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Musical Education and the Job Market: The Employment of Children and Young People in the Neapolitan Music Industry with Particular Reference to the Period 1650–1806

  • Rossella Del Prete
Chapter
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Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)

Abstract

From the second half of the eighteenth century, Southern Italy began to show a sensitivity toward the role of human resources as a key contribution toward economic development, a theory that issued from the Enlightenment period. With the double objective of the exploitation by the State of a cheap workforce and of the reduction of poverty and criminality rates, the destitute became the new focus of vocational training and the Kingdom of Naples implemented a public education scheme in the areas of welfare and literacy. Part of this implementation saw the four existing Neapolitan Conservatories transformed from welfare institutes for poor and neglected children into training academies for musicians. A significant rise in demand for Kapellmeisters, singers, instrumentalists, music teachers, and copyists came from both religious (churches, monasteries, and oratories), and secular institutions (theaters, music-copying houses), and saw civic institutions contribute to this development. The object of this chapter is to show the interaction between economic and cultural pressures upon the vocational training of this workforce.

Keywords

Eighteenth Century Homeless Youth Religious Congregation Musical Education Funeral Rite 
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Notes

  1. 2.
    For further information on the charity, educational, administrative, professional, and musical aspects of two out of the four Neapolitan conservatories see Rossella Del Prete, “La trasformazione di un istituto benefico-assistenziale in scuola di musica: una lettura dei libri contabili del Conservatorio di S. Maria di Loreto in Napoli (1586–1703),” in Francesco Florimo e l’Ottocento musicale, eds. Marina Marino and Rosa Cafiero (Reggio Calabria: Jason Editrice, 1999), 671–715;Google Scholar
  2. Rossella Del Prete, “Un’azienda musicale a Napoli tra Cinquecento e Settecento: il Conservatorio della Pietà dei Turchini,” Storia Economica 3 (1999): 413–64;Google Scholar
  3. Rossella Del Prete, “Legati pii, patronati e monti di maritaggi del Conservatorio di S. Maria della Pietà dei Turchini in Napoli”, Rivista di Storia Finanziaria 7 (2001): 7–32;Google Scholar
  4. see also Del Prete, “Il musicista a Napoli nei secoli XVI–XVII: storia di una professione,” in Il lavoro come fattore produttivo e come risorsa nella storia economica italiana, eds. Sergio Zaninelli and Mario Taccolini (Milano: Vita Pensiero, 2008): 325–352Google Scholar
  5. Del Prete, “I figlioli del Conservatorio della Pietà Napoli nella seconda metà del Settecento: percorsi di studio e opportunità professionali,” Nuova Rivista Storica 1 (2009): 205–22.Google Scholar
  6. 3.
    Little has been done by way of a complete history, except in the pioneering studies of Salvatore Di Giacomo, Il Conservatorio di Sant’Onofrio a Capuana, S. M. della Pietà dei Turchini (Palermo: Sandron, 1924),Google Scholar
  7. and Salvatore Di Giacomo, Il Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo, S. M. di Loreto (Palermo: Sandron, 1928).Google Scholar
  8. 4.
    On poverty in Italy see Vera Zamagni, Povertà e innovazioni istituzionali in Italia dal Medioevo ad oggi (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2000).Google Scholar
  9. 5.
    On models of artisan families and on the transmission of the trade from father to son, see Giovanna Da Molin and Angela Carbone, “Gli artigiani nel Mezzogiorno d’Italia nel XVIII secolo: modelli differenti delle famiglie, del matrimonio e del controllo degli assetti produttivi,” in La famiglia nell’economia europea dei secoli XIII—XVIII, ed. Simonetta Cavaciocchi (Prato: Fondazione Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini,” 2009): 305–24.Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    On the nautical instruction of the Kingdom of Naples see Raffaella Salvemini, “Formazione e avviamento al lavoro nei reclusori e nei convitti del Regno di Napoli alla fine del Settecento,” in Il lavoro come fattore produttivo e come risorsa, cit.:187–98; also Maria Sirago, “Scuole per il lavoro. La nascita degli Istituti “professionali” meridionali nel dibattito culturale tra fine ‘700 e ’800,” Rassegna Storica Salernitana 16 (1999): 130.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Michael F. Robinson, Naples and Neapolitan Opera (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972).Google Scholar
  12. 15.
    Charles Burney, The Present State of Music in France and Italy; or the Journal of a Tour through those Countries. Undertaken to Collect Materials for a general History of Music (London, 1771), 324–27, at 325.Google Scholar
  13. 18.
    At the time, the conviction of the need to invest spiritually in the redemption of souls (pro remedio animae) was very widespread. The individual conscience was influenced by the Counter-Reformation rhetoric that warned people about the danger of eternal damnation for those who, when passing away, had not taken care of those in need. Many testamentary instructions therefore favored the convergence of a great part of the wealth of single people into the funds available to charity institutions. Such instructions were conditioned by treaties on “how to die well” and by the indications of several congregations, who prepared their members for a “good death.” See Alberto Tenenti, Il senso della morte e l’âmore della vita nel Rinascimento (Torino: Einaudi, 1977), 62–111.Google Scholar
  14. 20.
    Patrick Barbier, Gli evirati cantori (Milano: Rizzoli, 1991).Google Scholar
  15. 21.
    Josse de Villeneuve, Lettre sur le méchanisme de l’opéra italien (Napoli: Duchesne 1756), 108.Google Scholar
  16. 22.
    In 1689, Alessandro Scarlatti earned 120 Ducats per year as maestro in the conservatory of S. Maria di Loreto. Three years earlier, his operatic commitment had yielded as much as 300 Ducats. See Francesco Degrada, “L’opera napoletana,” in Storia dell’opera, eds. G. Barblan, A. Basso, vol. I (Torino: Utet 1977), 237, 275, 332.Google Scholar

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© Gillian Arrighi and Victor Emeljanow 2014

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  • Rossella Del Prete

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