Martha Farahat


"Little is known about the music of the 16th- and 17th-c. Commedia dell'arte due to the improvisatory nature of the genre. The most detailed account of a commedia performance is in the composer Massimo Troiano's Discorsi... describing the festivities on the occasion of the wedding of Wilhelm V, Duke of Bavaria and Renee of Lorraine (1568). This account only mentions a few musical pieces: the music between acts and one internal song by Roland de Lassus, the kapellmeister. It is possible that Troiano did not mention all the music; close scrutiny of Lassus's 1581 Libri di villanelle... reveals that some of these pieces might have been used in commedia, including the 1568 performance." (Adams, Sarah)