(b Hohoe, Sept 28, 1956). American musicologist and music theorist, of Ghanaian birth. He studied at Reading University (1974–7) and with Arnold Whittall at King’s College, London (1977–8), where he took the MMus in analysis. He took the doctorate under Leonard Ratner at Stanford University (1978–82), with a dissertation on structure and form in 19th-century music. He began his academic career at Haverford College (1982–4), and subsequently taught at Duke University (1984–6), King’s College, London (1986–9), Cornell University (1989–95; professor from 1992), and Yale University (professor, 1995–8). In 1998 he was made professor at Princeton University. Agawu’s interests cover many areas of musicological research. His theoretical studies include music analysis and theory, semiotics, and post-colonial theory. He has written on the music of the 19th century and particularly on Mahler, and his research on West African music has primarily dealt with the relationship between language and music....
revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen
(b Naucratis, Egypt; fl
Many characters engage in this marathon after-dinner conversation; they include representatives of every profession thought to be consequential, among them musicians, both professional and amateur. It has been rightly noted that the diverse themes are related to the banquet itself with but indifferent success. The unified structure of Plato's ...
(b Zaragoza, north Spain; d Fez, Morocco, c1139). Philosopher, administrator and composer. He spent much of his life, first in Zaragoza and then in Játiva, south Spain, as vizier to various Almoravid governors, and later moved to Fez.
His Kitāb fī al-nafs (‘Book on the soul’) deals with acoustics. He is also reported to have written a substantial treatise on music that could stand comparison with that of al- Fārābī, but this, unfortunately, has not survived. However, his reputation as a composer stayed alive for some considerable time, and his songs are still mentioned by Ibn Khaldūn (1332–1406). He was also a dexterous ‘ūd player. The fullest, if still succinct, account of his achievements is provided by al-Tīfāshī (d 1253), according to whom he studied for several years with female professional musicians (qiyān) and subsequently introduced two important innovations. One resulted in improvements to two of the important song forms, while the other, more general, is intriguingly characterized as a fusion of ‘Christian’ and ‘Eastern’ song. The resulting synthesis was to establish itself as the dominant style in Muslim Spain, effacing that of the earlier school of Ziryāb....
(b Kissy (nr Freetown), Sierra Leone, March 14, 1893; d ?Sierra Leone, 1961). African ethnomusicologist and composer. Missionaries changed Ballanta, the grandfather’s African surname, to Taylor. Nicholas George’s father, Gustavus, hyphenated the name, under which the son published. He sang and played the organ at St. Patrick’s Chapel, Kissy, as a youth. In 1917 he passed the intermediary examination for the BM degree at Fourah Bay College, Freetown, an affiliate of the University of Durham, UK, but he could not complete this degree because of travel requirements that the final examination be taken in England. Between 1918 and 1919, he participated in a Freetown choral society, for which he wrote the oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast. He spent the winter of 1921 in Boston, sponsored by an American patron, where he conducted his African Rhapsody at Symphony Hall and studied orchestration privately. In 1922 he matriculated at the New York Institute of Music Art (now Juilliard School of Music), where he obtained his diploma (...
[Bin Jallūn al-Tuwīmī, al-Hājj Idrīs ]
(b Fès, June 6, 1897; d Casablanca, 1982). Moroccan musicologist. Born into a wealthy merchant's family, he began work as a trader, and founded his own company. He settled in Casablanca, where he studied Islamic hymnology, the piano and the ‘ūd. In 1958 he founded the Association of Amateurs of Andalusian Music in Casablanca and served as its president until his death. In 1978 the association launched the occasional journal al-Rabāb, of which Benjelloun was the chief editor. The leading Moroccan scholar of Arab-Maghrib music, he delivered papers at all of the important musicological conferences in the Arab world. His main contribution to musicology was the revision he made of poems sung to the nawbāh, and the publication of the Kunnāsh of al-Ḥā'ik (1981), to which he added two mizān (movements) lacking in previous editions. He also composed in the traditional Maghrib style.Kitāb al-Durūs al-Awwaliyyah fī Fann al-Mūsīqá al-Andalusiyyah...
(b Meknes, 1931). Moroccan musicologist. After completing his musical training in Morocco and later in Paris (1959), he was appointed director of the Conservatory in Meknes (1979–97). He writes on Moroccan music, focussing on Arab-Andalusian music, known in Morocco as Andalusian-Maghrebian music. He has tried to link the opinion of current practitioners and their colloquial terminology for musical vocabulary to the historical roots preserved in old treatises, which resulted in his publishing a dictionary on Andalusian-Maghrebian music (1992). He has also written about Moroccan countryside music and in his recent publications has turned to the study of Moroccan music manuscripts. He is a member of the Arab Academy of Music.al-tarbiyya al-mūsīqiyya li-mu‘allimī al-madāris al-ibtidā’iyya [Music education for teachers of elementary schools] (Casablanca, 1966) ‘al-mūsīqā al-sha‘biyya al-maghribiyya’ [Moroccan folk music], al-Funūn [Rabat], 5/1 (1978), 48–71 madkhal ilā Tārīkh al-mūsīqā al-maghribiyya [Introduciton to the history of Moroccan music] (Kuwait, 1983)...
Doris J. Dyen
(b Algiers, Aug 13, 1891). French ethnomusicologist. He studied music theory, composition and the viola, and took a diploma in classical Arabic. After World War I he moved to Rabat, where he was director of the Conservatory of Moroccan Music (1929–39, 1956–9) and professor of Arabic at the Collège des Orangers (1945–56). Concurrently he served as adviser to the Théâtre Mohammed V on the orchestration and interpretation of Arabic music. His writings, chiefly on Arab music, contain useful collections of Moroccan music, notably in his Corpus de musique marocaine and his Tableau de la musique marocaine.‘Airs populaires recueillis à Fès’, Hespéris, 3 (1923), 275–85 ‘Airs populaires recueillis à Fès (nouvelle série: airs profanes)’, Hespéris, 4 (1924), 225–38 ‘Note sur le “nfîr”’, Hespéris, 7 (1927), 376–80 ‘La musique marocaine: vue d'ensemble’, Outre-mer, 1 (1929), 32–42 Les visages de la musique marocaine (Rabat, 1928); repr. in ...
(b Great Barrington, MA, Feb 23, 1868; d Accra, Ghana, Aug 27, 1963). American writer and social activist. He attended Fisk University (BA 1888), Harvard University (BA 1890, PhD 1895), and the University of Berlin, cultivating music enthusiastically as a choral singer and concertgoer. Beginning with The Souls of Black Folk (1903) and continuing well into the century in essays published in The Crisis and other periodicals, Du Bois synthesized European artistic values with insightful affirmations of African American culture, including music; this approach both informed and typified the New Negro aesthetic of the early 20th century. His chapter in Souls on “The Sorrow Songs” reveals a profound understanding of the beauty and social significance of black music. Influenced here by the folk art theories of Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744–1803), Du Bois refashioned them to create a foundation for African American cultural consciousness. Elsewhere he referenced ...
[al-Ḥifnī, Maḥmūd Aḥmad; el-Hefni, Mahmoud]
(b Dundît, April 14, 1896; d Cairo, March 29, 1973). Egyptian musicologist. He was sent by his father to Berlin to study medicine; he later studied under Curt Sachs at the Hochschule für Musik, taking the doctorate with a dissertation on Ibn Sīnā. Returning to Egypt in 1930, he immediately became involved with preparations for the 1932 Cairo Conference and was responsible for the publication of the proceedings. In 1935 he founded the journal al-Mūsīqā (later al-Majalla al-Mūsīqiyya), and in 1949 he launched al-Mūsīqā wa-al-Masraḥ; he wrote frequently (often unsigned) in both publications.
El Hefny was the first Egyptian to work on the rediscovery of Pharaonic music; he also focussed on the history of Arab music and Egyptian popular and folk music and published the first overview of Western music in Arabic. He also wrote for pedagogical purposes, and this was probably his best contribution to the field of musicology. From ...
(b Cyrene [now Shaḥḥāt, Libya], c276
Only fragments of his writings survive, including a work entitled Katasterismoi about constellations (although Eratosthenes' authorship of this has been doubted), a didactic poem Hermes (which includes discussion of the harmony of the spheres), expositions concerning the measurement of the earth, and, above all, a three-volume Geography. He covered a wide range of subjects, including philology, grammar, literary history, chronology, geography, astronomy and mathematics, as well as the mathematical theory of music; the latter was the subject of his dialogue Platōnikos, in which he reputedly dealt with the fundamental concepts of mathematics following Plato's ...
(b Boulogne-sur-Seine, June 7, 1872; d Sidi bou Said, Tunisia, Oct 29, 1932). French ethnomusicologist and composer. He settled in Tunis in 1910 and from 1924, assisted by Carra de Vaux and the Arab scholars ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Bakkush and Muḥammad al-Mannubi, he made an intensive study of Arabian music history, translating many major theoretical tracts. The Arab Congress (Cairo 1932) was convened at his suggestion. His major work, the source collection La musique arabe, was intended to serve as a renaissance of Arab music and its study rather than exist as an end in itself; the first four volumes contain French translations of writings from the 10th century to the 16th including treatises by al-Fārābī, Ibn Sīnā and Ṣafī al-Dīn, while the last two are essays codifying contemporary theory. The book was prepared with the help of leading oriental musicians and d’Erlanger provided many transcriptions of melodies. His own compositions were written according to Arab principles....
Alec Hyatt King
(b Chicago, Sept 25, 1901; d Naples, FL, Feb 7, 1961). American librarian and musicologist. His early training was in Egyptology and psychology. In 1929 he went to Cornell for further study in psychology, but came under the influence of Otto Kinkeldey who had just become professor of musicology there. What had been Hill’s recreation and private study was soon transformed into the vocation to which he became dedicated. In September 1939 he entered the music division of the Library of Congress and before long became head of its reference section.
The breadth of Hill’s education sharpened a naturally keen and fertile mind which, allied to very wide sympathies, a vast knowledge of musical sources and phenomenal industry, equipped him well for his life’s work. As reference librarian for over 20 years, Hill won an international reputation for the painstaking and very detailed replies he sent to inquirers. In ...
(b Aberdeen, April 17, 1887; d Grahamstown, Feb 7, 1970). South African musicologist of Scottish birth. He studied with Terry at the University of Aberdeen, where he graduated in 1910, and under Stanford at the RCM. In 1914 he emigrated to South Africa as music organizer of the Natal Education Department. He was appointed professor of music at University College, Johannesburg (later the University of the Witwatersrand), in 1921 and held this post until his retirement in 1952. A professional timpanist from his London years, he published The Kettle-Drums in 1930. He founded and conducted the Johannesburg SO (1927) and the university orchestra (1930), for which he wrote and arranged incidental music for many university productions; he composed over 100 songs.
Kirby is best known for his work on the indigenous music of South Africa. From 1930 he engaged actively in field research, which took him on study tours of the Transvaal, Bechuanaland (Botswana), Swaziland, Vendaland and Ovamboland. He published this research in ...
(b Wormer, June 14, 1938; d Egypt, January 25, 2009). Dutch organist and musicologist. He studied at the Amsterdam Muzieklyceum with Piet Kee and at the Schola Cantorum in Paris with Jean Langlais. He also studied French literature at the Free University of Amsterdam and musicology at the University of Poitiers. Kooiman was organist and organ professor at the Free University of Amsterdam, taught the organ at the Sweelinck Conservatory (...
Gregory F. Barz
(b Vienna, Dec 10, 1934). Austrian ethnomusicologist. He took the doctorate in 1971 at the University of Vienna with a dissertation on Mukanda boys' initiation rites in eastern Angola and he was awarded the Habilitation in 1980 for his Theory of African Music, a collection of essays written between 1964 and 1977. He was appointed external lecturer at Vienna in 1970, lecturer in 1980 and subsequently professor; he was also appointed professor at the Institute for Ethnology and Africa Studies at the University of Mainz, associate of the Centre for Social Research at the University of Malawi and honorary fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain. He has conducted fieldwork in 16 sub-Saharan countries beginning in 1959 and he extended his work in 1974 to Venezuela and Brazil: his research resulted in probably the most comprehensive collection of documented recordings of African and diasporic music, as well as of oral literature, ever compiled (over 26,000 items; see Kubik, ...
( b Málaga, Dec 6, 1869; d Stockholm, Aug 15, 1921). Spanish musicologist . A diplomat by profession, he served in Spanish embassies in Russia, Turkey, Morocco and Sweden. Composition was his first musical interest, and he studied in Málaga with Eduardo Ocón, in Madrid with Felipe Pedrell and in Paris with Saint-Saëns. Although he composed various works, including an opera La buena guarda, he devoted himself most intensively to musicology and in particular to the study of Spanish music. His writings have dealt with many of the seminal figures of Spanish music, including Juan del Encina, Francisco Guerrero, Cristóbal de Morales and Fernando de las Infantas; he also compiled the catalogue of the printed music of the 16th and 17th centuries at Uppsala University, and discovered the important collection Villancicos de diversos autores (Venice, 1556), the music of which was later published by Jesús Bal y Gay as the ...
(b Igara, western Uganda, March 21, 1926; d Kampala, June 21, 1995). Ugandan composer, poet, writer and folklorist . Largely self-taught, he took positions as a teacher of music and literature at several teachers’ colleges in western Uganda and at St Kalemba’s Catechetical Centre, retiring in his 50s to concentrate on creative writing. His most valued musical work consisted of providing a new musical liturgy for the Catholic church in western Uganda. The hymnbook Mweshongorere Mukama (‘Let us Praise the Lord’, Kampala, 1961, 6/1987), adopted for use throughout the diocese and further afield, contains 79 of his compositions. A second unpublished collection of the same title contains a further 65 settings, including arrangements of Latin, French and English hymns. Despite ill-health and poverty his prolific output included 6 masses, partsongs, liturgical settings (in Latin, French, English and his native tongue Runyankore), novels, folktales, poetry, plays and other historical and linguistic contributions. All but 12 titles remain unpublished and in the care of the Omuhanda gy’Okumanya Publishing Association, Mbarara....
Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje
(b Mampong, June 22, 1921). Ghanaian ethnomusicologist and composer. He was educated at the Presbyterian Training College in Akropong (1937–41) and later studied linguistics and social anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London (1944–6). He gained music degrees from Trinity College of Music and Birkbeck College, London (BA 1949). Nketia has worked in a variety of positions at universities in Ghana and the United States. He was a lecturer at the Presbyterian Training College in Akropong (1942–4, 1949–52); a research fellow in African Studies at the University College of Ghana (1952–9); a senior research fellow at University College of Ghana (1959–61); an associate professor and professor at the University of Ghana, Legon (1962–3); the director of the School of Music, Dance and Drama at the University of Ghana, Legon (1963–79...
(b Constantine, Algeria, June 13, 1888; d Paris, June 20, 1974). French musicologist . He studied musicology at the Sorbonne with Rolland, Laloy and Pirro. After World War I, he taught the history of the violin at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris; he also worked as editor-in-chief of Le monde musical (1925–7) and Musique (1927–30) and as music critic of several newspapers. He was artistic director of the Société Pleyel (1927–55), founding president of the Académie Charles Cros (from 1948), vice-president (1945–8), president (1948–56) and honorary president (from 1956) of the Société Française de Musicologie, a member of the Académie Royale de Belgique and an honorary member of the Royal Musical Association, London.
Pincherle’s research was mainly concerned with French and Italian music of the 17th and 18th centuries. His outstanding achievement was his first book on Vivaldi (...
(b Alexandria, Egypt, Dec 12, 1943). French composer and musicologist. She studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Claude Ballif (analysis), Olivier Messiaen (composition) and Alain Weber (counterpoint), gaining first prize in counterpoint and analysis and winning the composition prize. She also holds a degree in literature from the Sorbonne. She has been resident at the Casa de Velasquez, Madrid (1979–81) and has taught analysis at the Paris Conservatoire. Hallmarks of her style include slow transformations of sound material, as in Métèores (1978) and Les jeux de Protée (1984), and the use of repetition, as in Le cercle du vent (1988). Her sophisticated technique always serves the emotional content of the music, the substance of which is inspired by visual art and literature. Reverdy’s writings include two books on the music of Olivier Messiaen: L’oeuvre pour piano d’Olivier Messiaen (Paris, 1978...