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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 ...

Article

(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 ...

Article

Don Harrán

(b Spain, c1420; d Naples, 1494). Rabbi and philosopher. Following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, he settled in Naples. He referred to music under the heading nigun ‘olam (‘cosmic music’) in chapter 12 of his ‘Aqedat Yits ḥaq...

Article

Don Harrán

(b Mallorca, 1361; d Algiers, 1444). Rabbi, kabbalist and philosopher. Music is discussed in three different passages in his Magen avot (‘The protection of the Fathers’) which survives in seven manuscript sources, not all of them complete. Three themes are emphasized: music in relation to speech; ...

Article

Isabel Pope and Tess Knighton

(b Salamanca, July 12, 1468; d León, late 1529 or early 1530). Spanish poet, dramatist and composer. He was born Juan de Fermoselle in Salamanca, where his father was a shoemaker; it has been suggested that he was of Jewish descent. One of at least seven children, he, like several of his brothers, pursued a career that brought him into contact with the higher echelons of society. Diego de Fermoselle was professor of music at Salamanca University from ...

Article

Miloš Velimirović

(b Prague, 1413; d after 1471). Czech theorist . He was the author of an encyclopedic work, Liber viginti artium, which includes a discussion of music as one of the arts. He was also known as Paulus de Praga and as Paulus Židek, the latter suggesting that he was of Jewish origin although he may have been brought up as a Christian. He studied in Vienna and in Padua but the claim of a stay in Bologna has not yet been documented. Between ...

Article

Don Harrán

(fl southern France, 1424). French philosopher and commentator . He referred to music in three short passages in his Ḥesheq Shelomoh (‘Solomon's Desire’, 1424; GB-Ob Opp.Add.Qu.114), a commentary on Judah Halevi's Kuzari (12th century). Music attained great heights in ancient Israel, where it was practised by an élite (the Levites) and recognized as a therapeutic aid (David playing before melancholy Saul). Solomon relays various commentaries on a statement by Halevi about the measurement and relationship of text and music; the statement has particularly telling musical terminology: ‘...