Venice (It. Venezia)
- Giulio Ongaro,
- Eleanor Selfridge-Field
- and Luca Zoppelli
Italian city, capital of the Veneto region.
That Venice achieved its importance as a musical centre much later than other cities in northern Italy was probably due to several of the factors that contributed to its remarkable political stability: its electoral system for public offices ensured that no individual family achieved overwhelming prominence; appointments to important military and civil offices were often spread among several of the noble families; Venetian customs and sumptuary laws discouraged excessive displays of wealth and power by an individual or family, thus limiting private patronage of music. Little is known about music in Venice during the Middle Ages, but there is evidence of the development of a chant based on the liturgy of Aquileia which diverged considerably from the Gregorian. Most of the documents about music from the period up to the late 15th century are related to service at the ducal church of S Marco or to ducal politics. This accounts in part for the fact that until relatively recently the history of music in Venice to the end of the Renaissance has been viewed primarily as a history of music at S Marco. The ducal chapel was undoubtedly the most important musical institution of the city, completely overshadowing the cathedral of S Pietro di Castello, and it was the natural centre of that combination of religion and politics so evident in Venetian pageantry and liturgy....