The Angevin Struggle for the Kingdom of Naples (c.1378–1411) and Politics of Repertoire in Mod A:

New Hypotheses


  • Dr Jason J. Stoessel University of New England


Politics, Ars subtilior, international repertoire, Great Schism, Louis II of Anjou


The inner gatherings of the music manuscript Modena, Biblioteca Estense, MS. α.M.5.24 (Mod AII-IV) contain a tangle of politically-charged songs, mostly in French, referring to the tumultuous Great Schism of the Western Church (1378–1417) and the prowess of several princes of ascendant Italian states during the same period. Some scholars have connected the repertoire of Mod AII-IV with Pétros Fílargos, sometime Archbishop of Milan and then the short-lived conciliar pope Alexander V. Yet art-historical evidence now strongly suggests that Mod AII-IV was completed during the pontificate of Alexander’s successor, John XXIII, between September 1410 and March 1411 in Bologna. During the first two years of John’s pontificate the influential and wealthy prince of France, Louis II of Anjou, prosecuted his claim for title of the Kingdom of Naples in Italy, simultaneously supporting John XXIII’s military campaign to reclaim Rome. This article explores a new hypothesis that part of the repertoire of Mod AII-IV—and possibly the manuscript’s very structure—reflects the presence of the Angevin prince at the court of John XXIII in Bologna in the second half of 1410. It considers how other political threads running through this manuscript render it an unlikely candidate for a source connected with the pro-Visconti Alexander V.

Author Biography

Dr Jason J. Stoessel , University of New England

Dr Stoessel is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of New England, Armidale, Australia. In 2013 he was Balzan Programme in Musicology research visitor at the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford, examining 13th- and 14th-century trans-Eurasian musical contacts. From 2014-2018 he was a Research Associate with the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. He has held successive Australian Research Council Discovery Grants, 2015-2017 and 2018-2020.

Dr Stoessel's music research extends from late 13th century to the early 17th century, with a particular focus on Italian music. He is recognised as a leading expert on 14th-century music, music theory and music notation in France and Italy, and has published extensively on the music of the late Ars nova and Ars subtilior. His work on the life and music of Johannes Ciconia is ongoing and includes several published articles and book chapters. His groundbreaking publications on canons in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries has shed new light on compositional process and the place of canons in contemporary visual culture. His current research on the contrapuntalists of early 17th-century Rome focuses upon the composers Pier Francesco Valentini and Romano Micheli, and includes interdisciplinary research on music, visual culture and the emergence of early scientific culture in the context of early modern Catholicism. He has published landmark sources studies, including articles on newly discovered manuscripts of early music in Australian collections. His research interests also encompass digital humanities, including computationally assisted music analysis, music encoding and optical early music recognition, social network analysis and other big data approaches to better understanding music's place in past cultures and communities.




How to Cite

Stoessel , J. . (2022). The Angevin Struggle for the Kingdom of Naples (c.1378–1411) and Politics of Repertoire in Mod A:: New Hypotheses. Journal of Music Research Online, 5. Retrieved from