To gauge the breadth of the topic, it should be said at the outset that music occupied a central place in the thought of Leon Modena and that Modena was not just another rabbi in early seventeenth-century Venice, but, among Italian Jews, perhaps the most remarkable figure of his generation. His authority as a spokesman for his people rests on his vast learning, amassed from a multitude of sources, ancient, modern, Jewish, and Christian. He put his knowledge to use in an impressive series of over forty writings. They comprise often-encyclopedic disquisitions on subjects as diverse as Hebrew language and grammar, lexicography, Jewish rites and customs, Kabbalah, alchemy, and gambling, to which one might add various plays, prefaces, rabbinic authorizations, translations, editions, at least four hundred poems (among them epitaphs), a highly personal autobiography, and numerous rabbinical responsa. Of his responsa, two concern music, the earlier of the two amounting to an extended essay on its kinds and functions.