Viadana, Ludovico



Italian composer of whose life little is known. His family name was Grossi and he acquired that of Viadana from his birthplace, near Mantua. He was chapelmaster successively at Urbino, at Concordia, in the states of Venice, and at Mantua. He was a monk of one of the stricter orders. Before his time the organ had been used to take the part of a missing voice, but he was the first to compose expressly for the voice to be accompanied by a thorough-bass. He invented the term basso continuo. His most celebrated work is a collection of Cento Concerti ecclesiastici. He was a prolific composer, and published a number of volumes of canzonets, madrigals, psalms, canticles, and masses. He was the first to accompany solemn church compositions.