L’organo Suonarino op.13, Bologna, 1605
Adriano Banchieri (1568-1634) was a Bolognese monk. For many years he was organist of S. Michele in Bosco, Bologna. He was the first composer to publish liturgical organ music in response to the Caerimoniale Episcoporum, promulgated by Clement VIII in 1600. This response took the form of a manual for Organists – L’Organo suonarino. The manual immediately proved popular. It ran to three editions in Banchieri’s lifetime and the last was reissued posthumously. For all that, hardly any of it has been the subject of a modern edition. Clement devoted a whole chapter to the liturgical role of music. Given the Tridentine context, he had surprisingly little interest in normalising the role of the organist. It is true that he specified in detail when the organ could not be played. Thus, the organ was appropriate on Sundays and the more important feasts. There were many occasions when it could not be played. They included Masses for the dead and (with specified exceptions) the Sundays of Advent and lent. It could not be played in the Creed, the first verses of Canticles and Hymns, or verses when genuflection occurred. Clement had much less to say about the nature of the organist’s contributions. Music should not be lascivious. Words of the verses played alternatim by the organ should be recited clearly by a member of the choir.