Nola ca. 1510 – Napoli 1592

Giovanni Domenico da Nola

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Born in Nola, near Naples, Giovanni Domenico da Nola became Choirmaster and Director of Music at the Church of the Holy Annunciation in the Parthenopean chief city in 1563, a position which he held until his death.
It is known that he was a founding member of the Academy of the Serene (one of the many Italian academies) whose members belonged to both the noble and popular classes and who met twice a week to discuss literature, poetry and mathematics. In 1541 he published two books of Canzoni villanesche, held in high esteem by his contemporaries (we know of many arrangements from Orlando di Lasso through to Adrian Willaert). Four years later he published a book of madrigals based on Petrarca’s poetry and three more followed, some of which have been lost.
The peculiarity of his madrigal writing style was the use of the so called ‘black notes’, that is the use of smaller notes which made these compositions rhythmically lively and syncopated.

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