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A Guide to Ospedali Research

Joan Whittemore
Jane L. Baldauf-Berdes
May 15, 2012

525 pp.

41 illustrations

ISBN: 978-1576471746

Hardback clearance price $28.50

Out-of-Print. This book is no longer available from Pendragon Press.


A Guide to Ospedali Research is a compendium of all the known extant material pertaining to the four Ospedali Grandi of Venice—the social welfare institutions that fostered women musicians from the twelfth through the mid-nineteenth century. The 10 appendices and 31 tables facilitate access to the location of thousands of documents pertaining to Ospedali and Venetian studies: more than 2,300 music manuscripts; bio-bibliographies of 312 male maestri; 845 figlie del coro and female maestri; indexes of artists; inventories of art, architecture, and iconography including musical instruments connected with the Ospedali; and descriptions of the social, historical, and governmental structures of Venice associated with the Ospedali. The correlation of the material in the two volumes provides the specific resources for the corresponding chapters of Jane Berdes's Women Musicians of Venice: Musical Foundations, 1525-1855. A Guide to Ospedali Research also serves as a catalogue to the more than 46,000 items in the archive of Jane Berdes housed at Duke University and to the location of manuscripts throughout American and European archives and libraries. Jane Berdes wrote, "The work of compiling a history of the cori is not finished. Indeed it is hardly begun." She identified more than 200 hundred topics yet to be explored. Anyone interested in Venetian studies will find this volume an essential research reference tool.


Joan Whittemore:

Founding director of the Carondelet Women's Chorus and the Carondelet Children's Chorus, is a noted composer, editor, and guest conductor, and has served as clinician for the College Music Society, the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Directors Association, and a former member of the National Committee for Research and Publications for ACDA. She holds both the master's and doctoral degrees in conducting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Fontbonne College. Winner of the prestigious Gladys Krieble-Delmas Award for Venetian Studies, and 1997 and 2001 Melodious Accord Fellow awarded by Alice Parker, her editions of eighteenth century choral music and her own compositions are performed widely throughout the United States. She is a contributing author of nine biographies in Wisdom, Wit, and Will: Women�s Conductors on their Art, Chicago: GIA, 2009. Her scholarly publications include Music of the Venetian Ospedali Composers, a Thematic Catalogue. Alliance Music Inc. and Boosey and Hawkes publish her original compositions and editions of the sacred music of Antonio Vivaldi, Nicola Porpora, and Baldassare Galuppi. Joan Whittemore is listed in Who's Who of American Women. Together with Dr. Jane Baldauf-Berdes, she is editor of the forthcoming Guide to Ospedali Research.
Jane L. Baldauf-Berdes:

Ph.D. (1931-93), author of Women Musicians of Venice: Musical Foundations, 1525-1855, Oxford University Press. 1992, and with Elsie Arnold, Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen, Scarecrow Press, 2001, numerous articles on the Ospedali Grandi of Venice and their more than 800 female musicians (figlie del coro), and editor of Violin Concertos by Maddalena Laura Sirmen (1745-1818), Recent Researches in Music of the Classical Era, A-R Editions, Vol. 38., has given us a well documented path to further Ospedali research with the establishment of February 26, 1995 of the Jane L. Baldauf-Berdes Archive, housed in the Perkins Special Collections Library at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. The Guide to Ospedali Research, divided into two volumes of Appendices (Volume 1) and Tables (Volume 2), facilitates the use of the collection of 46,000 items of research notes, photocopies or microfilms of primary sources, including musical scores in manuscript and printed editions, correspondence, photographs, iconography, slides, books, and recordings pertaining to the treasures of the Ospedali Veneziani and most importantly the four cori of over 800 women musicians.


July 22, 2013

The four Ospedali in Venice were social welfare institutions that provided musical education to women, and their archives are a rich resource for the liturgical music performed there. This major reference serves as an essential guide to the massive collection of archival and secondary materials on the Ospedali, which was donated to the Perkins Special Collections Library at Duke U. by Baldauf-Berdes. Transcripts of a wide range of documents providing background information about the Ospedali make up the first section of the volume, concluding with a chronology and historical summary. The remainder of the volume catalogs the musical holdings of the Jane L. Baldauf-Berdes Archive, concluding with a Venetian calendar for musicians in 1770 and bio-bibliographies for the composers, teachers, and students of the Ospedali. Volume Two will contain the tables, indexes, and appendices. -Eithne O'Leyne, Editor BOOK NEWS, Inc. Reference & Research Book News