Cover: Orpheus in the Marketplace: Jacopo Peri and the Economy of Late Renaissance Florence, from Harvard University PressCover: Orpheus in the Marketplace in HARDCOVER

Orpheus in the Marketplace

Jacopo Peri and the Economy of Late Renaissance Florence

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Product Details


$57.00 • £45.95 • €51.50

ISBN 9780674724648

Publication Date: 11/04/2013


496 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

18 halftones, 19 line illustrations, 3 maps

I Tatti Studies in Italian Renaissance History


Quietly thrilling… [Carter and Goldthwaite] offer a sustained analysis of a recently discovered trove of account books belonging to Jacopo Peri (1561–1633), one of the earliest opera composers. What they reveal has implications for both music history and our understanding of an economy and society in transition, and is a model of interdisciplinary collaboration in the humanities… Even ordinary music lovers will find the exploration of the still underrated Peri intriguing.—Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times

How did Renaissance musicians balance their creative and practical lives? Drawing on Peri’s many unpublished account books and letters, this exemplary collaborative study explores how one famous Florentine composer-performer successfully combined business, finance, and family management with a musical career at the Medici court. Fascinating and original, it will delight social and cultural historians as well as those of music and the economy.—Suzanne B. Butters, University of Manchester

In this bravura example of interdisciplinary history at its finest, two scholars of matchless erudition use the remarkably well-preserved traces of one man’s life to provide a fascinating account of economic and musical practice in Florence at the turn of the seventeenth century. Through Jacopo Peri’s story, Carter and Goldthwaite indispensably show how social status and wealth might contribute to a musician’s aesthetic stance, reputation, and, eventually, canonicity.—Suzanne G. Cusick, New York University

What is known about the circumstances of composers living and working in Italy during this period is often disarmingly skeletal. Through their detailed exploration of the ‘Peri Archive’ from different historical perspectives—musical, social, and, above all, economic—the authors have fascinatingly illuminated the interlocking spheres of the complex existence of one of the most significant composers of the time.—Iain Fenlon, University of Cambridge

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