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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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(fl 1546–87). Italian lutenist and composer. ‘Pestrin’ is Venetian dialect for ‘mill’ or ‘dairy’, and it has been thought that this may indicate his family’s occupation and Venetian origins; more recent evidence suggests that the name refers to his residence in Calle del Pestrin in the parish of San Stefano. He published at least seven volumes of solo lute music, of which only three are extant. A book of lute music by ‘Pestrin’, now lost, is listed in Vincenti’s catalogue of ...

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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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(fl Mantua, c1577–93). Italian harpist. He was one of a small number of Jewish musicians active in Mantua in the late 16th century. He appears to have been the grandson of Abramo dall’Arpa (not his nephew, as sometimes claimed) and, as his name implies, to have excelled as a harpist. His service for the Mantuan court may be dated from about ...

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Don Harrán

(d 1566). Italian musician. From his name it can be assumed that he excelled as a harpist. He is probably identifiable with the moneylender Abraham Levi, a prominent member of the Mantuan Jewish community. In 1542 he participated in a dramatic production at the Mantuan court, playing the part of Pan. He appears to have served the court under Duke Guglielmo in the 1550s and 60s. About ...

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A term used in the 16th century (e.g. Ornithoparchus, Musicae activae micrologus, 1517) for the simple forms of plainchant based on recitation tones as used in the Epistle, Gospel, prayers etc.; for a general survey of such forms see Inflection. Accentus forms are contrasted with ...

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Harry B. Lincoln

(fl 1586–8). Italian composer. Five madrigals by him survive in four anthologies of the 1580s. Three of these (RISM 15869, 1588¹4 and 1588¹8) feature Mantuan composers, and this could be a clue to his origins, though he is not found in any of the Mantuan court documents. He is also represented by two works in a volume of three-voice madrigals (...

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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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Miriam Miller

(d London, 1620). English bookseller and publisher. He was established in London from 1591 and financed several significant musical publications, including John Dowland’s The Third and Last Booke of Songes or Aires, printed by Peter Short in 1603, and Robert Dowland’s A Musicall Banquet...

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(b Antwerp, c1554; d Antwerp, bur. Feb 27, 1604). Flemish lutenist, teacher and composer. He went to Rome to study in 1574, a visit that probably accounts for the Italian elements in his publications. He was a Protestant, but after the fall of Antwerp in ...

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Patricia Ann Myers

(b S Severino, nr Ancona, 1539; d Rome, Aug 16, 1575). Italian composer. It is uncertain when he went to Rome, but he is listed among the members of the Cappella Sistina from 17 July 1572 until 1573, when he succeeded François Roussel as ...

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(fl 16th century). Italian ecclesiastic. He invented the Phagotum.

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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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Iain Fenlon

(b ?Ferrara; d Ferrara, Sept 20, 1569). Italian composer and singer. He was a relation (probably uncle) of Lodovico Agostini. He served as a singer at the ducal court of Ferrara between 1540 and 1545, and then as a beneficed priest and canon at Ferrara Cathedral. In ...

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Iain Fenlon

(b Ferrara, 1534; d Ferrara, Sept 20, 1590). Italian composer and singer. He was a relation (probably nephew) of Agostino Agostini. He came from a family with strong musical traditions, and from an early age studied for a musical and religious career. The appearance of his first known piece in Barré’s ...

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Keith A. Larson

(b ?Naples, c1575–85; d after 1617). Italian composer. He may have supported himself much as did his elder brother Giovanni Antonio, who in 1598 was teaching singing to the children of the Prince of Roccella, Fabrizio Carafa. Cerreto mentioned both brothers as excellent composers in ...

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Lini Hübsch-Pfleger

(b Nuremberg, c1560–70; d ?Erfurt, after 1601). German composer. In 1601, when he published a collection of motets, Agricola was teaching at the Gymnasium Augustinianum at Erfurt; he can scarcely be identified with the Christianus Johannes Agricola who was a discantist in the Kapelle at Weimar in ...

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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 Zaragoza, ?Aug 15, 1561; d Zaragoza, Dec 16, 1627). Spanish composer and organist. He probably studied with Melchor Robledo and Juan Oriz at the cathedral of La Seo, Zaragoza. He received holy orders on 19 January 1584 at S Pablo Apóstol, Zaragoza, where he was already in service. On ...