Saturday, January 10, 8320

Jacopo da Bologna (c. 1320-1370) - Madrigals

Jacopo da Bologna (fl. 1340–1360) was an Italian Ars Nova composer,
known for his madrigals --

[Medieval Bologna, Italy]


Di Novo e Giunto
(performed by David Munrow's Instruments of the Medieval and Renaissance on
Lute/Oud & Bass Rebec);

Non al Suo Amante (c. 1350)
(No One Ever Pleased a Lover So Much),
the only known contemporaneous setting of Petrarch
(realized by Denis Steven's History of European Music); and

Tanto Soavement
(from IMR on Dulcimer and Rebec)

-- cacce ("chase-pieces" / canons or rounds), and caccia-madrigal hybrids.

28 of his pieces, as well as many by his contemporary Francesco Landini, are found in the Squarcialupi Codex, the large collection of 1300's music long owned by the Medici family, and the principal source of the period.


The Madrigal is an Italian musical form of the 14th century. The form flourished ca. 1300 – 1370 with a short revival near 1400. It was a composition for two (or rarely three) voices, sometimes on a pastoral subject. In its earliest development it was simple construction: Francesco da Barberino in 1300 called it a "raw and chaotic singalong."

Its origins are obscure, and debated, with one school of thought seeing it as a secular mutation of the conductus of the ars antiqua, and another seeing it as deriving from 13th century secular monophonic song with an improvised accompaniment. Little Italian music from the 13th century has survived, so links between medieval forms such as the conductus and troubadour song and the music of the trecento are largely inferential.

The earliest stage in the development of the madrigal is seen in the Rossi Codex, a collection of music from ca. 1350 or earlier, compiled around 1370. It has been suggested that the ornamentation of the upper voices may be improvised above a skeletal structure.

In the madrigal's later stages of development its uppermost voice was often highly elaborate, with the lower voice, the tenor, much less so. The form at this time was probably a development of connoisseurs, and sung by small groups of cognoscenti; there is no evidence of its widespread popularity, unlike the madrigal of the 16th century. By the end of the 14th century it had fallen out of favor, with other forms (in particular, the ballata and imported French music) taking precedence, some of which were even more highly refined and ornamented.

The text of the madrigal is divided into three sections: two strophes called terzetti set to the same music and a concluding section called the ritornello usually in a different meter.
By the beginning of 15th century the term was no longer used musically. The later 16th century madrigal is unrelated, although it often used texts written in the 14th century (for instance by Petrarch).

Important composers of the madrigal in the Trecento (1300's) include:

Jacopo da Bologna
Giovanni da Cascia
Vincenzo da Rimini
Maestro Piero
Lorenzo da Firenze
Niccolò da Perugia
Francesco Landini
Donato da Cascia
Johannes Ciconia (later revivalist)


Francesco Petrarca (July 20, 1304 – July 19, 1374), known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet, and one of the earliest Renaissance humanists. Petrarch is often popularly called the "father of humanism."

Based on Petrarch's works, and to a lesser extent those of Dante Alighieri and Giovanni Boccaccio, Pietro Bembo in the 16th century created the model for the modern Italian language, later endorsed by the Accademia della Crusca. Petrarch is credited with developing the sonnet.

His sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe during the Renaissance and became a model for lyrical poems. Petrarch was also known for being one of the first people to call the Middle Ages the Dark Ages.

[Santa Maria della Pieve in Arezzo]

Petrarch said he was born on Garden Street of the city of Arezzo, just at the dawn on a Monday.

He was the son of Ser Petracco. He spent his early childhood in the village of Incisa, near Florence. Petrarch spent much of his early life at Avignon and nearby Carpentras, where his family moved to follow Pope Clement V who moved there in 1309 to begin the Avignon Papacy.

He studied law at Montpellier (1316–20) and Bologna (1320–23) with a lifelong friend and schoolmate called Guido Sette. Because his father was in the profession of law he insisted that he and his brother study law also. Petrarch however was primarily interested in writing and Latin literature and considered this seven years wasted. Additionally he proclaimed that through legal manipulation his guardians robbed him of his small property inheritance in Florence which only reinforced his dislike for the legal system. Protesting he declared, "I couldn't face making a merchandise of my mind", as he viewed the legal system as the art of selling justice.

Petrarch was a prolific letter writer and counted Boccaccio among his notable friends to whom he wrote often. After the death of their parents, Petrarch and his brother Gherardo went back to Avignon in 1326, where he worked in numerous different clerical offices. This work gave him much time to devote to his writing. With his first large scale work, Africa, an epic in Latin about the great Roman general Scipio Africanus, Petrarch emerged as a European celebrity. On April 8, 1341, he became the first poet laureate since antiquity and was crowned on the holy grounds of Rome's Capitol. He was the first laureate of the tradition in modern times to be given this honor.

He traveled widely in Europe and served as an ambassador and has been called "the first tourist" because he traveled just for the pleasure alone, which was the basic reason why he climbed Mont Ventoux.

During his travels, he collected crumbling Latin manuscripts and was a prime mover in the recovery of knowledge from writers of Rome and Greece. He encouraged and advised Leontius Pilatus's translation of Homer, from a manuscript purchased by Boccaccio; although he was severely critical of the result. Petrarch had acquired a copy, which he did not entrust to Leontius, but he knew no Greek; Homer, Petrarch said, "was dumb to him, while he was deaf to Homer." In 1345 he personally discovered a collection of Cicero's letters not previously known to have existed, the collection ad Atticum. He remarked:

Each famous author of antiquity whom I recover places a new offence and another cause of dishonor to the charge of earlier generations, who, not satisfied with their own disgraceful barrenness, permitted the fruit of other minds, and the writings that their ancestors had produced by toil and application, to perish through insufferable neglect. Although they had nothing of their own to hand down to those who were to come after, they robbed posterity of its ancestral heritage.

Disdaining what he believed to be the ignorance of the centuries preceding the era in which he lived, Petrarch is credited with creating the concept of a historical "Dark Ages."

[Summit of Mont Ventous]

Petrarch claimed that on April 26, 1336, with his brother and two servants, he climbed to the top of Mont Ventoux (1,909 m; 6,263 ft). He wrote an account of the trip, composed considerably later as a letter to his friend Dionigi di Borgo San Sepolcro. The accuracy of Petrarch's account is open to question; particularly the assertion that he was the first to climb a mountain for pleasure since Philip V of Macedon, and that an aged peasant had warned him off the unclimbable mountain. Jean Buridan had climbed the same mountain a few years before, and other ascents are recorded from the Middle Ages, including Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne. Jakob Burckhardt's rhapsody on the subject has been often repeated since.

J.H. Plumb writes in his book The Italian Renaissance of Morris Bishop's version of Petrarch's Ascent of Mont Ventoux showing Petrarch's climb in 1336 was epoch making.

This was because Petrarch did this climb on his own volition and not because anything was forced upon him. Petrarch's letter of the ascent to his confessor, the monk Dionigi di Borgo San Sepolcro, rings of aesthetic gratification to grandeur and majesty, a modern attitude that is quoted to this day in many books and journals pertaining to mountaineering.

"For pleasure alone he climbed Mount Ventoux, which rises to more than six thousand feet, beyond Vaucluse. It was no great feat, of course; but he was the first recorded Alpinist of modern times, the first to climb a mountain merely for the delight of looking from its top. (Or almost the first; for in a high pasture he met an old shepherd, who said that fifty years before he had attained the summit, and had got nothing from it save toil and repentance and torn clothing.) Petrarch was dazed and stirred by the view of the Alps, the mountains around Lyons, the Rhone, the Bay of Marseilles. He took St Augustine's Confessions from his pocket and reflected that his climb was merely an allegory of aspiration towards a better life."

The later part of his life he spent in journeying through northern Italy as an international scholar and poet-diplomat. Petrarch's career in the Church did not allow him to marry, but he did father two children by a woman or women unknown to posterity. A son, Giovanni, was born in 1337, and a daughter, Francesca, was born in 1343. Both he later legitimized.

Giovanni died of the plague in 1361. Francesca married Francescuolo da Brossano (who was later named executor of Petrarch's Last Will and Testament) that same year. In 1362, shortly after the birth of a daughter, Eletta (same name as Petrarch's mother), they joined Petrarch in Venice, to flee the plague then ravaging parts of Europe. A second grandchild, Francesco, was born in 1366, but died before his second birthday. Francesca and her family lived with Petrarch in Venice for five years from 1362 - 1367 at Palazzo Molina; although Petrarch continued to travel in those years.

About 1368 Petrarch and his daughter Francesca (with her family) moved and settled in Padua, where he passed his remaining years in religious contemplation. He died in Arquà in the Euganean Hills on July 19, 1374 - just one day short of his seventieth birthday.

Petrarch's will (dated April 4, 1370) leaves 50 florins to Boccaccio "to buy a warm winter dressing gown"; various legacies (a horse, a silver cup, a lute, a Madonna) to his brother and his friends; his house in Vaucluse to its caretaker; for his soul, and for the poor; and the bulk of his estate to his son-in-law, Francescuolo da Brossano, who is to give half of it to "the person to whom, as he knows, I wish it to go"; presumably his daughter, Francesca, Brossano's wife. The will mentions neither the property in Arquà, nor his library; Petrarch's library of notable manuscripts was already promised to Venice, in exchange for the Palazzo Molina. This arrangement was probably cancelled when he moved to Padua, the enemy of Venice, in 1368. The library was seized by the lords of Padua, and his books and manuscripts are now widely divided over Europe.[17] Nevertheless, the Biblioteca Marciana traditionally claimed this bequest as its founding; although it was in fact founded by Cardinal Bessarion in 1468.

Petrarch is traditionally called the father of Humanism and considered by many to be the "father of the Renaissance." He was the first to offer a combining of abstract entities of classical culture and Christian philosophy. In his work Secretum meum he points out that secular achievements didn't necessarily preclude an authentic relationship with God. Petrarch argued instead that God had given humans their vast intellectual and creative potential to be used to their fullest.[21] He inspired humanist philosophy which led to the intellectual flowering of the Renaissance. He believed in the immense moral and practical value of the study of ancient history and literature - that is, the study of human thought and action. Petrarch was a devout Catholic and did not see a conflict between realizing humanity's potential and having religious faith. A highly introspective man, he shaped the nascent humanist movement a great deal because many of the internal conflicts and musings expressed in his writings were seized upon by Renaissance humanist philosophers and argued continually for the next 200 years. For example, Petrarch struggled with the proper relation between the active and contemplative life, and tended to emphasize the importance of solitude and study. Later politician and thinker Leonardo Bruni argued for the active life, or "civic humanism." As a result, a number of political, military, and religious leaders during the Renaissance were inculcated with the notion that their pursuit of personal glory should be grounded in classical example and philosophical contemplation.

In November 2003, it was announced that pathological anatomists would be exhuming Petrarch's body from his casket in Arquà Petrarca, in order to verify 19th century reports that he had stood 1.83 meters (about six feet), which would have made him very tall for his period.

The team from the University of Padua also hoped to reconstruct his cranium in order to obtain a computerized image of his features to coincide with the poet's 700th birthday. The tomb had been opened previously in 1873 by Professor Giovanni Canestrini, also of Padua University. When the tomb was opened, the skull was discovered in fragments and a DNA test revealed that the skull was not Petrarch's,[22] prompting calls for the return of Petrarch's skull.

The researchers are fairly certain that the body in the tomb is Petrarch's due to the fact that the skeleton bears evidence of injuries mentioned by Petrarch in his writings, including a kick from a donkey when he was 42.


In the history of the Roman Catholic Church, the Avignon Papacy was the period from 1305 to 1376 during which seven popes, all French, resided in Avignon:

Pope Clement V: 1305–1314
Pope John XXII: 1316–1334
Pope Benedict XII: 1334–1342
Pope Clement VI: 1342–1352
Pope Innocent VI: 1352–1362
Pope Urban V: 1362–1370
Pope Gregory XI: 1370–1378

In 1376, Gregory XI moved the papal residence back to Rome and died there in 1378. Due to a dispute over the subsequent election, a faction of cardinals set up an antipope back in Avignon:

Clement VII: 1378–1394
Benedict XIII: 1394–1423 (expelled from Avignon in 1403)

This was the period of difficulty from 1378 to 1417 which Catholic scholars refer to as the "Western schism" or, "the great controversy of the antipopes" (also called "the second great schism" by some secular and Protestant historians), when parties within the Catholic Church were divided in their allegiances among the various claimants to the office of pope. The Council of Constance in 1417 finally resolved the controversy.

The Pontifical States (today limited to Vatican City) included land around Avignon (Comtat Venaissin) and a small enclave to the east. They remained part of the Pontifical States up to the French Revolution, during which they became part of France in 1791.

The Papacy in the Late Middle Ages played a major temporal role in addition to its spiritual role. The conflict between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor was fundamentally a dispute over which of them was the leader of Christendom in secular matters. In the early 1300's, the papacy was well past the prime of its secular rule -- its importance had peaked in the previous 200 years. The success of the early crusades added greatly to the prestige of the Popes as secular leaders of Christendom, with monarchs like the Kings of England, France, and even the Emperor merely acting as Marshals for the popes and leading "their" armies. One exception to this was Frederick II, who was twice excommunicated by the Pope during a single crusade. Frederick II ignored this and was moderately successful in the Holy Land.

Beginning with Clement V, elected 1305, all popes during the residence of the papacy in Avignon were French. However, this fact can make French influence seem greater than it was.

Southern France at that time had a culture quite independent from Northern France, where most of the advisers to the King of France were based. Arles was at that time still independent, formally a part of the Holy Roman Empire. The literature produced by the "troubadour" age in the Languedoc area is unique and strongly distinct from that of Royal circles in the north. Even in terms of religion, the South produced its own variant, the Cathar movement, which was ultimately declared heretical. The movement was fueled in no small party by the South's strong sense of independence, even though the South had been severely weakened during the Albigensian Crusade, a hundred years before. By the time of the Avignon Papacy, the power of the French King in this region was uncontested, although legally still not binding.

A stronger impact was made by the move of the Roman Curia from Rome to Avignon in 1305.

Following the impasse during the previous conclave and to escape from the infighting of the powerful families that had produced earlier Popes, such as the Colonna and the Orsini, the Church looked for a safer place and found it in Avignon, which was surrounded by the lands of the papal fief of Comtat Venaissin. Formally it was part of Arles, but in reality it was under the influence of the French king. During its time in Avignon the Papacy adopted many features of the Royal court: the life-style of its cardinals was more reminiscent of princes than clerics; more and more French cardinals, often relatives of the ruling pope, took key positions; and the closeness of French troops was a constant reminder of where secular power lay, with the memory of Boniface VIII still fresh.

One of the most damaging developments for the Church grew directly out of the successful reorganization and centralization of its administration under Clement V and John XXII. The Papacy now directly controlled the appointments of benefices, abandoning the customary election process that traditionally allotted this considerable income. Many other forms of payment brought riches to the Holy See and its cardinals: Tithes, a ten-percent tax on church property, annates, the income of the first year after filling a position such as a bishophric, special taxes for crusades which never took place, and many forms of dispensation, from the entering of benefices without basic qualifications like literacy to the request of a converted Jew to visit his unconverted parents. Popes such as John XXII, Benedict XII and Clement VI reportedly spent fortunes on expensive wardrobe, and at banquets, silver and gold plates were used. Overall the public life of leading church members resembled more those of princes rather than members of the clergy. This splendor and corruption at the head of the Church found its way to the lower ranks: when a bishop had to pay up to a year's income for gaining a benefice, he sought ways of raising this money from his new office. This was taken to extremes by the pardoners who sold absolutions for all kinds of sins to the poor. Where pardoners were hated but needed to redeem one's soul, the friars who failed to follow a Christian path by failing their vows of chastity and poverty were despised. This sentiment strengthened movements calling for a return to absolute poverty, relinquishment of all personal and church belongings, and preaching as the Lord and his disciples did. For the Church, an institution embedded in the secular structure and its focus on property, this was a dangerous development, and in the early 14th century most of these movements were declared heresy/heretical. These included the Fraticelli and Waldensian movements in Italy, and the Hussite movement in Bohemia (inspired by John Wycliff in England). Furthermore, the display of wealth by the upper ranks of the church, which contrasted with the common expectation of poverty and strict adherence to principles, was used by the Papacy's enemies in raising charges against the popes: King Philippe of France employed the strategy, as did Emperor Louis IV. In his conflict with the latter, Pope John XXII excommunicated two leading philosophers, Marsilius of Padua and William Ockham, who were outspoken critics of the Papacy, and who had found refuge with Ludwig of Bavaria in Munich. In response William of Ockham charged the pope with seventy errors and seven heresies.

The proceedings against the Templars in the Council of Vienne are representative of this time, reflecting the various powers and their relationships. In 1314 the collegium at Vienne convened to make a ruling concerning the Templars. The council, overall unconvinced about the guilt of the order as a whole, was unlikely to condemn the entire order based on the scarce evidence brought forward. Exerting massive pressure in order to gain part of the substantial funds of the Order, the King managed to get the ruling he wanted. Pope Clement V ordered by decree the suppression of the order. In the cathedral of St-Maurice in Vienne, the King of France and his son the King of Navarre were sitting next to him when he issued the decree. Under pain of excommunication, no one was allowed to speak at that occasion, except when asked by the Pope. The Templars who appeared in Vienne to defend their order were not allowed to present their case: originally cardinals of the collegium ruled that they should be allowed to raise a defense, but after the arrival of the King of France in Vienne, putting pressure on the collegium, this decision was revoked.

The beginning of the century, that would later be characterized by calamities such as the Black Death and the Hundred Years' War between the two major powers in Europe, saw a Papacy apparently at the height of its power. Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303, born Benedict Caetani), an experienced politician sometimes described as brusque and arrogant, was a ferocious proponent of the Universal Sovereignty of the Papacy over all Christendom, as stated in the 11th century Dictatus Papae. The concrete issue that sparked conflict with King Philip IV of France was the question whether secular lords were allowed to tax the clergy. In his bull Clericis Laicos (1296), Boniface VIII prohibited any taxation on church property except by the Papacy or the payment of such taxes. But only one year later he granted Philip IV the right to raise taxes on the clergy in cases of emergency. The great success of the Jubilee Year 1300 (it is reported that up to 2 million pilgrims visited Rome) considerably strengthened the prestige of the Papacy, brought funds to Rome and led the Pope to grossly overestimate his temporal powers. After the arrest of the Bishop of Pamiers by Philip IV, the Pope issued the bull Salvator Mundi, retracting all privileges granted to the French king by previous popes, and a few weeks later Ausculta fili with charges against the king, summoning him before a council to Rome. In a bold assertion of Papal sovereignty, Boniface declared that "God has placed us over the Kings and Kingdoms." In response, Philippe wrote "Your venerable stupidness may know, that we are nobody's vassal in temporal matters," and called for a meeting of the Estates General, a council of the lords of France, who supported his position. The King of France issued charges of sodomy, simony, sorcery, and heresy against the pope and summoned him before the council.

The pope's response was the strongest affirmation to date of papal sovereignty. In Unam Sanctam (November 18, 1302), he decreed that "it is necessary to salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman pontiff." He was preparing a bull that would excommunicate the King of France and put the interdict over France, and to depose the entire clergy of France, when in September of 1303, William Nogaret, the strongest critic of the Papacy in the French inner circle, led a delegation to Rome, with intentionally loose orders by the king to bring the pope, if necessary by force, before a council to rule on the charges brought against him. Nogaret coordinated with the cardinals of the Colonna family, long standing rivals against whom the pope had even preached a crusade earlier in his Papacy. In 1303 French and Italian troops attacked the pope in Anagni, his home town, arresting the pope himself. He was freed three days later by the population of Anagni. However, Boniface VIII, then 68 years of age, was deeply shattered by this attack on his own person and died a few weeks later.

The death of Pope Boniface deprived the Papacy of its most able politician who could hold his ground against the secular power of the king of France. After the conciliatory Papacy of Benedict XI (1303-04), Clement V (1305-1314) became the next pontiff. He was born in Gascony, in southern France, but not directly connected to the French court. He owed his election to the French clerics. He decided against moving to Rome and established his court in Avignon. In this situation of dependency on the powerful neighbors in France, three principles characterized the politics by Clement V: the suppression of the heretic movements (such as the Cathars in southern France); the reorganization of the internal administration of the church; and the preservation of an untainted image of the church as the sole instrument of God's will on earth. The latter was directly challenged by Philippe IV when he pushed for a trial against his former adversary, Pope Boniface VIII, for alleged heresy. Exerting strong influence on the cardinals of the collegium, this could mean a severe blow to the church's authority. And much of Clement's politics was designed to avoid such a blow, which he finally did. However, the price was concessions on various fronts; despite strong personal doubts, in the end he pushed for proceedings against the Templars, and he personally ruled to suppress the order.

One important issue during the papacy of John XXII (born Jaques Dueze in Cahors, and previously Archbishop in Avignon), was his conflict with Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor. The latter refuted the right of the pope to install the Emperor by coronation. He resorted to a similar tactic as King of France Philippe earlier and summoned the nobles of Germany to back his decision. Marsilius of Padua gave the justification of this secular supremacy over the lands in the Holy Roman Empire. This conflict with the Emperor, often fought out in expensive wars, drove the Papacy even more into the arms of the French king.

Pope Benedict XII (1334-1342), born Jaques Fournier in Pamiers, was previously active in the inquisition against the Cathar movement. In contrast to the rather bloody picture of the inquisition in general, he was reported to be very careful about the souls of the examined, taking a lot of time in the proceedings. His interest in pacifying southern France was also motivation for mediating between the king of France and the King of England, before the outbreak of the Hundred Years' War.

Under Pope Clement VI (1342-1352) the French interests started dominating the Papacy.

Clement VI had been Archbishop of Rouen and adviser to Philippe IV before, so his links to the French court were much stronger than those of his predecessors. At some point he even financed French war efforts out of his own pockets. He reportedly loved luxurious wardrobe and under his rule the extravagant life style in Avignon reached new heights.

Clement VI is also the pope who reigned during the Black Plague. This epidemic swept through Europe between 1347-1350, and is believed to have killed about one-third of Europe's population.

Pope Innocent VI (1352-1362), born Etienne Aubert, was less partisan than Clement VI. He was keen on establishing peace between France and England, having worked to this end in papal delegations in 1345 and 1348. His gaunt appearance and austere manners commanded higher respect in the eyes of nobles at both sides of the conflict. However, he was also indecisive and impressionable, already an old man when being elected Pope. In this situation, the King of France managed to influence the Papacy, although papal legates played key roles in various attempts to stop the conflict. Most notably in 1353 the Bishop of Porto, Guy de Boulogne, tried to set up a conference. After initial successful talks the effort failed, largely due to the mistrust from English side over Guy's strong ties with the French court. In a letter Innocent VI himself wrote to the Duke of Lancaster: "Although we were born in France and although for that and other reasons we hold the realm of France in special affection, yet in working for peace we have put aside our private prejudices and tried to serve the interests of everyone."

With Pope Urban V (1362-70) the control of the French court over the Papacy became more direct. Urban V himself is described as the most austere of the Avignon popes after Benedict XII and probably the most spiritual of all. However, he was not a strategist and made substantial concessions to the French crown especially in finances, a crucial issue during the war with England. In 1369 Pope Urban V supported the marriage of Philip the Bold of Burgundy and Margaret of Flanders, rather than giving dispensation to one of Edward III's sons to marry Margaret. This clearly showed the partisanship of the Papacy, and correspondingly the respect of the church dropped.

The most influential decision in the reign of Pope Gregory XI (1370-1378) was the return to Rome in 1378. Although the Pope was French born and still under strong influence by the French King, the increasing conflict between factions friendly and hostile to the Pope posed a threat to the Papal lands and to the allegiance of Rome itself. When the Papacy established an embargo against grain exports during a food scarcity 1374/75, Florence organized several cities into a league against the Papacy: Milan, Bologna, Perugia, Pisa, Lucca and Genoa. The papal legate, Robert de Geneva, a relative to the House of Savoy, pursued a particularly ruthless policy against the league to re-establish control over these cities. He convinced Pope Gregory to hire Breton mercenaries. To quell an uprising of the inhabitants of Cesena he hired John Hawkwood and had the majority of the people massacred (between 2500 and 3500 people were reported dead). Following such events opposition against the Papacy strengthened.

Florence came in open conflict with the Pope, a conflict called "the war of the eight saints" in reference to the eight Florentine councilors who were chosen to orchestrate the conflict. The entire city of Florence was excommunicated and as reply the export of clerical taxes was stopped. The trade was seriously hampered and both sides had to find a solution. In his decision about returning to Rome, the Pope was also under the influence of Catherine of Siena, later canonized, who preached for a return to Rome.

The schism itself was finally ended by a series of councils up to 1417. The establishment of the church councils, with the power to decide over the position of Pope, was one of the main outcomes of the schism. However, it did not survive long beyond 1417.

The period has been called the "Babylonian captivity" of the popes. When and where this term originated is uncertain. Petrarch, in a letter to a friend (1340-1353) written during his stay at Avignon, described Avignon of that time as the "Babylon of the west," referring to the worldly practices of the church hierarchy. The term arose in 1350 from Petrarch's letters On the Papal Court at Avignon. The nickname is polemical, in that it refers to the claim by critics that the prosperity of the church at this time was accompanied by a profound compromise of the Papacy's spiritual integrity, especially in the alleged subordination of the powers of the Church to the ambitions of the French kings. As noted, the "captivity" of the popes at Avignon lasted about the same time as the exile of the Jews in Babylon, making the analogy convenient and rhetorically potent. The Avignon papacy has been and is often today depicted as being totally dependent on the French kings, and sometimes as even being treacherous to its spiritual role and its heritage in Rome.

Almost a century and a half later, Protestant reformer Martin Luther wrote his treatise On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520), but he claimed it had nothing to do with the Western Schism or papacy in Avignon.

The relationship between the papacy and France changed drastically over the course of the 14th century. Starting with open conflict between Pope Boniface VIII and King Philip IV of France, it turned to cooperation from 1305 to 1342, and finally to a Papacy under strong influence by the French throne up to 1378. Such partisanship of the Papacy was one of the reasons for the dropping esteem for the institution, which in turn was one of the reasons for the schism from 1378-1417. In the period of the Schism, the power struggle in the Papacy became a battlefield of the major powers, with France supporting the Pope in Avignon and England supporting the Pope in Rome. At the end of the century, still in the state of schism, the Papacy had lost most of its direct political power, and the nation states of France and England were established as the main powers in Europe.

Overall, it seems an exaggeration to characterize the Papacy as a puppet of the French throne.

Even during its Avignon period, 1305 - 1378, the Papacy always pursued its own goals of uniting Christian lords (for example by mediating between France and England) and to uphold the position of the Church (for example by preventing charges of heresy against Boniface VIII made by King Philippe). Only in later times, when a strong French King faced a weak pope, the Papacy made significant concessions to the French king, as under the most French-friendly Pope Urban V who was pressured by the King of France. The basis for exerting such pressure can be found in the changed balance of power in the 14th century. The claim of the Papacy for universal sovereignty, reiterated since Gregory VII's Dictatus papae and championed by Boniface VIII at the beginning of the century, was impossible to uphold in the face of Scholastic movements and the influential works of Marsilius of Padua and William of Ockham. The administrative reorganization beginning with Clement V was successful in bringing funds to the Holy See. However, the focus on administrative and juristic issues characterized the entire Avignon Papacy and consequently it lost much respect among lower nobility and common people, who were more sympathetic to religious orders vowed to poverty rather than to a church hierarchy where cardinals often lived lives of Princes.


The hammered dulcimer (also hammer dulcimer and four hammer dulcimer) is a stringed musical instrument with the strings stretched over a trapezoidal sounding board. Typically, the dulcimer is set on a stand, at an angle, before the musician, who holds small mallet hammers in each hand to strike the strings (cf. Appalachian dulcimer). The word dulcimer is Graeco-Roman, meaning "sweet song," it derives from the Latin dulcis (sweet) and the Greek melos (song). The dulcimer's origin is uncertain, but tradition holds it was invented in Iran some 2000 years ago, where it is called a Santur (cf. the folkloric Kashmiri Santoor).

The dulcimer is played in Wales, East Anglia, Northumbria, Southwest Asia, China, and Thailand, and in traditional Austrian and Bavarian folk music.

The hammered dulcimer comes in various sizes, identified by the number of strings that cross each of the bridges. A 15/14, for example, has two bridges (treble and bass) and spans three octaves. The strings of a hammered dulcimer are usually found in pairs, two strings for each note (though some instruments have three or four strings per note). Each set of strings is tuned in unison and is called a course. As with a piano, the purpose of using multiple strings per course is to make the instrument louder, although as the courses are rarely in perfect unison, a chorus effect usually results. A hammered dulcimer, like an autoharp or harp, requires a tuning wrench for tuning. Unlike the strings of a guitar, the dulcimer's strings are wound around simple bolts (called tuning pins) with square heads.

The strings of the hammered dulcimer are often tuned diatonically, according to a circle of fifths pattern. Typically, the lowest note (often a G or D) is found on the lower right-hand corner of the instrument, just to the left of the right-hand (bass) bridge. As a player strikes the courses above in sequence, they ascend the diatonic scale based on the G or D. With this tuning, the scale is broken into two tetrachords, or groups of four notes. For example, on an instrument with D as the lowest note, the D major scale is played starting in the lower-right corner and ascending the bass bridge: D - E - F# - G. This is the lower tetrachord of the D major scale. At this point the player returns to the bottom of the instrument and shifts to the treble bridge to play the higher tetrachord: A - B - C# - D.

This shift to the adjacent bridge is required because the bass bridge's fourth string G is the start of the lower tetrachord of the G scale. If the player ascends the first eight strings of the bass bridge, they will encounter a flatted seventh (C natural in this case), because this note is drawn from the G tetrachord. This D major scale with a flatted seventh is the mixolydian mode in D.

The pattern continues to the top of the instrument and to the left-hand side of the treble bridge. Moving from the left side of the bass bridge to the right side of the treble bridge is analogous to moving from the right side of the treble bridge to the left side of the treble bridge.
This diatonically-based tuning results in most, but not all, notes of the chromatic scale being available in each key. To fill in the gaps, many modern dulcimer builders include extra short bridges at the top and bottom of the soundboard, where extra strings are tuned to some or all of the missing pitches. Such instruments are often called "chromatic dulcimers" as opposed to the more traditional "diatonic dulcimers."

Hammered dulcimers of non-European descent may have other tuning patterns, and builders of European-style dulcimers sometimes experiment with alternate tuning patterns.

The hammered dulcimer derives its name from the small mallets that players use to strike the strings, called hammers. They are usually made of wood, but can be made from any material, including metal and plastic. In the Western hemisphere, hammers are usually stiff, but in Asia, flexible hammers are often used. The head of the hammer can be left bare for a sharp attack sound, or can be covered with adhesive tape, leather, or fabric for a softer sound.

Versions of the hammered dulcimer are used throughout the world. In Eastern Europe a larger descendant of the hammered dulcimer called the cimbalom is played and has been used by a number of classical composers, including Zoltán Kodály, Igor Stravinsky and Pierre Boulez, and more recently, in a different musical context, by Blue Man Group. The khim is a Thai hammered dulcimer. The Chinese yangqin is a type of hammered dulcimer that originated in Persia. The Santur and Santoor are found in the Middle East and India, respectively.

Austria - hackbrett
Belarus -tsymbaly
Brazil - saltério
Cambodia - khim
China - yangqin
Czech Republic - cimbál
Denmark - hakkebræt
France - tympanon
Germany - Hackbrett
Greece - santouri
Hungary - cimbalom
India - santoor
Iran - santur
Ireland - tiompan
Italy - salterio
Korea - yanggeum
Laos - khim
Latgalia - cymbala
Latvia - cimbole
Lithuania - cimbalai, cimbolai
Mexico - salterio
Mongolia - joochin
Netherlands - hakkebord
Poland - cymbały tsymbaly
Portugal - saltério
Romania - ţambal
Russia - tsymbaly, dultsimer
Slovakia - cimbal
Slovenia - cimbale, oprekelj
Spain - salterio
Sweden - hackbräda, hammarharpa
Switzerland - Hackbrett
Thailand - khim
Turkey - santur
Ukraine - Цимбали tsymbaly
United Kingdom - hammered dulcimer
United States - hammered dulcimer
Vietnam - đàn tam thập lục (lit. "36 strings")
Yiddish - tsimbl

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