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Renaissance History: Luciano Marrone





This 4th article of mine is a continuation of my 1st article on the topic of Renaissance history, found here. In each of the succeeding articles, starting with this one, I’m gonna elaborate on six early Renaissance figures found in the linked article, each from a different country and all of them known for being diverse Renaissance men. Each article will focus on a different Renaissance man, the first one being Luciano Marrone from Italy.


Luciano Marrone was an Italian scholar, literary figure, painter, sculptor, and architect, as well as the first composer of Renaissance music. Luciano was born in Florence on June 27, 1340. He knew figures such as Petrarch and Boccaccio personally.

Luciano began composing in 1357 and completed his first compositions that year, and from then until 1361, his compositions demonstrated a mastery of the late medieval style typical of Francesco Landini, an Italian composer and contemporary of Luciano. In 1361, his compositional style began to change, showing influences of humanism and the latest developments in the arts, becoming increasingly distinctive compared to Landini and other Italian composers of the time, up to 1365.

From that point, Luciano’s compositional style developed further, stretching the limits of medieval music and verging progressively on a Renaissance style, as well as becoming more unique in Italy than ever before. By the spring of 1370, Luciano had broken the bounds of medieval musical styles, and had developed the earliest form of what is now known as Renaissance music. By 1372, the latest developments in music, art, architecture, sculpture, and literature had spread throughout Italy and by 1400, throughout Europe.

Luciano is also known for inventing the universal standard of concert pitch of the modern era in instruments and the human voice. He perfected this tuning standard in 1365, just as his compositional style was starting to push increasingly forward from the Medieval to the Renaissance. Before 1365, there was no universal standard of tuning, and musical pitch was determined by the moods and whims of singers and musicians and varied from place to place. Before more modern methods of measuring pitch were developed, Luciano’s tuning technique was known as the Marronian standard. Luciano’s own method of measuring pitch, used to support his tuning standard, was in mainstream popularity until the 19th century, when a German physicist named Hertz developed an alternative technique (i.e. The A above middle C on the modern 88-key piano is measured at 440 Hz).

Luciano died in Florence on July 17, 1410, at the age of 70.


  • To make things clearer, Hertz did not change concert pitch at all, but simply invented a new way of measuring concert pitch. Luciano Marrone created concert pitch; Hertz just measured it in a new way.
  • I don't yet have an idea how Luciano will create his version of concert pitch; it's just a rough idea right now.


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