Musical Culture and the Chitarraro Mattheo Morales in Seventeenth-Century Malta



In the seventeenth century, Malta was a nucleus of cultural activity.

The large presence of multi-national aristocratic Knights of the Order of St John created an affluent society and a flourishing cultural atmosphere that served as catalyst to foreign musicians, teachers of music and dance, and also to theatrical troupes. Within this climate, the instrument builder Mattheo Morales (1637-1698) lived comfortably in Valletta by supplementing his earnings with investments in traders ploughing the Mediterranean. An inventory of his goods provides us with a very rare description of his home and belongings as well as his workshop, in which we find several guitars and a variety of other stringed instruments. Through his inventory, there comes to light a broader picture of life in seventeenth-century Malta and its connectivity to the wider Mediterranean and Europe.

This book is no. 32 in the Maltese Social Studies Series and was produced with the support of the National Book Council’s Malta Book Fund 2020.


Additional information

Weight 720 g
Dimensions 24 × 15.9 cm
Language English
Year of publication
Pages 340
ISBN 9789993278696

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