I was supposed to be coming up with a song to practice for the bardic. Instead, I have ended up on a research tangent that started with The Courtesan's Arts:Cross Cultural Perspectives edited by Bonnie Gordon and Martha Feldman. It looks at a variety of culture's courtesans through 18 essays, but the editors are musicologists and the central chapters are specifically about early modern Italian courtesans and music. I'm just starting to read it but am totally fascinated. You can read the 15 page introduction here. While I was waiting for my copy to get here I moved to the Googlebooks preview of Linda Phyllis Austern's Music of the Sirens, then doglegged off to a series of woodcuts and printer's marks associated with the publisher Francesco Marcolini. Then I came around again to a book I remembered reading sections of and being interested in regarding mermaid imagery in Venice called The Mermaids of Venice: Fantasy Sea Creatures in Venetian Renaissance Art by Alison Luchs.
I still haven't found a song to sing, but I'm sure I need a green dress with embroidered undines. Did I mention that this is why I don't finish things?