ITALY(VENEZIA)

Flyer | ICT & Music Questionnaires | Local Composers | Presentations | Traditional Musical Instruments | Amateur compositions of Learners’
Italian and venetian traditional musical instrumentsItalian music includes a wide variety of musical forms and takes different ranging from opera to folk music including popular music, religious music, rock and the modern rap music. The music is an important part of Italian culture and life thanks the Italian composers that created most important symphonies. Italian craftsmen invented musical instruments like the harpsichord and the bassoon, and refined others like the violin and the piano by the manufacturer of cymbals Bartolomero Cristofori of Padua (Padova 1665 – Florence 1732). He was the inventor of the piano, where, in 1698, he endeavored to replace the tabs that plucked the strings with hammers that struck him, creating “the plan and the strong”

We are based in the city of Venice named Serenissima that reached levels of maritime supremacy, democratic progressiveness, financial prosperity, and both cultural achievement and innovation, flourishing for centuries until its fall to Napoleon in 1797.

Venice produced wonderful music thanks famous compositors as Albinoni Tomaso (1671-1750), Bellini Vincenzo (1801-1835), Gabrieli Andrea (1510-1586),Gabrieli Domenico (1659-1690), Galuppi Baldassare (1706-1785), Monteverdi Claudio (1567-1643), Porpora Nicola Antonio (1686-1768) was the master of Haydn, Vivaldi Antonio (1678-1741), etc.

From its founding, Venice has always been a gateway of international cultures with strong connections to Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire, and trade routes extending as far as China. Like silk and spices, Venice exported in the world also arts, culture and most significant music with the “Venetian Influences” in all European and Mediterranean countries. The booming print industry in Venice allowed composers to mass-produce complex, multipart works by using movable type, making it possible for all of Europe to easily access La Serenissima’s musical innovations without travelling there directly.

Musical fantasy produced also special musical instruments with the advantage of the singers able to explored a multi-operas that culminates in a wonderful performances. Venice and the Serenissima Republic remained the epicenter of music and opera production thanks the capacity to perform the music following the constantly change of musical styles. In the eighteenth century, thanks to a real “school”, founded in Venice from the Dalmatian priest Pietro Nacchini Venice and the Veneto land have maintained a leading position, with innovative technical solutions and with a handcraft that exported its products not only in the rest of Italy but even in Constantinople and Smyrna.

Though vocal music was extraordinarily popular in Venice, instrumental music poured forth from homes and into the streets and canals. In fact at one time, more Venetian homes had musical instruments than books. Thanks the patronage of the Doge Marino Grimani (1595-1605) music became an increasingly important feature of many civic fasts, with a marked integration of music and theatre.

Musical instruments of Veneto Land

Musical instruments can be divided into two major categories: professional (durable) and ephemeral (occasional). Among the first it should mention the Venetian baga but has fallen into disuse for a long time without a trace, except in idioms. It was made up of a lot of skin fitted with a mouthpiece and two bagpipes, a song and a drone. Good luck also had the mandolin and the violin, instruments that some good carpenter could build at home, the more rare the guitar, while the use of band instruments to accompany the singing is not documented. For percussion it was usto the “thimpano” (harpsichord) Venetian-style large and with few bells stuck in the chest. Among casual or ephemeral instruments primarily include the bagpipes, a kind of flute made with chestnut bark and provided with holes or thicker piston to vary the sound. Taking stretched in front of the mouth the edge of an ivy leaf was obtained a sound similar to that of a reed instrument with a good extension and sonority. Even more original were two other by accompanying instruments: the first was obtained by inserting the handle three tablespoons inside the neck of a bottle which was then beaten and the second rubbing by way ‘of the violin bow “iron pole” against the edge a vat of course when it was empty: he came out a dark and deep sound that could be heard at a distance.

Photo of and description of the musical instruments

Venetian baga:
it is bag pipe, a wind instrument using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag.


Mandolino: it is a musical instrument in the lute family. There many styles of mandolin and grew popularity in the streets where it was used by young men courting and by street musicians and in the concert hall. After the Napoleonic Wars of 1815 its popularity began to fall. The 19th century produced some prominent players including Bartolomeo Bortolzazzi of Venice and Pietro Vimercati. However the mandolin music changed as the mandolin became a folk instrument.

Violino: it is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Smaller violin-type instruments are known, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin. The most venetian composer was Antonio Vivaldi. Violinist and teacher, Vivaldi is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. Many of his composistions were written for the violin. The luthiers Matteo Goffriller, Domenico Montagnana, Sanctus Seraphin, Carlo Annibale Tononi were the principals in the Venetian school of violin making.

Chitarra: it is a musical instrument classified as a string instrument with anywhere form four to 18 strings, usually having six strings. There are three main types of modern acoustic guitar: the classical guitar, the steel-string acoustic guitar, the archtop guitar. A cutaway on the guitar construction i san identatioin in the upper bout of the guitar body adjacent to the guitar neck, designed to allow easier access to the upper frets. There are two main types of cutaways: Venetian and Florentine. A Venetian cutway has a rounded bout. A Florentine cutaway has a sharp cout.

Thimpano or cembalo: it is an ancient musical instrument most popular in ancient Greece where the instrument is still played.
Pive or flauto:it is a family of musical isntruments in the woodwind group.

Ocarina: it is ancient wind musical instrument. The typical ocarina is an enclosed space with four to twelve finger holes and mouthpiece that projects form the body. It is traditionally made from clay or ceramic, but other materials are also used as wood, glass or bone.

Pianoforte: the story of the piano begins in 1709 in Padua the city nearest Venice town, in the shop of a harpsichord maker named Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori. Many other stringed and keyboard instruments preceded the piano and led to the development of the instrument as we know today.

Italian mucis overview
Italy has a rich tradition of music with ranges across opera, instrumental classical and modern music and spans a diverse array of regional styles, instruments and dances diffused and appreciated in Europe and overseas. Instrumental music also holds an important position in the nation’s musical legacy with instrumentalists like Antonio Vivaldi, Benedetto Marcello, Baldassare Galuppi, Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, Vincenzo Bellini, etc contributing immensely to the development of this genre. Italian folk music too has a deep and complex history, and the late 20th century saw the rise of social and political popular music led. Modern rap and pop is today the most popular genres in the contemporary world which was popularized by the singers and musicians like Domenico Modugno, Angelo Branduardi, Adriano Celentano, etc.

Venetian music history
The Venetian Music School was the body and work of composers working in Venice from about 1550 at today. The Venetian compositions were among the most famous musical events in Europe and their influence on musical practice in other countries was enormous. The innovations introduced by the Venetian Music School define the end of the musical Renaissance and the beginning of the musical Baroque.
Several major factors came together to create the Venetian Music School:
first: after the death of Pope Leo X in 1521 and the Sack of Rome in 1527, the long dominant musical establishment in Rome was eclipsed: many musicians either moved elsewhere or chose not to go to Rome, and Venice was one of several places to have an environment conducive to creativity;
second: impossible to ignore the existence of a greatest number of churches in the lagoon town. With its unique interior with opposing choir lofts, opera and music concerts the churches help the development of a musical style which exploited the sound-delay to advantage the concerts, the singers, the instruments played united by the sound of the organs. The oldest churches of Venice indeed gave reached the 1000 year mark today and this without a wrinkle thanks the capacity of their architects front the hostile and complex natural environment. Today Venice hosts 139 holdest churchs!
third: another factor which promoted the rich period of musical creativity in the town was printing. In the early 16th century, Venice, prosperous and stable, had become an important center of music publishing and welcome composers came from all parts of Europe to benefit from the new technology, which then was only a few decades old. Composers from northern Europe—especially Flanders and France—were already renowned as the most skilled composers in Europe, and many of them came to Venice. The international flavor of musical society in the city was to linger into the 17th century.

Famous venetian musicians and composers:

Giovanni Gabrieli was a renowned Italian organist and composer, also a proponent of the Venetian school of music. His musical works mirror the transition from late Renaissance to the early Baroque. Gabrieli was well-known because of a characteristic sound in his music, which was associated with St. Mark’s Cathedral, Venice, where he made noteworthy contributions in vocal and instrumental music. With this, he was able to influence music and its further development of seventeenth century. Gabrieli’s numerous innovations helped him establish as a prominent musician of his time. He brought forward a new musical era carried ahead by the Roman masters belonging to the 17th century. Gabrieli took up prestigious posts and during this time, he composed ‘grand ceremonial music’ which cannot be missed out by any chance, while referring to his life and career. His talents in motets and madrigals made him one of the first composers capable of stipulating instrumentation and volume markings in music. Read on to know more about his life and career.


Giovanni Gabrieli (c. 1557-1612)
Youtube Video

Barbara Strozzi (also called Barbara Valle; baptised 6 August 1619 – 11 November 1677) was an Italian singer and composer. Her Baroque compositions were published in her lifetime. Strozzi was said to be “the most prolific composer – man or woman – of printed secular vocal music in Venice in the Middle of the century.” Her output is also unique in that it only contains secular vocal music, with the exception of one volume of sacred songs. She was renowned for her poetic ability as well as her compositional talent. Her lyrics were often poetic and well-articulated.


Barbara Strozzi (c. 1619-1677)
Youtube Video

Benedetto Marcello was an Italian composer, writer, advocate, magistrate, and teacher. He was a member of a noble family and his compositions are frequently referred to as Patrizio Veneto. As a composer, he was best known in his lifetime and is now still best remembered for his massively influential eight-volume publication Estro Poetico Armonico (Venice, 1724-1726), popularly known as the “Psalmi”.” It is a collection of the first 50 Psalms (as paraphrased in Italian by his friend G. Giustiniani) musical settings for for voices, figured bass (a continuo notation), and occasional soloist instruments. Marcello’s Psalms were heard during the 18th century at concerts in Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig and London. In Rome, Cardina Ottoboni decreed that every one of his accademie was to begin with a composition from the Estro Poetico Armonico.


Benedetto Marcello (c. 1686 – 1739)
Youtube Video

Baldassare Galuppi, byname il BURANELLO (born Oct. 18, 1706, island of Burano, near Venice—died Jan. 3, 1784, Venice), Italian composer whose comic operas won him the title “father of the opera buffa. He was taught by his father, a barber and violinist, and studied under A. Lotti in Venice. After producing two operas in collaboration with G.B. Pescetti (1728–29), he began composing operas for Venetian theatres. In 1741 he visited London and arranged a pasticcio, titled Alexander in Persia. Several of his own operas were produced in England, including Enrico (1743), and the contemporary music historian Charles Burney wrote of his considerable influence on English composers. In 1748 he became assistant concertmaster at San Marco Basilica in Venice and in 1762 concertmaster there. From 1766 to 1768 he was chapelmaster to Catherine II in Russia. In 1768 he returned to Venice and resumed his duties at San Marco. He was one of the most prolific and widely performed opera composers of the period, and his oeuvre includes at least 100 operas composed between 1722 and 1773. He was one of the earliest composers of opera to use the ensemble finale, in which all the characters appear in a musical ensemble that carries the action forward to the end of the act. Besides operas, Galuppi wrote religious and instrumental works.


Baldassare Galuppi (c.1706-1784)
Youtube Video

Born on March 4, 1678, in Venice, Italy, Antonio Vivaldi was ordained as a priest though he instead chose to follow his passion for music. A prolific composer who created hundreds of works, he became renowned for his concertos in Baroque style, becoming a highly influential innovator in form and pattern. His father, Giovanni Battista Vivaldi, was a professional violinist who taught his young son to play as well. Through his father, Vivaldi met and learned from some of the finest musicians and composers in Venice at the time. While his violin practice flourished, a chronic shortness of breath barred him from mastering wind instruments. Vivaldi sought religious training as well as musical instruction. At the age of 15, he began studying to become a priest. He was ordained in 1703. Due to his red hair, Vivaldi was known locally as ” Prete Rosso,” or “the Red Priest.” Vivaldi ‘s career in the clergy was short-lived. Health problems prevented him from delivering mass and drove him to abandon the priesthood shortly after his ordination. He died on July 28, 1741.


Antonio Vivaldi (c. 1678-1741)
Youtube Video

Famous italian composers:

Giovanni Palestrina, an Italian Renaissance composer, is perhaps the best known example of the Roman School of music. He wrote mostly in the idiom of sacred music, which was crucial in the progression of church music and is often considered the pinnacle of Renaissance polyphony and counterpoint. In the ultimate musical compliment, Johann Sebastian Bach scrutinized and performed Palestrina’s Missa Sine nomine whilst writing the historic Mass in B Minor.


Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1526-1594)
Youtube Video

Claudio Monteverdi was a revolutionary Italian composer whose work signaled the evolution between the Renaissance and Baroque period. His innovative compositional style included two differentiating features: the conventions of Renaissance polyphony, and the basso continuo method of the new Baroque era. Monteverdi was a member of the Florentine Camerata, who are credited with inventing opera as we know it; his most celebrated opera L’Orfeo is still performed in opera houses. A highly innovative and original composer, Monteverdi enjoyed considerable success in his lifetime and is revered worldwide to this day.


Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Youtube Video

Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti was an Italian composer who is credited for the transition from Baroque into the Classical era. He spent a large proportion of his life serving the Portuguese and Spanish Royal Families, and like his father, Alessandro Scarlatti, he composed in a multitude of musical platforms. However, he is mostly recognized for his 555 keyboard Sonatas, which incorporate inventive techniques such as unconventional key modulations and use of discords. Only a small portion of Scarlatti’s work was published in his lifetime, but in the centuries since, his sonatas have been published and influenced composers ranging from Chopin to Shostakovich.


Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
Youtube Video

Giovanni Pergolesi was an Italian composer of the Baroque era and one of the most important early composers of opera buffa (comic opera). His opera seria (serious opera), Il Prigionier Superbo, included an opera buffa act called La Serva Padrona, which eventually became a popular piece in its own right. However, its 1752 premiere in Paris created a divide between the French school of serious opera and Italian school of opera buffa. This contention segregated Paris for years, with Pergolesi being highlighted as the leader of the Italian movement of comic opera. Pergolesi also wrote sacred music such as Mass in F Minor and his most famous work, Stabat Mater.


Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736)
Youtube Video

Gioachino Rossini is nicknamed “The Italian Mozart,” as a consequence of his inspired song-like melodies, which feature throughout his 39 operas, sacred music, chamber music, piano pieces, and other songs. His most eminent works included Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber Of Seville), the drama giocoso piece La Cenerentola, and the stunning French-language work Guillaume Tell. Before his retirement in 1829 and the emergence of Verdi, Rossini had been widely regarded as the most popular opera composer in history.


Gioachino Antonio Rossini (1792-1868)
Youtube Video

Giuseppe Verdi was an Italian composer of the Romantic era and is still considered one of the most influential composers of the 19th century, his works still being performed in opera houses worldwide. Political agenda was crucial in the works of Verdi, such as the The Chorus of Hebrew Slaves, which endeavored to unify the country and free it from foreign control (“O mia patria, si bella e perduta” / “O My country, so lovely and so lost”). Verdi was often criticized for his overly melodramatic and diatonic works, but is still considered to be the most important Italian composer of the Romantic era. His most notable works include La Traviata, Rigoletto, Falstaff, and Aida, which influenced a young Puccini.


Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Youtube Video

Giacomo Puccini, born in Lucca, began writing music upon watching a performance of Verdi’s Aida. Puccini is celebrated for his stunning melodies, lush orchestrations, and expert musical dramatization. While often criticized for his flirtations with popular music and over-sentimentality, he is considered as the only true successor to Verdi. Puccini’s masterpieces Madama Butterfly and La Bohème are still the two most performed operas in the U.S. Whilst Puccini’s works embraced late-19th century Romanticism, he became one of the leading figures in the Italian Verismo movement, which sought to bring the naturalism of writers such as Emile Zola into opera.


Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Youtube Video

Ennio Morricone is a composer and conductor with a 50-year career span, including a huge proportion of soundtracks for more than 500 motion pictures and television series. He is perhaps most famous for his work in spaghetti westerns such as A Fistful Of Dollars, The Good The Bad And The Ugly, and Once Upon A Time In The West. However, his career includes a much wider range of musical compositions, resulting in him becoming one of the most prolific and versatile composers of the 20th century. Morricone has received two Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, five BAFTAS, and an Academy Honorary Award for “magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.”


Ennio Morricone (1928-)
Ennio Morricone – Venetian concernt in Venice, Place Saint Marc
Youtube Video

“The Song / Chant of the Italians” is the national anthem of Italy and known among Italians as “Inno di Mameli” or “Fratelli d’Italia” from its opening line. The words were written in the autumn of 1847 inGenoa, by the then 20-year-old student and patriot Goffredo Mameli. Two months later, they were set to music in Turin by another Genoese, Michele Novaro.The hymn enjoyed widespread popularity throughout the period of the Risorgimento and in the following decades. Nevertheless, after the Italian Unification in 1861, the adopted national anthem was the “Marcia Reale” (Royal March), the official hymn of the House of Savoy composed in 1831 by order of King Charles Albert of Sardinia. After the Second World War, Italy became a Republic, and on 12 October 1946, “Il Canto degli Italiani” was provisionally chosen as the country’s new national anthem. It was made official on 4 December 2017 de jure.


Domenico Goffredo Mameli
Youtube Video

top