Anna Isabella Leonarda was an Italian composer from a well-known family, coming from the Northwest of the country. It is possible that Gasparo Casati, the master of music at the Novara Cathedral, was her teacher. It was not at all unheard of for women to compose music in those times, though it mostly tended to be vocal compositions. It is indeed unusual to find a seventeenth-century Italian woman like Leonarda to have put together purely instrumental music in the new Italian Baroque fashion.


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