The Music during Republic of Serenissima


The age of great Venetian musical culture

great musical culture has always characterized Venice especially between the 1500 and 1800. Many famous travelers and writers as Rousseau, Goethe or Wagner narrated about concerts and the incredible musical vivacity in the city, particularly during the famous carnival that lasted six months!

Throughout this fantastic period, the city was full of concerts and balls, and so, the music production was impressive: not only in the theaters, but also in the squares, Churches, in the four Great Schools, and of course in the magnificent palaces of the rich families. After the Carnival, the music went on thanks to the musical seasons for Easter, Christmas and lent, in addition to the entire event for marriages, baptisms and private celebrations. An average of 2/3 musical events a day: just like an endless concert!

This hustle activity lured a high number of Venetian and foreign musicians who created an intensive artistic activity that lacked in other cities of the world. This great creativity is demonstrated also by the inventions of some actual instruments as violins that was realized about 1500.

Two curious ancient instruments (now present only the museums) that marked the music in the medieval and Renaissance times are: “The Salterio” a strings instruments similar to a modern harpsichord and the “Ghironda” a keyboards with some strings that became popular in the Paris courts.

The musical publishing industry was really flourishing and allowed the rapid diffusion of scores and arrangements from and to Venice. This industry knew the crisis only in the XVIII century when the North Europe industries began to use very up-date technologies. In many historical travel diaries the artists describes Venice as a “Musical City”.


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