Jacopo da Bologna & Francesco Petrarca - Non al su' amante piú Dïana piacque (1350)

Jacopo da Bologna & Francesco Petrarca - Non al su' amante piú Dïana piacque (1350)

 Jacopo da Bologna was born in Bologna. He has worked in Verona and Milan and served in the Visconti court. His contribution to music theory is significant in the treatise L’arte del biscanto misurato, where mensuration notations in the French style is being discussed.

The Italian version of Ars Nova is called Trecento, in reference to the 1300s. The madrigal, caccia, and ballata are several fixed forms of this era.  25 two-voice madrigals, seven three-voice madrigals are attributed to Jacopo da Bologna. Jacopo da Bologna is one of the first generations of composers of the Trecento era, making him Landini's predecessor.

The 14th-century Italian madrigal was composed for two or three voices in AAB format  where B is a two-line ritornello often involving a metrical change from the A parts.

Non al suo amanteEdit


This madrigal is a setting of a poem by Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374), the greatest Italian lyric poet of the 14th century. This is the only surviving musical setting of Petrarca's poem while he was still alive. This poem alludes to Ovid's Metamorphoses (III, 138,252) of Acteon's discovery of the goddess Diana in the nude. The theme of transformation persists in the poem, where Petrarch captures the mixture of surprise, admiration, love and fear the poet feels, as opposed to sheer terror in the original work.

The poem translates to the following:

Stanza 1-No more did Diana please her lover,

when just by chance totally nude

he saw her amidst the chilly waters,

Stanza 2- than did the rustic mountain shepherdess [please] me

when I gazed at her washing her snow-white veil

tha shields her graceful hai from the sun and the breeze.


Such [was the experience] tha it made me,

[even] when the sun was scorching,

shiver all over with an amorous chill.


The form of this poem is typical of that of the 14th century madrigal, 2 stanzas of 3 lines followed by a 2-line ritornello. Apart from measures 7-8 and 17-18, both voices have the same text and are sung together.

There is much equality in the voices, apart from extended florid runs in the upper voice on each opening syllable . The interest in this madrigal lies in its alternating hockets (m.16-19), and altenation of rests between voices (m.24-28).

The stronger cadences in this piece are in unison, while only inner cadences are in octaves-as in the tradition of Ars Nova French cadences.

The elaborate divisions of the beat suggests its derivaion from improvised singing. The division of the half-notes in the stanzas are into two quarter notes-an example of imperfect division. This allows for freedom in the notation of the scales. In the ritornello, division is perfect-a dotted half note into three quarter notes, or two dotted quarter notes.


Da Bologna's advocacy for beautiful singing was a ‘suave dolce melodia’ musical style, which he contrasted with the ‘gridar forte’ that he opposed (see Oselleto salvazo). The two voices never cross in this piece, or in any of his other two-part madrigals. File:Jdb10001.PDF


Burkholder, Peter J., Donald J. Grout. A History of Western Music. Eighth Edition. W.W. Norton Company, 2010.

Grout, Donald Jay, Peter J. Burkholder, and Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music, New York: W.W.Norton Company, 2010.

Kurt von Fischer and Gianluca D'agostino, "Jacopo da Bologna." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford