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His secular music — in French and Italian — was partly issued by Petrucci, the pioneer of music printing, in Venice in the early 1500s; other secular and sacred works survive in manuscipt. His Missa Cucuwith has the appropriate motive in the tenor, but other works show a well-developed imitative style overlaying traditional cantus firmus treatment.
Despite his name (it might be an Italianization, not so uncommon in feudal days) Martini was not an Italian, but from the Low Countries (all inhabitants, even francophones, were known in Italy and beyond as Fiamminghi, “Flemings”). He is considered a member of the second generation of Flemish Polyphonists (the most famous and oldest being Johannes Ockeghem, who dominated the French royal court chapel). Martini was the teacher who introduced to music Isabella d’Este, daughter of duke Ercole I of Ferrara; she became a major patron of the arts at the ducal court of Mantua, keeping in touch with Johannes and his compatriots Josquin Despres and Loyset Compère. When Galeazzo Maria Sforza founded the Lombard court chapel in Milan, he attracted “Flemish” composers: Gaspard van Waarbecke (who later traveled north to recruit more Flemish musicians) and the aforementioned Josquin, Compère and Martini.
In 1474 Gaspar moved to Ferrara to serve the Este Duke Ercole I. Apparently as a friend, Martini was invited — succesfully — to persuade Hofhaimer to give his services to the Innsbruck court of the Habsburg dynasty by becoming Austrian court organist.
[Based on KULeuven’s musicology professor Ignace Bossuyt’s book “De Vlaamse Polyfonie”.]