The Odhecaton 1501
Acton Court, Latteridge Rd, Iron Acton, Bristol
A Musical Revolution
The year 1501 changed music for ever. It saw the publication in Venice of the world's first ever book of printed music. This revolutionary book was called Harmonice Musices Odhecaton – a collection of 96 exquisite pieces by the greatest composers of the age, such as Josquin, Japart, Compere, Isaac and Agricola. It placed sacred motets side-by-side with bawdy love songs full of fun and innuendo. Before the Odhecaton, the only way to access or share music was to make or purchase an expensive and laboriously-made manuscript copy. This book signalled the arrival of a new era, in which mass-produced music books became accessible and affordable to people all over Europe.