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HOME>Photos/Pictures>Travel>Italy>Venice, Venezia, Venedig>Basilica di San Marco/St. Mark's Basilica/Markuskirche, Venice, Italy: Photo/Picture/Foto by Tomoko Yamamoto
The main fašade of Basilica of San Marco (St. Mark's Basilica) in Venice, Italy with many tourists and pigeons, in particular a couple in black and red and a pair of pigeons in the foreground: photo/picture/Foto of Venice, Italy (Venezia, Venedig) by Tomoko Yamamoto

Basilica San Marco (St. Mark's Basilica), Venice, Italy; Photo by Tomoko Yamamoto
Main Page of Photos of Venice, Italy Photos

Basilica di San Marco, History and Its Significance in Music

This is an awsome basilica if you see its exterior for the first time after walking through the narrow alleys to reach the plaza. The church was first built to enshrine the body of St. Mark. The present structure dates back to a spectacular edifice designed by an unknown architect (1063-94). It became the cathedral of Venice in 1807.

The Venetian School:
Venice was the center of church music in the Late Renaissance. This church music activity took place inside the Basilica and out on the piazza as well. Choirmasters who served there were Adrian Willaert, Cipriano de Rore, Gioseffo Zarlino, and Baldassare Donati while organists included Jacques Buus, Annibale Padovano, Claudio Merulo, Andrea Gabrieli, and Giovanni Bagrieli. In addition to conducting choirs and playing the organ, these men were composers as well. One of the characteristics of the Venetian School is polychoral motets which were written for double chorus and sometimes up to five choruses.

Reference: Donald J Grout and Claude V. Palisca, A History of Western Music, 1988, New York and London, W. W. Norton

Facade detail of Basilica of San Marco, photo by Tomoko Yamamoto
Basilica Fašade detail: Terrace mossaics and San Marco (St. Mark,
with angels, St. Mark's Winged Lion, and four horses above the main portal, a portion taken from the larger photo above

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Basilica di San Marco Photo Description: In front of the west facade of Basilica of San Marco in Venice, Italy, pigeons and people fill the Piazza of San Marco with a couple in red and black close to the center and a pair of pigeons to the left.

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Update: February 21, 2008