Music in nineteenth-century Malta: traditions of composition and performance at the church in Gozo, with a catalogue of works

Grech, Joseph (2018) Music in nineteenth-century Malta: traditions of composition and performance at the church in Gozo, with a catalogue of works. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Gozo is a small island within the Maltese Archipelago. Its main cathedral, located within the fortified citadel in Victoria, contains an extensive archive of sacred music, mostly from the nineteenth century. This resource has never before been subject to scholarly enquiry. Indeed, until my research, the archive was not even adequately catalogued. The initial impetus for this dissertation was my MPhil thesis, in which I compiled a more catalogue based on a basic inventory of the music manuscripts. Although it provided an important tool for scholars to gain access to the archive, it needed further fine-tuning. In this dissertation, I wanted to complete a significantly expanded and enhanced catalogue of manuscripts and to shed further light on the Gozitan music traditions, on the composers and performers who worked at the cathedral, and on the functions of sacred music there. Most especially, I aimed to transcribe some of the scores found in the archive to encourage performances of these forgotten works and to assist future scholars. In the opening two chapters, I investigate the historic, social, and cultural aspects of music making in Gozo during the nineteenth century, in particular for the main feasts and functions celebrated at the Gozo Cathedral. To establish a foundation for the Gozitan tradition, in Chapter 4 I explore the life of Maltese composer Francesco Azopardi, who returned after study in Naples and quickly established himself as a leading figure. A score of one of his masses performed at the Gozo cathedral is included, together with critical commentary and editorial notes. In Chapters 5, I turn to two native Gozitan composers, Vincenzo Bondì and Adrian Lanzon. To study their works and to see if features of a ‘Gozitan’ style could be determined, in distinction to music from mainland Malta, I transcribed and edited representative examples of their sacred music. Again, these are supported by critical commentaries and editorial notes. The dissertation concludes with a comprehensive catalogue of music compositions at the Gozo Cathedral Music Archive. It is hoped that making this material available will foster further interest in the music history of Gozo in the nineteenth century.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Baragwanath, Nicholas
Weller, P.
Subjects: M Music and Literature on music > ML Literature of music
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 51299
Depositing User: Grech, Joseph
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2018 13:46
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 17:16

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