Personalities | Vincenzo Galilei | Renaissance | Classical

(Vin-chant’-zo Ga-le-la’-e) c. 1520–91
Italian theorist and musician

The father of Galileo Galilei, Vincenzo, also had a scientific mind. His experience as a lutenist and composer formed the practical basis for a significant body of music theory. His later works, especially, are heavily influenced by contemporary humanist enquiry into the nature of ancient music and, in particular, the work of the classical scholar Girolamo Mei. In the Dialogo della musica (1581), Galilei condemned polyphony on the basis that ancient music had been entirely monophonic. His argument that ancient drama had been sung throughout formed one of the theoretical bases of early experiments in opera.

Recommended Recording:
La Serenissima: Lute Music in Venice 1500–1600, Jakob Lindberg (BIS)

Introduction | Renaissance | Classical
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