The presence of two famous exponents of the French and Italian ars nova in Naples in 1318––respectively Petrus de Sancto Dionysio and Marchetto da Padova––substantiates Nino Pirrotta's hypothesis that the Angevin capital was an important center of musical culture in the early Trecento and a setting for avant-garde debates. It also aids in reconstructing the elusive biography of the Paduan musician and clarifies the much debated dating of his Pomerium. Pirrotta ultimately abandoned his Neapolitan hypothesis for lack of evidence, a difficulty caused and aggravated by the thorough destruction of Angevin chancery documents during the Second World War. Evidence has been found, however, in indirect sources, such as literary texts, works of local history, and documentary transcriptions and summaries that predate the archival losses. In addition to placing the two prominent musicians at the Angevin court in Naples, these sources confirm the presence there of minstrels (evidence for secular music within the court's recreational sphere), vouch for the continuity of the institution of the royal chapel (evidence for sacred music at court, clearly connected to the liturgy), and testify to Robert of Anjou's catalytic patronage of the arts and his passion for music in general. Thus Naples regains its status as a capital on the map of 14th-century music.
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