They sang Parisian chansons, played Polish lute music or collected musical instruments: for Basel’s Renaissance burghers, polymaths like Bonifacius and Basilius Amerbach, Felix Platter and Ludwig Iselin, music was essential to the cultural life of the city. This is the story told by some remarkable prints and manuscripts of the period that for many years Basel University Library has been hoarding like a treasure. The public will be given their first glimpse of these “sound pictures” in next year’s show of that name. The manuscripts on show may not be masterpieces of illumination, but they are certainly impressive testimony to the musical life of the city in the age of Humanism.
The exhibition is a co-production with the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (FHNW), the Musikwissenschaftliche Seminar of the University of Basel, and Basel University Library.
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