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MUSICA JESUTICA

The international network of Jesuit colleges and schools which operated from the middle of the sixteenth century until 1773, provided a unique self-supporting infrastructure within which liberal arts thrived.

Not only were Jesuit educational institutions highly regarded for the quality of their teaching, but the churches and chapels adjoining them were usually decorated with superb paintings, carvings and plasterwork by the finest artists and craftsmen.

Many scholars have recently demonstrated that the quality of the music heard in these buildings was as fine as the venues themselves, yet their findings are, understandably, based on a limited number of surviving printed and manuscript sources known to have specifically originated from Jesuit colleges, since so much material was dispersed or destroyed after the suppression.

However, in archives scattered throughout the world there are musical sources which provide further evidence of the rich musical culture in Jesuit colleges, sources which have yet to be fully investigated or set in context.

There is today a body of literature on this subject written in many languages, but modern musicology has not yet fully crossed the cultural boundaries in order to present a wider perspective, especially in regard to the gigantic programme of Jesuit college construction which took place in Eastern Europe and the Americas during the seventeenth century, and its associated educational revolution.

This page will be dedicated to discussion and presentation of ongoing research in this area, and will also include images of Jesuit art and architecture, known to specialist art scholars, but not necessarily familiar to a wider group of enthusiasts for Jesuit culture.

Leech, P. and Whitehead, M. 2016. Clamores omnino atque admirationes excitant: New light on music and musicians at St Omers English Jesuit College, 1658-1714. [Article] Tijdschrift van de Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis LXVI(1), pp. 123-148.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/26384753?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Leech, P. and Whitehead, M. 2011. 'In Paradise and among angels'. Music and musicians at St Omers English Jesuit College, 1593-1721. [Article] Tijdschrift van de Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis 61(1-2), pp. 57-82.
https://www.jstor.org/stable/43738321?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

A comprehensive list of books and articles relating to Jesuit music and musicians can be found at https://jesuitonlinebibliography.bc.edu/