Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680; see Wikipedia; good introduction: Larsen 1989, at the Internet Archive), Jesuit from Germany, was one of the most famous and productive scholars of the 17th century. He has been called "The Last Man Who Knew Everything" (Findlen 2012) or the "Master of a Hundred Arts" (Reilly 1974), to quote the titles of two of the more recent works about him. Kircher wrote about numerous different topics, for example about China, Egyptology, medicine, geology, musicology and much more (see the list of his books at Roessler, Kircher; see also at the Internet Archive).
I am interested here only in his work in one particular field. Kircher also happened to be among the first who made available popular tunes and songs of the people from Europe's cultural periphery. Today they would be called "folk-tunes". One may say that he could be regarded as one of the first folklorists or ethnomusicologists. I am referring of course to the famous tarantellas from the south of Italy, dance tunes that at that time were said to cure the bite of the tarantula.
We can find them in his work about magnetism, Magnes Sive De Arte Magnetica Opus Tripartitum - first published in 1641 and then in new editions in 1643 and 1654 - as part of a chapter "De Tarantismo, sive Tarantula Apulo Phalangio, eiusque Magnetismo, ac mira cum Musica sympathia", an extensive scholarly discussion of what was called tarantism (see here 2nd ed. 1643, pp. 755-77). He offered eight tunes, some of them with texts, together with helpful notes (pp. 761-4, see the translation in Brewer 2011, pp. 2-9).
But at first it is necessary to review the digital copies of this work. We have to find them which is not always that easy. Then we have to check if they are usable: are the scans complete and in good quality?. Not at least there is also the question if these digital copies are presented in a way that they can be used effectively?
A good start is the above-mentioned list of digital copies of Kircher's books (Roessler, Kircher). Wikisource offers links to scans of Kircher's publications with musical content including this one. To find more copies several search engines and catalogs are needed: KVK, Europeana, Google and Google Books, the Internet Archive and others. The result is once again very impressive. All in all I found more than 30 digital facsimiles of this work, eight of the 1st edition, nine of the 2nd and 14 of the third. Two thirds of them - twice as many as by all other libraries together - were produced by Google. This shows that they still rule the field.
Athanasius Kircher, Magnes Sive De Arte Magnetica Opus Tripartitum, Scheus, Roma, 1641, here pp. 872-6
- at Google Books [= UofLausanne], also at the Internet Archive
- at Google Books [= BM Lyon]
- at Google Books [= BNC Roma]
- at Google Books [= BSB/SB Regensburg]
- at Google Books [= BSB]
- at MPIWG
- at Lower Silesian Digital Library [djvu; Book 1 & 2 only]
- at BDH
dto., Editio Secunda, Kalcoven, Köln, 1643, here pp. 761-4
- at Google Books [= UofLausanne]
- at Google Books [= BSB] [plates missing, see VD 17 23:255233C], also at the Internet Archive
- at Google Books [= ÖNB]
- at Google Books [= U Gent]
- at Google Books [= BM Lyon]
- at the Internet Archive [= BCL]
- at HAB Wolfenbüttel
- at e-Rara (ZB Zürich)
- at BDH
dto., Editio Tertia, Mascardi, Roma, 1654, here pp. 591-6
- at Google Books [= BSB/SSB Augsburg]
- at BSB [= GB?], also at the Internet Archive
- at Google Books [= BM Lyon]
- at Google Books [= Sapienza – Università di Roma]
- at Google Books [= UC Madrid]
- at Google Books [= UC Madrid]
- at Google Books [= BNC Roma], also at the Internet Archive
- at Google Books [= BNC Firenze]
- at Google Books [= BN Napoli], also at the Internet Archive
- at Google Books [= ÖNB]
- at HAB Wolfenbüttel
- at e-rara (ZB Zürich)
- at Biblioteka Narodowa (Warszawa)
- at Internet Culturale
It is good to have so many copies but as is known there are some serious problems with the quality of the Google-scans. Particularly troublesome is the fact that many of them are not complete. Everything that has a different format than the book itself has - in many cases - not been scanned correctly: fold-outs with maps, illustrations and music or other extras. This is not occasional sloppiness but a general problem that must always be taken into account. Therefore every Google Book needs to be checked for completeness. In this case - Kircher's books are lavish productions - it would be a very time-consuming task: how many illustrations and plates are missing? Were they already missing from the original copy or did they get lost during the scanning process?
But I can't do this here and I only have checked if they are usable for my own purposes: at least the chapter about the tarantula including the musical examples should be complete. Surprisingly in nearly all copies it is. Only in two scans made from copies of the 2nd edition the plate with the "Antidotum Tarantulae" (after p. 762) is missing (UGent; BM Lyon). This seems to have happened during the scanning process. In another one (BSB) it is also missing but in this case it is a problem of the original book (see VD 17 23:255233C). In general most of the scans are better than expected. Of course some look a little uneven and some are still only in black & white but the pages I needed were there. But I don't doubt that a closer inspection would reveal other defects.
The copies made available by other libraries also seem to be reliable but I think their online readers are not as good and effective as they should be. They are much slower and less flexible than those of Google Books and of the Internet Archive. The latter offers at the moment still the best possible reader and therefore I used as my working copy a scan of the 2nd edition - from the Boston College Library - that is available there. The Internet Archive's own scans are generally much more reliable than those by Google Books and usually I prefer them to all others.
Tarantism, an exotic and strange custom from Europe's cultural periphery, used to be a favorite problem for scholars for a very long time. A wealth of relevant literature was produced over the last several centuries and it is still discussed today (see f. ex. the overviews in: Strasser 1984; Schedtler 1994; Arcangeli 2000, at academia.edu; Le Menthéour, 2009, at Michigan Publ.; Daboo 2010; Korenjak 2013; still useful; Bergsøe 1865, at Google Books; Büsching 1778, at UB Tübingen). It was known well before Kircher's publications. Perotti referred to the tarantula in his Cornucopiae seu Latinae Linguae Commentarii (1527, col. 51; see Becker 1836, col. 11) as did Spanish humanist Pedro Meija in his immensely popular Silva de varia lección (1540, see German ed., 1564, pp. cciiii). In England it was John Case who included a short remark in The Praise of Musicke (1586 [ESTC S115011], p. 56, at EEBO]:
"Likewise in Apulia when anie man is bitten of the Tarrantula, which is a certain kinde of flie, verie venimous and full of daunger, they finde out the nature and sympathie of the sicknesse or humor, with playing on instrumentes, and with diuersitie of Musicke, neither doe they cease from playing, vntill the often motion and agitation, haue driuen the disease away".
This fable also found its way into literature. There is for example a reference in Sidney's Arcadia (1590, here 1598, p. 33): "This word, Louer, did not lesse pierce poor Pyrocles, than the right tune tune of musicke toucheth him that is sicke of the Tarantula". Italian physician Vincenzio Bruni dedicated one of his Tre dialoghi to this problem (Napoli, 1601, pp. 1-37). More names could be added. But it was Kircher who actually discussed it in detail, as a scientific case study in the context of his ideas about musical therapy. "Rather than offering rarefied speculations [...] Kircher focuses on the here-and-now, observing, scrutinizing, documenting" (Gioia, p. 118).
Most important in this respect was that he made available the tunes and songs performed at these occasions. He hadn't collected them himself. Instead he relied on the information sent to him by two Jesuits who lived and worked in Apulia and who had witnessed cases of tarantism. Their names are given at the start of the chapter (2nd. ed., p. 756). There have been some doubts about the reliability of these notations. All except one of these tunes are in common time while all tarantellas collected later were in triple metre (see Daboo, p. 122). Perhaps these two padres didn't have enough experience with this kind of music or these tunes were really performed this way.
Kircher offered all in all eight tunes. For some of them he added texts. He was able to comment on every one of them, gave some information about the instrumentation, the performance context and the effects. One of them - the only one in triple time - had been sent to him from Napoli as the "true tarantella". In this case he had some doubts but added it nonetheless. His theories about musical therapy and his discussion about tarantism are of course now completely outdated. But this collection of tunes and songs remains important as "a unique example of actual music from this historical moment" (Daboo, p. 122), a very fascinating documentation of the popular music of the people from the South of Italy.
At that time not much music of this kind - "exotic" tunes either from the European periphery or from outside of Europe - was available (see my bibliography at Google Docs). Spanish musicologist Francisco Salinas had published popular tunes from Southern Europe in his De Musica Libri Septem (1577; see also Pedrell 1899). Some original music from the Americas had been made available by Jean de Lery (1585) and Marc Lescarbot (1617). Turkish pieces can be found both in Salomon Schweigger's, Newe Reyßbeschreibung (1608) and Kepler's Harmonices Mundi (1618).
Most closely related to Kircher's work was a book published only several years earlier. Friedrich Menius had included three fragmentary tunes recorded from performances of Baltic peasants in his Syntagma de Origine Livonorum (1635, pp. 45-6, at NLR; see also the reprint in Scriptores Rerum Livonicarum II, 1848, p. 525; see Graf 1963). Menius (1593-1659), at that time professor of history in Dorpat, also offered these songs and tunes in the context of an academic treatise. He was interested in the origin of the non-German Baltic populations, a very popular topic among scholars at that time (see now Donecker 2017, part. pp. 123-46). But he also added interesting and notes about the musical performances. These tunes were in fact the earliest available examples of the music of the Latvians and Estonians and it would take a long time - more than 140 years - until more was collected and published.
Neither Kircher nor Menius were interested in these tunes and songs itself but only in their value as an historical source and as documentary evidence in the context of their treatise. Nonetheless both works can be seen as the symbolic starting-points for subsequent research into the popular music of the people from Europe's cultural periphery. At that time both the Baltic peasants and Kircher's Apulian taranti must have been as exotic and strange to the common European scholar as some newly discovered people on the other side of the world. Unfortunately Menius' innovative efforts were quickly forgotten. But Kircher's tarantellas always remained available and were reprinted regularly over the next centuries.
Kircher returned to this topic in two of his later publications, both musicological works:
- Athanasius Kircher, Musurgia Universalis Sive Ars Magna Consoni Et Dissoni in X Libros Digesta, Grignani, Roma, 1650, II, pp. 221-4, at the Internet Archive: Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 [= Google Books-UC Madrid: Vol. 1 & Vol. 2]; at Google Books: Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 [= BSB], also at the Internet Archive: Vol. 2
- Athanasius Kircher, Philosophischer Extract und Auszug aus deß Welt-berühmten Teutschen Jesuiten Athanasii Kircheri von Fulda Musurgia Universali, in Sechs Bücher verfasset, Laidigen, Schwäbisch Hall, 1662, here pp. 179-87, at Google Books [= NBC]; at Google Books [= BSB]
- Athanasius Kircher, Phonurgia Nova Sive Conjugium Mechanico-physicum Artis & Naturae Paranympha Phonosophia, Dreher, Kempten, 1673, pp. 204-16, at the Internet Archive [= Google Books-BNC Roma]; at the Internet Archive [= Google Books-BSB]
- Athanasius Kircher, Neue Hall- und Thonkunst, oder Mechanische Geheim-Verbindung der Kunst und Natur, Durch Stimme und Hall-Wissenschaft gestiftet, In unsere Teutsche Sprache übersetzt von Agatho Carione, Schultes, Nördlingen, 1684, pp. 144-52, at Google Books [= BSB], also at the Internet Archive
In his Musurgia Universalis we can find a summary of this problem, but no musical examples. The German translation made Kircher's ideas also available to those who couldn't read Latin. I should add that this influential standard work (see Scharlau 1969) also included some remarks about non-European music (I., p 565; German ed. p. 151). Here he added two examples, one a fragmentary Chinese tune he had received from a Jesuit colleague who had been in China, the other the Turkish melody from Kepler's Harmonices Mundi.
Kircher also wrote about tarantism in his Phonurgia Nova and here he offered his readers at least one of the tunes originally published in the Magnes Sive De Arte Magnetica, the "Antidotum Tarantulae" (here pp. 209-10). He added a nice illustration of dancers and musicians (p. 206). Both the tune and the image can also be found in the German translation (p. 145 & p. 148).
Other scholars also discussed this problem with reference to Kircher's work. Samuel Hafenreffer (1587-1660, see Wikipedia), physician and professor in Tübingen, did not invest much efforts but simply quoted most of Kircher's original text in his book about dermatology. We can find it here as part of the chapter about animal bites. He also reprinted all the music. But beware, this book has until now only been digitized by Google and in all five available copies the fold-out with the "Antidotum Tarantulae" (after p. 488) is either missing or mutilated:
- Samuel Hafenreffer, Nosodochium, In Quo Cutis, Eique Adhaerentium Partium, Affectus Omnes, Singulari Methodo, Et Cognoscendi et Curandi Fidelissime Traduntur, Ulm, 1660 , p. 475-520, at Google Books [= ÖNB]; at Google Books [= UofLausanne]; at Google Books [= UTorino]; at Google Books [= NB Napoli]; at Google Books [= BSB]
The tarantula also earned an entry in Matthias Zimmermann's encyclopedia: one of Kircher's tunes, the "Antidotum Tarantulae", was reprinted. But beware again, this scan, the only one available of this publication, is of very bad quality and barely usable. But at least we can see that a foldout with music was originally included:
- Matthiae Zimmermann, Florilegium Philologico-Historicum, Aliquot myriadum Titulorum, Cum Optimis Authoribus, qvi de qvavis Materia scripserunt, qvarum praecipuae curiose & ex professo tractantur, Adhibita re Nummaria & Gemmaria, Praemittitur Diatriba De Eruditione Eleganti Comparanda Cum Figuris, Parts II, Güntherus, Dresden & Meissen, 1689, here p. 757, at BSB [= GB]
It seems that during the 18th century the tarantula and tarantism were referred to even more often. It was mentioned in literary works, for example by Jonathan Swift in his Tale of a Tub (1704, p. 203): "He was troubled with a Disease, reverse to that called the Stinging of the Tarantula, and would run Dog-mad at the Noise of Musick, especially a Pair of Bag-Pipes". Physicians discussed this topic in their treatises, like Giorgio Baglivi from Italy in his De Praxi Medica (1699, here Engl. ed., 1723, pp. 312-73) and Richard Mead from England in his Mechanical Account of Poisons (1702, here 1708, pp. 59-81).
Travelers went to Apulia and reported what they saw, for example Johann Georg Keyßler (II, 1741, pp. 232-3) and Johann Hermann Riedesel (1771, pp. 250-9). But the original story - music as a cure for the bite - was more and more treated with suspicion and then debunked. German physician Ernst Gottfried Baldinger ridiculed it as a "Fabel" in an article in the Neues Magazin für Ärzte (1779, p. 143) and Anton Friedrich Büsching, geographer and jurist, found even harsher words in his Eigene Gedanken und gesammelte Nachrichten von der Tarantel (1779, at UB Tübingen), a collection of critical articles and documents. He regarded it all as a fraud.
I will only list here those relevant publications that included some music. Among those was one that stood out:
- Georgius Vallerius, Exercitium Philosophicum de Tarantula, Quod Indultu Ampliss. Collegii Philosophici in Regia Upsaliensi Academia, Uppsala, 1702, at Google Books [= BL]; at the Internet Archive
In this Swedish dissertation the author not only discussed Kircher's standard talking-points but also compared the Italian tarantellas with Swedish popular dances and songs and saw similarities (see also Arcangeli, p. 98). This may be regarded as a very early example of comparative ethnomusicology. Vallerius also reprinted several of Kircher's melodies and the frontispiece depicts two traveling musicians with drums and bagpipe performing an unidentified tune:
In Germany one or more of Kircher's tunes were included in a several books published during the first half of the century. It is interesting to see the many different contexts in which this topic was discussed:
- Germanus Adlerhold, Umständliche Beschreibung Des anjetzo Vom Krieg neu-bedrohten sonst herrlichen Königreich Neapolis, nach dessen bewunders-würdigen Natur-Gütern, Fruchtbarkeit, Flüssen, Seen, Meer-Busen, und Häfen [...]. Zusamt einer nachrichtlich-Alphabetischen Verzeichnus aller in denen zwölff Provincien dieses Reichs enthaltenen Städten und Vestungen ; Nebst vielen schönen Kupffern auch mit und ohne Land-Carten. Wobey eine Erzehlung was sich seit dem Tod Caroli II. in diesem Königreich begeben, Buggel, Nürnberg, 1702, pp. 239-60, at ÖNB [= GB]; at BSB [= GB]
- Michael Bernhard Valentini, Museum Museorum, oder Vollständige Schau-Bühne aller Materialien und Specereyen, nebst deren natürlichen Beschreibung, Election, Nutzen und Gebrauch. Aus andern Material-, Kunst und Naturalien-Kammern, Oost- und West-Indischen Reiß-Beschreibungen, Curiosen Zeit- und Tag-Registern, Natur- und Artzney-Kündigern, wie auch selbst-eigenen Erfahrung. Zum Vorschub der Studirenden Jugend, Materialisten, Apothecker und deren Visitatoren , wie auch anderer Künstler als Jubelirer, Mahler, Färber u.s.w. also verfasset, und mit etlich hundert sauberen Kupfferstücken unter Augen geleget. ZUnner, Frankfurt, 1704, pp. 514-6, at the Internet Archive
- Abraham Friedrich Krafft, Der Sowohl Menschen und Viehe Grausamen Thiere schädlichen Ungeziefers Und Verderblichen Gewürmer Gäntzliche Ausrottung: Oder vielmehr Ausführliche Unterweisung, Wie allerley Thiere, als reissende Wölffe, listige Füchse, wütende und rasende Hunde, Mader, Iltißen, Wieseln [...] gäntzlich auszurotten, zu vertilgen und zu vertreiben, Buggel, Nürnberg, 1709, pp. 344-67, music p. 362, at Google Books [= BSB]
- Georg Ernst Stahl, Praxis Stahliana, Das ist Collegium Practicum, Welches theils von Ihm privatim in die Feder dictirt, theils von seinen damahligen Auditoribus aus dem Discurs mit besonderem Fleiß nachgeschrieben, Nunmehrs aber aus dem Lateinischem ins Deutsche übersetzt, mit vielen Anmerckungen und Raisonnemens aus 29. jähriger Praxi bekräfftiget und erläutert, auch nach der Vorschrifft des Herrn Autoris bey dieser zweyten Auflage um viel vermehrt und verbessert zum Druck befürdert worden von Johann Storchen, alias Hulderico Pelargo, Eyssel, Leipzig, 1732, p. 31, at Google Books [= BSB]; also 3rd ed., 1745, p. 31, at ÖNB [= GB]
- Historische Nachricht von der Tarantula, und derselben Abbildung, in: Kern Anmuthiger und Zeit-kürtzender, Eines auserlesenen Vorraths curieuser und nützlich-gesammleter Wissenschafften und deren brauchbaresten Kunst-Stücke, 1. Sammlung, Funcke, Erfurt, 1745, pp. 283-7, at BSB
Adlerhold's book is description of the Kingdom of Napoli. The tarantula was what most readers presumably knew best about this area and therefore he couldn't avoid including a long chapter about this topic. Valentini (1657-1729; see Wikipedia), professor of medicine in Giessen, discussed the tarantula and the musical cure of its bite in his monumental medical compendium. Krafft in his book about animals regarded as vermin also felt it necessary to add a well researched chapter. All three used Kircher's "Anitidotum Tarantulae" as a musical example.
Georg Ernst Stahl (1659-1734), professor of medicine in Halle, also reprinted this tune - he had taken it from Valentini's book - but he seems to have been quite skeptical about this story. He only mentioned it in passing in connection with some short remarks about music and medicine. Swiss "Küh-Reyhen" that were said to cure homesickness of soldiers from Switzerland served as another example. In Funcke's Kern Anmutigher Wissenschaften, a popular scientific periodical, the old stories about the tarantula and the tarantella were recycled once again more or less uncritically and here we can also find the same tune.
Shortly later a different tune was made available in an article published by an English magazine:
- Stephen Storace [i. e. Stefano Storace], A genuine Letter from an Italian Gentleman, concerning the Bite of the Tarantula, in: The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle 23, 1753, pp. 433-4, at Google Books
One Steven Storace , i. e. Stefano Storace (1725-1781, see Wikipedia), an Italian musician who later moved to Britain - his son of the same name would become a popular composer there - claimed to have come across someone bitten by the tarantula. He learned the tune on the spot, played it for him and helped him to recover (see also Gioielli 2008). This article was translated into German the following year and his tune reappeared later in several other publications, for example a Viennese dissertation and Tans'ur's influential Elements of Musick:
- Ein ächter Brief von einem italienischen Herrn über den Biß der Tarantul. Aus dem Gentleman's Magazine for Sept. 1753, in: Hamburgisches Magazin, oder, Gesammlete Schriften, aus der und den angenehmen Wissenschaften überhaupt 13.1, 1754, pp. 1-8, at the Internet Archive [= BHL]
- Johann Baptist Mathias Schwarz, Dissertatio Inauguralis Medica De Tarantismo Et Chorea Viti, Wien, 1766, at Google Books
- William Tans'ur, The Elements of Musick Display'd. Or, Its Grammar, or Ground-Work Made Easy, Rudimental, Practical, Philosophical, Historical, and Technical. In Five Books, Crowder, London, 1772 [ESTC T153927], pp. 217-20, at the Internet Archive
One more tune from Apulia was made available by English traveler and scholar Thomas Shaw (1694-1751; see DNB 51, p. 446, at wikisource) in the second edition of his popular and influential book about his Travels in the Middle East. In a short chapter about scorpions and phalangiae he couldn't resist referring to the tarantula and the dance "to obtain [...] copious perspiration". In a note one tune is printed. I haven't seen it in an earlier publication so I assume Shaw had heard and noted it himself. There is no mention of Kircher's work but only of Italian botanist and physician Mattioli's commentary on Dioscorides (1554, here 1565, p. 362), another early reference to this phenomenon:
- Thomas Shaw, Travels or Observations Relating to Several Parts of Barbary and the Levant. Illustrated with Cuts. The Second Edition, with Great Improvements, Millar, London, 1757 [ESTC T114688], p. 191, n.9, at the Internet Archive
Occasionally also a musicologist expressed his opinion about this topic. Jacob Adlung (1699-1762) wasn't fond of the "Antidotum tarantulae" and quipped that it sounded so miserable that one gets sick rather than healthy from it. He only included one half of this melody which he had found in Kircher's Phonurgia Nova thinking it was the second of two tunes:
- Jacob Adlung, Anleitung zu der musikalischen Gelahrtheit, theils vor alle Gelehrte, so das Band aller Wissenschaften einsehen; theils vor die Liebhaber der edlen Tonkunst überhaupt [...], Jungnicol, Erfurt, 1758, pp. 57-8, Tab 1.1, at the Internet Archive [= Oberlin]
All of Kircher's tune were later made available once again in a German dissertation about the human ear:
- Christian Ernst Wünsch, De Auris Humanae Proprietatibus Et Vitiis Quibusdam, Leipzig, 1777, pp. 38-43, at Google Books [= BSB]
A decade later six more tarantellas were included in a Spanish publication:
- Francisco Javier Cid, Tarantismo observado en España, con que se prueba el de la pulla, dudado de algunos, y tratado de otros de fabuloso, Gonzalez, Madrid, 1787, here after p. 14, at the Internet Archive
After the turn of century tarantellas began to appear in collections of national airs. Edward Jones, Welsh harper and editor of a series of anthologies dedicated to foreign tunes (for more about Jones see my article in this blog), once again revived Kircher's "Antidotum Tarantulae" but his source was Zimmermann's Florilegium Philologico-Historicum. He also added some variations:
- Edward Jones, Maltese Melodies; Or National Airs, And Dances, usually performed by the Maltese Musicians at their Carnival & other Festivals; with a few other characteristic Italian Airs & Songs; To these are annex'd a selection of Norwegian Tunes, never before Published; and to which are added Basses for the Harp or Piano-Forte, London, n. d. , pp. 38-9, at the Internet Archive
Among the more important publication dedicated to this topic was surely Justus Hecker's influential book about dancing manias. This work was translated into English and other languages. Hecker (1795-1850), historian and physician, reprinted all of Kircher's tunes and made them available for a new generation of readers:
- J. F. C. Hecker, Die Tanzwuth, eine Volkskrankheit im Mittelalter. Nach den Quellen für Aerzte und gebildete Nichtärzte bearbeitet, Enslin, Berlin, 1832, pp. 26-54, tunes: pp. 89-92
- J. F. C. Hecker, The Epidemics of the Middle Ages, London, 1844, pp. 107-133, tunes: pp. 167-74, at the Internet Archive
At this time the tarantella had already been adopted by modern composers and a lot of new pieces were composed and published. Nearly 400 relevant publications were announced between 1829 and 1900 in Hofmeisters Monatsberichten (at Hofmeister XIX). Many travelers went to Apulia and witnessed local performances of tarantellas. Goethe made it there during the 1780s but his short report was only published much later, in 1810 (pp. 110-2; see Assel & Jäger at Goethezeitportal). Others brought back tarantella tunes they had heard there, like Gustav Parthey (I, 1834, App., No. V, p. 6) and Karl August Mayer (I, 1840, pp. 387-8, see also pp. 366-73). But the old tunes were also republished and remained available, for example in a history of dancing:
- Albert Czerwinski, Geschichte der Tanzkunst bei den cultivierten Völkern von den ersten Anfängen bis auf die gegenwärtige Zeit, Weber, Leipzig, 1862, pp. 54-7, at Google Books
Of course some of the experts for national airs and Volkslieder also weighed in. Danish composer Berggreen included nine tarantellas in his comprehensive anthology of international Folke-Sange. Eight of them (No. 90-96) were modern pieces from different sources, for example Parthey's book and several Italian collections. As an example of the older style he revived Storace's tune (No. 97). But of course he was familiar with the historical development of the genre and in his notes also referred to Kircher:
- A. P. Berggreen, Italienske, Spanske og Portugisiske Folke-Sange og Melodier, Samlade og Udsatte for Pianoforte, Anden, Meget Forogode Udgave (= Folke-Sange og Melodier, Fædrelandske og Fremmede 7, Anden Utgave), C. A. Reitzel, Köbenhavn, 1866, here No. 97, p. 129 , also notes, p. 246, pp. 251-2
I will close with two musical encyclopedias from the latter part of the 19th century. In both of them we find informative summaries of this topic. One or more of Kircher's tunes were reprinted and once again made available to those interested in the history of this genre.
- Musikalisches Conversations-Lexikon. Eine Encyklopädie der gbesammten musikalischen Wissenschaften. Für Gebildete aller Stände, begründet von Hermann Mendel. Fortgesetzt von Dr. August Reissmann, Bd. 10, Oppenheim, Berlin, 1878, pp. 104-108, at the Internet Archive
- A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (A. D. 1450-1889). By Eminent Writers, English and Foreign. With Illustrations and Woodcuts. Ed. by Sir George Grove. In Four Volumes. Vol. IV, MacMillan, London & New York, 1889 , pp. 58-9
During the 20th century these tunes were also regularly published again. For example the original plate with the "Antidotum Tarantulae" appeared as the frontispiece in a Handbook of Medical Entomology (1915, p. ii). We can find them in musicological works and other academic publications discussing tarantism. Some of Kircher's tarantellas were recorded. Today they are of course available on YouTube (see f. ex. here). Now these melodies have a consecutive history of more than 350 years. They have made it in to the modern world even though Kircher's own theories are long out-dated.
- Alessandro Arcangeli, Dance between disease and cure: the tarantella and the physician, in: Ludica. Annali di Storia e Civilà del Gioco 5-6, 2000, pp. 88-102, at Academia.edu
- Jutta Assel & Georg Jäger, Goethes Italienische Reise - Neapel: Volksleben Folge 3: Tarantella (Italiensehnsucht Deutscher Künstler der Goethezeit), 2015/16, at Goethezeitportal
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[first publ. 25.8.2017; 10.02.2018: some minor corrections & one link added]