Italian composer. Took vows, and directed music at the cathedral of Salé in 1581-4, thence returning to Modena. In 1586 became choirmaster at the cathedral of Reggio Emilia and a canon of Correggio cathedral (nr. Modena), but long absences led to his dismissal from the former post. In 1596 he took over the choir of Modena cathedral, and two years later was put in charge of music at the Este court and the musical education of the Duke's children. A wicked intrigue on the part of his colleague Capilupi brought about his dismissal from the former post in 1604, and hastened his death.
Vecchi published no fewer than thirteen volumes of canzonets, madrigals, dialogues and madrigal comedies, and four of sacred music -- motets, Masses and Lamentations. He was an inspired master of the light madrigal and canzonet, with its airy melodies and dance-like rhythms; but his fame rests on the Madrigal Comedies, especially L'Amfiparnaso (1597), in which a commedia dell'arte drama is acted out in madrigalian music of many sorts, including vulgar burlesque and dramatic dialog (among groups of voices); there is no scenery, and the audience would have been the friends of the five singers, so this cannot be seen as a genuine forerunner of opera.