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Silence of the trumpets - The exequies for Emperor Charles V

This paper is about the music in the context of the exequies for Emperor Charles V in 1559. The death of Charles was a very special occurrence, especially because of his resignation in the years after 1555. He had handed the rule of Spain and the Netherlands to his son Philipp II, and his brother Ferdinand I took the Administratio of the Holy Roman Empire. As a result of the global empire's separation there were two important exequies for Charles after his death in St Yuste in September 1558. One took place in Brussels in December 1558 at the behest of Philipp II. The other ceremony was held in Augsburg in February 1559 in the presence of large parts of the imperial nobility. Both events are documented quite well in prints and in local chronicles. The reports hold detailed descriptions of the liturgical events and give some evidence on the music in their context. One source even depicts Emperor Ferdinand's trumpeters, but in a strange posture. They ostentatiously do not play their instruments. Other documents show, that that depiction of silence has a long tradition in the 16th century. This paper will attempt to put the ceremonies in Brussels and Augsburg in the context of other Habsburg memorial services. It will thereby focus on the presence or absence of music during the liturgical and the secular parts of the imperial exequies.