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Charles Burnett

(bc1080; dc1150). Music theorist active in England. He studied in Tours, probably taught in Laon, travelled in Sicily, southern Italy and the Crusader states, but apparently spent much of his life in the south-west of England. He translated Arabic scientific texts into Latin and wrote original works of considerable literary merit, perhaps in his role as a tutor in an episcopal or royal court: one such text was addressed to the future King Henry II. Adelard dealt with music as an integral part of the Quadrivium. In the ...

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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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James W. McKinnon

(b Spain, 769; d Lyons, 840). Frankish ecclesiastic. He came as a youth to Gaul, taking up residence in the monastery of St Polycarp near Narbonne. He was ordained in 804 and named bishop of Lyons in 816, where he remained for the rest of his life, except for a period of exile in Italy during the years 835–8 because he had sided with the sons of the emperor Louis the Pious against their father; his temporary replacement as administrator of Lyons was his rival ...

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Aius  

A term used in the Gallican rite for the Trisagion. See Gallican chant, §7, (iii).

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Dimitri Conomos

In the Byzantine rite, an anonymous Kontakion chanted in honour of the Virgin and performed while the congregation stands. The Akathistos possibly dates from the 6th century and continued in use despite the liturgical changes of the 8th century when the performance of entire kontakia...

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Edward V. Williams and Christian Troelsgård

Handbooks transmitting the 14th- and 15th-century chant melodies of the Byzantine rite. Alternative names are anthologion anoixantarion, anthologia, psaltikē and mousikon. Akolouthiai manuscripts contain within a single volume a collection of monophonic chants, both Ordinary and Proper, for the psalmody of Hesperinos and Orthros, and settings for the three Divine Liturgies (...

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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...