hum204 midterm - Tosun M Task Vivaldi's Venice A study of...

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Tosun, M. Task: Vivaldi's Venice: A study of instrumental music, opera and theatre in the 18th century Venice and its influences on the social and political life of the city. Vivaldi’s Venice and Pieta Antonio Vivaldi was born in 1678, at that time, Venice was not the trading centre it once was in the Renaissance era. Instead, Venice began to focus on the arts. Soon, the city became a tourist favourite, offering casinos and carnivals. Thousands of people visited Venice for amusement as well as the art exhibits of every kind. As far as artistic achievements in Venice go, the city is known for its plastic arts, music, painting, and the theatre. As far as music goes, Venice was one of the best cities in Europe in terms of the cultural activities especially in music. Heller goes as far as to say that the city was a centre of musical life and that the Venetian culture influenced all of European music. Tourists were coming from many different countries for the operas and other open-air concerts that took place during the year. 1 According to a research by Allison Harvey, the reason that Venice had developed so rapidly in culture and especially in music is related to the education system in orphanages in Venice. Orphanages began to train their inmates in music which resulted in the first conservatories. In Vivaldi's time, four such orphanages existed. The most famous one in these orphanages was Pio Ospedale della Pieta. Antonio Vivaldi was the most talented composer of eighteenth century in Venice, Italy. His works and the styles he used were and are used as models for the works of his contemporaries continuing through the composers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Vivaldi spent most of his life as a composer, violin teacher, conductor, and violin virtuoso at the Pieta asylum for orphaned young women and girls. Vivaldi created his most famous work and most of his works are preserved in Pieta. His father was a barber and taught Antonio how to play the violin. The Vivaldis were a wealthy family and it was common in this time period for upper class families to send the eldest son into the priesthood. It soon became apparent from Vivaldi's lack of involvement and enthusiasm that he wanted to be more of the musician than the priest. To talk about the most important institution that lead Venice to be one of the best cities in terms of cultural activities, the Pieta was an orphanage for young girls who had been neglected by their parents or their parents were dead. They were taught by teachers such as Vivaldi. However, when they reached a certain age, they were expected to teach the younger orphans. This was a common practice in these orphanages to help keep expenses down.
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