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James Grier

(b 988/9; d Jerusalem, 1034). French monk, composer of liturgical music and scribe. He was associated with the abbey of St Martial in Limoges. Born into a family with strong ties to the ecclesiastical hierarchy of Limoges, Adémar was pledged as an oblate to the abbey of St Cybard in Angoulême, probably before ...

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Warren Anderson, Thomas J. Mathiesen and Robert Anderson

(b Eleusis [now Elefsina], 525 bce; d Gela [now Terranova], Sicily, 456 bce). Greek tragic poet. He wrote about 80 dramas, tragedies, and satyr plays, of which eight, all tragedies, have survived.

Probably the earliest of Aeschylus’s plays was the Persians (472 bce...

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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 (...

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Alcman  

Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(fl c. 630 bce). Greek lyric poet. He was possibly a native of Sardis in Lydia. Alcman spent his entire professional life in Sparta. This city was then startlingly different from the grim barracks state that it had been and would again become: its citizens cultivated art, poetry, music, and dance with intensity and brilliance. The poet himself commented on this: ‘To play well upon the lyre weighs evenly with the steel’, that is, military valour (Edmonds, frag.62)....

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Alcuin  

Jane Bellingham

(b Northumbria, c735; d Tours, May 19, 804). Anglo-Saxon scholar, writer and poet. Little is known about Alcuin's early years, but he was educated at the cathedral school in York, which, under the guidance of magister, and later archbishop, Aelberht (d...

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Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(b Teos, c.570 bce; d 490 or 485 bce). Greek lyric poet. An Ionian by birth and upbringing, he spent his professional life in the service of Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, and later at Athens under the patronage of Peisistratus’s son Hipparchus. His poetry reflects the gay, sophisticated atmosphere of the courts where he was musical arbiter; underlying it is the cultural heritage of his native Ionia, especially the distinctive tradition of lighthearted monody....

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Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(fl ?650 bce). Greek iambic and elegiac poet. He was a native of the Ionian island of Paros. ‘I am the squire of lord Ares’, he sang, ‘and skilled in the lovely gift of the Muses’ (Edmonds, frag.1). More artist than military man, he expressed both the external world and his responses to it in a remarkably personal tone....

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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 (...

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Warren Anderson, Thomas J. Mathiesen and Robert Anderson

(bc450 bce; dc385 bce). Greek dramatist. The chief poet of Athenian Old Comedy, he wrote more than 40 plays, of which 11 have survived.

Of the works of Aristophanes’ first period (427–421 bce), the revised Clouds includes many references to music; the most noteworthy are the mockery of ...

Article

(bc1000; d before 1050). Benedictine writer and composer. He was a monk, and later prior, of St Emmeram in Regensburg and the author of a new plainchant Office for the patron saint of his monastery; he also wrote extensively about St Emmeram and on other matters. The Office, which survives in ...

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Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(b Iulis, Keōs [now Tzia/Kea]; fl c470 BCE). Greek lyric poet. He was a nephew of Simonides and contemporary of Pindar; there are many indications of intense rivalry between the two as composers of victory odes and dithyrambs. Unlike Pindar, Bacchylides had little to say of the power of music; his references are correct but conventional, rendered distinctive only by colourful adjectives. Thus in one of the many victory odes the champion has returned home to the triumphal accompaniment of auloi ‘that delight mortals’ and revel-songs ‘sweetly breathing’ (Edmonds, frag.40.72–3). In another, the sound of the phorminx and ‘clear-ringing’ choruses are alien to war (Edmonds, frag.41.12–15; ...

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Alexander Lingas

(b Constantinople, ?1615; d ?1700). Romaic (Greek) composer and patriarchal official. Born into a family of Peloponnesian origin, he received his general education at the Patriarchal Academy under Theophilos Korydalleus. Together with Kosmas Makedonos he was taught Byzantine chant by Germanos, for whom he composed an acclamation. In a pre-...

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Dimitri Conomos

(b Edessa [now Urfa], July 11, 154; d Edessa, 222). Syrian hymnographer, astrologer and philosopher. Born into a pagan priestly family, he was educated by a pagan priest but baptized as a Christian, and in 179 he was ordained deacon and priest. Later denounced as a heretic and excommunicated (...

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David Hiley

(dc1193). Benedictine abbot and composer. He was a monk, and later chancellor (1174) and prior (1175), of the cathedral priory of Christ Church, Canterbury, and was appointed abbot of Peterborough in 1177. A friend of Archbishop Thomas Becket, whose murder he may have witnessed, he composed the rhymed monastic office of St Thomas of Canterbury (...

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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, ...

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Andrew Wilson-Dickson

(b Auxerre, June 27, 1923; d Paris, June 27, 1994). French organist and composer. He first studied with his father, organist of Auxerre Cathedral, and later (1945–6) with Guy de Lioncourt (composition) and Edouard Souberbielle (organ, fugue, counterpoint) at the Ecole César Franck in Paris. In ...

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Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(b Verona, ?84 bce; d ?54 bce). Roman poet. He settled in the capital while still a youth, and there formed an adulterous liaison with the woman whom he called Lesbia in his poems. These include one group (1–60) of short pieces reflecting particular occasions, a second (61–4) made up of long poems, and a third (65–116) which ranges from the epigram to the epyllion, a miniature epic, but which retains elegiac metre throughout. Catullus's characteristic passion and simplicity could often manifest themselves as extreme obscenity....

Article

(b Chalki, ?1770; d Chalki, 1840). Romaic (Greek) composer and scribe. He studied Byzantine chanting with Georgios of Crete and the patriarchal cantors Petros Byzantios and Jakobos Peloponnesios. As was customary, he also became fluent in the Arabo-Persian tradition of Ottoman secular music. He was evidently active by ...

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Dimitri Conomos

(fl c1440–63). Byzantine composer and theorist. The only surviving biographical evidence about Chrysphes is contained in music manuscripts. Information in IL-Jp 31 (c1440) reveals that he held the office of lampadarios (leader of the left choir) in the Byzantine palace. His autograph appears in an ...

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Christian Troelsgård

(b 905; d 959). Byzantine emperor and poet-composer. He was co-emperor from 908 until 945, and thereafter reigned solely until his death. According to Byzantine music manuscripts he was the composer of the 11 exaposteilaria anastasima of Sunday Orthros and three other stichēra...