From Ghetto to Palazzo: How a Jewish Composer in Renaissance Italy Harmonized Two Worlds

Salamone Rossi’s skill as a violinist and composer was highly valued at the Catholic court of Mantua. But as a Jew, he was still was seen as an interloper.

Hear the Mass Some Believe Saved Church Music

Italian Renaissance composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina might not be the first person that comes to mind at the mention of the word “savior.” Still, some refer to him as the “Savior of Church Music.”

The Secrets to Heavenly Singing from Peter Phillips, Conductor and Founder of the Tallis Scholars

The Tallis Scholars is one of the most widely recognized vocal ensembles in the world with an unmistakable sound. A reviewer of their performance at the 2013 BBC Proms said, “The sound coming from the Tallis Scholars almost surpassed the humanly possible.” Since conductor Peter Phillips founded the Tallis Scholars in 1973, the group has both unearthed neglected Renaissance masterpieces, championed new …

The History of European Music May Owe More to Arab Culture Than We Realize

Globalization in recent decades has led to a number of exciting cross-cultural collaborations among musicians. However, we’ve always been a global society in which the sounds of many cultures mix together to create new forms of self-expression. Ever since the Middle Ages, musicians in Europe eagerly adopted musical traditions from around the world, from as far as the Indian subcontinent …

The Earliest Opera Ever Written Is Over 800 Years Old… And It’s by a Woman

Without Ordo virtutum, a sung morality play about the battle between human virtue and the devil’s temptation, opera as we now know it might not exist. And we have a woman to thank for that. Saint Hildegard of Bingen was a nun and scholar who made contributions to the fields of music, science, religion, and linguistics. On top of composing …