The end of the 16th century gave rise to the new genre of opera, which developed in disparate ways throughout the Italian peninsula over the course of the seventeenth century. Yet, many other secular vocal genres continued to thrive and develop during this time. Studying them side by side with opera presents us with a more complete picture of singing culture during the long seventeenth century. While this module will certainly address the stylistic aspects of these vocal genres, we will also focus on the social and cultural issues which shaped their musical development. This includes examining the patrons, singers, and composers of this repertoire through issues of gender, class / social status, reception, the musical canon and the conception of the early modern body.