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Bonnie J. Blackburn

(b Florence, c1480; d after 1545). Italian theorist and composer. Nothing is known of Aaron's early training, his teacher, or his career before 1516. He claims to have had ‘the greatest friendship and familiarity’ with Josquin, Obrecht, Isaac and Agricola in Florence (most likely between ...

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(b Lisbon, 1437; d Venice, 1508). Philosopher and biblical exegete. His writing on music forms the introduction to his commentary on Exodus xv (the ‘Song of the Sea’, 1505; I-Rvat Rossiano 925, also printed in Venice in 1579). Relying on earlier sources including Ibn Rushd's commentary on Aristotle's ...

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(b Atri, 1458; d Conversano, Jan 19, 1529). Italian humanist, patron and theorist. He was a member of the Accademia Pontaniana in Naples and initiated a long-standing tradition of musical culture in the family of the dukes of Atri, who were important patrons; his son Giovanni Antonio Donato was also a lira player. Acquaviva d’Aragona financed the Neapolitan printer Antonio de Frizis and housed the press in his palace in Naples. One of the earliest examples of music printing in the kingdom of Naples was the ...

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Anna Maria Busse Berger

(fl early 16th century). South Netherlandish scribe. He was previously thought to be a theorist and priest at the church of St Martin at Akkergem near Ghent, but was in fact Anthony of St Maartensdijk, a small town on the Dutch island of Tholen. He copied folios 63–206 of the manuscript ...

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Anna Maria Busse Berger

(b Schwiebus [now Świebodzin, Poland], c1486; d Magdeburg, June 10, 1556). German music theorist, teacher and composer. According to his own statements, he came from a peasant family and was largely self-taught in music. By 1520 he was in Magdeburg working as a music teacher. He became choirmaster of the Protestant Lateinschule in about ...

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F.J. León Tello

(fl 1st half of the 16th century). Spanish music theorist. He wrote a treatise Arte de principios de canto llano (published between 1530 and 1537/R); it is a conventional work following traditional lines, limited to purely technical aspects of liturgical chant. He regarded the B♭ as a necessary accidental for chant based on F to avoid the melodic tritone and gave rules for the use of plicas; he also categorized intervals according to their effect on the senses, and rejected the Pythagorean classification. Aguilar seems to have been familiar with the writings of his contemporaries, citing Juan de Espinosa and Francisco Tover among Spaniards, Nicolò Burzio, Giacomo Fogliano and Gaffurius among Italians. His quotations are more accurate than those of most writers and add considerably to the merit of the work....

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(b ?Orzivecchi or Orzinuovi, nr Brescia, c1520; fl 1562–81). Italian theorist and Franciscan friar. He was influenced by Pietro Aaron, to whom he referred as ‘my indisputable teacher’, by Spataro and by Marchetto da Padova. His Illuminata de tutti i tuoni di canto fermo...

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(b c1435; d after 1504). Italian philosopher and biblical exegete. He wrote briefly on music in his Ḥesheq shelomoh (‘Solomon's desire’), a commentary on the Song of Solomon, written during the period 1488–92 at the request of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. Music is discussed in relation to Hebrew poetics, then classified for its varieties and described for its powers. Under poetics, Alemanno notes that the word ...

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Robert Stevenson

(b ?Aranda de Duero, c1495; d Coimbra, Feb 15, 1548). Spanish theorist. He studied music theory with Pedro Ciruelo at the University of Alcalá de Henares sometime before 1524; later he went to Italy for practical instruction. By 3 April 1528 he was ...

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Ingrid Brainard

(b Solliès, [now Solliès-Pont, Var], late 15th century; d Saint Rémy, Bouches du Rhône, or Solliès, after 1543). French dance theorist and man of letters. In 1519 he began to study law at the University of Avignon, after completing his studies he joined the French troops that invaded Italy. Late in ...

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T. Herman Keahey

(b Abensberg, July 4, 1477; d Regensburg, Jan 9, 1534). German historian and music theorist. He studied at Ingolstadt University with Conradus Celtis, at Kraków University, and at Paris University with Jacobus Faber Stapulensis. After the death of Albrecht IV, Aventinus was appointed tutor to the young Duke of Bavaria and his brothers in ...

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(b Tonnedorf, nr Erfurt; d Eisenberg, nr Gera, Jan 22, 1617). German writer on music, composer and schoolmaster. In 1579 he was teaching at the Lateinschule at Ronneburg, near Gera, and in 1591 he was Rektor of the Lateinschule at Gera. Later he was a preacher at Bernsdorf, near Torgau, at Munich and at Krossen, near Gera, and from ...

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Almonte Howell

(b Barasoain, c1491; d Rome, 1586). Spanish churchman and jurisconsult. He taught in Salamanca and Coimbra and spent his last 19 years in Rome, revered for his learning and piety. His numerous Latin writings were published throughout Europe in the 16th and early 17th centuries. Forkel, Fétis and others credited him with a musical treatise, ...

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Pierre M. Tagmann and Giovanni Maria Bacchini

(b Mantua; fl 1588–1607). Italian singer, composer and theorist. Canal erroneously gave his first name as Girolamo. He was a Carmelite priest. While at the Mantuan court, he wrote a treatise, De musica, now lost. In 1588 he published a madrigal, Più che Diana...

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Clement A. Miller

(b Florence, Dec 20, 1503; d Florence, Oct 25, 1572). Italian diplomat, philologist, mathematician and humanist. After studies in Rome and Florence he took minor orders and was attached to the baptistery in Florence, where he was also active in the literary academy. In ...

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James Haar

(b Venice, May 20, 1470; d Rome, Jan 11, 1547). Italian literary theorist and poet. Born into the Venetian aristocracy, he had a typical humanist upbringing broadened by frequent journeys with his father, an ambassador of the Venetian republic. After two years (...

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Philippe Vendrix

(b Reims, Mar 1, 1567; d Reims, Aug 1623). French historian and theorist. He trained in law and was appointed a professor of law and then syndic in Reims, where he was a popular representative. He acquired a lasting reputation as a historian, due to the success of his principal work, ...

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Wolfgang Freis and Bonnie J. Blackburn

(b Écija, c1510; d ?Écija, after1559). Spanish music theorist. All our knowledge of his life comes from his treatises. He was the son of a well-to-do Écija family and joined the Observant Franciscans at the age of 15. He studied at the University of Alcalá de Henares, probably in the Franciscan college. Eventually he became ...

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Robert Stevenson

(b ?Seville; d Coimbra, 1593, before 6 Oct). Portuguese theorist of Spanish birth. His second name has sometimes been incorrectly cited as Pereira. He was appointed professor of music at Coimbra University on 29 May 1553. He published at Coimbra in 1550 an Arte de canto chão...

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F.E. Kirby

(b Immecke, nr Meinerzhagen, 1536; d Dortmund, Aug 6, 1609). German theorist, teacher and Kantor. He was educated first in Münster and Dortmund, and later at Cologne University where he received the MA in 1560. After serving as teacher, Kantor and administrator for several years in various schools, mainly in Dortmund, he took up a post in ...