Jacopo da Bologna

Jacopo da Bologna (fl. 1340 – c. 1386) was an Italian composer of the Trecento, the period sometimes known as the Italian ars nova. He was one of the first composers of this group, making him a contemporary of Gherardello da Firenze and Giovanni da Firenze. He concentrated mainly on madrigals, including both canonic (caccia-madrigal) and non-canonic types, but also composed a single example each of a caccia, lauda-ballata, and motet (; ).

His setting of Non al suo amante, written about 1350, is the only known contemporaneous setting of Petrarch's poetry (; ).

Jacopo's ideal was "suave dolce melodia" (sweet, gentle melody) . His style is marked by fully texted voice parts that never cross. The untexted passages which connect the textual lines in many of his madrigals are also noteworthy .

He is well represented in the Squarcialupi Codex, the large collection of 14th century music long owned by the Medici family; twenty-nine compositions of his are found in that source, the principal source for music of the Italian ars nova, alongside music by Francesco Landini and others . A portrait of Jacopo is found in this manuscript, and another possible portrait is found in a north-Italian manuscript, Fulda, Landesbibliothek, Hs. D23, fol. 302 (; ). However, the identification of Jacopo as the subject of the painting in the latter source was made by a hand later than the manuscript copyist's, throwing some doubt on its reliability .

In addition to his compositions, Jacopo also wrote a short theoretical treatise, Questa è l'arte del biscanto misurato (; ), which is influenced by French notational theory . He may also have been active as a poet, to judge from the autobiographical texts of the madrigals Io me sun un che, Oselleto salvazo, and Vestìse la cornachia .

Selected bibliography