1-20 of 49 Results  for:

  • Musical Concepts, Genres, and Terms x
  • 16th c./High Renaissance (1500-1600) x
Clear all



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 concentus forms, or with the more developed forms such as antiphons or responsories....


Gerard Béhague

There is scant evidence of musical life in Argentina during this period. As in most Latin American countries, the earliest efforts to establish a regular musical life in the European sense were made by missionaries, especially the Jesuits whose missions covered the Paraná river area and the La Plata region (Paraguay and Argentina). Music was important in the catechization of the indigenous Amerindian population, but the absence of conventual historians and the disappearance of the music archives of the Jesuits (see Lange) restrict any assessment of music-making during the 16th and 17th centuries. The first missionaries were Father Alonso Barzana, a Jesuit, and Francisco Solano, a Franciscan who was eventually canonized.

The first reference to an organ in the church of Santiago del Estero dates from 1585; the first school of music was founded by Father Pedro Comental (1595–1665). The music taught was mainly plainchant and polyphonic song, and Amerindians and African slaves soon became skilful musicians and instrument makers: there is documentary evidence of locally made European instruments before ...


Distinctions within traditional Argentine music are based on both musical and non-musical historical criteria and arise according to whether the music is that of a pre-Hispanic indigenous group (for further discussion of the music of Amerindians in Argentina see Latin America, §I) or is Creole, that is of Spanish language and musical heritage, occasionally with some indigenous features. The main differences lie in the presence or absence of European influences in the music and texts of songs and the degree to which societies and groups themselves share the cultural institutions of the majority. The imposition on the indigenous population of the Spanish language and of Roman Catholicism and its religious calendar prepared the ground for the development of a rural Creole culture, creating the environment for Creole music traditions, which later absorbed other incoming population influences. At the same time, in terms of language and religious belief, some pre-Hispanic indigenous cultures survived into the 20th century. In the 20th century the musical map was inevitably altered, and significant changes occurred due to the migration of population from rural to urban areas, the partial adoption of Protestantism by some indigenous groups and the increased popularity of Creole music. The Amerindian–Creole dimensions of traditional music, instrumentaria and dance vary according to region....


Richard Hudson and Suzanne G. Cusick

(It.; Fr. ballet; Eng. ballett)

An Italian dance of the 16th and 17th centuries, occasionally called ‘bal’ or ‘ballo’. There seem to be three periods of development, two instrumental and one vocal: for lute during the second half of the 16th century; for voice from 1591 to about 1623; and for chamber ensemble from about 1616 to the end of the 17th century.

The term ‘balletto’ was also applied at the same time in a more general sense. It was used as early as 1581 by Fabritio Caroso as a heading for some of the choreographies published in Il ballarino, and Cesare Negri (Le gratie d’amore, 1602) used it alongside the apparently similar ‘ballo’ and ‘brando’ as a title for his created social and theatrical dances (see Ballo). In Barbetta’s Intavolatura di liuto (1585) ‘balletto’ indicates a dance from a foreign country. Some late 16th-century references use the word ‘balletto’ for theatrical or dramatic dances that would have been called ‘ballets’ in France (see A. Solerti: ...


Richard Hudson

The Italian instrumental balletto appeared from about 1561 to 1599 (mainly for lute) and from 1616 to 1700 (for chamber ensemble). During the second half of the 16th century, ‘bal’, ‘ballo’ or ‘balletto’ was a generic name in Italy for various foreign dances, such as the bal boemo, ballo francese and baletto polaco. Barbetta in 1585 referred to them collectively as ‘baletti de diverse nationi’. The most numerous were those indicating Germanic origin: the bal todescho (in Gorzanis’s lutebooks of 1561, 1563 and 1564), the ‘todescha’ or ‘tedescha’ (Mainerio’s ensemble collection of 1578), balo todesco (Gorzanis, 1579), baletto todesco (Barbetta, 1585), ballo tedesco (Terzi, 1593) and finally ballo or balletto alemano (Terzi, 1599). Similar terminology continued in the guitar books of the first half of the 17th century. Some of the earlier chamber examples are also entitled ‘balletto alemano’ (Biagio Marini, 1617, 1626 and ...


Suzanne G. Cusick

Both Morley and Praetorius (Syntagma musicum, iii, 1618, pp.18–19) considered the Mantuan composer G.G. Gastoldi to have invented the vocal balletto as a musical genre with his publication in 1591 of the Balletti a cinque voci con li suoi versi per cantare, sonare, & ballare (ed. in Le pupitre, x, 1968). These works enjoyed great popularity, being reprinted many times in Italy and northern Europe up to the mid-17th century. In most of his ballettos Gastoldi set strophic texts in a homophonic texture, with sections of nonsense syllables (‘fa-la’, ‘na-na’, ‘li-rum’) interpolated at the ends of couplets or tercets. Nearly all consist of two repeated strains (AABB) and the nonsense syllables, sometimes set contrapuntally, act as a refrain at the end of each section. The songs are syllabic and rather repetitious, the strophic form limiting the opportunities to depict the content of the verses, and all are highly rhythmic. It is likely that Gastoldi’s songs were originally part of a costumed dance, perhaps performed at the theatrically active Mantuan court or at an academy; the title-page states that they were for ‘singing, playing and dancing’. Each has a descriptive title (e.g. ...


Margaret Murata

(b Cupramontana, Jan 11, 1596; d Rome, Oct 16, 1653). Italian librettist. After studying at the Collegio Romano he was active in Roman literary circles from the 1620s. He was secretary to Francesco Peretti (later Cardinal Montalto) by 1630 and to Camillo Pamphili (1644–7), before serving Pope Innocent X as ...


[‘il Moretto’]

(b Verona, c1577; d Verona, Feb 15, 1637). Italian maestro and composer. He was of modest origins (his stepfather was a cobbler); his nickname (‘the little Moor’) in the Verona documents renders some African or Levant heritage plausible at the very least. Educated in the Verona scuola degli accoliti (which implied taking minor orders), he became a singer at the cathedral under Baccusi in 1603 and also worked for the Accademia Filarmonica from 1602, despite his class status. In 1609, he arranged for a long sabbatical to go to Rome, where he was maestro at S Maria dei Monti (almost a job switch with G.F. Anerio, who went thence to Verona); more importantly, he saw his first works into fairly cheap print, a medium that would underlie his future career. Back in Verona in 1611, he was the cathedral’s second but final choice to be the new ...


Michael Tilmouth

The medieval Bar form can be classed as a sectional binary form in which only the first part is repeated, giving an AAB structure. Even in the early rondeau and other formes fixes, in which a complex system of phrase repetition was required by the verse structures, the music itself was often made up of two periods or phrases. With the disappearance of the formes fixes, and the development of instrumental music whose shaping owed a good deal to the symmetries of phrases required for dancing, binary movements became more and more frequent.

Some of the keyboard settings from a Venetian collection of about 1520 ( I-Vnm Ital.iv.1227) illustrate this. De che le morta la mia signora has two strains closely corresponding in rhythm, the first in G minor, the second beginning in B♭ and moving back to G minor. No repeats are indicated but they would make good sense. Elsewhere in the collection double bars suggest that repeats should be made (...


Stoyan Petrov

revised by Magdalena Manolova and Milena Bozhikova

Bulgarian musical culture began to take shape when the Bulgarian state was founded in 681, and its character was initially determined by the interaction of three fundamental ethnic groups: the Slavs (who were in the majority), the Proto-Bulgarians, and the remnants of the assimilated ancient Thracian population. After the introduction of Christianity in 865 the starobălgarskiyat napev (old Bulgarian church chant) came into being, at first influenced by Byzantine chant. Kliment, Naum, and several other followers of SS Cyril and Methodius restored the Slav chantbooks which had been destroyed in Moravia, and created new ones. The musical traditions were handed down from generation to generation and the old Bulgarian chant was gradually formed: it took on certain distinctive characteristics, primarily because of the discrepancy between the number of syllables and the differences of stress in the Greek and Bulgarian languages, and also because of the influence of folk music. Among the few musical works to have survived are the 9th-century ...


Leigh H. Edwards

[John R. ]

(b Kingsland, AR, Feb 26, 1932; d Nashville, TN, Sept 12, 2003). American country singer and songwriter. A dominant force in country music during his almost 50-year career, Johnny Cash recorded more than 1500 songs, often about southern rural and working-class life. Singing in his distinctive bass-baritone voice, Cash also tapped into gospel, folk, rockabilly, rock, blues, and bluegrass. He sold more than fifty million albums, won more than a dozen Grammys, had 14 number-one country hits, and enjoyed the rare distinction of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is most famous for his “Man in Black” persona, which he created as a voice for the impoverished and disenfranchised on his song and album of the same name (Columbia, 1971).

One of seven children, Cash was the son of sharecroppers and would later sing about working the cotton fields with his family in Dyess, Arkansas, a Depression-era New Deal cooperative agricultural colony. During his four years in the Air Force as a radio operator stationed in Germany, Cash played in a guitar and string band with buddies on the airbase. Returning home in ...


Juan Orrego-Salas

References to music in chronicles and histories dealing with the 16th century are scarce. Opportunities for the Spanish soldiers to sing villancicos, to play the vihuela, flute or trumpet, were limited at a time when the settlers lived under the constant menace of Indian attacks. Yet by the end of the century the officials of the Spanish Church, who had observed the power that music had over the indigenous peoples, began using it as a missionary tool. The singing of the Mass with the participation of Spaniards and indigenous peoples became customary, and Amerindians were trained to make and play European instruments.

More peaceful and prosperous conditions in the 17th century favoured the development of music. In churches the use of plainsong alternated with hymns honouring the Virgin and with villancicos sung in unison, in two, three or four parts, or by a vocal soloist accompanied by guitar or harp. Pontifical Masses were complemented with ‘fanfares of trumpets, cornets and drums’. The death of Charles II in ...



Marinella Pigozzi

[Cardi, Ludovico]

(b Castelvecchio di Cigoli, nr Pisa, Sept 21, 1559; d Rome, June 8, 1613). Italian scene designer and deviser of displays. A pupil of B. Morellone in Empoli, he went to Florence in about 1568 to study ‘lettere umane’. He matriculated in 1578 at the Accademia del Disegno and collaborated with A. Allori and B. Buontalenti in displays for the festive Medici entertainments. Most of his drawings are at the Uffizi, among them the preparatory study for the figure of Lucifer which appeared in the fourth intermedio of Pellegrina, the commedia by G. Bargagli performed on 2 May 1589 for the marriage of the Grand Duke Ferdinando I and Christine of Lorraine. Cigoli collaborated with Buontalenti, who was commissioned to re-equip the Medici theatre at the Uffizi, creating scenery, costumes and machinery for the intermezzos.

At the turn of the century, Cigoli was one of the most important Florentine artists and intellectuals and a member of several academies. In ...


Barry Kernfeld

(bert Lloyd )

(b New York, Aug 23, 1928; d New York, Feb 15, 2004). American pianist . In the early 1950s he performed and made recordings with Miles Davis (including Yesterdays/How Deep is the Ocean, 1952, BN 1597) and Lester Young, and in 1957 he played on the album Ray Draper with John Coltrane...


Colin Timms

(b Genoa, ?1581; d after in or 1656). Italian composer . He spent his working life at Genoa, where he appears to have been organist of the cathedral in the late 16th century and at the convent of S Brigida from 1601. According to the title-page of his Primo libro de madrigali (Venice, 1640) he was maestro di cappella to the republic of Genoa. When over 70 he composed the opera Ariodante (G. A. Pisani [G. A. Spinola], after L. Ariosto; lib. I-Nc , Rc ) and the intermezzo Gl’incanti di Ismeno (Spinola), which were performed together at the Teatro del Falcone, Genoa, in 1655–6. Giazotto says that Costa also set Spinola’s Aspasia in 1656 and/or 1660; the drama was certainly performed at Genoa in 1695, but the music may have been by Geronimo Maria Costa (b Genoa, 1655).

AllacciD R. Giazotto: La musica a Genova nella vita pubblica e privata dal XIII al XVIII secolo...



Ex.2 Two-part song, Vinkovci, Slavonia; rec. S. Jankovíc (Žganec-Sremec, eds., 1951: 185)


Barbara Russano Hanning


Opera in a prologue and six scenes by Jacopo Peri, with assistance from Jacopo Corsi, to a libretto by Ottavio Rinuccini after Ovid’s Metamorphoses (book 1); Florence, Corsi’s palace, pre-Lenten Carnival season, 1598 (1597 old Florentine style), 1599, 1600.

This experimental musico-dramatic work, for which the music survives only partially in manuscript, and which its creators called a favola in musica (musical tale), is generally considered the first opera. The complete libretto exists in a printed edition from 1598. The characters’ vocal ranges given here are those assigned in Gagliano’s 1608 version (see Dafne (ii)). (The scene settings are inferred from the action.)

Prologue Ovid explains the cautionary nature of his tale: never underestimate the power of Love.

Scene 1 [A secluded grove] The resident nymphs and shepherds entreat Jove to send a saviour to deliver them from the monstrous dragon, which has been terrorizing their land, and are answered by Apollo in the form of an echo (‘Ebra di sangue in questo oscuro bosco’), after which the god descends and slays the python with bow and arrow. (This scene is a reworking of Rinuccini’s third ...


Sean Hallowell

Originally, a poem in which the passing of an individual is announced and communities to which the departed belongs are called to mourn.

Pioneered by French poets in aristocratic service, the déploration qua literary genre enjoyed a modest lifespan, with eight known works surviving from the 16th century. Longstanding custom, however, recognizes a musical tradition by the same name, one numbering 30 known compositions spanning the late 14th to late 16th centuries. Among composers the déploration ramified from a French mainstream into Spanish, Netherlandish, German, Italian, and English tributaries. Accordingly, déplorations are variably designated in sources by such terms as apotheosis, epicedion, monodia, epitaphium, lamentation, complainte, naenia, madrigale, greghesca, and elegy.

Use of the term “déploration” to denote a musical work in which a composer is commemorated may be traced to Ockeghem (d 1497). This musician, who spent almost a half-century in service to the French royal court, was memorialized by literary counterpart Guillaume Crétin in a poem of 412 lines. A frame-narrative necrology featuring a syncretic cast of characters (among them Orpheus and King David), Crétin’s déploration charges all who held Ockeghem dear with the duty of honoring “celluy qui”—according to Lady Music (another ...


Gerard Béhague

There is substantial documentary evidence of relatively important musical activity in colonial Ecuador, but no polyphonic work by musicians active in Quito, Cuenca and Guayaquil has yet been found. In view of the splendid development of colonial architecture, painting and sculpture related to the church, it is likely that there were similar accomplishments in music.

The transplanting of European music to Ecuador began with the establishment in Quito in 1535 of a Flemish Franciscan order (by the monks Josse de Rycke of Mechelen and Pierre Gosseal of Leuven) in which the teaching of music was important. Amerindians were taught plainchant, mensural notation and performance on the main families of European instruments, particularly at their Colegio de S Andrés (founded 1555), where the standard was such that by 1570 even Francisco Guerrero’s difficult four- and five-part motets could be performed. The mestizo Diego Lobato (c1538–c 1610), was appointed ...


David Johnson

During the 16th century Edinburgh’s musical life revolved around the court. King James IV patronized the composer Robert Carvor, whose masses and motets were probably mostly written for the Scottish Chapel Royal. A native school of partsong and instrumental composition grew up, modelled on the French and English schools but with its own passion and delicacy. An important partsong is the anonymous Departe, departe, a lament for the Master of Erskine, who was killed at the battle of Pinkie on the outskirts of Edinburgh in 1547. The Reformation of 1560 brought art music into disrepute. Church music was immediately reduced to unharmonized psalm tunes. Royal music-making continued at Holyrood Palace with Mary, Queen of Scots (1560s) and James VI (1580s, 1590s), but against a background of public disapproval. When James VI removed to London in 1603, art music in Edinburgh was left without a focus. A nominal Chapel Royal was retained for some decades into the 17th century, but James brought English musicians with him for his one return visit to the city (...