The moresca in the long 16th century

Spotlights on vocal repertoire and dance techniques

26.04.2024, 9:00 – 17:00

Vortragssaal, Musikwissenschaftliches Seminar der Universität Basel, Petersgraben 27, 4051 Basel

The moresca in the long 16th century

Contact / information:

Dr. Martina Papiro: forschung.notexisting@nodomain.comscb.notexisting@nodomain.comhsm@fhnw.notexisting@nodomain.comch

Prof. Dr. Hanna Walsdorf: hanna.notexisting@nodomain.comwalsdorf@unibas.notexisting@nodomain.comch

Program & Abstracts (PDF)

The moresca is a widespread dance and term in the Renaissance. However, what is referred to as “moresca” in the various regions and contexts is so heterogeneous that it defies a standardised definition. It is precisely because of these characteristics that the moresca is interesting for an examination within the framework of historically informed musical practice. The aim is to find a way of dealing with gaps in knowledge, problematic terms and cultural attributions and, not least, with polyvalences.

On this study day, two very different case studies will illustrate possible approaches: The dancer and musicologist Hubert Hazebroucq deals with the reconstruction of dance techniques for the moresca, based on Arbeau’s Orchésographie and Italian sources as well as related dances from the prints by Susato, Phalèse, and Praetorius. The percussionist Gabriele Miracle examines the relationship between the Neapolitan moresca and the African communities of the time in Naples and its significance for the musical realisation of this repertoire. Both case studies will also be practically explored together with the participants.

As introduction, Hanna Walsdorf will contextualise conceptual inconsistencies and shifts in musical and choreographic aspects of the moresca; Martina Papiro will prepare an input on the iconography of the moresca for the two case studies in order to illustrate the questions raised using image sources.

*** A cooperation of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis & the Musikwissenschaftliches Seminar der Universität Basel. ***



09:00  Introduction

09:15  Hanna Walsdorf (Universität Basel): Moresca, morisque, morischgien tantz – terminological coordinates between music and dance

09:45  Martina Papiro (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis): What insights can be provided by iconography?

10:15  Break 

10:30   Hubert Hazebroucq (Conservatoire Régional de Paris): Moresche dance techniques from sources of c. 1480–1610 (Introduction, 30') & workshop with students (90')

12:30  Lunch break

13:30  Gabriele Miracle (Amelia, I): The Neapolitan moresca (Introduction, 30') & workshop with students (90')

15:30  Break

16:00  Presentation from the workshops and concluding discussion

17:00  End


  • Free admission
  • Active participation is encouraged, please contact us to receive the selection of sheet music
  • Students of the SCB are requested to register online by 18.04.2024