Giovanni Gabrieli studied with his uncle, the composer Andrea Gabrieli, and Orlando di Lasso, during which time in Munich. It was 1584 or 1585 second organist at the church of San Marco ( St. Mark's Church ) in Venice and took over after the death of his uncle in 1586 and whose position as a composer and organist main.
The tradition of the Venetian polychorality, which is defined by the alternation of two to eight choirs distributed in space, it continues to San Marco.
He is buried in Venice in the church of Santo Stefano.
Gabrieli is considered an important musical personality at the transition from the Renaissance and Baroque. His works make early from Basso Continuo use, and in the "Sonata pian e forte " contains some of the earliest dynamic markings (ie marks for each application of loudness in music).
Well-known composers, such as Heinrich Schütz, Gabrieli were students.
Of his work, the first in a 1575 to Venice come out collection, more in 1587 in Venice in his published collection of songs of his uncle Andrea Gabrieli published.
The most important collections are written by him
- Said Concerti di A. et tu G. Gabrieli ( 1587 ),
- Ecclesiasticae cantiones ( 1589 to 4-6 votes)
- Madrigals for 5 voices ( 1589 )
- Symphoniae Sacrae I (1597 to 6-16 to vocals and instruments)
- Symphoniae sacrae II ( 1615 to 6-19 parts), published only after his death
- Canzoni e sonate ( 1615 to 3-22 parts), published only after his death