Civita, Davit

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CIVITA, DAVIT (David ; 17th cent.), one of the group of Jewish musicians connected with the court of the Gonzagas of Mantua. Several members of the Civita family are known to have lived in Mantua in the 17th and 18th centuries. Davit Civita is mentioned in the Mantuan archives as a local resident who lost his six-year-old child on April 30, 1630. He is known by only one publication: Premite armoniche a tre voci de Davit Civita Hebreo… (Venice, 1616), a collection of seventeen three-voice canzoni, the sheets of which were marked "Madrigali Ebrei." In his dedicatory letter to the duke of Mantua, Ferdinado Gonzaga, dated Venice, May 15, 1616, he calls himself "… giovanetto et di poca inteligenza…," describes his work as "primi fiori" (first flowerings) and signs himself "Davit da Civita Hebreo." The only known copy of this publication was at the Royal Library of Berlin, but has disappeared.


E. Vogel, Bibliothek der gedruckten weltlichen Vocalmusik Italiens aus den Jahren 1500–1700, 1 (19622), 174; E. Birnbaum, Juedische Musiker am Hofe von Mantua (1893), 13–16.

[Israel Adler]