del mondo. More realistic, because they accord
with actual Venetian practice, are the single mid-length straight trumpets
on two of the smaller boats situated above-left and above-right of the
pavilion. Signal trumpets on boats were commonplace in Venice, as discussed
There is also an independent engraving of the Bucintoro in the
bacino by Franco in the Museo Correr, inscribed "Prospetiva et
Apparato nella Piazza di S. Marco col Nobilissimo et Gran Vascel Bucintoro
nel quale la Ser.ma Dogaressa Moresina
Grimani fu condotta dalla Ill.ma Sig.ria
dal suo nel Ducal Palazzo . . ." (Figure
32). Once again, the doge's pifferi, consisting of four shawms
and two trombones, are visible. In this engraving two of the instruments
are illustrated in enough detail to indicate unequivocally that they
are shawms. As in Franco's other engraving of the event, mid-length
trumpets are also shown on several boats in the flotilla, and drums
may be seen in yet other boats. A specially built ramp for disembarkation
onto the piazzetta at the upper right is populated with trumpeters and
drummers awaiting the dogaressa's arrival. Some of the trumpets are
obviously mid-length straight trumpets, but others are not clear enough
to exclude the possibility of their being folded instruments. Three
boats in the center are firing their artillery and an extensive row
of bonfires, probably the origin of fireworks, can be seen on the riva
at the top left. The Teatro del mondo is not shown in this engraving.
Once again the bottom corners of the picture are framed by a single
mid-length trumpet with an exceptionally wide bell on the left, balanced
by a single drum in the lower right-hand corner. [Return to paragraph
While the Gentile Bellini painting stems from the very beginning of
the period that is the main focus of this article, a costume book by
Giovanni Grevembroch, which includes an illustration of two trumpeters
(trombettieri) with their trombe d'argento, shows us an
eighteenth-century view of their livery and their instruments (Figure
The trumpets depicted are long, thin instruments, less than eight feet
in length, with the pair of trumpets supported near the bells by a single
boy. These instruments contrast significantly with the much larger trumpets
of the Pagan woodcut and the Franco engraving, where every instrument
is supported by a separate boy. Grevembroch's trumpets are more like
those in Bellini's Processione della Croce, though Grevembroch's
appear a little longer, and Bellini's are not supported by boys. Each
of Grevembroch's illustrations is accompanied by a written commentary;
the notes on the trombettieri summarize in a somewhat confusing
manner the history of these instruments. According to Grevembroch, the
trumpeters were in earlier times numbered among the courtiers, and were
fewer, but were then increased. At that time the trumpets were not as
long as they are at present, and were used to announce the imminent
arrival of the doge. In 1473 they were enlarged to their present size
and were carried by six comandadori for show alone without playing
them. Because they were inconveniently long they had to be supported
at the front by boys. Grevembroch also says that a confraternity of
instrumentalists had been established in the Augustinian monastic church
of San Stefano.345
Grevembroch's previous illustration in the same volume is of a representative
of the some fifty comandadori, eight of whom carried the ducal
banners in processions, followed, according to Grevembroch, by six who
carried the trombe d'argento. In his commentary to this illustration,
Grevembroch repeats aspects of his commentary on the trombettieri,
saying that the trumpets had once weighed 24 marche, then were
rebuilt by Nicolò Marcello in the fifteenth century at the size
that they are at present, and that at one time they had been supported
on the shoulders of boys.346
Since Grevembroch's book is a costume book, it is possible to compare
the costumes of his trombettieri and comandadori with
those in Bellini's painting, Pagan's xylograph, and Franco's engraving.
The costumes of Bellini's trumpet players are somewhat varied, but resemble
more Grevembroch's trombettieri than his comendadori, while
the standard bearers directly in front of the trumpeters in Bellini's
painting are clearly wearing Grevembroch's comandadori costume.
In the Pagan woodcut, the trumpeters wear a costume similar to the comandadori,
but without the golden medallion specified by Grevembroch and worn by
Pagan's comandadori (in the woodcut, all but two of the comandadori
wear a cape shorter than that borne by the trumpeters). In Franco's
engraving, the trumpeters are wearing shorter capes than the comandadori
and possibly a different beret.
to the trombettieri, Grevembroch also illustrates a suonatore
di piffero, who holds a shawm of the size typically used in Venetian
34). Grevembroch's illustration of a shawm is no more detailed than
Pagan's (Figure 15).
In his commentary on this instrument, Grevembroch remarks that it was
the custom at four special banquets, on the Bucintoro, and on
ceremonial barges (nelli Peatoni) to add two silver trumpets
and several trombones to the pifferi so that the sinfonia
would sound more melodious and noisy (for a depiction of such barges
and added instruments, see Figure
In other words, outside of their role in state processions, the pifferi
were often joined by other instruments when they performed atmospheric
or banquet music. The silver trumpets mentioned by Grevembroch in this
context were definitely not the trombe d'argento del doge—which
were used only for processions—but rather shorter, very likely
folded, trumpets, suitable for chamber music, also made of silver. Grevembroch
clearly distinguishes these instruments from trombones. [Return to note
Andrea Vincentino's "Embarkation of the Dogaressa" and "Disembarkation
of the Dogaressa" as well as the two Franco engravings discussed above
picture their heraldic trumpets in accord with a convention that placed
such instruments in the lower left or the lower right-hand corner of
a painting or engraving. Often the trumpet or trumpets are accompanied
by a drum or balanced by a drum in the opposite corner of the illustration.
In Francesco Maffei's "Procession for the Translation of Relics" in
the Old Duomo of Brescia, likely from the second quarter of the seventeenth
century, a group of folded trumpets as heralds appear in the lower right-hand
corner. Another example of a single folded trumpet and drum appears
in a genre painting by Matteo Ponzoni of "The Adoration of the Magi"
from 1629, now in the Museo Civico in Treviso.348
The trumpet and drum at the far right are symbols of royalty—the
three kings. In a long, but not very tall painting from before 1631
by Matteo Ingoli depicting the disembarkation of the newly elected
Doge Tommaso Mocenigo (1414–1423), a trumpet and drum are positioned
on the left hand side.349
In Jacopo Palma the Younger's "The Crusaders Assault Constantinople"
in the doge's palace in Venice (Figure
35) a single folded trumpet appears in the lower left-hand corner
and another near the bow of the large ship, while a large drum appears
in the foreground on the right. Another example of a folded trumpet
and drums as part of a public ceremony, this time fully integrated with
the central event, can be seen in Pietro Damini's painting (c. 1619–21)
of Captain Silvestro Valier receiving the keys of his command, hanging
in the City Hall of Padua. On the left of the central figures is a large
drum without trumpet, and on the right a folded trumpet with a drum
just beneath (Figure
36 and Figure
37). Again the trumpet and drums serve as icons for the military
connotations of the ceremony. [Return to: paragraph
The folded trumpets in the Ponzoni, Damini, and Le Clerc paintings,
as well as in Vicentino's "Disembarkation of the Dogaressa," are all
of the type well-known from Nuremberg makers of the sixteenth century.
However, there were other sources of folded trumpets as well, some of
which have only recently been discovered.350
The predecessor of such folded instruments was the S-shaped trumpet
2.1). S-shaped trumpets can be seen in the center of a famous painting
by Vittore Carpaccio of the "Ten Thousand Crucified on Mount Ararat"
from 1515 in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice.351
Numerous iconographical sources from throughout Europe depict such instruments,
which were still in occasional use early in the sixteenth century but
were soon fully supplanted by folded instruments.352
[Return to paragraph 41.2.]
Despite these representations of folded trumpets, Venetian paintings
and engravings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries depict more
mid-length straight trumpets than the full-size folded variety, while
the S-shaped instrument is rather rare, reflecting its obsolescence.
Such moderate length straight trumpets had existed alongside the longer
straight busine since the latter became prominent in the period
A battery of five of these straight trumpets announces the festivities
in Carpaccio's "Meeting of Ursula and Erus and the Departure of the
Pilgrims" of 1495, the largest painting in Carpaccio's cycle of Saint
Ursula (Figure 38
and Figure 39).354
The trumpets are all of moderate length and open out more broadly in
their bells than the typical conical bell, where the increase in diameter
of the conical segment is more gradual. At least a dozen such trumpets
are scattered around the circular parapet of the Castel Sant'Angelo
in the background of another painting from this cycle, "Meeting of the
Pilgrims with the Pope."355
In the very center of yet another painting in the series, "The Martyrdom
of the Pilgrims and Funeral of Saint Ursula," a single straight trumpet
is played by a rider on horseback (Figure
The position of the rider and trumpet give the figure special prominence.
[Return to: paragraph 31.1, note
A series of seven paintings from the late seventeenth century by Alessandro
Piazza in the Museo Correr depict episodes in the life of Francesco
Morosini, a great military officer, who was doge from 1688 until 1694.
One highly detailed painting shows his departure for the Levant. At
the left, the ducal procession embarks on the Bucintoro, surrounded
by a crowd of sailing ships and gondolas of various sizes (Figure
A close-up of the large sailing ship in the foreground (Figure
41) reveals two trumpeters on the bow with mid-length straight trumpets
and what may be a group of similar trumpets with banners appended in
the lower left-hand corner. Another painting in Piazza's series shows
eight short straight trumpets about three feet long followed by two
drums in Morosini's funeral procession (Figure
In the Matteo Ingoli painting of the disembarkation of the Doge Tommasseo
Mocenigo mentioned in paragraph
27.1, the trumpet is a relatively short, straight instrument, perhaps
three feet in length, with a particularly wide bell, clearly larger
than the bells of the folded trumpets in Le Clerc's painting of the
crusade oath of Doge Enrico Dandolo (Figure
8), Vicentino's painting of the disembarkation of the dogaressa
or Damini's painting of Silvestro Valier's investiture (Figure
37). Antonio Vassilacchi detto l'Aliense's large painting from the
late sixteenth or early seventeenth century of the disembarkation in
Venice of Caterina Cornaro, queen of Cyprus, shows a single, straight
trumpet approximately three feet long with a somewhat larger than normal
bell and a single drum in the background to the right (see Figure
[Return to paragraph 40.1.]
Such straight trumpets, shorter than the old busine, appear not
only amidst realistic scenography, but also in strictly allegorical
representations, both in northern Europe and in Italy. A wooden altar
figure about 80 cm high in the Dorfkirche of Döben, dating from
1591 and probably by Franz Ditterich the Elder, consists of a putto
playing an unrealistically short straight trumpet with an unusually
wide, probably fanciful, bell.360
Several such trumpets with rather wide bells can be seen in a ceiling
by Domenico Bruni from the mid-seventeenth century in the Villa Negrelli
(on the Venetian terrafirma at Stra).361
In the early sixteenth century, Lodovico Mazzolino, a native of Ferrara
who studied in Bologna, but also possibly Venice, inserted such a trumpet,
with a conical bell, into the very center of his "Massacre of the Innocents,"
located in the Galleria Doria in Rome (see Figure
43). Similar trumpets can be seen in the Sistine Chapel in Michelangelo's
Such instruments are the vehicles for disseminating messages from heaven
or the fame of worldly figures and places. Cesare Ripa, in his Iconologia,
first published by the heirs of Giovanni Gigliotti in Rome in 1593,
then reprinted and expanded numerous times, associates the trumpet with
fame and glory (the use of trumpets as symbols of fame has already been
noted in paragraphs
13.5 and 23.4).363
One of the most beautiful contexts for the celebration of glory is Paolo
Veronese's "Triumph of Venice" of 1583 on the ceiling of the Great Council
Hall of the doge's palace.364
The winged figure at the very top of the painting holds a short straight
trumpet of fame, perhaps three feet in length. Mid-length straight trumpets
lead the parade entitled "The Triumph of Faith" in a woodcut based on
a Titian sketch.365
The straight trumpet as the symbol for broadcasting fame can be seen
in Antonio Servi's "Glorification of the Podestà Giulio
Gabriel" of 1677 in the Rotonda of Rovigo, where the message visibly
emerges from the bell of the instrument (Figure
44). Another example of such an instrument appears in Lodovico David's
painting of the Graces from the "School of the Nude" in the Palazzo
Albrizzi in Venice from around the third quarter of the seventeenth
Perhaps the most famous example of the trumpet as a symbol of fame is
Bernardo Strozzi's allegorical Personification of Fame of c.
1635–36 in the National Gallery in London (http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/cgi-bin/WebObjects.dll/CollectionPublisher.woa/wa/work?workNumber=NG6321),
already mentioned in paragraph 23.4. Strozzi portrays a finely detailed,
obviously realistic instrument of probably little more than two feet
in length held in the left hand of a young female angel. In her right
hand is an equally detailed alto shawm. [Return to paragraph
The collection of poetry for Claudio Monteverdi's funeral, published
in 1644, has a border on the frontispiece with a great variety of musical
45). Two straight trumpets as symbols for the dissemination of the
composer's fame emerge from behind the oval medallion containing an
image of Monteverdi's head. Two other trumpets are represented in the
border—an S-shaped instrument and what appears to be a folded
trumpet. Both of these as well as the two straight trumpets possess
no detail and are more allegorical than realistic; all four have unusually
The principal question raised by the iconography of musical instruments
is the accuracy with which they are depicted. Different paintings and
engravings serve different purposes, and realistic, accurate depiction
of musical instruments is not necessarily an artist's primary goal.
Several scholars have issued warnings and criteria regarding the appropriate
use of iconography in making determinations about the musical instruments
Assisting in determining the probability of accuracy of an iconographical
representation are such methods as categorizing genres of illustrations,
understanding the functions they serve, observing the accuracy of other
details, comparing an image with actual surviving instruments or with
depictions known to be accurate, and comparing a sizable number of representations
by different artists. The latter method, which James McKinnon calls
the "survey principle," is especially important when we do not have
surviving examples of instruments.368
One of the broad categories of representation comprises allegorical
scenes. Allegorical scenes often picture angels and putti in
the heavens blowing trumpets of various types and sizes. In Albrecht
Dürer's 1498 "The Seven Trumpets Are Given to the Angels" from
the Revelation of St. John, there are seven fanciful long, thin trumpets
(four of them curved) with very shallow, very wide bells.369
We can even see such a fanciful depiction of instruments in an unprepossessing
worldly context in Dürer's 1515 woodcut of a German trumpet
This excerpt from Maximilian I's prayer book shows six folded trumpets
(the positions of the players' hands strongly suggest that these are
slide instruments) with enormous, obviously exaggerated bells, created
for visual effect rather than for accuracy.
Heavenly scenes continued in popularity well into the eighteenth century,
with many examples by the Venetian Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Straight
trumpets of moderate length are featured in several of Tiepolo's ceilings,
such as "The Apotheosis of the Pisani Family" in the Museum of Fine
Arts at Angers and "The Triumph of Strength and Wisdom" in the collection
of Count Bonacossi in Florence.371
In Tiepolo's "Translation of the Holy House of Loreto" in the Gallerie
della Accademia in Venice372
and his "Coronation of the Virgin" in the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort
Worth, folded, rather than straight, trumpets are depicted.373
All four paintings are highly fanciful and allegorical in nature, and
do not offer particularly accurate representations of the trumpets.
All four display the typical widely flared bells characteristic of trumpets
in such celestial scenes, and in "The Coronation of the Virgin," the
trumpet at the bottom has a very wide throat as well.
However, the presence of an instrument in an allegorical scene does
not necessarily mean that it is a fanciful representation, nor the opposite—that
it is depicted realistically. Both approaches can be found. In fact,
in such allegorical scenes, the straight busine, often realistically
illustrated, is by far the most common instrument. Trumpets may be a
long busine, or a shorter trumpet, both visible in Fra Angelico's
"Christ Glorified in the Court of Heaven" of c.1435 in the National
Gallery in London (http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/cgi-bin/WebObjects.dll/CollectionPublisher.woa/wa/work?workNumber=NG663.1)[to
access painting, type "Angelico" in search space]. Giovanni Bellini's
"Allegory of Prudence" of c. 1490 in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in
Venice depicts a nude female figure with a small boy at the bottom left
holding a short straight trumpet while another similar trumpet is propped
against the wall in the background.374
Both trumpets display rather wide bells and are less than three feet
in length, judging by their relation to the female figure. In the foreground
another small boy plays a tiny drum, once again demonstrating the usual
association of trumpets with drums. Although the trumpets are clearly
allegorical and may be somewhat fanciful, the bell of the foreground
instrument in particular is not so wide as to be unrealistic. A simple,
but fairly realistic depiction of a folded trumpet appears in Andrea
Vicentino's "Venus in the Forge of the Cyclops" from around the turn
of the seventeenth century in the Palazzo Ducale in Venice (Figure
46). The very short trumpet in Bernardo Strozzi's "Personification
of Fame," as described in paragraphs
23.4 and 29.2, is remarkably realistic in its
detail. Giulio Carpioni's "Allegory of the Podestà Vincenzo
Dolfin" of 1647 in the Museo Civico of Vicenza (Figure
47) illustrates another rather short straight trumpet of realistic
shape and proportion but without detail.
It is by comparison with other categories of painting and engraving
that we may determine the relative accuracy of the instruments in such
allegorical scenes. The bells of these allegorical trumpets are sometimes
their most fanciful aspect. Some tend to flare out quickly into large
flat bells, which seem unlikely to have represented any actual manufacturing
practice, since the thinning of the metal to this degree would have
made it very fragile. Rather, these large flared bells represent metaphorically
the purpose of the trumpet—to broadcast to the world the glory
of God, or the divine message. Similarly, the trumpet was the standard
symbol for worldly fame. From a pictorial/metaphorical standpoint, the
large flared bell on so many of these instruments conveys the concept
of wide dissemination better than the more narrow, confining conical
bell that actual surviving instruments typically possess.375
On the other hand, an allegorical instrument is occasionally depicted
quite realistically, as in Bernardo Strozzi's Personification of
A second category of allegorical painting constitutes depictions of
religious history that are presented allegorically. In such paintings
there is often an effort to illustrate people, animals, costumes, and
instruments in a realistic manner, even if the geographical setting
may be imaginary. The Carpaccio cycle of paintings on the life of St.
Ursula (see paragraphs
9.3 and 28.1) displays
realistic figures in an imaginary physical environment, sometimes conflating
two or more temporally successive scenes in a single painting as was
so common in medieval hagiographic paintings. While many of Carpaccio's
buildings are imaginary (with the notable exception of the Castel Sant'Angelo),
the cycle is replete with elaborate, accurate and minutely detailed
depictions of several different kinds of contemporary sailing vessels.
Numerous other features, such as costumes and animals, are just as detailed
and realistic as the ships, and there is no reason to think that the
musical instruments, though not a principal focus of attention, are
not equally realistic.376
In religious historical paintings and engravings such as these, we can
assume that the instruments pictured may well be closely representative
of those actually in existence at the time the work was executed. Here
the question is just how careful or accurate in detail a particular
painter or engraver was. For example, we have already seen how Matteo
Pagan's detailed illustration of a ducal procession, despite its precision
in displaying costumes and most of the ducal insignia, is neither detailed
nor careful when it comes to the musical instruments (see section
17). Nevertheless, even if some details may be inaccurate, the general
shape of an instrument is likely to be more realistic in such illustrations
than in allegorical heavenly scenes. Another factor distinguishing heavenly
allegories from worldly, historical allegories, is that the heavenly
allegory became a tradition of genre painting, so that the long busine,
with or without flared bell, became a standardized iconographical element
in such paintings and continued to appear long after such instruments
had passed out of practical use. This iconographical tradition is less
likely to be a consideration in more earthly allegories.
An even more reliable genre with regard to accuracy of representation
comprises paintings and engravings of actual historical events that
attempt to record these events as memorials or souvenirs for the participants
and for posterity. In contrast to other cities in Italy, Venice is fortunate
to be represented by remarkably detailed paintings and engravings of
a number of specific processions and other civic events, such as those
described in sections 16–24.
These illustrations all tend to realism in their depictions of the figures,
costuming, instruments, and physical setting, intending to record these
aspects of an event as accurately as possible. Nevertheless, detailed
realism in one feature of an illustration may not be accompanied by
equally detailed realism in another, as we have already seen with respect
to Pagan's woodcut (see section
Numerous details of Vicentino's paintings of the coronation of the dogaressa
correspond closely with the description of the event by Giovanni Stringa,
but Vicentino's representation of the procession in the piazzetta (Figure
48) dispenses with the canopy under which everyone marched, unequivocally
described by Stringa.378
The realism of Vicentino's scene of the disembarkation of the dogaressa
onto the piazzetta also does not prevent its possessing allegorical
28). The trumpeters and drummers are positioned or "staged" symbolically
on the canvas, but represent realistically the role trumpets and drums
would have played in such a procession (as indeed described by Stringa),
and their dimensions and shape appear unusually accurate in detail.
In fact, the trumpets depicted by Vicentino are virtually identical
to the one illustrated by Praetorius in his Theatrum Instrumentorum
of 1620, published as an appendix to his second volume of the Syntagma
49, item 10).379
Marin Mersenne's 1635 engraving of a trumpet is very similar (Figure
They are also virtually identical to the surviving examples from German
workshops illustrated below. There is no reason, therefore, not to consider
Vicentino's representations of mid-length trumpets accurate as well.
[Return to paragraph 40.1.]
to Part III
For a commentary, never finished, on this series of nine paintings
(only eight of which survive), see Ludovico Zorzi, "L'immagine della
città nel ciclo di San Giovanni Evangelista," ed. Elvira Garbero
Zorzi, Biblioteca Teatrale 19/20 (1990): 33–62. The series,
now housed in gallery XX of the Gallerie dell'Accademia, was commissioned
from Gentile Bellini's shop around 1494, with Bellini himself executing
three of them. Zorzi's incomplete article, unfortunately, does not
address Bellini's Processione as an individual work. Sansovino,
in his account of the scuola, describes the original locations
of all nine paintings. See Sansovino/Martinioni, Venezia città
See Sandra Moschini Marconi, Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia:
Opere d'arte dai secoli XIV e XV (Rome: Istituto Poligrafica dello
Stato, 1955), 61–63.
These singers and instrumentalists were identified by Howard Brown
as the musical establishment of the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista.
See Howard M. Brown, "On Gentile Bellini's Processione in San Marco,"
International Musicological Society Report, Berkeley, 1977 (Kassel:
Bärenreiter, 1981), 649–58. A close-up detail of these
musicians is reproduced in Jonathan Glixon, "Music at the Venetian
Scuole Grandi," Music in Medieval and Early Modern Europe,
199. A color reproduction of this portion of the painting can be found
in Luisi, Laudario Giustinianeo II, plates XVII–XVIII.
A close-up of the trumpeters and pifferi serves as the dust
jacket of Arnold, Giovanni Gabrieli. A recent study of this
painting, concentrating on the musicians of the scuola, is
Rodolfo Baroncini, "Voci e strumenti nella 'processione in piazza
San Marco': considerazioni metodologiche in margine a un celebre dipinto
di Gentile Bellini," Fonti musicali italiane 5 (2000): 77–87.
Baroncini's argument is that the instrumentalists and singers performed
in free alternation rather than the instrumentalists supplying accompaniment
to the voices as assumed by other scholars. We are grateful to John
W. Hill for bringing this article to our attention.
On the enlargement of the trumpets, see notes 345
and 346. Art historians have been interested in the painting as
a representation of an earlier stage of the piazza but have not assumed
that it represents Bellini's idea of how the piazza had looked in
1444. See Marconi, Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia, I: 62.
Indeed, scholars have noted that Bellini's depiction of the piazza,
despite its detail, is not wholly accurate; the campanile was somewhat
displaced to give a more open view of the ducal palace, whose windows
are not represented quite accurately. See Rodolfo Baroncini, "Voci
e strumenti," 86; and Edoardo Arslan, "Qualche appunto sul palazzo
ducale di Venezia," Bollettino d'Arte, ser. 5, 50 (1965): 58.
Zorzi, in discussing one of the other paintings in the series, notes
the deliberately archaic clothing on the figures in relation to the
clothing styles of the late 15th
century. See Zorzi, "L'immagine della città," 48.
In his discussion of this painting, Howard Brown identifies the term
pifferi, as used in a 1564 ceremoniale, with
shawms, excluding the trombones. See his "On Gentile Bellini's Processione,"
650, especially note 6. However, as we have already seen, it was common
for the term to include the trombones as well. Bellini's depiction
of the trombone on the outside as a U-shaped double-slide trombone,
dates only six years after the first known painting of such an instrument,
Filippino Lippi's fresco, "The Assumption of the Virgin" in the church
of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. See McGee, "Misleading iconography,"
150–52. By the time of Bellini's painting (1496), the pifferi
had already expanded to six, but the painting, of course, represents
an earlier period. A list of the four pifari and two tromboni
making up the pifferi del doge in 1494–95 is published
in Baroncini, "Se canta dalli cantori," 351. Francesco Luisi attempted
to identify the names of the five players in Bellini's painting
from an archival source dated February 2, 1503, presuming that the
ensemble comprised the same personnel in 1503 as in 1496. See Luisi,
Laudario Giustinianeo, I: 467. The document names three players
of the piffaro and two of the trombone. The five players
together are referred to as Piffari del Principe, indicating
that the terms Piffari del Principe, Pifari dil Doxe, and
Pifari del Serenissimo (for the latter two, see paragraphs
33–34 on the terminology of Marin Sanudo) comprise the trombones
as well as the shawms. However, none of the names cited by Luisi concur
with the list of 1494–95 published by Baroncini. Between 1506
and 1512, the six pifferi del doge all became members of the
Scuola di Santa Maria dei Mercanti and are listed in the scuola's
mariegola along with three others who are not identified as
belonging to the doge's ensemble. See Glixon, "Con canti et organo,"
127. In Glixon, "Music at the Venetian 'Scuole grandi'," I:
210–11 and II: 74 (doc. 195), the musicians are indicated as
belonging to the Scuola Grande della Misericordia, in whose fondo
it had been mistakenly placed. The document is now in the fondo
Venice, Archivio di Stato, Scuole Piccole e Suffraggi. This list
is also published in Baroncini, ibid., 363. The list, evenly
balanced between 3 pifferi and 3 trombones, corresponds with
none of the names cited by Luisi but does agree in four of its names
with the list from 1494–95. Moreover, one of the pifari
not identified by the scuola as part of the doge's ensemble
is named among the pifferi del doge in 1494–95. The reason
for the discrepancy between the names in the 1503 list published by
Luisi on the one hand and the names shared by the lists of 1494–95
and the Scuola della Misericordia of the period 1506–1512
is a mystery. According to Baroncini, ibid., 340, pifferi ensembles
in Padua and Venice generally consisted of five or six players from
the late fifteenth century onward. As previously noted, the shawms
were likely often replaced by cornettos for indoor performances
during the 16th century, as was
the case elsewhere in Italy (see the discussion of Siena, Bologna,
Rome and Mantua in sections
4 and 5. See also Baroncini, ibid., 340–41). The evidence
of Bellini's painting, Pagan's xylograph, and the woodcuts of Amman,
Franco, and Van der Aa , however, indicates that whereas the doge's
pifferi ensemble may have played cornettos and trombones in
St. Mark's and for festivities in the palace, the louder and more
pungent shawms were still used for outdoor processions.
Return to note 255.
See David Rosand and Michelangelo Muraro, Titian and the Venetian
Woodcut, Catalogue of Exhibition organized and circulated by International
Exhibitions Foundation, 1976–1977, 281–82. Rosand and
Muraro utilized a copy of the Pagan print in the British Museum (1860-4-14-167).
Muir, Civic Ritual, 194, cites a few discrepancies between
Pagan's woodcut and the order designated by the Ceremoniale del
Doge, which he ascribes to aesthetic considerations. These include
the separation of the pifferi from the trombe d'argento
by the retainers of the foreign ambassadors, the displacement
of the Grand Chancellor and the maintenance of the pairing of persons
instead of crowding three abreast at some points in the corteo.
There would normally have been three abreast where two squires carried
the doge's gold faldstool and the doge's gold cushion, flanking the
ballotino (a boy who had been selected to handle election ballots),
as well as where the doge was flanked by the imperial ambassador and
the papal legate. Pagan places the ambassadorial servants between
the trombe d'argento and the pifferi, while the mid-16th-century
documents cited in note
304 indicate that the pifferi followed directly after the
trombe d'argento as they do in the Bellini Processione.
On the other hand, Sansovino, in 1581, placed the comandatori
between the trumpets and the pifferi. See Sansovino/Martinioni,
Venezia città nobilissima, 493. The order of elements
in the Ceremoniale del Doge, Pagan's woodcut and an engraving
by Giacomo Franco (see section
19) are compared in Table
See the discussion of the shapes of slide trumpets and the double-slide
trombone in McGee, "Misleading iconography," 152–53.
Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca, con tre indici delle voci,
locuzioni, e proverbi Latini, e Greci, posti per entro l'opera (Venice:
Giovanni Alberti, 1612), 909. "Tromba. Strumento di fiato, proprio
della milizia, fatto d'ottone. . . E Trombone diciamo a uno strumento
musicale di fiato." For the distinction between "musical" trumpets
with slides and signaling trumpets, see Keith Polk, "The Trombone
in Archival Documents," 24–31. The ambiguity of terminology
regarding trumpets and trombones is discussed in notes
67 and 80.
John Florio, Queen Anna's New World of Words, or Dictionarie of
the Italian and English tongues . . . London, Printed by Melch.
Bradwood, for Edw. Blount and William Barret. Anno 1611, 581.
Facs. ed. Menston, England: The Scolar Press Limited, 1968.
Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca . . . Quinta impressione
(Venice: Francesco Pitteri, 1741). Even as late a dictionary
as Giulio Cappuccini and Bruno Migliorini, Vocabolario della lingua
italiana (Turin: G.B. Paravia & c., 1953), 1702, lists trombone
under the term tromba and describes it as "la più
grossa delle trombe." The diaries of Marin Sanudo often
mention trombe et pifferi or trombe, pifferi et cornetti
when referring to wind instruments, though Sanudo also occasionally
uses the term trombone. See sections
33–34 for our discussion of Sanudo's references and terminology.
Jonathan Glixon, in a personal communication, has noted that non-musical
Venetian writers often refer to the trombone by the generic term tromba.
On the other hand, contemporaneous descriptions of musical events
often distinguish unequivocally between trombe and tromboni,
not only as distinctly separate instruments, but also as performing
quite separate functions. For a large number of such documents, see
Stefani, Musica e religione nell'Italia barocca; and idem,
Musica barocca: poetica e ideologia, 32–34, 61–65.
For a discussion of the history of terminology regarding trumpets
and trombones, see Polk, "The Trombone in Archival Documents."
The Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca of 1612, 910,
defines Trombetta as "Dim. Di tromba." The term may
also be used for a player of the trumpet: "Per sonator di tromba."
The alternative spelling "Trombetto" is also given. One of
the literary quotations in this entry distinguishes between trombe
and trombette: "Fece sonare trombe, e trombette, e mandò
bando, che ogni huomo cavalcasse verso, ec." The meaning of
trombetti in Florentine documents is discussed in note
67. For Praetorius' apparently unique identification of trombetti
as trombones, see note
80. For further discussion of terminology, see section
Domino du Cange, Glossarium Mediae et Infimae Latinitatis,
rev. ed. Leopold Favre, 1883–1887 (facs. ed. Graz : Akademische
Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1954). We are grateful to Stewart Carter
for this reference. The ancient barbiton was a lyre-like instrument
with longer arms than the lyre and with the yoke above the strings
rather than crossing the strings. See James W. McKinnon, "Barbiton,"
The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments (London: Macmillan
Publishers, Ltd., 1984), I: 156.
A detail of this work was published in Patricia Fortini Brown, Renaissance
in Venice (London: Everyman Art Library, 1997), 88, plate 59.
An engraving in the doge's palace, executed in 1729 by the sculptor
Antonio Coradin, features the Bucintoro in great detail as
it sails outward for the Feast of the Sensa. Coradin pinpoints
the position on the boat of each element from the ducal procession
with numbers and a table. The eight commandatori with the standards,
the six commandatori "wearing red berets" with their trombe
d'argento, and the piffari "dressed in red and [playing]
with sweet harmony" are all crowded into the bow of the ship, while
the doge occupies the stern, as in all other depictions of the Bucintoro.
The engraving is reproduced in Knezevich, Il magnifico principe,
The print is dedicated to Vincenzo II Gonzaga 1. January, 1610.
On the ceremony and origins of the doge's annual Christmas eve and
Christmas day andate to San Giorgio Maggiore, see Urban, Processioni
e feste dogali, 105–7.
That there had been sets of trombe d'argento of different sizes
is clear from Sansovino and Grevembroch (see notes 345
The engraving is identified as the work of Van Vianen in Urban, Processioni
e feste dogali, plate 12. In other sources, it is identified as
the work of Pieter van der Aa. Van der Aa was a Dutch publisher of
the early 18th century who purchased,
plagiarized and published under his own name plates from a number
of engravers, the origins of many of which cannot now be traced. The
largest of his collections was La galérie agréable
du Monde, published in 66 parts in Leiden in 1729. See the introduction
to Europäische Städte-Ansichten um 1700 (Hamburg:
Harry v. Hofmann Verlag, 1963). The present plate is numbered 106,
but we have not yet had an opportunity to ascertain if it forms part
of La galérie.
Bartolomeo Cecchetti, Il Doge di Venezia (Venice: Prem. Stabil.
Tip. Di P. Naratovich, 1864), 275–94. For the complete text
of the "Ceremoniale del doge," giving the order of participants in
three types of procession as quoted by Cecchetti, see Document
7. Howard Brown, in "On Gentile Bellini's Processione in San
Marco," 650 cites two sources from 1564 that locate the pifferi
immediately behind the trombe d'argento: Venice, Archivio
di Stato, Procuratia d Supra di San Marco, Regolamenti Ecclesiastici
ed Amministrativi, Ceremoniali, Registro 98: "Rituum Ecclesiasticorum
Ceremoniale Iuxta Ducalis Ecclesiae S. Marci consuetudinem ex Vetustissimis
eiusdem Ecclesiae Codibus qua diligentissime undique collectum et
in ampliorem formam et ordinem novissime renovatum, Anno Domini MDLXIV",
fol. 43v: "Tibicines Cum tubis longis argenteis, deinde Tibicines
Domini Ducis cum Tubis ductilibis" ("Long silver trumpets,
then the trombones of the Lord Doge"); and Ceremoniale, fol.
76, "Gli Ordini con li quali Il Serenissimo Principe va con li stendardi,
e segni Trionfali": "Poi seguitano 6 Trombe de Arzento longhe à
ciascuna delle quali pende un segno de seda stricado d'oro con l'arme
domestiche del serenissimo Principe con il corno Ducal sopraposto.
2 altre trombe storte d'arzento, all'una e all'altra delle quali pende
un segno purpureo con l'arma del Serenissimo Principe e 3. Piffari."
("Then follow 6 long silver trumpets from each of which hangs
a silk banner striped with gold with the personal arms of the doge
and the ducal crown above. 2 other silver trombones, from each of
which hangs a purple banner with the arms of the doge, and 3 cornettos.").
The engraving of Vianen discussed in section
20 also places the pifferi immediately after the sei
Return to note 290.
Return to Table1.
Edward Muir has compiled an order of procession based on five separate
sources, which differs in some details from all three versions of
Table 1. See Muir, Civic Ritual, 190–93. Muir gives a
detailed account of the evolution of Venetian processions and the
protocols that governed their order on pp. 185–211.
Despite the elaborate protocols for processions, the obligations of
various groups were evidently ignored or evaded at times. For example,
in the early 1580s, the Procuratori sought to lighten their burden
of participation in so many processions by rotating their representation
in the ducal corteo on a fixed schedule. At times they even
seem to have gone unrepresented altogether. In November 1581 the Council
of Ten criticized the Procuratori for not participating adequately
in processions to the embarrassment of the Republic and set fines
for future infractions. See Edwards, "Claudio Merulo," 152–53.
The ceremonial for the ducal cortege was revised during the first
half of the 16th century, after
which there were few changes until the end of the republic in 1797.
See Urban, Processioni e feste dogali, 182–83.
All three chroniclers were eyewitnesses to the festivities. Giovanni
Stringa's account was published some seven years after the fact in
his 1604 enlargement of Sansovino's Venetia città nobilissima
and reprinted in Sansovino/Martinioni, Venetia città
nobilissima, 416–32. The other two descriptions, published
immediately, are Giovanni Rota, Lettera nella quale si descrive
l'ingresso nel palazzo ducale della serenissima Morosina Morosini
Grimani prencipessa di Vinetia. Co' la ceremonia della rosa benedetta,
mandatale à donare dalla santità di nostro Signore
(Venice, 1597); and Dario Tutio, Ordine et modo tenuto nell'incoronatione
della serenissima Moresina Grimani dogaressa di Venetia. L'anno MDXCVII
adi 4 di maggio. Con le feste e giochi fatti (Venice, 1597). Several
other documents relevant to various facets of the ceremonies are cited
in the most complete modern account of the event by Giovanni Pompe
Molmenti, La Dogaressa di Venezia (Turin, 1884), 285–305.
The ceremonies are also concisely described in Muir, Civic Ritual,
293–96, and Urban, Processioni e feste dogali, 210–15.
Sansovino/Martinioni, Venetia città nobilissima, 417;
Tutio, Ordine et modo, 4. The tradition of the coronation of
the dogaressa is described in Muir, Civic Ritual, 289–98,
and in Urban, Processioni e feste dogali, 205–7. The
fundamental study of the dogaressas is Molmenti, La Dogaressa di
Venezia. See also Edgcumbe Staley, The Dogaressas of Venice
(London: T. Werner Laurie, 1910), which relies heavily on Molmenti.
For Stringa's complete account of this event, see Document
11. Stringa's description is based in part on Giovanni Rota's
even more comprehensive and detailed Lettera (see note 308),
including passages taken directly or obviously paraphrased from Rota.
Nevertheless, there is much that is worded differently in Stringa's
account, and Stringa is considerably more detailed with regard to
the liturgical ceremonies inside St. Mark's. It appears that Stringa
used Rota's Lettera as a reminder of many details, though Stringa
clearly had extensive notes of his own. Tutio's account is not chronological,
like the others, and offers more detail on the decoration of rooms
in the ducal palace by the artisans' guilds and on the many decorated
boats of various sizes that took part in the festivities.
Rota, Lettera, : ". . . àpena era uscito il Sole,
che si cominciò, per tutta la Città, udire, in segno
delle future feste, tal rumor de tamburi, e suon de trombe, che pareva
che due grandissimi esserciti fussero per azzuffarsi insieme."
Tutio, Ordine et modo, 11: "Li Senseri, con tutto che non armassero
il loro Bergantino con tanta solennità, & vaghezza, era
non dimeno, à guisa di guerra, molto ben fornito di gente,
& d'arme diverse, con una bella livrea, co'l Fanò lavorato
con oro, con Trombe & Tamburri, che come particolar capi de gli
altri, procedevano con grandezza sempre con suoni, & tiri d'Artiglieria."
See also Tutio, Ordine et modo, 13: ". . . andorono con musiche,
Trombe, & Tamburri . . ."
Tutio, Ordine et modo, 14: ". . . i Signori ascesero sopra
il marabile Bucentoro, di novi banchi, à questo fine accresciuto,
sopra alquale erano di già dodeci Trombetti, & altretanti
Tamburri . . . e questi sonavano & quelli battevano, con generale
giubilo di tutti. . . . s'inviorno verso à Cà Grimani;
& nel partirsi dalla ripa, furon da Galere, da Navi grosse, &
da altri Navigli, che, à guisa di meza gran Luna s'erano accommodati,
con una gran salva d'artiglieria salutati, sonandosi d'ogni intorno
alla distesa le campane."
Sansovino/Martinioni, Venetia, città nobilissima, 417:
". . . se n'andarono al Bucintoro, nel quale ascesi, giunsero con
quello, & con le piatte Ducali alla casa propria del Doge, posta
à San Luca sopra il canal grande; dove giunti, al suono di
trombe, e di tamburi, & allo strepito di molte artiglierie ascesero
tutte le scale, & pervenuti di sopra nella Sala, il Cavaliere
del Doge andò à levar la Prencipessa.." The trumpets
playing with drums would not have been the six silver trumpets of
the doge, but either folded trumpets or mid-length trumpets which
participated in many kinds of processions, as noted several times
Rota, Lettera, : "andarono prima dodici, tamburi,
et dodici trombe, sei pifferi . . . ." The pifferi are the
six pifferi of the doge (including an unspecified number of
trombones), as noted in Tutio, Ordine et modo, 15, who includes
in his description the doge's silver trumpets as well: "Finita questa
ceremonia, [in the Grimani palace] le gentildonne cominciorno à
discendere le scale facendo spaliera alla Serenissima, laquale si
presentò per entrare in Bucentoro con quest' ordine; li primi,
oltre li Trombetti & li Tamburri, che già v'erano, furono
i Piffari della Serenissima Signoria, vestiti di panno scarlatto alla
longa, poi le Trombe d'argento . . ."
Rota, Lettera, : [G]rande, & maraviglioso fù
lo strepito, che si levò nel comparir, ch'Ella fece, &
sentìsi in un subito mirabili, & dolci suoni di molti stromenti,
ch'empivan l'aria d'accordati concerti, & l'aria stessa, rimbombando
nella concavità de' vaselli, accresceva la melodia del suono."
Rota, Lettera, . After a detailed description of the vessel
and its two corridors, one inside and one outside the columns, Rota
says "sopra li corritori stavano 24 huomini, che suonavano trombe,
& toccavano tamburi, che in vero pur troppo bella, et dilettevole
vista rendeva." According to Tutio, Ordine et modo, p. 5, "dalla
parte dinanzi su la prospettiva, stavano sei Trombetti benissimo vestiti
à livrea di verde con oro, & sei altri erano posti su quella
di dietro, liquali, à vicenda sempre sonavano."
Tutio, Ordine et modo, 16: "Giunto per canale il Bucentoro
à vista di San Marco, fu salutato da più da quattrocento
pezzi d'Artiglieria, & al suono di gran quantità di Trombe,
& al strepito di gran numero di Tamburri."
Rota, Lettera, [23–24]: "v'era la Fama, che, postasi
la tromba alla bocca, risuonar faceva per tutto'l mondo il grido,
et le lodi della Sereniss. Prencipessa." Other trumpets of fame were
depicted on the reverse side of the arch and on an arch at the entrance
to the ducal palace. Ibid., pp. [27–28]. See also Tutio, Ordine
et modo, 12: "in mezo loro la Fama con la Tromba alla bocca."
Sansovino/Martinioni, Venetia città nobilissima, 420:
" . . . tutti ornatamente vestiti di seta à livrea, i quali
caminavano a due a due con le loro insegne per distinguer un'arte
dall'altra, portate da Alfieri in modo, che rassembravano un'esercito:
seguivano poi ventiquattro huomini vestiti a livrea, che sonavano
di tamburi, e di trombe, & altri dodici, che il simil facevano
con piffari, & con trombe corte d'argento, vestiti di scarlato
. . ."
Rota's description in the Lettera, , was likely the source
of Stringa's: "seguivano ventiquattro con tamburi, e con trombe, c'havevano
le vesti all Unghera, di seta cremesina, & d'oro, con maniche
di raso giallo, piene di cordelle d'argento; sei con pifferi, con
lunghe vesti di scarlato, & altri sei con trombe corte d'argento,
vestiti allo stesso modo."
Return to note 173.
Sansovino/Martinioni, Venetia città nobilissima, 421:
". . . fu all'arrivo de i tamburi aperta, i quali facendo ala, insieme
con quelli dalle trombe, & piffari, lasciarono entrare in Chiesa
tutte le predette Gentildonne, che si accommodarono sopra diverse
banche, poste da ambi i lati della Chiesa per quest'effetto; ma nell'entrar
che fece la Prencipessa in Chiesa le fu fatta una salva bellissima
d'arcobugi dalla predetta compagnia di Bombardieri, che erano alla
porta, sonando i tamburi, i piffari, e le trombe, che facevano rimbombar
l'aere d'una soave melodia ."
Rota, Lettera, [32–33]: ". . . et dopo à porsi
nella sedia del Doge, & subito nell'organo, et nel pergamo da'
cantori, (quali con suoni, e canti fecero musica soavissima mentre
Ella stette in chiesa, fuor che nel tempo, che si fecero le cerimonie)
fù detto il Cantico Te Deum laudamus, quale finito,
sendosi di già incaminati avanti li tamburi, con tutto il resto
della corte, & le gentildonne coll'ordine sopradetto, si drizzò
Ella, seguita da' Senatori, come dissi, verso la porta di San Giacomo
. . . et uscita fuori, salì per la scala Foscara . . ." See
also Tutio, Ordine et modo, 16, who likewise mentions the Te
Rota, Lettera, [33–34]: " . . . qui fù, con bellissima
musica, recevuta dal Castaldi, & compagni della scola d'essi barbieri,
con parole di gran riverenza . . . passò avanti, di mano, in
mano, per tutti gli altri luoghi, che quì sotto anderò
discrivendo, & da' Castaldi, & compagni di quelle arti, che
li havevano addobbati, & che stavano alla loro banca, sopra ricche
seggiole di veluto, à sedere, aspetando ch'ella venisse, fù
con suoni, pieni d'infinita dolcezza, incontrata . . ."
Rota, Lettera, : " . . . la dolce armonia de' liuti, cornetti,
pifferi, viuole, & altri variati stromenti, che s'udì sempre
in tutti i luoghi, mentre passò la Serenità Sua . .
." See also Tutio, Ordine et modo, 16.
Tutio, Ordine et modo, 7: "Seguivano, à questi gli Orefici,
che con Trombe, & Tamburi se ne stavano con molta ricchezza nel
appartamento . . . Li Sartori erano nell'officio della Petitione (cosi
detto) . . . con Trombe & Tamburi, & molti giuovani sfoggiatamenti
vestiti . . . Nell'officio dell'Essaminatore, vi erano i Calegari
. . . con vari strumenti musicali, per i quali danzarono gran parte
della notte, come gli altri."
Tutio, Ordine et modo, 7–9: "Li Merceri habbero l'officio
del Forastiero . . . con Musica eletta de' suoni, & canti. . .
Li Spadari erano presso questi [li Varottieri] nell'Officio del Procuatore
. . . da concerto soavissimo musicale accompagnati. . . . Li Tintori
erano nell'Officio del Catavero . . . accompagnata d'un dolce commertio
di Liuti, & delicate voci, che à tempo à tempo si
facevano udire. . . i Pistori, i quali come tutti di natione Tedesca,
havevano fuori una gran Bindiera spiegata, con trombe, tamburri, &
Rota, Lettera, : "Venuto il seguente giorno, s'udi l'usato
strepito de' tamburi, e trombe per tutta la Città, et si vide
li bergantini, et le barche di prima, andar sù, et giù
per i canali suonando, e cantando, con grande allegrezza."
Rota, Lettera, : "Comparvero, su'l mezo giorno, in corte,
li dodici tamburi, et le dodici trombe della Serenissima, et cominciarono
à dar segno della futura festa, che quel giorno devevasi fare
nella bellissima sala del Gran Conseglio . . ."
Sansovino/Martinioni, Venetia città nobilissima, 428.
Stringa describes the filing in and seating arrangement of various
noble wives and gentlewomen, "avanti la quale i tamburi, le trombe,
& i piffari sonando andavano . . ." Although Stringa is
not entirely clear about the succession of events in this passage,
it seems that the drums, trumpets, and piffari actually led
the procession to their seats inside St. Mark's. Rota's description
in the Lettera, [49–50] is more concerned with the details
of the accompanying entourage, but also is suggestive with regard
to the possibility of the instruments leading the procession into
St. Mark's: ". . . la Serenità della Prencipessa calò
à basso, [from the ducal palace] et venne in chiesa col solito
suon de tamburi, piferi, e trombe, con gli commandatori innanzi seguiti
dal chierico, & capellano della Serniss. . . entrata in questa
maniera in chiesa per la porta grande, andò alla sua sede .
Sansovino/Martinioni, Venetia città nobilissima, 429:
"Et il Nuncio ascendendo l'Altare, & quello incensando, come ordinano
le Rubriche del sacro Messale, s'incominciò à cantar
Messa, con quella maggiore solennità di ceremonie, e di canti,
& suoni, che in sì fatta occasione si ricercava."
Tutio, Ordine et modo, 19: ". . . uscendo la Serenissima di
Chiesa per la porta grande verso la piazza con l'istesso ordine, che
era entrata con piffari, trombe, & tamburi innanti con la solita
Tutio, Ordine et modo, 19: " . . . se n'andò in palazzo
. . . dove era apparecchiato un solennissimo banchetto . . . dove
fra tanti altri trattenimenti, questo gratiosissimo vi fu, che all'armonia
di bene concertate delicate voci, si ballavano dilettevoli balletti
alla forastiera, con i suoi tempi, che resero molto gusto à
Rota, Lettera, : ". . . al suono di molte trombe, se ne
vennero alla volta della moltitudine de' vaselli . . . compagnando
sempre cotai giuochi con molti suoni de trombe, et de tiri d'artiglieria,
oltre il grido de' circostanti spettatori . . ."
Rota, Lettera, : ". . . variati suoni de' bellici et musici
stromenti . . ." Tutio, Ordine et modo, 6, describes a banquet
and journey down the Grand Canal: " . . . fu per farvi sopra un sontuoso,
& lauto convito con l'intervento di Quaranta gentildonne, il terzo
giorno di sera, & con copia grande di lumi, & Varie eletissime
musicali armonie, in vista quasi di tutta la Città, girar pian
piano con diletto universale, il Canal grande, & farvi dopò
la Cena novi & gratiosi trattenimenti."
Rota, Lettera, : "Già si cominciava à sentire
un'infinità de trombe, et tamburi, che suonavano per molte
parti della Città . . ."
Rota, Lettera, : ". . . mà gran parte di quelle
gentildonne, ch'erano con la Serenissima, dopo che Ella parti, entrò
nella sala di Piovego, nell'officio de' Signori di notte al criminale,
et in altre stanze del corritore, per udir il suono, che in ogn'uno
de quei luoghi si sentiva, et quì, venuti molti de' Compagni,
et altri nobili, con la libertà della sera precendente, et
al solito lume de' torci, diedesi principio à diversi balli
gustevoli, et quieti, che durarono, con universal contento, fino alla
tre hore di notte."
Tutio, Ordine et modo, 20: "La mattina seguente, che fu il
Mercordì, il Sereniss. Prencipe, conforme il solito, se n'andò
per il palazzo, dove ritrovando tutti i luoghi dell'Arti ancor preparati,
nel modo già detto, con musiche di suoni, & canti, con
parole affabili . . ."
Rota, Lettera, : " . . . impedita dalla pioggia, &
dal vento, metter all'ordine la sontuosissima cena, c'havevano preparata,
nel Portico Argonautico, per le mogli, & parenti loro, et per
le persone proprie co' musiche, et balli, che in essa dissegnavano
fare sù per lo canal grande: l'ordinarono nella gran casa de'
Foscari, in volta di canale, ove splendidamente cenarono insieme,
consumando parte della notte in giuochi, suoni, canti, et balli, con
gran diletto, & gioia."
Biographical information on Vicentino can be found in Adolfo Venturi,
Storia dell'arte italiana IX: La pittura del Cinquecento, Parte
IV (Milan: Ulrico Hoepli, 1929), 638–51.
The first painting in Vicentino's sequence is entitled "Imbarco della
Dogaressa Morosini," and the second bears the title "Lo sbarco della
Dogaressa Morosina Morosini." See Giovanni Mariacher, Il Museo
Correr di Venezia: dipinti dal XIV al XVI secolo (Venice: Neri
Pozza, 1957), 114–15, who lists only the second. We are grateful
to the auction house Beaussant-Lefèvre in Paris for information
about and a photograph of the third painting, entitled "Arrivo della
Dogaressa Morosini Grimani al Palazzo Ducale."
An independent copy of this engraving also hangs in the Museo Correr
A late 16th- or early 17th-century
painting by Leandro da Ponte, entitled La Riva degli Schiavoni,
now in the Academia San Fernando in Madrid, illustrates trumpets on
Venetian boats. The large scene shows the doge and Signoria
embarking onto the Bucintoro, docked on the Riva degli Schiavoni,
for what is probably the Feast of the Sensa. The bacino
is filled with boats of various sizes as far as the eye can see, and
the four boats in the foreground all have two trumpets and a drum
or one trumpet and a drum in addition to their approximately one dozen
passengers. These trumpets are all folded instruments, with banners
hanging from the lower yard. The painting is reproduced in Georges
Duby and Guy Lobrichon, Vita e Fasti di Venezia attraverso la pittura
(Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 1991), 128–29. See note
Giovanni Grevembroch, Gli abiti de veneziani di quasi ogni età
con diligenza raccolti e dipinti nel secolo XVIII (reprint ed.,
4 vols., Venezia: Filippi Editore, 1981), III, item 10. The original
version is in the Museo Correr, Gradenigo Dolfin 191, collocamento
no. 49. Several images from the original version are reproduced in
Denis Stevens, "Musicians in 18th-century
Venice," Early Music 20 (1992): 402–8. The image of the
two trombettieri with their trombe d'argento is on the
cover of this issue.
For Grevembroch's complete text, see Document
35. Note that Grevembroch's date of 1473 for a new set of trumpets
coincides with Sansovino/Martinioni, Venetia, città nobilissima,
479 regarding the commissioning of the new silver trumpets. Grevembroch's
own language is not always clear and it is sometimes difficult to
establish his time line for the history of these instruments.
Grevembroch, Gli abiti, III, item 9. For the full text, see
Marcello became doge in 1473. For Francesco Sansovino's summary of
the history of these trumpets, see paragraph
8.2 and Document
9. In this passage Sansovino confirms Grevembroch's statement
that earlier the trumpets were fewer in number (four) and were later
increased (to six). According to Grevembroch, the trumpets were not
actually played after their enlargement in 1473, but served only as
visual symbols of the doge's authority (see Document
35). In fact, from a decree of 1458 ordering the firing of the
doge's wind band and the hiring of five new instrumentalists, it is
clear that at least before 1473, the trumpets were indeed played.
The decree identifies by name three pifferi and two trombetti
(the latter likely referring to players of single-slide trumpets)
and orders that from their salaries this band was to maintain six
other players of the trombe d'argento, who definitely played,
rather than merely carried, their instruments. For the full text,
see Document 37.
In contrast to Grevembroch's statement about the instruments' silence
after 1473, Marin Sanudo, in referring to the silver trumpets rebuilt
by Doge Andrea Gritti in 1524, says that they "sona benissimo." See
Sanuto, I Diarii, 35, col. 387; Sanudo's full text is given
in Document 10.
Grevembroch is the only witness we know of who claims that at one
time the trumpeters did not actually play anything on these extraordinary
instruments during the course of a procession.
Return to note 143.
Return to note 149.
Return to note 287.
Return to note 302.
Grevembroch, Gli abiti, III, item 11. For Grevembroch's complete
text, see Document
38. That "brass" instruments were sometimes made of silver, or
were decorated with silver is clearly illustrated from the many references
to silver instruments in the text above and in Florentine instrument
inventories cited in Gargiulo, "Strumenti musicali alla corte medicea."
The word peatoni refers to covered barges, smaller than the
doge's elaborate Bucintoro, for transporting the doge and senators
to various sacred functions around the city. See Giuseppe Boerio,
Dizionario del Dialetto Veneziano, 2nd
ed. (Venice: Giovanni Cecchini, 1856), 485. We are grateful to Stewart
Carter, Linda Carroll, and Jonathan Glixon for this reference.
See Pallucchini, La pittura veneziana, II: 529, plate 220.
See Pallucchini, La pittura veneziana, II: 526, plate 214.
According to Pallucchini, this painting is in the Palazzo Mocenigo
in Venice (a private palace, not the Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo).
The principal literature on the Nuremberg trumpet makers includes
Jahn, "Die Nürnberger Trompeten- und Posaunenmacher im 16. Jahrhundert;"
Wörthmüller, "Die Nürnberger Trompeten- und Posaunenmacher
des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts;" idem, "Die Instrumente der Nürnberger
Trompeten- und Posaunenmacher des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts," Mitteilungen
des Vereins für Geschichte der Stadt Nürnberg 46 (1955):
372–480; Don L. Smithers, "The Trumpets of J.W. Haas: A Survey
of Four Generations of Nuremberg Brass Instrument Makers," Galpin
Society Journal 18 (1965): 23–41; and Robert Barclay, The
Art of the Trumpet-Maker. For recent discoveries of folded trumpets
manufactured elsewhere, see Geert Jan van der Heide, "The Reconstruction
of a 16th-Century Italian Trumpet," Historic Brass Society Journal
8 (1996): 42–52; and Pierre-Yves Madeuf, Jean-Francois Madeuf,
and Graham Nicholson, "A Remarkable Discovery: The Guitbert Trumpet
of 1442," Historic Brass Society Journal 11 (1999): 181–86.
Return to note 451.
See Manlio Cancogni and Guido Perocco, L'opera completa del Carpaccio
(Milan: Rizzoli, 1967), plate LXIII. Renato Meucci has published a
photograph of restored frescoes at the church of S. Pietro in Gessate
in Milan, "painted by Bernardino Butinone and Bernardo Zenale during
the 1490s" depicting an S-shaped trumpet (clearly a slide trumpet).
See Meucci, "On the Early History," 20–24.
The S-shaped trumpet was structurally weak and was gradually replaced
by the folded trumpet during the late 15th
and early 16th centuries. See Altenburg,
Untersuchungen, I: 237–38. The folded trumpet itself
first appeared shortly after 1400. See Polk, "Brass instruments,"
43. According to Edward Tarr, The Trumpet, 54, the majority
of trumpets manufactured after 1500 were of the folded variety, indicating
that the demand was increasing for these structurally stable instruments
capable of producing usable diatonic and even some chromatic tones
in higher registers.
Such an instrument may have been called a clairon or clarioune.
See Polk, "Brass instruments," 41.
For a description of this painting and its place in the cycle of St.
Ursula, see the thoroughgoing study of the entire cycle, including
numerous color photographs in close detail, in Scirè, Carpaccio,
132–77. See also Wills, Venice: Lion City, 143–44.
See Scirè, Carpaccio, 202–23; and Wills, Venice:
Lion City, 146.
See Scirè, Carpaccio, 250–83; and Wills, Venice:
Lion City, 146.
The painting is in Sala 17 of the Museo Correr, at the upper right
of a group of six small illustrations of the life of Francesco Morosini.
For a document indicating the hiring of extra instrumentalists for
the celebration of Morosini's departure, see Document
12, April 20, 1694.
Aliense's painting represents a crucial episode in the life of Caterina
Cornaro, wed by proxy at the age of fourteen to the King of Cyprus
in order to cement an alliance between Cyprus and Venice. Caterina
only embarked for Cyprus four years later, but the marriage was short-lived
since the king died just seven months afterward, and Caterina's infant
son died not long after that. Caterina ruled shakily as Queen of Cyprus
until 1489, when the Serenissima took control over the island
and forced her to return to Venice, giving her the royal reception
represented in Aliense's painting and a small kingdom in Asolo in
which to hold court (the location of Pietro Bembo's Gli Asolani).
See Wills, Venice: Lion City, 136–37. For the relationship
between Caterina and Carpaccio's cycle of paintings on the life of
St. Ursula, see note
Return to note 159.
See Imago Musicae 9/12 (1992–95): 250.
See Pallucchini, La pittura veneziana, II: 934, plate 1105.
We are grateful to Jonathan Glixon for identifying the location of
the Villa Negrelli.
We are grateful to Robert Barclay for reminding us of these trumpets.
In his account of the iconography of fame, Ripa describes a "Donna
vestita d'un velo sottile succinto a traverso" who "nella destra mano
terra una tromba." "Fama Buona" is described as "Donna con una tromba
nella mano dritta, & nella sinistra con un ramo d'oliva . . .
La tromba significa il grido universale sparso per gl'orecchi degli'huomini."
"Gloria" is represented by "Donna, con una Corona d'oro in capo, &
nela destra mano con una tromba . . . Et si dipinge con la tromba
in mano perche con essa si publicano à populi i desiderij de
Principi." See Cesare Ripa, Iconologia (reprint of 1603 Roman
ed., Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 1970), 142–43, 192. In Ripa's
Nuova Iconologia of 1618, the image of Lode shows a
mid-length trumpet in her right hand. In Ripa's text, the trumpet
"significa la Gloria e la chiarezza del nome" ("signifies the glory
and fame of the name"). The image of Stampa also carries a
somewhat larger trumpet in her right hand and the text describes the
instrument's function as "per dimostrare la fama che la stampa dà
agli scrittori illustrando le opere loro in ogni luogo" ("to demonstrate
the fame that printing gives writers by disseminating their works
everywhere"). Both images are reproduced and the text quoted in Nicoletta
Guidobaldi, "Images of music in Cesare Ripa's Iconologia,"
Imago Musicae 7 (1990): 53.
See, among many reproductions, Patricia Brown, The Renaissance
in Venice, 64, plate 42.
See Wilhelm Suida, Tizian (Zurich: Orell Fuessli Verlag, 1933),
See Pallucchini, La pittura veneziana, II: 859, plate 941.
See Emanuel Winternitz, "The Visual Arts as a Source for the Historian
of Music," Report of the Eighth Congress of the International Musicological
Society, New York 1961 (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1961), I: 109–20,
reprinted in idem, Musical Instruments and Their Symbolism in Western
Art (New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 1967), 25–42; James
McKinnon, "Musical iconography: a definition," RIdIM Newsletter
II/2 (1977): 15–18; idem, "Iconography," Musicology in the
1980s: Methods, Goals, Opportunities, ed. D. Kern Holoman and
Claude V. Palisca (New York: Da Capo Press, 1982), 79–93; idem,
"Fifteenth-century northern book painting and the a cappella question:
an essay in iconographic method," Studies in the Performance of
Late Mediaeval Music," ed. Stanley Boorman (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1983), 1–17; Richard D. Leppert, "Musicology
and Visual Perception: Knowledge as the Delimiter of Expectation,"
RIdIM Newsletter II/2 (1977): 12–15; Howard Mayer Brown,
"Iconography of Music," The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
(London: MacMillan Publishers Ltd., 1980), IX, 11–18; Tilman
Seebass, "Prospettive dell'iconografia musicale," Rivista italiana
di musicologia 18 (1983): 67–86. On general issues of relationships
between music and the plastic arts, see Reinhold Hammerstein, "Musik
und bildende Kunst: Zur Theorie und Geschichte ihrer Beziehungen,"
Imago Musicae 1 (1984): 1–28.
McKinnon, "Fifteenth-century northern book painting," 9. McKinnon
uses this phrase to summarize his observation "that much of the valid
musicological information derived from iconographic evidence takes
the form of general conclusions, resulting from a wide-ranging survey."
Further, "It is true that the less realistic the style, the more general
must be the conclusions, and the greater the number of examples necessary
to give us confidence in them. But, even in cases of seeming photographic
naturalism, we should be aware of the tendency on the part of the
artist to create a generalised artefact, rather than to reproduce
precisely a particular real one." (p. 10).
See Naylor, The Trumpet & Trombone, plate 14.
See Altenburg, Untersuchungen, III, plate 4.
Both are reproduced in Piovene and Pallucchini, L'opera completa
di Giambattista Tiepolo, plates LV and XXXII respectively.
See Giovanna Nepi Sciré, Treasures of Venetian Painting:
the Gallerie dell'Accademia (New York: Vendome Press, 1991), 247,
Winternitz, in "The Visual Arts as a Source for the Historian of Music,"
117, cites Carpaccio as one of many Italian artists who painted "exact
renderings of musical subjects." McKinnon, in "Fifteenth-century northern
book painting," 11–12, cites as evidence of the realism of liturgical
scenes the realism of the architectural interiors in which they are
Pagan's woodcut is far more detailed in its illustration of costumes
than either Bellini's painting or Franco's engraving of a procession
in St. Mark's square, largely because Pagan's individual figures are
so much larger proportional to the entire scene in the latter two.
Pagan's instruments, however, as already noted, are not at all detailed
and are problematic in their representation.
See Michael Praetorius, Syntagma Musicum II, trans, David
Z. Crookes, plate VIII.
Marin Mersenne, Harmonie Universelle, The Books on Instruments,
Engl. trans. Robert E. Chapman (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1957),
319. See also another similar trumpet on p. 328.