Honoring God and the City: Music at the Venetian Confraternities, 1260-1807

Jonathan Glixon

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

32 Citations (SciVal)


This book presents a history of musical activities at Venetian lay confraternities - institutions that were crucial to the cultural and ceremonial life of Venice. It traces musical practices from the origins of the earliest confraternities in the mid-13th century to their suppression under the French and Austrian governments in the early 19th century. It first discusses the scuole grandi, the largest and most important of the Venetian confraternities. The scuole grandi hosted some of the most elaborate musical events in the Venetian calendar, including lavish annual festivities for each scuola's patron saint and often enlisting such high-profile musicians as Giovanni Gabrieli and Claudio Monteverdi. They also employed singers, instrumentalists, and organists on a salaried basis for processions and regular religious services. The book places detailed descriptions of these events in the context of the scuole grandi's long histories, as the roles of musicians evolved over the centuries. The book's second part is concerned with the scuole piccole, the numerous smaller confraternities born in churches throughout Venice. These local organizations usually did not employ salaried musicians, but hired singers and players as needed for their annual festivities and other occasions. Detailed appendixes include a calendar of musical events at all Venetian confraternities in the early 18th century and a complete listing of musicians for an important 17th century festival. The book demonstrates the vital role of confraternities in the musical and ceremonial life of Venice.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages388
ISBN (Electronic)9780199868049
StatePublished - May 1 2008

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press, 2013. All Rights Reserved.


  • Claudio monteverdi
  • Confraternities
  • Giovanni gabrieli
  • Lauda
  • Music and ceremony
  • Scuole grandi
  • Scuole piccole
  • Venice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (all)


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