Venetian composer and organist. Merulo derived from the intellectual lineage of Willaert, and carried on his contrapuntal instrumental ideas to their point of most elaborate development. Highly educated, he was first organist at St. Mark's during the era of the Gabrielis, and was the most important composer to perfect the "organ mass" as a genre. He was also a pioneer of the toccata form.
Merulo's music is always clearly conceived and broad in scope. His technical abilities and position easily place him among the most influential keyboard composers of the later 16th century. ~ Todd McComb (8/97)