There is no denying that the invention of paper was a major human accomplishment and a medium that had a profound impact on society. It turned the dissemination of information and record keeping into much easier tasks and thus had a great impact on human existence. Researchers often consult archival material for the written or drawn content to find answers for their research questions, but more often than not, paper as a material is disregarded. Paper itself, however, is a treasure trove of clues left behind by the mill manufacturer waiting to be investigated. Just like a burglar unintentionally leaves fingerprints behind, the mill manufacturer leaves behind watermarks, chain and laid lines produced by the moldmate. The thickness of the paper, appearance and material composition are also features that vary from one mill to another. While a watermark was incorporated intentionally to identify the manufacturer or the grade of paper, the other features were simply a result of the paper making process. Fortunately, advances in Artificial Intelligence technologies can aid in facilitating the “detective” work and identify the provenance of [...]
Simona Cenci, Petrucci’s books of Frottole: the metamorphosis of a musical genre at the dawn of the printing revolution.
At the turn of the 16th century, Ottaviano Petrucci was granted by the Venetian Signoria a twenty-year privilege to print and sell polyphonic music. This privilege offered him not only the opportunity to improve and develop new printing techniques for polyphonic music but also the monopoly of the production and trade of this repertoire in Venice. The printing of chant liturgical music was already widespread during the 15th century, but, due to the complications linked to the process of printing, and to the uncertainty of the market, polyphonic music was a new and mostly unexplored field. Before Petrucci, printed vocal music was produced by using intaglio printmaking techniques, such as woodcuts, or a combination of printmaking and typographic techniques for the music and the text, respectively. Petrucci was the first to attempt the use of movable characters for both components; he was able to enhance the aesthetic appearance and the accessibility of the scores by improving the superimposition effects, and his techniques established the predominant mise-en-page used for the transmission of this repertoire during the Renaissance. Between 1503 [...]