Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) was an Italian composer, gambist, and singer. Monteverdi's work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the change from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period. He developed two styles of composition – the heritage of Renaissance polyphony and the new basso continuo technique of the Baroque. Monteverdi wrote one of the earliest operas, L'Orfeo, a novel work that is the earliest surviving opera still regularly performed. He is widely recognized as an inventive composer who enjoyed considerable fame in his lifetime.
Venice was the international center of a musical revolution in the seventeenth century. Composers like Monteverdi created a whole new art form: Opera.
This is the best one-volume history of Italy that includes the modern part that we want. It provides you with a nice introduction to earlier periods and those of you who studied the Renaissance last year will find these chapters an easy review. You can read about the earlier periods a bit each week tip you get up to 1600. We will use the book all year.
A Concise History of Italy,
Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (January 20, 2014),