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date: 19 February 2020


  • Joseph Vella Bondin,
  • Sylvia Moore
  •  and Philip Ciantar


Country in Europe. It is the biggest of five small Mediterranean islands and also their collective name, with a population of around 374,000 (1997). Malta has a long history of contact with both southern Europe and North Africa, both of which have influenced its musics. St Paul was shipwrecked there in 60 ce and he started the conversion of the Maltese to Christianity. The Knights of St John gained control of the territory from the Normans in 1530, who had taken it from Arab rulers in 1090. The Knights of St John built the modern capital, Valletta, which gradually took over from Mdina as the centre of government and as a focal point of the islands’ cultural activities. Malta was annexed by the British in 1814 and gained full independence in 1964, becoming a republic in 1974.

Joseph Vella Bondin

Malta’s musical development closely mirrors that of Italy. The presence of plainchant in Mdina Cathedral since medieval times is attested by several documents; one dated ...

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Galpin Society Journal