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 Vincenzo Galilei

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Vincenzo Galilei

  • Birth 1520
  • Death 1 Jul 1591
  • Burial Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
  • Memorial ID 20923783

Composer, Theorist. One of the most influential musicians of his era. Although he was a seminal pioneer of Baroque music, his works are rarely heard today and he is chiefly remembered as the father of the astronomer Galileo. Galilei was born in Santa Maria a Monte, Italy. An accomplished lute player, he studied in Venice with composer Gioseffo Zarlino and delved into the music of the Turks and Moors. Following a period in Pisa (where Galileo was born) he settled in Florence in 1571. His important work began when he joined the Florentine Cammerata Society later in that decade. Galilei's innovations arose from the most reactionary impulses. The Cammerata as a whole rejected High Renaissance music as needlessly complex and sought an antidote in Ancient Greek music (as they understood it); Galilei in particular railed against word-painting, dissonance, and the progressive teachings of Zarlino. His quest for artistic "purity" led him to become one of the developers of monody (a single melodic line, or voice, with or without accompaniment), as opposed to polyphony (multiple independent voices interwoven into a dense texture), which had ruled the European scene for centuries. His theories, published in the book "Dialogo della musica antica e della moderna" (1581), not only helped lay the foundations for the Baroque era but had far-reaching consequences on all subsequent Western music. He also made important discoveries in the mathematical relationship between music and acoustics. His surviving compositions include motets, madrigals, and lute pieces. It is widely believed that Galilei's iconoclastic attitude influenced his son Galileo to experiment in science.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 13 Aug 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 20923783
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Vincenzo Galilei (1520–1 Jul 1591), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20923783, citing Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy ; Maintained by Find A Grave .