(b Verdello, Sept 14, 1898; d Bergamo, Jan 22, 1981). Italian music critic. He took a diploma in composition at the Turin Conservatory (1929) and studied musicology with Cesari. His career as a critic was centred in Milan; after working on Secolo sera (1928–34), he succeeded Cesari at Corriere della sera, remaining there until his retirement (1973). In 1949 he founded the monthly journal La scala, which he edited until its closure in 1963; he was particularly interested in opera, especially its authentic performance. Abbiati also published a history of music in five volumes (1939–46), which he later updated and revised in four volumes (1967–8). This was well received, although (being the work of a single author) it was inevitably incomplete; the comments in the second edition on 20th-century composers, notably Italian composers of Abbiati’s own generation, are especially valuable as a contemporary response. His four-volume work on Verdi (...
Israel J. Katz
(b Berlin, May 30, 1872; d Berlin, Jan 24, 1926). German physician and psychologist. He graduated in medicine at Berlin University in 1894, and thereafter dedicated himself primarily to psychoacoustics and the physiology of music. From 1896 to 1905 he was assistant professor under Carl Stumpf at the Psychological Institute of Berlin University (which in 1905 became the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv). In 1900, when Hornbostel joined the staff, Abraham and Stumpf recorded on wax cylinders a visiting Siamese court orchestra – the first German attempt to record non-Western music. Abraham also recorded music from South Africa in the same year. In 1901 he published an article on absolute pitch which later (1906) resulted in a polemic between him and Auerbach. Adopting Stumpf's methods, Abraham and Hornbostel entered into a collaboration which laid the foundation for comparative musicology; he also collaborated with the physiologist and otologist K.L. Schaefer (...
[Maḥmūd ibn Mas‘ūd al-Shīrāzī]
(b Shiraz, 1236; d Tabriz, 1311). Persian physician and scientist. The most outstanding pupil of the mathematician Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī, he is particularly known for his work in medicine, optics and astronomy. His encyclopedia, Durrat al-tāj (‘Pearl of the crown’) demonstrates his mastery of the whole range of traditional medieval scholarship, and contains within its treatment of the mathematical sciences (quadrivium) a lengthy section on music. This is mainly a restatement of the musical theory developed by Ṣafī al-Dīn, but is important for its attention to musical practice, particularly in its codification and description of modes and rhythmic cycles. In both areas it points to the existence of a wider range of structures than is apparent from the works of Ṣafī al-Dīn; its treatment of the modes in particular is far fuller, and is less restricted by purely theoretical concerns. It ends with the most extended, complex and precise example of notation to be found in the works of the medieval Arab and Persian theorists, a unique document which allows some insight into the nature of the compositional practice of the period with regard not only to formal, modal and rhythmic strategies but also to techniques of text setting....
Charles E. Brewer
(b Genoa, Feb 14, 1404; d Rome, April 3, 1472). Italian humanist, architect and writer. His formal studies began at the gymnasium of Gasparino Barzizza at Padua, where he became friends with Tommaso Parentucelli (later Pope Nicholas V). He went to Bologna, probably in 1421, to study law but became increasingly interested in mathematics, and met the polymath Paolo Toscanelli. In 1431, Alberti joined the Papal civil service in Rome, becoming Papal inspector of monuments (1447–55). He held various ecclesiastical posts, becoming successively prior of S Martino in Gangalandi at Signa, near Florence, rector of Borgo San Lorenzo and canon of Florence Cathedral.
Early in his career, Alberti was influenced by Filippo Brunelleschi, to whom he dedicated the De pictura (1435). While in Rome, Alberti expanded his knowledge of classical architecture and sculpture through his survey of the city's monuments (Descriptio urbis Romae...
Ricardo Miranda Pérez
(b Mexico City, Dec 5, 1938). Mexican musicologist, writer and critic. He studied at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música under Armando Montiel, Esperanza Pulido and José Pablo Moncayo. He was also a pupil of Otto Mayer-Serra. At the beginning of his career he dedicated himself to composition, which led him to take courses at the Paris Conservatoire as well as spending time in Darmstadt, Venice and London, where he took instruction from Daniel Lesur, Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna and Pierre Wissmer. Among his most important compositions are works for stage and film, which have earned him several prizes. Nevertheless, his most important work is in the fields of criticism and research, although his valuable contributions in the fields of theatre and opera production must also be remembered. As a critic, Alcaraz has played a fundamental role in making diverse repertories known in Mexico, ranging from ancient to contemporary music. He has insistently disseminated and analysed the Mexican repertory, particularly that of the 20th century. His knowledge, combined with a keen sense of humour and a stance legendary for being radical and uncompromising, has made him into one of the most authoritative and recognized critical voices in Mexico and Latin America. As a musicologist, Alcaraz has occupied himself with the discussion and assessment of the Mexican school of the 20th century. His works on composers such as Carlos Chávez, Rodolfo Halffter and José Pablo Moncayo are fundamental, as are his numerous essays on authors such as Rolón, Carillo, Huízar, Revueltas, Sandi, Galindo Dimas, Enríquez and Estrada. As a music critic, he has written for over 20 years (since ...
(b Barcelona, March 27, 1862; d Barcelona, March 31, 1908). Spanish composer, folklorist and music critic. He studied composition with Antonio Nicolau and Anselmo Barba and piano with C.G. Vidiella in Barcelona and was music critic for various journals there, including La renaixensa, L'avenç and, from 1905 to 1908, El poble català. He published his Collecció de 6 melodies per a cant i piano and five Cansons per cant i piano (both Barcelona, 1887), which are settings of poems by Angel Guimerá, Francisco Matheu y Fornells, Apeles Mestres and Jacinto Verdaguer. He illustrated the latter volume himself, and some of his work was displayed at an exhibition of the Sociedad de Acuarelistas in Barcelona. A distinguished folklorist as well as a sensitive composer and skilful melodist, he collected Catalan folksongs and published arrangements of 23 of these in Cansons populars catalanas (Barcelona, 1891). He used native rhythms and melodies in his songs and piano pieces (among them ...
(b Mauth [now Vysoké Mýto], Nov 17, 1816; d Vienna, June 28, 1876). Austrian music historian and critic. His mother, sister of the musicologist Kiesewetter, fostered his love of music, painting and architecture; the performance of older music in the Kiesewetter home belonged to Ambros’s strongest early impressions. He acquired a musical training, despite his father’s objections, through a keen enthusiasm, an exceptional memory and an unbounded capacity for work. A humanistic Gymnasium education, a doctorate of law completed in 1839 at Prague University and vast reading, with a youthful predilection for Jean Paul, underlay his later scholarship and influenced his prolix style. Robert Schumann was his spiritual and journalistic model, and as ‘Flamin’ he associated with enthusiastic young followers, including Hanslick as ‘Renatus’, in a Bohemian branch of the ‘Davidsbund’ to fight musical conservatism in Prague. He was indebted more to the concepts and methods of art historians and historians of antiquity, of law and of literature, than to such musical colleagues as Kiesewetter or Fétis....
(b Planes, Alicante, Feb 15, 1740; d Rome, Jan 12, 1817). Spanish literary historian and music critic. He was professed in the Society of Jesus on 24 December 1754 and studied at Tarragona, Manresa, Gerona and Valencia from 1754 until 1763, when he was ordained a priest. Four years later, while teaching rhetoric and poetry at the University of Gandía, he was exiled with the rest of the Spanish Jesuits. He went first to Corsica, then to Italy, where he taught philosophy at Ferrara until 1773. After Clement XIV suppressed the Jesuits in 1773 Andrés devoted himself to letters and bibliography, living three years with the Bianchi at Mantua, and then travelling throughout Italy and in 1794 to Vienna. During his travels he maintained a correspondence with his brother Carlos, which was published from 1786 to 1794. The work contains much valuable material on music, particularly the third volume, which deals with Venetian conservatories, singers, opera and Greek-rite chant in ...
(b Mansfeld, probably before 1570; d Buchenbach, nr Freiburg, before Oct 1636). German theologian and writer. The first two names of his pseudonym are equivalents of Wolfhart Spangenberg, his original name, and Andropediacus derives from the name of his birthplace. He was the son of Cyriac and grandson of Johann Spangenberg. His father having been obliged to leave his position as court preacher at Mansfeld in 1574 because he supported Matthias Flaccius's substantialist view of Original Sin, he spent his earliest years at, among other places, Strasbourg, from 1578, and Schlitz, near Fulda, from 1581 and came under his father's influence in theological and artistic matters. He matriculated at Tübingen University on 5 April 1586 and took the bachelor's degree in 1588 and master's degree in 1591. He too was an adherent of Flaccianism, which hindered his career as a theologian. In 1595 he followed his father to Strasbourg, where he gained citizenship and earned his living as a proofreader. In ...
revised by Randall Rosenfeld
(b ?before 1200; d Saxony, ?1272). English Franciscan theologian. He has been falsely identified with Bartholomeus de Glanvilla (fl late 13th century). He studied at Oxford and later at Paris, where he was incepted as a regent master; he joined the Franciscans about 1225. He taught as a lector in Magdeburg, and was subsequently elected Provincial in Austria (1247), then Bohemia (c1255); he became bishop of Łuków (1257) and was appointed papal legate. Some ten years before his death he was elected minister provincial in Saxony. While at Magdeburg he completed his De proprietatibus rerum (c1245), of which well over 100 copies in manuscript survive; the editio princeps appeared in Cologne in 1472/3 (see Bartholomaei Anglici de genuinis rerum … proprietatibus, Frankfurt, 1601/R). The text was well known in university circles, and also appeared in several vernacular translations (that of John Trevisa into English, from ...