"Like an Earthly Paradise": Concealed Music in Early Modern Pleasure Houses


ACLS Project Development Grants


Musicology, Composition and Theory


Modeled on the garden villas of renaissance Italy, pleasure houses became important spaces for courtly recreation and representation in northern Europe. These sites were often spatially arranged to conceal musicians from view as they played, so that their performance appeared as an acoustic miracle to visitors. Through the lens of pleasure houses, with their complex array of acoustic, visual, and spatial signs, this study investigates the interrelations between sound, space, and visual media in early modern cultural practice. The grant will support research at archives and libraries in Germany and the Czech Republic.