Marco Cara (? - after 1525) was an Italian composer. He was in the service of the Gonzaga court at Mantua from 1495 to 1525, in which year he was made a citizen of the town. He was Isabella d'Este's favorite composer, and along with Tromboncino was a master of the frottola form, writing over 100 of them, and putting Mantua on the musical map, Many of his works were published by Petrucci. He aimed to provide a light and airy texture appropriate to the frottola texts he set, which could also be successfully performed by voice and lute. His own singing to the lute was praised for its ,mourning sweetness' in Castiglione's Il cortegiano, and indeed he raised the frottola to a level where it anticipated the sophistication of the early madrigal.
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