Manuscript Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Magliabechiana XIX, 164-167 (FlorBN Magl. 164-7) has been the subject of considerable scholarly attention.
The prevailing assumption had been that it was a Florentine source of the early sixteenth century.
More recently, it has been argued that its provenance is not as easily determined as it first appears, and that there are Roman connections suggested by one of its codicological features. This monograph provides as full a bibliographical and codicological report on FlorBN Magl. 164-7 as is currently possible. Such evidence suggests that the earlier thesis is more likely to be correct: the manuscript was copied in Florence c.1520.
After a review of the evidence for provenance and date, the repertory of the manuscript is placed in its historical and cultural context.
Florence of the early sixteenth century is shown to have an organized cultural life that was characterized by the activities of such institutions as the Sacred Academy of the Medici, the famous group that met in the garden of the Rucellai, and others. FlorBN Magl. 164-7 is an exceedingly interesting and important source; an eclectic repository not only of compositionally advanced settings of Petrarchan verse by Rucellai-group intimate Bernardo Pisano but also of sharply contrasting works, popular in character.
It is almost a manifesto of the sensibilities of preeminent Florentine cultural figures of the sort who frequented the garden of the Rucellai and as such is a revealing document of Florentine musical taste during those crucial years that witnessed the emergence of the new secular genre we know as the Italian madrigal.