Sonata pian' e forte

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Sonata pian' e forte was written by Giovanni Gabrieli, an Italian composer and organist in 1597.[1] This is the earliest known piece of music to call for specific brass instruments.[2]


“Sonata pian’e forte” means an instrumental piece using soft and loud dynamics. A more technical definition of this is a Venetian polychoral style which arose from architectural peculiarities with regards to St Mark's Basilica. Sonata (at this time) means a piece for instruments. It was probably written to be played as part of a Catholic service at St Mark's, Venice. It was written for 8 instruments divided into 2 groups of 4 and placed in opposing galleries in the cathedral.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Denis Arnold 1979.
  2. ^ Fenlon, Iain. "Gabrieli and St Mark's Venetian Brass Music". Gramophone. Retrieved 29 March 2017. 

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