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Associate Professor Anne MacNeil Music, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Anne MacNeil (Associate Professor) BMus, Ithaca College (1981); MA in Music History, Eastman School of Music (1985); PhD in the History and Theory of Music, University of Chicago (1994). Before joining the faculty at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she holds appointments in the Department of Music and the Department of English and Comparative Literatures, Professor MacNeil taught at Northwestern University and the University of Texas at Austin. Her areas of specialization include Renaissance music, music and spectacle, commedia dell’arte, opera, performance studies, historiography, and digital humanities. Her current research encompasses digital humanities, the use of boats, barges, and waterways as venues for musical and theatrical performance in and around Renaissance Mantua; early-modern laments; operatic settings of tales of the Trojan Wars; and the intersections of music, ceremony, and biography in the lives of Isabella d’Este, Margherita Farnese, and Eleonora de’ Medici. Professor MacNeil is Co-Director of the international consortium IDEA: Isabella d’Este Archive (, an interdisciplinary digital humanities environment for studies relating to Isabella d’Este (1474-1539).

Professor MacNeil serves on the Advisory Council of the American Academy in Rome and is a former Council member and program committee member of the American Musicological Society. She became a fellow of the American Academy in Rome in 1992 and of the American Association of University Women in 2004. Her other honors include an American Musicological Society AMS 50 Dissertation Fellowship (1993), National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowships (1990 and 1995), and Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation Fellowships for the pursuit of research in the Veneto (1992 and 1997), a UNC Institute for the Arts & Humanities/Digital Innovation Lab Faculty Fellowship (2014), a Dorothy Ford Wiley Grant from UNC’s Program for Medieval and Early Modern Studies for creation of an international symposium “Big Data for Intimate Spaces,” an American Council of Learned Societies Digital Innovation Fellowship (2015-16) and an Andrew W. Mellon/National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Digital Editions (2017-18) for her project Italian Songs from the Time of Christopher Columbus. Professor MacNeil was the Director of the Evelyn Dunbar Early Music Festival at Northwestern University in 1997 and Co-Director, with Professor Jeanice Brooks (University of Southampton) of the Austin/Soton Early Music Exchange in 1999.

Professor MacNeil regularly gives public lectures and has spoken at the Newberry Library, the American Academy in Rome, the Università degli Studi di Roma (“La Sapienza”); King’s College, London, the British Academy, Dartmouth University Comparative Literatures Department, the University of California at Santa Cruz Institute for Humanities Research, the University of Cincinnati Classics Department, the Colloque sur les Femmes Musiciennes aux XVIe et SVIIe siècles in Tours, the Interuniversitair Instituut voor Studie van de Renaissance en het Humanisme in Brussels, the Frühe Neuzeit Interdiziplinär Conference, the International Conference on Medieval & Renaissance Music, the British Biennial Conference on Baroque Music, and annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for Sixteenth-Century Studies, the International Congress on Medieval Studies, and the Society for Early Modern Women.

Editor, 17th-Century Music (1997-2000).

Digital Humanities, Co-Director, IDEA: Isabella d’Este Archive, an international research consortium for study of the history and culture of early modern Europe through the lens of Isabella d’Este (1474-1539) (

“Commedia dell’Arte and Music, 1550-1800.” Commedia dell’Arte in Context, ed. Christopher Balme, Stefan Hulfeld, Piermario Vescovo, and Daniele Vianello. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Producer & Director, Ad tempo taci: Songs for Isabella d’Este. ZefiroFilm, 2015. (


Selected Poems of Isabella Andreini. Edited by Anne MacNeil. Translated by James Wyatt Cook. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2005.

Music and Women of the Commedia dell’Arte in the Late Sixteenth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

The New International Dictionary of Music. Philip D. Morehead with Anne MacNeil. New York: Meridian, 1992. Previously published as The New American Dictionary of Music. New York: Dutton, 1991.

“Music and the Life and Work of Isabella Andreini: Humanistic Attitudes toward Music, Poetry and Theater during the Late-Sixteenth and Early-Seventeenth Centuries.” Ph.D dissertation, The University of Chicago, 1994. UMI # 9419848.


“Women in the performance of early commedia dell’arte,” in A Companion to Commedia dell’Arte, edited by Olly Crick and Judith Chaffee. Oxford (UK): Routledge. Contracted, 2013.

“Commedia dell’Arte and Music, 1550-1800,” in Commedia dell’Arte in Context, edited by Christopher Balme. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press, 2013.

“Opera and Commedia dell’Arte,” in Glyndebourne Opera Festival 2013, edited by Karen Anderson. East Sussex: Glyndebourne Productions Ltd, 2013.

“Music for Margherita Farnese,” in Sleuthing the Muse, edited by Kristine Forney and Jeremy L. Smith, 253-70. NY: Pendragon Press, 2012.

“Dynastic Iconography in Giovan Battista Andreini’s La Centaura (1622).” In Music Observed: Studies in Memory of William C. Holmes. Edited by Colleen Reardon and Susan Parisi. Warren, MI: Harmonie Park Press, 2004.

“The Nature of Commitment:  Vincenzo Gonzaga’s Patronage Strategies in the Wake of the Fall of Ferrara,” Renaissance Studies 16:3 (September 2002): 392-403.

“A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman,” Musical Quarterly 83 (1999): 247-79. [jstor link]

“Weeping at the Water’s Edge,” Early Music 27/3 (August 1999): 406-17. [jstor link]

“The Virtue of Gender,” La femme lettrée à la Renaissance (Brussels: Peers, 1997): 147-64.

“Early Modern Women and Music,” Women in the Renaissance 5 (1996): 11-12.

“The Divine Madness of Isabella Andreini,” Journal of the Royal Musical Association 120 (1995): 195-215. [jstor link]

Graduate Seminars

Laments; Music and the Commedia dell’Arte; Baroque Emotion; Renaissance Mantua; Public Scholarship & Music of the Italian Renaissance (in collaboration with the North Carolina Museum of Art)

Undergraduate Seminars

A Love Affair in Renaissance Music and Drama; Renaissance Court Spectacle; Digital Isabella d’Este; Music on Stage and Screen; The Medici Wedding of 1589; Augment your Reality!

Undergraduate Classes

Opera as Drama; 16th-Century Counterpoint; Studies in Music History to 1650; Music History I