The Role of Music in the Venetian Home in the Cinquecento


in The Music Room in Early Modern France and Italy

Published by British Academy

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265055
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754166 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Role of Music in the Venetian Home in the Cinquecento

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This chapter considers the role of music and dance in the definition of identity by families and individuals in Renaissance Venice, with particular reference to the use of domestic space for music-making. The integration of music into its social and architectural context is discussed in terms of the class identity of different groups. The contexts range from domestic entertainment to family festivities such as marriages. The chapter goes on to explore the kinds of music-making in different spaces in the Venetian dwelling, in terms of the size and loudness of the instrument; the type of music performed; and the size, function and decoration of the room. During the sixteenth century, increasingly specialised rooms were created for music-making, often linked to theatrical performance and/or dance. In parallel, the employment of professional musicians by elite families began to supersede amateur participation on important festive occasions.

Keywords: music; dance; domestic interiors; musical instruments; music rooms; musicians; Venice; sixeteenth century

Chapter.  7217 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Opera

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