Marchetto Cara

  • Born: c. 1470
  • Died: c. 1525
  • Birthplace: Italy

Marchetto Cara was an Italian composer, lutenist and singer of the Renaissance. He was mainly active in Mantua, was well-connected with the Gonzaga and Medici families, and along with Bartolomeo Tromboncino, was well known as a composer of frottolas. Though predominantly a composer of frottolas, a light secular form and ancestor of the madrigal, he also wrote a few sacred pieces, including a three-voice Salve Regina (one of theMarian Antiphons) as well as seven laude spirituali. His frottolas are for the most part homophonic, with short passages of imitation only at the beginnings of phrases; they are catchy, singable, and often use dance-like rhythms. The poetry for most of his 100 frottolas is anonymous, though the authors of 16 poems have been identified. Most of the poems are in the form of the barzellette, but there are also strambotti, sonnets, capitoli and ode. Almost everything is in a verse-refrain format. One of Cara's best known frottolas, Io non compro più speranza was composed in 1504 and published in the first book of Frottolas of Petrucci .