(b Baghdad, July 779; d Samarra’, July 839). Arab musician. He was a son of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mahdī and a Persian slave at court called Shikla. He became famous for his fine and powerful voice with its range of four octaves, and first took part in court concerts during the reigns of Hārūn al-Rashīd (786–809) and al-Amīn (809–13). Proclaimed caliph in 817 in opposition to al-Ma’mūn (813–33), he had to abdicate after barely two years and went into hiding. In 825 he was pardoned and became a court musician once more under al-Ma’mūn and his successor al-Mu‘taṣim (833–42). He was a follower of the school of Ibn Jāmi‘ and represented a ‘soft’ style, probably influenced by Persian music, which also allowed freedom in rendering older works. His rival Isḥāq al-Mawṣilī accused him of stylistic uncertainty; fragments of their polemic writings are quoted in the Kitāb al-aghānī al-kabīr...
Pierre M. Tagmann
revised by Giovanni Maria Bacchini
[Fra Teodoro del Carmine]
(b Mantua; fl 1588–1607). Italian singer, composer and theorist. Canal erroneously gave his first name as Girolamo. He was a Carmelite priest. While at the Mantuan court, he wrote a treatise, De musica, now lost. In 1588 he published a madrigal, Più che Diana, in Alfonso Preti’s L’amoroso caccia (RISM 1588¹4), a collection consisting of compositions by Mantuan musicians primarily associated with the church. He also published a book of masses, the Missarum quinque et sex vocum, liber primus (Venice, 1589). In a letter dated 26 November 1594 to the vicar-general of the Carmelite order, Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga requested that Bacchini, a ‘musico castrato’, be exempt from wearing his monk’s habit while singing in the court chamber. In 1594 he accompanied the duke to the Reichstag in Regensburg and in the following year, along with Monteverdi, G.B. Marinone, Serafino Terzi and other musicians from the Gonzaga court, took part in the duke’s military expedition to southern Hungary. A Mantuan court secretary, Fortunato Cardi, described musical performances directed by Monteverdi, in which Bacchini took part, on the eve of the Battle of Visegrad. It has been suggested that Bacchini sang the part of Euridice in the first performances of Monteverdi’s ...
George J. Buelow
(b St Georg, Upper Austria, Feb 28, 1655; d Weissenfels, Aug 6, 1700). Austrian-German composer, singer, violinist, keyboard player, music theorist and novelist. At seven his father sent him to the Benedictine monastery at Lambach, a short distance north-east of St Georg, where he began his musical education. Beer pursued further general and music studies at Reichersberg, south of Passau, as well as in Passau itself. In 1670 his parents took him to Regensburg, where they had moved to preserve their Protestant faith. As a student at the Gymnasium Poeticum Beer became a friend of his fellow student Pachelbel. He continued to study music, including composition, and he wrote the score for a school play, Mauritius imperator. At the end of his studies at the gymnasium, the city of Regensburg awarded him a scholarship to enter the university at Leipzig in 1676 as a student of theology. He soon became acquainted with the musicians there, including the Thomas Kantor Sebastian Knüpfer, and Werner Fabricius, organist at the Nikolaikirche....
Kerala J. Snyder
(b Kolberg, Pomerania [now Kołobrzeg, Poland], Jan 1, 1628; d Dresden, Nov 14, 1692). German music theorist, composer and singer. He is best known for his discussion of musical-rhetorical figures in Tractatus compositionis augmentatus.
The birthplace given above is documented in a funeral poem by Bernhard’s brother-in-law C.C. Dedekind and is confirmed by Walther; the birth date appears in Müller-Blattau (2/1963) without documentation. Mattheson states, no doubt erroneously, that Bernhard was born in Danzig in 1612. According to Dedekind, Bernhard studied in Danzig (probably with the elder Kaspar Förster and possibly Paul Siefert) and in Warsaw (very likely with Scacchi); Mattheson’s assertion that Bernhard studied in Danzig with Balthasar Erben must also be in error for Erben did not become Kapellmeister at the Marienkirche until 1658, well after Bernhard was established in Dresden. At some point Bernhard also studied law. He began singing as an alto at the electoral court in Dresden under Schütz probably in ...
(b Immecke, nr Meinerzhagen, 1536; d Dortmund, Aug 6, 1609). German theorist, teacher and Kantor. He was educated first in Münster and Dortmund, and later at Cologne University where he received the MA in 1560. After serving as teacher, Kantor and administrator for several years in various schools, mainly in Dortmund, he took up a post in 1567 as Kantor at the famous Reinoldi School there; he became Rektor in 1582 in succession to his former teacher and long-standing friend and colleague, Johann Lambach. His work in this post was widely acclaimed and in 1587 he was made Comes Palatinus by Emperor Rudolf II.
He is important for his treatise Erotematum musicae, originally published in 1573 under the title Musicae erotematum, and subsequently reprinted three times. The treatise, of the musica practica type, presents the fundamentals of music in question and answer form. For his formulations Beurhaus borrowed considerably, as was customary in a treatise of this kind, from other German theorists of the time, notably Agricola, Faber (both Gregor and Heinrich), Figulus, Galliculus, Ornithoparchus, Wilfflingseder and Zanger....
Biancamaria Brumana and Colin Timms
(b Perugia, Feb 21, 1625; d Brufa, nr Perugia, July 1, 1705). Italian composer, singer, librettist, historian, and architect. Born Angelini, he studied under Sozio Sozi, father superior of the Oratorio dei Filippini at Perugia, in 1635, continuing in Rome as a protégé of Cesare Bontempi, a nobleman whose name he adopted. There he studied singing under Virgilio Mazzocchi and won the patronage of Cardinal Francesco Barberini. From November 1640 to January 1641 he was a singer in S Lorenzo in Damaso. In 1641 he travelled to Florence, where he met Maximilian I of Bavaria, who brought him to Munich (he was in Maximilian’s service as a singer from July to December 1641, under the direction of Giovanni Giacomo Porro). From1643 to 1650 he was a singer at S Marco, Venice, under Monteverdi, Rovetta, and Cavalli, and in other churches. In 1651 he entered the service of the Prince Johann Georg II of Saxony in Dresden, where, after the death of Johann Georg I and the amalgamation of the two Kapellen in ...
(b Assisi; fl 1592–4). Italian music theorist and singer. He is known only as the author of Regole, passaggi di musica, madrigali et motetti passeggiati (Venice, 1594/R; Eng. trans. J. Rosenberg: Historic Brass Society Journal, iv, 1992, pp. 27–44). His skill as a composer and improviser of ornamental passaggi was attested by Damiano Scarabelli, vice-maestro di cappella at Milan Cathedral, in the dedication of his Liber primus motectorum (Venice, 1592). Bovicelli’s treatise is a valuable source of information on improvised vocal ornamentation and virtuoso singing in Italy in the early Baroque period. The book follows the usual format for such manuals; it gives lists of common diminutions of melodic intervals and passages, followed by versions of the soprano lines of several well-known motets, madrigals and falsibordoni, showing how the ornaments were to be applied. The composers represented in the treatise are Palestrina, Rore, Victoria and Claudio Correggio. Their works are so heavily embellished that the lines of the original compositions are at times difficult to detect. In his ...
(b Winter Park, FL, July 28, 1935; d Amherst, MA, July 21, 2009). American singer, choral director, educator, and music historian. He studied at Bethune-Cookman College (BA 1957) and the Eastman School of Music (MA 1964, PhD 1973), and was Professor of Music Theory and African-American Music at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1973–99). Boyer was a leading authority on African-American gospel music, to which he made contributions as a scholar, editor, performer, and educator. With his brother James, he performed and recorded with major gospel stars and also as The Boyer Brothers duo. At the same time he toured widely as a soloist and directed many gospel choirs, including the Voices of New Africa House Workshop Choir (1973–7) and the Fisk Jubilee Singers during his tenure as United Negro College Fund Distinguished Scholar-at-Large (1985–7). He arranged spirituals and gospel songs and edited ...
(b Bergamo, 1566; d Naples, 1625). Italian theorist, singer and priest. From his early years Cerone associated himself with the music of Spain and the Spanish-owned Kingdom of Naples. In 1592, after singing for a time at the cathedral at Oristano, Sardinia, he went to Spain, where he served Philip II and later Philip III in their chapel; Italian musicians were rare at that time in Madrid. While in Spain Cerone made detailed studies of Spanish music and theory that later played a large part in his own great treatise. He apparently left Spain in 1603 and became a priest and singer at the church of Ss Annunziata, Naples. In 1609 he also began to teach plainchant to the deacons of the church, for whom he probably wrote Le regole più necessarie per l'introduttione del canto fermo (Naples, 1609). From 1610 until his death he was a singer in the royal chapel....
(b Athens, Greece, May 5, 1969). Greek musicologist specialising in Byzantine music, university professor, cantor, and choir conductor. Chaldaeakes studied theology at the University of Athens. Due to his musical talent and vast knowledge of church music, he was employed in 1992 in the newly established music department of the same university, to assist professor Gregorios Stathis, the first teacher of Byzantine music in the department. In 1998 he earned the PhD in musicology there, and in 1999 he was elected a faculty member of the music department.
He is a diligent and ingenious researcher, with over 150 publications in Greek and other languages on Byzantine and post-Byzantine music and musicians. His scientific competence is well represented in the voluminous collection of Stathis’ writings that he edited in 2001. Aiming at closer communication between Greek and Western musicologists, he has collaborated with musicologists in the USA, England, Austria, Denmark, and Russia. As of ...
revised by Giulia Anna Romana Veneziano
(b Florence, July 8, 1638; d Florence, Jan 16, 1703). Italian composer, teacher, music editor, theorist, organist and singer. He spent his entire life as a priest in Florence. On 1 August 1663 he was appointed chaplain at the cathedral, S Maria del Fiore, where he was also active as an organist and singer. He was particularly admired as a teacher, and it was this above all that determined the nature of his publications; the numerous reprints particularly of Il cantore addottrinato and Scolare addottrinato bear witness to the popularity of his methods. In these two manuals he sought to establish rules for the effective composition and performance of church music, contributing, according to his contemporaries, to the codification of the ‘true rule of ecclesiastical singing’. However, he is better remembered for his Corona di sacre canzoni and Colletta di laude spirituali, which have great importance for the final phase in the history of the ...
(b Lyons, late 17th century; d Paris, c1752). French singer, theorist, composer and actor. He was the head of a theatrical troupe that played in Lille between 1715 and 1722, at Brussels in 1716 and in Antwerp in 1717. The title-page of his Nouveau système calls him ‘formerly of the Royal Academies of Music of Lyons, Rouen, Marseilles, Lille, Brussels and Antwerp, and maître de musique of the cathedrals of St Omer and Tournai’. In 1730 he was married in Paris to Marie-Marguerite Lecouvreur, younger sister of the playwright. The dedication of Denis’ Nouvelle méthode to the ladies of St Cyr suggests that he may have been involved in the musico-theatrical training offered at that school. In the 1740s and early 1750s, and perhaps earlier, Denis ran a music school in Paris; the school continued after his death under his son-in-law Jouve.
Denis’ treatises enjoyed considerable longevity, one of them remaining in publishers’ catalogues until ...
Brenda M. Romero
(b Tlaxiaco, Mexico, Sept 9, 1967). Mexican singer, composer, and anthropologist. She was already well known in Mexico when she emerged in the US mainstream with her performance in the film Frida (2002). Her father was Scottish American and her mother is Mixtec from Oaxaca, thus Downs grew up traveling back and forth between the United States and Mexico and between cultures. She began singing at the age of five and began formal classical voice studies at 14 at Bellas Artes in Oaxaca. She subsequently studied in Los Angeles and at the University of Minnesota, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, focusing on Oaxacan highland textiles. In addition to crediting African American music in general, and female singers and the music of jazz in particular, for showing her the many ways in which the voice can be used as an instrument to articulate a wide palette of expressiveness, she credits a range of musical influences, including the Grateful Dead, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Meredith Monk (especially her extended vocal techniques), Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane. She has conducted most of her work in collaboration with her husband ...
Claude V. Palisca
(b S Maria a Monte, Tuscany, probably in the late 1520s; d Florence, bur. July 2, 1591). Italian theorist, composer, lutenist, singer and teacher. He was the leader of the movement to revive through monody the ancient Greek ideal of the union of music and poetry.
Galilei was probably born later than his traditionally accepted date of birth of about 1520. As a youth he studied the lute. It was probably his playing that attracted the attention of Giovanni de' Bardi, his principal patron, who facilitated his theoretical studies with Zarlino in Venice, probably about 1563. By that time he had settled in Pisa, where in 1562 he married a member of a local noble family. The scientist Galileo (who was born in 1564) was the first of his six or seven children; another was the lutenist Michelagnolo Galilei (b 18 Dec 1575; d 3 Jan 1631...
(b San Francisco, CA, Nov 7, 1875; d Flintridge, CA, Dec 25, 1954). American folklorist, writer, lecturer, music patron, and singer. Born into a wealthy family (her father James Hague was a prominent geologist and mining engineer), she used her inheritance to support her research into Latin American music, particularly Mexican American and Mexican folksong. Prior to moving to Pasadena, California, in 1920, she lived in New York and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She studied music privately in France and Italy, was a member of the New York Oratorio Society, and directed church choirs in New York before she began work as a folklorist and folksinger by the early 1910s (she gave guitar-accompanied folksong recitals in that decade). Hague published numerous collections and studies of Mexican American, Mexican, and other Latin American folksongs; translated (with Marion Leffingwell) Julián Ribera y Tarragó’s Historia de la música árabe medieval y su influencia en la española...
(b c1465; d before 1515). English musician. He became a chorister at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in 1474, and was a scholar at Eton College (1479–83). In 1483 he became a clerk at King's College, Cambridge, and later a scholar there. In 1487 he was again a clerk at King's, and by 30 September 1489 was back at St George's Chapel, Windsor, as a clerk. In 1493 he was appointed Master of the Choristers there, and he retained both offices until at least 29 September 1499. He is probably the composer of the incomplete two-part piece that begins Lett serch your myndis, ascribed to ‘Hamshere’ in the Fayrfax manuscript ( GB-Lbl Add.5465; ed. in MB, xxxvi, 1975), an important collection of early Tudor songs. It is possible that this piece was written in honour of one of Henry VII's sons, either Arthur or, less likely, Henry (see Stevens)....
Paul F. Wells
[Joseph C. ]
(b Lake Forest, IL, Oct 20, 1935). American Folklorist and folksinger. He was exposed to folk songs by his parents when he was a child and began to play the guitar as a teenager. His interest in folk music deepened during his undergraduate years at Oberlin College (BA 1957). Among other musical activities while in college he hosted a radio program and served as local agent for the Folkways, Stinson, and Elektra record labels. He pursued graduate studies in folklore (MA 1961) and ethnomusicology at Indiana University and began to hone his skills as a performer in parallel with his academic and archival work there. In 1963 he was hired as librarian at the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress (now the Archive of Folk Culture); this marked the beginning of a 35-year career at that institution. He was promoted to head of the archive in ...
revised by Randall Rosenfeld
(b ?Saxony, c1096; d 1141). Augustinian canon and theologian. After study in Saxony, he went to the abbey of St Victor in Marseilles, and later to the culturally eminent abbey of St Victor in Paris, where he became scholasticus. His diverse writings exerted an enormous influence on the liturgical arts of his time, perhaps affecting the formation of the style that later became known as Gothic. During the 1130s Adam of St Victor was one of his confrères, and it seems likely that Hugh's mystical theology played an important role in the development of the Victorine sequence. Among his numerous works is his early compendium, the Didascalicon, which contains a chapter on music. This is entirely concerned with the three standard divisions of music, mundana, humana and instrumentalis, and with the three kinds of musician, those who compose songs, those who play instruments and those who judge. The thought, and much of the language, is borrowed from Boethius....
revised by Israel J. Katz
(b Filzburg, nr Libau [now Liepāja, Latvia], June 11, 1882; d Johannesburg, Aug 15, 1938). Jewish cantor and musicologist of Russian birth. Raised in a traditional German Jewish environment, he trained as a cantor in Libau; he also studied briefly at Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) where he met Eduard Birnbaum. Later he studied at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin and at the conservatory and university in Leipzig; his claim to have studied at both institutions with Kretzschmar (history), Zöllner (composition) and Jadassohn (harmony) remains unsubstantiated. He served as cantor at the Adat Jeshurun congregation, Leipzig (1902). From 1903 to 1905 he was a cantor at Regensburg and then after a year in Johannesburg he was persuaded by the president of the Zionist movement, David Wolffsohn, to emigrate to Jerusalem, where he lived from 1906 to 1921. These were decisive years for Idelsohn's research into the diverse musical traditions of the Sephardi and ‘Oriental’ Jewish communities and Muslim and Christian sects. Although his plans in ...
Jeff Todd Titon
(b White Plains, NY, Sept 4, 1925; d Bangor, ME, Aug 1, 2009). American folklorist, folksinger, and song collector. Ives was educated in English (MA, Columbia) and folklore (PhD, Indiana University), and taught for more than 40 years at the University of Maine. His travels in Maine and the Maritime Provinces of Canada brought him into contact with the traditions of local song-making and storytelling, particularly among men working in the woods in lumber camps and as guides. Ives’ reflexive studies of New England song-makers from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries show a keen intelligence and generosity of spirit. His eight books concentrated on deceased working-class songsters and storytellers (Larry Gorman, Lawrence Doyle, Wilbur Day, George Magoon, and Joe Scott), and on creativity within traditional forms. He claimed that vernacular literature and song had social and aesthetic values that transcended its sentimentality. His teaching and writing inspired two generations of New England folklorists, and he was active as an educator and public speaker throughout the state of Maine, where he is remembered with affection. He founded the Northeast Archives of Folklore, which later became incorporated into the Maine Folklife Center at the University of Maine, and which houses thousands of recorded interviews, photographs, and artifacts related to traditional music and lifeways in Maine and the Maritimes....