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Keywords

Music, music printing, music publishing, Venice, Italy, Renaissance, printing, single-impression printing, double-impression printing, Ottaviano Petrucci, Antonio Gardano, Girolamo Scotto

Abstract

This paper attempts to prove that Venice was the main geographical center of music printing and publishing from the 1300s to the late 1500s using several economic, legal, and cultural factors. The primary research method was examining secondary sources on music printing, publishing, and European and Venetian history.

From the 1300s to the late 1500s, Venetian commercial trade and activity, including book publishing, reached unheard of levels. Venice held a powerful position in the European economy and its merchants were able to leverage this to great advantage when the new technology of printing became available. The specialized business of music printing and publishing was dominated by Venetian companies, who produced more sheet music than the rest of Europe combined between 1530 and 1560. The economic success of Venice also created a legal framework that benefited the burgeoning music printing industry. The printing and publishing of music required considerable capital such as specialized type faces, but the government system and capitalist economy of Venice made it easier for entrepreneurs to finance music publishing enterprises. The Venetian government system also encouraged close personal or even family relationships between different printing and publishing companies. This created a culture in which competing companies frequently benefited from cooperation. This paper makes it clear that there were a variety of economic, legal, and cultural factors that helped to propel Venice to its preeminent position as the provider of printed music to Europe during the 1300s to the late 1500s. In the mid-Renaissance, when it came to printed music, Venice did indeed own the market.

DOI

10.15385/jmo.2015.6.1.3

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

 

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