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Glenn Watkins and Serena dal Belin Peruffo

(b Novara, c1535; d May 8, 1596). Italian composer and organist. Of a well-to-do family, he travelled widely in his youth. He spent some years in Rome, where he probably completed his studies in theology. He served as parish priest at S Stefano, Novara, and S Giovanni Battista, Milan. After serving from ...

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Frank Dobbins

(b Bourges, c1510; d Lyons, June 1561). French writer. After studying at the University of Bourges he was appointed professor of rhetoric at the Collège de la Trinité in Lyons before 1538, becoming principal in 1540. He was murdered as a suspected Protestant during a riot in Lyons. Among other writings, especially on poetics, he wrote several plays with important musical content. The ...

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(b Florence, Feb 5, 1534; d Sept 1612). Italian literary critic, poet, playwright and composer. As host to the Camerata and patron of Vincenzo Galilei and Giulio Caccini he gave the main impetus to the movement that led to the first experiments in lyrical and dramatic monody....

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Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller

(b Ober- or Niedermarsberg, c1560; d after 1595). German writer and theologian. During his youth he lived for a time at Emden and in 1581 matriculated at the University of Marburg, but in 1582 he transferred to Rostock, where he studied with David Chyträus. He was again living at Marburg in ...

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Albert Dunning

(b Noyon, July 10, 1509; d Geneva, May 27, 1564). French theologian, one of the leaders of the Reformation in Switzerland.

In 1523 he studied theology in Paris, then studied law in Orléans in 1528 and in Bourges in 1529. In 1531 he returned to Paris to complete his classical studies, publishing a commentary on Seneca’s ...

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Jack Sage and Álvaro Zaldívar

(b Alcalá de Henares, ?Sept 29, 1547; d Madrid, April 22, 1616). Spanish writer. He was brought up in Valladolid, Seville and Madrid, and in about 1569 he went to Rome in the service of Cardinal Acquaviva. He distinguished himself as a soldier and was wounded at the Battle of Lepanto in ...

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Nino Pirrotta

(b Rome, 1465; d San Gimignano, 1510). Italian humanist. He was the son of Antonio Cortese, a papal abbreviator (i.e. a writer of papal briefs) and the pupil of Giulio Pomponio Leto and Bartolomeo Platina, both abbreviatores. In 1481 he was appointed to the papal chancery to the place vacated on Platina’s death. He was promoted to papal secretary in ...

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Albert Dunning

(b Rotterdam, 27/Oct 28, 1469; d Basle, July 12, 1536). North Netherlandish humanist. According to Glarean, Erasmus said that as a boy he sang in the choir at Utrecht under the direction of Jacob Obrecht. There is no archival evidence for this, and no extant documents show that Erasmus had any particular affinity with music. The familiarity with musical terminology implicit in his works may be attributed partly to the teaching of music customary within the framework of humanistic education. Erasmus’s text for the ...

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(b Zadar, 1472; d Zadar, 1538). Croatian cosmographer, mathematician, astrologer and physicist. He is known particularly for his ingenious theory of ebb and flow. In 1507–8 he taught astrology and mathematics at the university of Padua and was later active as a physician in his own town. His ideas on music are contained in two published treatises: ...

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Luis Robledo

(b Mallorca, c1510; d Besançon, Jan 12, 1582). Spanish grammarian, rhetorician and theologian. A descendant of Ramón Llull, he settled at an early age in the Franche-Comté, where he was private tutor to Claude de Baumes. The latter, on his later appointment as Bishop of Besançon, made Lull curate of the diocese. An expert in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, Lull also taught theology at Dôle University. Four of his works survive (two on rhetoric, one on grammar and one on ecclesiastical matters), of which one, ...

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David J. Smith

(b North Mimms, Herts., 1578; d ?London, c 1644). English author and musician . He graduated MA from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1598, and spent most of his career as a schoolmaster in Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and London, except for a period between 1613...

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(b 1542; d Mantua, 1612). Italian Jewish physician and writer on Hebrew antiquities. He discussed music, at great length, in his final work Shil ṭei ha-gibborim (‘Shields of Heroes’; Mantua, 1612), in which he glorified the ancient Temple, its architecture, its liturgy and its music. Ten of the 90 chapters are devoted to music. Portaleone conceived the music of the Levites after Italian Renaissance practices and humanist music theory: thus the discussion turns on polyphony, lute tablatures, contemporary instruments (in analogy to ancient ones, which are described in considerable detail), modes, the doctrine of ethos, simple and compound intervals and the differentiation between consonance and dissonance. He maintained that music in the Temple was a learned art, acquired after a rigorous course of training; it was notated, thus meant to be preserved; its performance was based on written sources. Portaleone acknowledged Judah Moscato as his teacher, although he noted that they conceived music differently: whereas Moscato spoke, generally, of number, harmony and ‘science’, treating music for its cosmological and spiritual connotations, his pupil was concerned with ...

Article

Christopher R. Wilson, F.W. Sternfeld and Eric Walter White

(b Stratford-upon-Avon, bap. April 26, 1564; d Stratford-upon-Avon, April 23, 1616). English playwright.

Music has an important role in Shakespeare’s works: any of his plays would suffer only in its total impact if sound effects and processions, fencing and costumes were eliminated, but the actual sound of vocal and instrumental music is essential to Shakespeare’s dramatic purpose. It remains of course complementary to the sound of verse and prose, but where it punctuates the dialogue it could be omitted only at considerable loss. Beyond this, the traditional associations of music, its divine and degrading powers, often play their part in providing the dramas with a network of wider associations, not only in the actual use of music in the dramatic action but in the frequent use of musical imagery in the text of the play, for important structural and thematic purposes. These allegorical and symbolic functions of music would be recognizable by an Elizabethan audience but less so today....

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Clement A. Miller

(b Resel, Värmland, c1486; d Frankfurt an der Oder, Nov 12, 1552). German humanist, physician, writer and musician . The generally accepted birthdate for him is about 1486, but according to Pietzsch it is 1501. In 1516 he entered the University of Frankfurt an der Oder, where he probably studied music under Johann Volckmar. After graduating he taught music from ...

Article

(b Vacha, 1501; d Mainz, Feb 16, 1573). German theologian . He studied theology in Erfurt from 1516 to 1517, and in 1520 he continued his studies in Wittenberg with Luther. He was ordained in Merseburg and received a curacy in his home community of Vacha. When in ...

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Kenneth Elliott

(fl 1560–92). Scottish clergyman . He compiled an important set of partbooks, sometimes known as the St Andrews Psalter or ‘Thomas Wode’s Partbooks’, containing Scottish (and other) music of the 16th century. A canon of Lindores Abbey before the Reformation (1560), Wood joined the reformers, settled in St Andrews in ...

Article

Frank Dobbins

(b Lezat-sur-Lèze; fl Avignon, c1555–1582). French musician and author . He wrote a short didactic work on practical music, Traité de la musique pratiquele tout extraict de plusieurs auteurs latins et mis en langue françoise (Paris, 1582/R). He dedicated the treatise to the humanist Georges d’Armagnac, Archbishop of Avignon, his patron for 25 years or more. The layout follows that of similar treatises by Bourgeois, Martin, Guilliaud and Menehou published in the 1550s, although Yssandon admitted only to Latin models and quoted Boethius, Tinctoris, Faber Stapulensis and Listenius. Like his more immediate predecessor, Cornelius Blockland (...