Chiara Bertoglio's first book, Voi suonate, amici cari (2005) came to light thanks to the encouragement and stimuli provided by some friends, who had invited her to discuss topics relating to Mozart performance.
Since then, Chiara published many books, both in English and in Italian, issued by several publishers (among which De Gruyter).
In this page full information is provided about her publications in English; for details about her books in Italian, please check here.
Instructive Editions and Piano Performance Practice: a Case Study (Saarbrücken: LAP, 2013)
Instructive editions: still frequently used in music teaching; rejected by musicology and by "serious" musicians as textually unreliable; silently adopted by many students and sometimes consulted by accomplished musicians... Although they are commonly found both on music shop shelves and on the music stand of many performers, they are rarely studied, discussed and analysed. This book studies the phenomenon of instructive editions from a plurality of viewpoints: what are they? which problems are posed by their use? how and how much are they used today? how, when and why were they born? And, most important of all: what can they tell us as concerns past performance practice? Indeed, instructive editions become formidable tools for the study of past performance, being the distillation of their editor's concept of the work. Their usefulness for studies in performance practice is shown through the analysis of Italian editions of Bach's Well-Tempered Keyboard, an iconic work in keyboard literature and an all-time favourite in performance and teaching. The author's personal experience as a concert pianist and teacher gives a further practical insight into the processes of music making.
Watch a video on the impact of instructive editions on performance practice studies:
Through music to truth. Music and Theology in Dialogue with Italian Culture (Cantalupa: Effatà, 2016)
Can music be a gateway to truth? And how can this happen? This book explores the fascinating narrative of the relationship between music and faith, in dialogue with major figures of the Italian culture. Dante’s itinerary to God in the Divina Commedia can be described as a musical path; the popularity of Verdi’s Va’, pensiero dovetails with Italy’s recent history and expresses the feelings and prayers of the Istrian exiles; the influence of Petrarch on European poetry and music is felt in J. S. Bach’s sacred output, which also comprises his own transcription of a Marian devotional work by Pergolesi. Each of the four chapters of this book focuses on one of these four leading characters of Italian history (Dante, Petrarch, Pergolesi and Verdi), whose artistry shaped our culture. They also created new ways to express the splendour of truth, which transforms aesthetic enjoyment into the contemplation of the ultimate Good, the radiant beauty of God.
Reforming Music. Music and the Religious Reformations of the Sixteenth Century (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017)
Five hundred years ago a monk nailed his theses to a church gate in Wittenberg. The sound of Luther’s mythical hammer, however, was by no means the only aural manifestation of the religious Reformations.
This book describes the birth of Lutheran Chorales and Calvinist Psalmody; of how music was practised by Catholic nuns, Lutheran schoolchildren, battling Huguenots, missionaries and martyrs, cardinals at Trent and heretics in hiding, at a time when Palestrina, Lasso and Tallis were composing their masterpieces, and forbidden songs were concealed, smuggled and sung in taverns and princely courts alike.
Music expressed faith in the Evangelicals’ emerging worships and in the Catholics’ ancient rites; through it new beliefs were spread and heresy countered; analysed by humanist theorists, it comforted and consoled miners, housewives and persecuted preachers; it was both the symbol of new, conflicting identities and the only surviving trace of a lost unity of faith.
The music of the Reformations, thus, was music reformed, music reforming and the reform of music: this book shows what the Reformations sounded like, and how music became one of the protagonists in the religious conflicts of the sixteenth century.
"Any reader of this book cannot fail to be immeasurably enriched" (Jeremy Begbie).
"This book will form a major contribution to the intellectual history of Europe in the century of the reformations. It is, indeed, a highly original, even magisterial analysis and synthesis of recent music historical research" (Nils Holger Petersen).
"[Chiara Bertoglio] does not content herself, however, with a simplified sketch, but rather she draws a multicoloured map. [...] A documented microcosm, accompanied by an impressive apparatus of glossary, primary and secondary bibliography, indexes of names and topics" (Gianfranco Ravasi, "Il Sole 24 ore").
"Thanks to Chiara Bertoglio's academic research turned descriptive outline, we have a marvellous exposition of the place of music during the first century of the Reformation" (Richard Rouse, "Culture e fede").
"This volume offers an eminently readable and entertaining account. The author has gathered an impressive amount of material and manages to illustrate the diversity of the subject matter and encourage further research on the cultural effects of the Reformation." (Andrea Hofmann, "Sehepunkte").
"Chiara Bertoglio has attempted to write a comprehensive introduction to sixteenth-century church music without a confessional bias. In this she has largely succeeded". (Joseph Herl, "Lutheran Quarterly").
"Upon opening the impressive tome of her Reforming Music: Music and the Religious Reformations of the Sixteenth Century, one cannot help but be impressed at the sheer amount of information Bertoglio has compiled and worked through. […] Bertoglio has compiled an almost inestimable resource to assist in engaging the musical development of the sixteenth century for scholars and students". (Zachary Jones, "Southeastern Theological Review").
"Chiara Bertoglio’s Reforming Music, an impressively ambitious attempt to synthesize current knowledge on music and religious culture in the sixteenth century. […] The theme of music as a unifying force is one of Bertoglio’s principal lessons
Of special interest will be her discussion of women and their role in religious music of the century (chapter 12), a much-needed and thoughtfully-written riposte to the overwhelmingly patriarchal character of traditional scholarship". (Alexander J. Fisher, "Church History").
Watch the promo video:
Winner of the RefoRC Book Award 2018!
Musical Scores and the Eternal Present.
Theology, Time and Tolkien (Eugene OR: Pickwick, 2021)
Music is played and heard in time, yet it is also embodied in space by musical scores. The observation of a musical score turns time into space and allows musicians to embrace the flow of time in a single glance. This experience constitutes a symbol for the Eternal Present, the simultaneous knowledge of all time outside time. This book analyzes the implications of this view through a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, linking theology, philosophy, literature, and music. It also studies how this theme has been foreshadowed in the writings of Dante and J. R. R. Tolkien, demonstrating the connections between their masterpieces and the aesthetics of their times. The result is a fascinating itinerary through the history of culture, thought, and music, but also a deeply theological and spiritual experience.
Watch a one-minute video trailer