Silvestro Ganassi dal Fontego

Silvestro Ganassi dal Fontego ( born January 1, 1492 Fontego in Venice, † unknown, also Sylvestro (di) Ganassi dal Fontego ) was an Italian viola da gamba and recorder player.


Silvestro Ganassi worked as a court musician of the Doges, and to 1535 as an instrumentalist on St. Mark's Basilica. He was the author of two major textbooks for the game of the recorder and the viola da gamba.


La Fontegara

In 1535 he was self-published out the textbook Opera intitulata Fontegara, which deals with the game and the Diminuitionspraxis the recorder.

" Like no other work of the time it gives a view of an amazingly high culture of recorder playing and lets in a first-tier player Ganassi suspect of his instrument brilliantly mastered and was familiar to the last fineness with him."

Ganassi recommends several syllables, including " Tere ", " Lere " or " Chara ", which varies and will be ranked on syllable combinations for the articulation. He mentions, among other things, " Dacha Deche dichi Docho Duchu " or " Chara chare chari charo charu ". Furthermore, he knows the approach without tongue thrust, which he calls " head " approach. He extended the normal scope of the recorder of that time according to own data with new handles found at seven other sounds. He often uses half covers and points out that the player should be adapted to the different design of the flutes through differentiated handles. The Diminuitionen underlie simple melody models, to which he gives examples of simple variations up to rhythmically very complex coloratura.

Regola Rubertina

The Regola Rubertina appeared in two parts in 1542 and 1543 ( Lettione Seconda ), also self-published. It is regarded as one of the earliest treatises on the viola da gamba and as the first systematic viol school. Contents of Regola Rubertina thereof include tuning of the strings, setting up the frets, fingering and bowing. In practice, the diminution he refers to the Fontegara. In chapter 10 he describes the bass as the " most important" and " dignified " voice, which he aural, arithmetic and theological arguments leads.


  • Sylvestro Ganassi: School of artful flute playing and textbook of diminution. Edited by Hilde Marie Peters. Publisher Robert Lienau, Berlin 1956
  • Sylvestro Ganassi: Regola Rubertina. Edited by Hilde Marie Peters. Publisher Robert Lienau, Berlin 1971