International Centre for the Study of Music in the Low Countries

Bio-bibliography “Music in the Papal Chapel”

Bio-bibliography “Music in the Papal Chapel”

Project coordinator: Bruno Bouckaert
Project collaborator: Sofie Taes
Duration: 01.01.2007 - 30.06.2007

The papal chapel was one of the most important and most influential musical institutions in Medieval and Renaissance Western Europe. Famous composers such as Josquin, Arcadelt, Conseil, Festa, Morales and Palestrina sang in or composed music for the papal choir.

The elaborate report “Hodie Papa voluit habere missam: Muziek in de pauselijke kapel” (“Hodie Papa voluit habere missam: Music in the Papal Chapel), written in July 2007 for the Flanders Festival - Antwerp - Laus Polyphoniae 2009, focuses on these, and many other talented musicians who were part of the “Cappella Sistina” from its earliest days (Schola Cantorum, the papal chapel in Avignon, the chapel during the Great Western Schism, …), during the magnificent pontificates of Leo X and Clement VII, until the early 17th Century, when the repertoire of the chapel started to petrify and the “Golden Age” of the papal singers had come to an end.

Included in this report is a view on the history of the chapel as an institution, its repertoire, performance practice, important sources etc.

To conclude this study, the author suggests a number of concert themes and -programmes focusing on different aspects of the papal chapel.


TAES, S., Hodie Papa voluit habere missam: Muziek in de pauselijke kapel. Study for Laus Polyphoniae 2009, presented by the Alamire Foundation, commissionned by Flanders Festival - Antwerp, Leuven, 2007.

download rapport in pdf format