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Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Folianus, Ludovicus]

(b Modena, c1475; d Venice, shortly before 7 May 1542). Italian theorist and composer. His name appears in the records of Modena Cathedral in 1494 as ‘Don Lodovico de Alexandro da Fojano’; his brother Giacomo had been organist there since 1489. Despite the note that Orazio Vecchi wrote on the cover of a Modenese manuscript which includes a mass by Lodovico ( I-MOd IV), ‘Jacobi et Ludovici Foliani olim cathedralis Mutinae magistri opera’, Lodovico was never choirmaster. He may be the ‘Ludovico da Modena’ who was a singer in the chapel of Ercole I d’Este in 1493 and again in 1503–4, especially if this person was the ‘Ludovigo da Fulgano’ listed in 1499–1501 (lists in LockwoodMRF). In 1513–14 he was a singer in the Cappella Giulia. Some time after this he moved to Venice, and seems to have devoted the rest of his career to music theory and philosophy....

Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Lanfranchinus][Gafori, Franchino]

(b Lodi, 14 Jan 1451; d Milan, 24 June 1522). Italian theorist, composer, and choirmaster. At home in both speculative and practical music, he was the first theorist to have a substantial number of his writings published, and his influence can be traced for more than a century, both in Italy and abroad.

Much of our knowledge stems from the contemporary biography by Pantaleone Malegolo, printed in the De harmonia: Gaffurius was born in Lodi to the soldier Bettino from Almenno in the territory of Bergamo and to Caterina Fissiraga of Lodi. He began theological studies early, at the Benedictine monastery of S. Pietro in Lodi Vecchio (where he was still present in September 1473) and was ordained priest in late 1473 or 1474. His first instructor in music was Johannes Bonadies (or Godendach); Malegolo implies that this was in Lodi, where he briefly returned to sing in the cathedral on Ascension Day, ...

Article

Giselher Schubert

(b Hanau, nr Frankfurt, Nov 16, 1895; d Frankfurt, Dec 28, 1963). German composer, theorist, teacher, viola player and conductor. The foremost German composer of his generation, he was a figure central to both music composition and musical thought during the inter-war years.

Hindemith descended on his father’s side from shopkeepers and craftsmen who had settled primarily in the small Silesian community of Jauer (now Jawor, Poland), where the family can be traced back to the 17th century, and on his mother’s side from small farmers and shepherds in southern Lower Saxony. While no signs of musical interest can be found among the relatives of his mother, Maria Sophie Warnecke (1868–1949), his father, Robert Rudolf Emil Hindemith (1870–1915), came from a family of music lovers. Robert Rudolf supposedly ran away from home when his parents opposed his wish to become a musician; after arriving in Hesse, however, he became a painter and decorator. As he was never able to provide a secure income for his family, the Hindemiths were forced to move frequently. Paul spent three years of his childhood with his paternal grandfather in Naumburg. He was sincerely devoted to his mother, whom he is said to have resembled closely, even in similarity of gestures, and dedicated the first volume (...

Article

[Johannes]

(b c1430; d Oct or Nov 1487). English theorist and composer. His father’s name was William. Nothing is known of his early life, nor where and when he became a Carmelite friar and obtained the master’s degree in sacred theology (in 1467 he is called ‘magister’). He may be identical with the John Otteby, Carmelite friar of the Oxford convent, who was ordained subdeacon on 18 December 1451 in Northampton (Emden, p.1409; the belief that Hothby studied at Oxford in 1435 rests on a mistaken identification, p.969). Before settling in Lucca, where he was installed as chaplain of the altar of S Regolo at the Cathedral of S Martino in February 1467 with the obligation to teach plainchant and polyphony, he had, by his own account (Epistola), travelled in Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain (‘Britania magiore’), and Spain. In the Excitatio quaedam musice artis he refers to his fellow student at the University of Pavia, Johannes Gallicus (here called ‘Johannes Legiensis’); this may have been before Gallicus completed his treatise ...

Article

(fl late 14th century). Theorist and composer, likely from Aversa in the Campania region of Italy. He is best known from the frequent references made in the Ars cantus mensurabilis mensurata per modos iuris by Coussemaker’s Anonymous 5. This author describes Nicolaus as a Celestine monk, naming him ‘Frater’; the Celestines were a branch of the Benedictine order. He is largely associated with certain notational intricacies of the ‘ars subtilior’ style: complicated rhythms conveyed with void, coloured, or complex new note shapes. According to Anonymous 5, Nicolaus critiqued one ‘Cecchus de Florentia’ (the ‘blind one of Florence’, thus Francesco Landini), for his incorrect use of red semibreves in minor prolation, while Nicolaus himself used the dotted semibreve. The treatise does not name specific works that use any of these notational features, a regrettable omission since none of Nicolaus’s compositions are known today. Anonymous 5 does cite a setting of the Credo by Nicolaus for its use of ...

Article

Graham Sadler and Thomas Christensen

(b Dijon, bap. Sept 25, 1683; d Paris, Sept 12, 1764). French composer and theorist. He was one of the greatest figures in French musical history, a theorist of European stature and France's leading 18th-century composer. He made important contributions to the cantata, the motet and, more especially, keyboard music, and many of his dramatic compositions stand alongside those of Lully and Gluck as the pinnacles of pre-Revolutionary French opera.

His father Jean, a local organist, was apparently the first professional musician in a family that was to include several notable keyboard players: Jean-Philippe himself, his younger brother Claude and sister Catherine, Claude's son Jean-François (the eccentric ‘neveu de Rameau’ of Diderot's novel) and Jean-François's half-brother Lazare.

Jean Rameau, the founder of this dynasty, held various organ appointments in Dijon, several of them concurrently; these included the collegiate church of St Etienne (1662–89), the abbey of St Bénigne (...

Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Spatarius, Joannes]

(b Bologna, ?26 Oct 1458; d Bologna, 17 Jan 1541). Italian theorist, composer, and choirmaster. His name comes from his family’s occupation: his grandfather was a merchant who dealt in swords. He mentions his age in two letters, which yield a birth year of 1458 or 1459; since he is not listed in the baptismal records, which go back to 1 January 1459, the year is probably 1458, and the day possibly 26 October, the date of two of his wills. Spataro never attended university and did not take holy orders; he may have continued his family’s profession until late in his life (he bequeathed a forge to his ‘compare’).

During the 1490s Spataro was on friendly terms with younger members of the Bentivoglio family: Antongaleazzo received the dedication of his Honesta defensio, and one of his lost treatises was written for Hermes, as well as two masses on pears (a pear appears on Hermes’s arms). Only in ...