[*]Jeffrey Kurtzman ( earned his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research, supported by fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, and the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music, is centered on Italian music of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, aesthetics, and criticism. Professor Kurtzman has published a book of essays on Monteverdi, a book of studies in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian sacred music, two books on the Monteverdi Vespers, critical editions of the Monteverdi Vespers and Monteverdi Masses, a 10-volume series of Seventeenth-Century Italian Music for Vespers and Compline, and numerous articles on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian music. He is the General Editor of the Opera Omnia of Alessandro Grandi, published by the American Institute of Musicology, and General Editor of an anthology of seventeenth-century Italian instrumental music published by the Web Library of Seventeenth-Century Music. Together with Anne Schnoebelen, he has published a detailed catalogue of some 2,000 Italian prints of music for the Mass, Office, and Holy Week, 1516–1770, in the Instrumenta series of The Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music. The founder of the international Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, he currently serves on the editorial boards of the Society’s Web Library of Seventeenth-Century Music and the Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music, and he is an Honorary Life Member of the Society.

[1] Monteverdi’s collected letters have been edited and published in Italian by Domenico de’ Paoli, Claudio Monteverdi: Lettere, dediche e prefazioni (Rome: Edizioni de Santis, 1973) and Éva Lax, Claudio Monteverdi: Lettere (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1994). The standard English translation is by Denis Stevens, The Letters of Claudio Monteverdi, rev. ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995).

[2] The phrase comes from Monteverdi’s letter of October 22, 1633, written apparently to the theorist Giovanni Battista Doni. See De’ Paoli, Lettere, 319–24; Lax, Lettere, 200–203; Stevens, Letters, 416–22.

[3] De’ Paoli, Lettere, 85–89; Lax, Lettere, 48–50; Stevens, Letters, 106–14.

[4] Several modern scholars (e.g., Leo Schrade, Denis Arnold, Massimo Ossi, and myself) have used the modern spelling prattica in place of Monteverdi’s original pratica. However, modern Italian dictionaries prefer pratica, which I’ve adopted here.

[5] See ref. 2.

[6] De’ Paoli, Lettere, 325–29 (erroneously dated 4 October); Lax, Lettere, 203–206; Stevens, Letters, 423–28.

[7] A collection of Monteverdi’s madrigals and canzonets was published posthumously in 1651 by Alessandro Vincenti.