There is little concrete evidence as to the circumstances of Tartini's early years; we know that he was born in Pirano, Istria, in 1692, but until his enrolment as a law student at the University of Padua in 1709 not much is documented. Two years later he secretly married Elisabetta Premazore, whose influential guardian, Cardinal Cornaro, disapproved so vigorously of the union that the couple were forced to take refuge in the monastery at Assisi. There he took lessons from the organist, Czernohorsky, and later sought lessons in Ancona. He made such progress that when conditions allowed for a return to Padua he was able to gain employment as solo violinist at S. Antonio.
Between 1723 and 1726, Tartini was a chamber musician for Count Kinsky in Prague. He returned to Padua and founded a school of music, teaching amongst others Pugnani and Nardini. A career as a virtuoso allowed him to tour Italy, and his technique was highly influential. He performed many of his own works; sonatas, concertos and chamber works, of which the most famous is the Devil's Trill Sonata, or Trillo del Diavolo, inspired by a dream Tartini had of the devil himself playing the violin.
In addition to his compositions, Tartini made significant finds in the field of acoustics. Despite having little scientific training, he was able to publish a Trattato di Musica in 1754, and although he was not the first to come to his conclusions the achievement is noteworthy. He died in Padua in 1770.