The Royal and Patriarchal Chapel of Lisbon (1716-1834): international comparisons in the field of court ceremonial and musical practices
The current research project aims to study the musical practices at the Lisbon Royal Chapel from its promotion to the status of Patriarchal in 1716, on the initiative of King João V, up to the extinction in 1834 as a consequence of the rising of Liberalism and the collapse of the Ancien Régime in Portugal. During this period, the structures responsible for the sacred music of the Crown constitute the most important network of circulation of musicians and repertoires and had a strategic importance in the symbolic representation of the royal power. Supported by the huge investment from the Royal Household, sacred music had a far bigger impact on the Luzo-Brasilian cultural scene than any other musical domain. The research project represents a logical extension of my PhD thesis (The production system of sacred music in Portugal at the end of the Old Regime: the Royal Chapel and the Patriarchal Church between 1750 and 1807), encompassing now the entire period of existence of the institution and giving emphasis to issues that had not been fully developed during the doctorate. It is the case of the musical production itself (critical edition of scores and analysis of repertoires, compositional models, performance practice, etc.) and international comparisons, in other words, a contextualized study of the Portuguese Royal Chapel within the European panorama. This latter goal is the underlying theme for the 2nd triennium (approved by FCT in March 2013), entitled The Royal and Patriarchal Chapel of Lisbon (1716-1834): international comparisons in the field of court ceremonial and musical practices. The scientific approach involves the use of interdisciplinary methodologies, comprising not only musicology but also other issues related to social, politics, religious, cultural and art history. The comparative study between the Portuguese Royal and Patriarchal Chapel and other European Court Chapels (on which exists already an extensive bibliography) will take into account aspects such as the organization models that shape the musical departments of the monarchy; the liturgical ritual and the court ceremonial; specific musical genres and the circulation of international repertoires; the relation between functional context and performance practices; the repercussions of the Royal Chapel activity on the city’s musical life through the performance of their musicians in different spaces or the establishment of professional networks; the role of the monarchy and of the ecclesiastical authorities in the shaping of musical taste and aesthetical rituals.