Between Byzantium and Venice: Western Music in Crete
By Nicolae Gheorghită
Latest Advances in Acoustics and Music: Proceedings of the 13th WSEAS International Conference on Acoustics and Music: Theory & Applications (AMTA ’12) – Papers given at “G. Enescu” University, Iasi, Romania, June 13-15, 2012 (WSEAS Press, 2012)
Abstract: Beginning with the year 1211 Crete is building up one of the most fascinating and significant forms of cultural identity that featured the Mediterranean See along its whole history. The current study investigates the cultural, religious and political background that generated the development and rise and of the western music tradition in Crete and its forms during the entire of the Venetocracy period (1211-1669).
Introduction: Beginning with the year 1211, Crete becomes not only the most important Byzantine territory under the administration of the Republic of Venice, but also the ideal refuge space of Helinophones, once the last bastions of the Eastern Empire have disappeared. Subsequent to a rather uncertain and turbulent 13th century, beginning with the following one, Crete enjoys economic prosperity and political stability, which favours an unprecedented development of arts and literature, and especially visual arts: painting and architecture.
For more than four centuries and a half, while the Venetocracy lasted (1211 – 1669), the interaction between Byzantine and Latin cultures, despite the doctrinaire differences, will give birth to an extremely original cultural and artistic identity. In this regard, remarkable personalities have arisen, poets such as Vincenzo Cornaro (1553 – 1613/14), author of the most important Cretan literary work – Erotokritos, or painters such as Nikolaos Philanthropinos (ca.1375 – 1435) – magister artis musaice in ecclesia Sancti Marci and Domenikos Theotokopoulos, alias El Greco (1541 – 1614).