Alta cappella

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An Alta cappella (Italian) was a kind of town wind band found throughout continental Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries, which typically consisted of shawms and slide trumpets or sackbuts. Waits were the British equivalent. These were not found anywhere outside of Europe.[1][2]


  1. ^ Iain Fenlon Music and Patronage in Sixteenth-Century Mantua: 2008 "It is not until a few years later, in 1468, that the names of the Mantuan court alta cappella, a group of four players, are recorded. From its origins as a simple band used on ceremonial occasions, this ensemble seems to have been transformed .."
  2. ^ Roy C. Strong -Feast: A History of Grand Eating 2002 - Page 123 "In the hall it was haute musique, itself divided between musica alta for wind bands and basse musique for soft instruments accompanied by voices."

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