Renaissance Art and Music

: the space between


About our bibliography: this is a collection of books and resources we have personally found useful and hope will help others in their research, particularly when delving into a field they are less familiar with. It is a work in progress. Eventually, we hope to annotate each entry with how others may find the book/article useful, in addition to refining the categories and adding more entries. Some of the books don’t necessarily deal with the early modern period, but rather with theory useful for understanding a particular field. If you think anything you think we should definitely add, do let us know what and why at

Suggested Books/Articles for Musicologists on Art History

Alberti, L. B., On Painting, J. R. Spencer (trans.), New Haven, 1966.

Baxandall, M., Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style, 2nd ed., (Oxford, 1988).

Campbell, L., National Gallery Catalogues. The Fifteenth Century Netherlandish Schools (London 1998).

Dunkerton, J., Foister, S., Gordon, D., and Penny, N., Giotto to Dürer: Early Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery, London, (New Haven, 1991).

Richardson, C., Woods, K., and Franklin, M.,  Renaissance Art Reconsidered, Oxford 2007.

Nash, S., Northern Renaissance Art, (Oxford, 2008).

Nuttall, P., From Flanders to Florence: The Impact of Netherlandish Painting, 1400-1500, (New Haven and London, 2004).

Paoletti, J. T., and Radke, G. M., Art in Renaissance Italy (London, 2001).

Richardson, C., ed., Locating Renaissance Art, (New Haven and London, 2007).

Ridderbos, B., Van Buren, A., Van Veen, H., Early Netherlandish Paintings. Rediscovery, Reception and Research (Amsterdam 2005).

Woods, K., Richardson, C., and Lymberopoulou, A., eds, Viewing Renaissance Art, (New Haven and London, 2007).

Woods, K., ed., Making Renaissance Art, (New Haven and London, 2007).

Vasari, G., The Lives of the Artists, G. Bull (trans.), 2 vols, Harmoundsworth, 1987.


Suggested Books/Articles for Art Historians on Music

Alden, J., Songs, scribes, and society: the history and reception of the Loire Valley Chansonniers, Oxford University Press, 2010.

Atlas, A., Renaissance Music: music in western Europe, 1400-1600 (Norton, 1998).
Bent, M., ‘The late-medieval motet’, in: Knighton, Tess/ Fallows, David (eds.): Companion to Medieval and Renaissance music (eds. Knighton, Fallows), Macmillan, 1992, pp. 114-119.

Fallows, D., Josquin. (Turnhoult, 2009).

Fenlon, I., ed., The Renaissance from the 1470s to the End of the 16th century. (Prentice Hall, NJ 1989).

Goehr, L. The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works: An Essay in the Philosophy of Music (Clarendon Press, 1992).

Grove Encyclopedia of Music (New Oxford Dictionary of Music): Available online through
Senate House Library (<>).

Haar, J., ed. European Music, 1520-1640 (Boydell Press, 2006).

Joseph, K., The Elizabethan Madrigal: A Comparative Study. The AMS, 1962.

Kemp, Walter H.: Burgundian court song in the time of Binchois, Oxford: Clarendon, 1990.

Kramer, L., Interpreting Music (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010).

Lockwood, L., Music in Renaissance Ferrara, 1400-1505 : The Creation of a Musical Center in the Fifteenth Century. [New ed.]. ed. New York ; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Lowinsky, E., ed., “The performance of sacred music in Italy during Josquin’s time c.1475-1525”, in Josquin Desprez: proceedings of the International Josquin Festival-Conference, Oxford 1976.

McClary, S., Modal Subjectivities: Self-Fashioning in the Italian Madrigal (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004).

Owens, Jessie Ann: ‘Music historiography and the definition of ‘Renaissance’”, in: Notes: Quarterly journal of the Music Library Association, 47(2): 305-330.

Perkins, Leeman L.: ‘Towards a theory of text-music relations in the music of the Renaissance’, in: Kirkman, Andrew/ Slavin, Dennis (eds.): Binchois studies, Oxford University Press, 2000: 311-329.

Sherr, R., The Josquin Companion (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Tomlinson, G., Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990).

Wegman, Rob: Born for the Muses: The Life and Masses of Jacob Obrecht. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994.


Interdisciplinary Books of Interest to Both

Beck, E. M. and Beck, N., Giotto’s Harmony: music and art in Padua at the crossroads of the Renaissance, 2005.

Burke, Peter. Eyewitnessing. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001.

Burke, Peter. What is Cultural History? Cambridge: Polity Press, 2008.

Craig-McFeely, Julia. “Signifying the Serpent: Seduction by Cultural Stereotype in Seventeenth-Century England.”  In Music, Sensation, and Sensuality, edited by Linda Phyllis Austern, 299-317. New York: Routledge, 2002.

Dennis, F., “Sound and Domestic Space in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy”, in West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Cultura, 16 (1), pp.7-19.

Elders, W., Symbolic Scores: studies in the Music of the Renaissance, Brill 1994

Ember, I., Music in Painting: music as symbol in Renaissance and Baroque painting, Corvina 1984.

Gouk and Hills, eds., Representing Emotions: New Connections in the Histories of Art, Music, and Medicine, Ashgate, 2005.

Greenblatt, S., Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1980.

Greenblatt, S., Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World. 1st ed. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 1992.

Heck, Thomas, Picturing Performance: The Iconography of the Performing Arts in Concept and Practice. University Rochester Press, 1999.

Jardine, L., Reading Shakespeare Historically. 1st ed. London: Routledge, 1996.

Kellman, H., Petrus Alamire: music and art in Flemish Court Manuscripts, 1500-1535, Ghent 1999.

Leppert, R., “Music, representation and social order in early modern Europe”, in Cultural Critique, vol. 12, 1989, pp. 25-41.

Leppert, Richard. Music and Image: Domesticity, Ideology and Socio-Cultural Formation in Eighteenth-Century England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

McIver, K. A., ed., Art and Music in the Early Modern Period: essays in honour of Franca Trinchieri Camiz, Ashgate 2003.

Onians, J., “On How to Listen to High Renaissance Art”, in Art History, vol. 7/4, pp.411-37.

Pirrotta, N., ed., Music and Culture in Italy from the Middle Ages to the Baroque, Harvard UP, 1984.

Seebass, Tilman. ‘The Visualisation of Music through Pictorial Imagery and Notation in Late Mediaeval France.’ In Studies in the Performance of Late Mediaeval Music, edited by Stanley Boorman, 19-34. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Strohm, R., Music in Late Medieval Bruges, Oxford 1985.

Trachtenberg, Marvin: ‘Architecture and Music Reunited: A New Reading of Dufay’s “Nuper Rosarum Flores” and the Cathedral of Florence’, Renaissance Quarterly 54, no. 3 (2001): 741-75.

Beth Williamson’s current book project is entitled The Embodiment of Devotion: Art, Music and Affect in Late Medieval England (for which she received an AHRC Fellowship in 2011).

Wisch, B., and Ahl, D., eds., Confraternities and the Visual Arts in Renaissance Italy: ritual, spectacle, images, Cambridge 2000.

Winternitz, Emanuel. Musical Instruments and Their Symbolism in Western Art. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979.

Winternitz, Emanuel. ‘The Iconology of Music: Potentials and Pitfalls.’ In Perspectives in Musicology, edited by Barry S. Brook, Edward Downes, Sherman J. van Solkema, 80-90. New York: Norton, 1972.

Wolf, W., The Musicalization of Fiction. A Study in the Theory and History of Intermediality. Amsterdam: Rodopi Bv Editions, 1999.

Zecher, C., Sounding Objects: musical instruments, poetry and art in Renaissance France, Toronto, 2007.

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