Newly-published or previously-incompletely-considered documents testify to the early musical patronage of Pope Leo X, regarded in the scholarly imagination as one of the foremost patrons of music in European history. Leo's musical patronage practices as pope are consistent with life-long interests and can be better understood in reference to the documentation attesting his patronage as Cardinal Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici. Medicean Rome seems to have had a particular interest in the vocal properties of "putti cantori": boy singers. Previously-known, but incompletely considered, documents attest to Cardinal Giulio di Giuliano de Medicis special responsibility for maintaining the cohort of boy singers at full strength, for recruiting them, and providing for them materially in Medicean Rome. Contemporary texts reveal considerably more than had hitherto been appreciated about the musical patronage practices of Cardinal Ippolito di Giuliano de Medici, who had three renowned instrumentalists in his employ: the lutenist Francesco da Milano; the violist Giovanni Battista Sansone, "il Siciliano"; and the clavicembalist Lorenzo da Gaeta.
Three gigli: Medici musical patronage in the early Cinquecento