Giacomo Carissimi was an Italian composer. He is one of the most celebrated masters of the early Baroque or, more accurately, the Roman School of music. Carissimi was active at the time when secular music was about to usurp the dominance of sacred music in Italy. The change was decisive and permanent: When he began composing, the influence of the previous generations of Roman composers was still heavy (for instance, the style of Palestrina), and when his career came to a close the operaticforms, as well as the instrumental secular forms, were predominant. In addition, Carissimi was important as a teacher, and his influence spread far into Germany and France. Much of the musical style of Marc-Antoine Charpentier, for instance, was influenced by Carissimi.