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date: 18 October 2019

Ganassi dal Fontego, Sylvestro dilocked

  • Howard Mayer Brown
  • , revised by Giulio Ongaro


(b ?Venice, 1492; d mid-16th century). Italian instrumentalist and writer. He was the author of two treatises on instrumental performance. Ganassi joined the pifferi of the Venetian government in June 1517, when he was hired as ‘contralto’ to fill a vacancy. From the 1517 document it is clear that his nickname ‘dal Fontego’ was derived from his place of residence near (or at) the Venetian ‘Fontego’, the palace by the Rialto where German merchants lived and traded. He is also mentioned in a few other documents from the late 1540s, and he might be the ‘Silvestro del cornetto’ who rented a storeroom near the Rialto in 1566. In his capacity as ‘piffero del Doge’ he probably supplied ceremonial and court music for the Doges and instrumenal music at the Basilica di S Marco.

Ganassi published two treatises, one on the recorder, Opera intitulata Fontegara (Venice, 1535), and one in two volumes on the viola da gamba, ...

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