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Alcaeus  

Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(b Lesbos, c620 bc; d after 580 bce). Greek lyric poet. The earlier tradition of sung poetry on Lesbos had been choral, religious, impersonal; now choral lyric faced the challenge of monody. In contrast to the impersonality of the earlier poets, Alcaeus wrote as an individual, describing in an intensely personal manner his chequered political fortunes. Many of his poems, however, were amatory or convivial, consisting of drinking-songs and after-dinner verses (...

Article

Arion  

Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(b Methymna [now Molyvos], Lesbos; fl 625–600 bce). Greek singer to the kithara and choral lyric poet. He was associated with the beginnings of the dithyramb. None of his works has survived. According to Herodotus he spent most of his life at the court of Periander, tyrant of Corinth (...

Article

Alexander Lingas

(b Constantinople, ?1665; d ?1725). Romaic (Greek) composer and cantor. Though undoubtedly influenced by the works of Panagiotes, Germanos and Balasios, he appears never to have been directly associated with the patriarchal court that nurtured his older colleagues. His own substantial contributions to their continuing renewal of Byzantine chanting were made instead from the Constantinopolitan parish church of St Constantine (in the district of Hypsomatheia), where Bereketes held successively the offices of reader, ...

Article

Alexander Lingas

(b Tyrnavo, Thessaly, ?1625; d ?Wallachia, 1685). Romaic (Greek) composer, cantor, and hymnographer. He studied Byzantine chant in Constantinople under the patriarchal prōtopsaltēs Panagiotes. Some time before 1665 he was elevated to the episcopacy, possibly at the instigation of Patriarch Dionysios III (a fellow native of Thessaly), becoming Metropolitan of New Patras (now Ypati). He appears to have resigned from the see before ...

Article

Eckhard Neubauer

(b Baghdad, July 779; d Samarra’, July 839). Arab musician. He was a son of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mahdī and a Persian slave at court called Shikla. He became famous for his fine and powerful voice with its range of four octaves, and first took part in court concerts during the reigns of Hārūn al-Rashīd (786–809) and al-Amīn (809–13). Proclaimed caliph in 817 in opposition to al-Ma’mūn (813–33), he had to abdicate after barely two years and went into hiding. In 825 he was pardoned and became a court musician once more under al-Ma’mūn and his successor al-Mu‘taṣim (833–42). He was a follower of the school of Ibn Jāmi‘ and represented a ‘soft’ style, probably influenced by Persian music, which also allowed freedom in rendering older works. His rival Isḥāq al-Mawṣilī accused him of stylistic uncertainty; fragments of their polemic writings are quoted in the ...

Article

Edward V. Williams and Christian Troelsgård

(fl c1300–50). Singer, composer and reviser of Byzantine chant. Traditionally known as the maïstōr (‘master’), the ‘second source of Greek music’ (the first being John Damascene, 8th century) and angelophōnos (‘angel-voice’), he was one of the most eminent Byzantine musicians during the Palaeologan dynasty (...

Article

Alexander Lingas

(b? 1620–25; d after 1682). Romaic (Greek) composer, cantor, and hymnographer. As prōtopsaltēs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople from about 1655 to 1682, he helped bring to fruition the revival of Byzantine chanting initiated by his predecessor, Theophanes Karykes. He was a student of the patriarchal ...

Article

James Grier

(b c965; d Limoges, April 26, 1025). French monk and cantor. He served at the abbey of Saint Martial in Limoges. Roger, who was the paternal uncle of Adémar de Chabannes, is known to have become cantor at the abbey after 1010...

Article

Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(b Miletus, c450 bce; dc360 bce). Greek composer and singer to the kithara. He represented the more extreme manifestations of the ‘new music’ that dominated the final decades of the 5th century bce and the succeeding period in Greece. The Suda...

Article

Ziryāb  

Eckhard Neubauer

(b Iraq; d Córdoba, Spain, Aug 852). Arab musician . A mawlā (‘freedman’) of Caliph al-Mahdī (775–85) at Baghdad, he was a pupil of Ibrāhīm al-Mawṣilī and a rival of Isḥāq al-Mawṣilī at the court of Hārūn al-Rashīd (786–809). He left Baghdad for Syria, served the Aghlabid ruler Ziyādat Allāh (...