The Rosary Cantoral

March 2008
30 black and white, 16 line illustrations
256 pages
9x6 in
Eastman Studies in Music
University of Rochester Press

The Rosary Cantoral

Ritual and Social Design in a Chantbook from Early Renaissance Toledo

Lorenzo Candelaria

Unlocks the secrets behind the images and music of an important Spanish musical manuscript compiled for a brotherhood of suspected heretics ca. 1500.
The Rosary Cantoral is a rare and beautifully decorated manuscript of Latin plainchant for the Catholic Mass compiled in Toledo, Spain, around the year 1500. In an engaging and richly interdisciplinary essay, Lorenzo Candelaria approaches the Rosary Cantoral as a cultural artifact, unlocking the secrets behind its images and music to reveal the social history and rituals of an elite brotherhood dedicated to the rosary and aspects of the religious community it served: the Dominicans of San Pedro Mártir de Toledo.
The Rosary Cantoral: Ritual and Social Design in a Chantbook from Early Renaissance Toledo presents a model for realizing the fuller significance of illuminated music manuscripts as cultural artifacts and offers unprecedented insights into the social and devotional life of Toledo, Spain, around the turn of the sixteenth century. After solving the mystery of the Rosary Cantoral's origins, subsequent essays probe the meaning and cultural significance of the manuscript's iconography (including a border decoration after Albrecht Dürer), its rare Spanish chants for the Mass, and two striking musical works for multiple voices (one by Josquin Desprez and another on "L'homme armé"). Ultimately, this book focuses on the extraordinary circumstances that engendered the compilation of the Rosary Cantoral around 1500: a system of patronage between a brotherhood of suspected heretics and a religious house that was a key supporter of the Inquisition in Toledo.

Lorenzo Candelaria (University of Texas at Austin) is co-author of American Music: A Panorama.

Table of Contents

The Mystery of the Rosary Cantoral
San Pedro Mártir de Toledo
"El Cavaller de Colunya": A Legend of the Rosary
The Emblem of the Five Wounds
Hercules and Albrecht Dürer's Das Meerwunder
Roses for the Blessed Virgin: The Music
The Confraternity of Toledo and Its Patronage


Winner of the American Musicological Society's Robert M. Stevenson Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Iberian Music, 2009

A real page-turner. . . Illustrates how an interdisciplinary approach is essential if we are to take our understanding of the randomly preserved remnants of cultural history to a new and higher level. MUSIC & LETTERS [Tess Knighton]

Scholars such as [Candelaria], informed, analytical and well-balanced, deserve to reach as large a number of the interested academic world as possible. BIBLIOTHEQUE D'HUMANISME ET RENAISSANCE [Leonard R. N. Ashley]
[An] impressive piece of historical detection...which successfully straddles the concerns of liturgy, polyphony, and manuscript illumination. [It] will stand as an intriguing contribution to a much-overlooked field. AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW [Iain Fenlon]

The scope of the book. . . . makes this valuable reading for scholars in a wide variety of disciplines, while its lucid and clear writing style makes it accessible to anyone interested in Spanish cultural history, liturgy, or medieval and early-modern studies. SPECULUM [James Boyce, O.Carm.]

The author is to be applauded for shining a much-needed spotlight on the vast corpus of similar Spanish and New World cantorales that until very recently have been regarded as 'of very little interest'. MUSIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION NOTES [Michael Noone]

Few [interdisciplinary] studies have been more compelling. . . . [Candelaria] is equally at home when dealing with the finer points of art history or the sometimes murky nature of the antiquities market. . . . [He] crafts a story that rivals good detective fiction. It even has a surprise at the end that involves the dark halls of the Spanish Inqusition. RENAISSANCE QUARTERLY [Michael B. O'Connor]

The book is in many ways a detective story which identifies the MS's provenance and function by fascinating and devious approaches: I won't try to summarise it and spoil the story. . . . This study throws light not only on this particular MS but on the usage of the Rosary in Spanish politics and history. And there is a moral for art historians studying MSS with music and vice-versa: see beyond your own discipline. EARLY MUSIC REVIEW [Clifford Bartlett]

. . . one of the most attractive and intriguing books on Spanish music history to reach the market. . . It is thoroughly to be recommended. EARLY MUSIC [Bernadette Nelson]

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