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Music at Palermo’s San Martino delle Scale during the Late Sixteenth Century

In the second half of the sixteenth century, Palermo emerged as one of the most important musical centres in the South of Italy, second only to Naples. In addition to their regular musical activities, Palermos’s convents and monasteries employed large numbers of occasional musicians for special events, which were supported primarily by private donations.1 This nexus of musical activity produced the conditions in which musicians could meet and exchange styles and experiences, whose tangible fruits are the large number of Palermitan sacred works published in this period.