Music and Worship Student Presentations

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Event Date



National Conference on Undergraduate Research


Cheney, WA


This presentation 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.


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

Venice Presentation.pdf (116 kB)
PowerPoint Presentation

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.

Included in

Music Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.