Venice and St. Mark's in particular had very unique cultural and religious traditions. Since the cathedral was under the authority of the ruling doge instead of any religious power, Venice showed a different musical and liturgical tradition than Rome, though it was considered a strong Catholic stronghold. Venitians were very much fond of processions, ceremonies and pomp. St. Mark's feast and Ascension Day were very significant. Celebrations like these promote not only nationalistic pride in Venetians, but also served to impress foreigners with Venice's wealth and importance. Instrumental works and choral madrigals accompanied the processions of the doge and other celebrations. But the center of Venetian music was St. Mark's cathedral itself. Built in the manner of eastern basilicas, it had 2 choir lofts with 2 organs that came to define Venetian music. Composers learned to write for separate choirs and develop the effects possible. This system of writing is called "cori spezzati". St. Mark's building structure made polyphonic composition sound cluttered so composers begin to write music that was more homophonic giving emphasis on both sound and clarity of text. These styles and techniques brought a large influence on composers all over Europe as Venice became the musical center of Italy.
Florence is another musical center in Italy.