2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

The Architecture of Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco and its Influence on Giovanni Gabrielli's Compositional Style
Taylor L. Jokerst
Prof. Shirley McKamie and Dr. David McKamie, Faculty Mentors

The architecture of a space demands the consideration of a composer. Scholars have long noted the unique linear-mathematical structures present in works such as Messe de Nostre Dame, Guillaume de Machaut's 14th-century masterpiece written for the Rheims Cathedral. In the 16th century Giovanni Gabrieli continued this tradition in his compositions for Saint Mark's Cathedral, where the architecture allowed for a whole new concept of instrumentation and composition to emerge. The acoustics of this space, unbeknownst at the time of construction, also aided in its function as a concert hall of sorts. Specifically, Gabrieli used the multiple choir lofts to carefully position several groups of instrumentalists and vocalists, thus exploiting a polychoral style particularly designed for St. Mark's. Eventually, after some experimentation, this approach evolved into what is now known as the Venetian polychoral style. Even today, St. Mark's architecture influences the musical decisions of those who compose for its space.

Keywords: Gabrieli, Venetian polychoral style, Saint Mark's Cathedral, Acoustics, Renaissance, Venice, Architecture

Topic(s):Phi Kappa Phi Interdisciplinary

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 208-3
Location: VH 1324
Time: 10:00

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