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(b Atri, 1458; d Conversano, Jan 19, 1529). Italian humanist, patron and theorist. He was a member of the Accademia Pontaniana in Naples and initiated a long-standing tradition of musical culture in the family of the dukes of Atri, who were important patrons; his son Giovanni Antonio Donato was also a lira player. Acquaviva d’Aragona financed the Neapolitan printer Antonio de Frizis and housed the press in his palace in Naples. One of the earliest examples of music printing in the kingdom of Naples was the Motetti libro primo printed by De Frizis in 1519 (it is no longer extant, but a copy was owned by Fernando Colón). In 1526 De Frizis printed Acquaviva d’Aragona’s Latin translation of Plutarch’s De virtute morali, which was followed by an extensive Latin commentary including a 76-page treatise De musica (the whole was reprinted in Frankfurt in 1609). Notable for its wealth of illustrations and for its incorporation into a broader context addressed to humanists in general rather than to a specialized musical readership, the treatise is largely based on the writings of Boethius and Gaffurius, and takes as its point of departure Plutarch’s observations on music’s power of suggestion. The ...

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John Koegel

(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...

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(b c1470; d mid-Jan 1538). English lawyer and ecclesiastic. He was master at Trinity College, Arundel, and commissioner and donor of the Caius Choirbook. Born into a Shropshire family, he studied at the University of Oxford, from which he held degrees in both canon and civil law by the time of his ordination to the priesthood in 1501. He subsequently pursued a distinguished legal career in London and Westminster as a judge in the Court of Requests (1509–13) and a master in Chancery (9 March 1512); he may also have been the ‘Master Higons’ named as occupying the privileged position of Clerk of the Closet in Henry VIII's retinue at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in the summer of 1520.

As so often happens, professional advancement and ecclesiastical preferment went hand in hand. During a period of some 30 years Higgins amassed an impressive number of benefices, including at least a dozen rectories, vicarages and deanships, a chaplaincy to Henry VIII (by ...

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Ruth Smith

(b Gopsall, Leics., 1700; d Gopsall, bur. Nether Whitacre, Warwicks., Nov 20, 1773). English patron, scholar and librettist. The grandson of a wealthy Birmingham ironmaster, he was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and subsequently divided his time between London and the family estate of Gopsall, Leicestershire, which he inherited, with properties in five other counties, in 1747.

A member of the circle of Handel’s admirers that included the 4th Earl of Shaftesbury and James Harris, Jennens’s devotion to Handel’s music is first attested in his subscription to Rodelinda (1725), the first Handel score published by subscription; thereafter he was a constant and generous subscriber. Apparently aiming at a complete archive, he amassed the most comprehensive contemporary collection of Handel’s music, both manuscript copies and printed editions, forming the Aylesford Collection (principally GB-Mp ; named after his cousin who inherited it), which also included works by more than 40 other composers, mainly Italian but also English. Through the agency of his friend Edward Holdsworth, a grand tour tutor, he acquired newly published and MS music from Italy, including part of Cardinal Ottoboni’s library, from which Handel borrowed and which he used. Evidently a competent keyboard player, Jennens figured the bass lines in many of his MS copies. He owned one of the first pianos in England, a Cristofori shipped from Florence in ...

Article

David Trasoff

[Ṣaurīndramohana Ṭhākura]

(b Calcutta, 1840; d Calcutta, June 5, 1914). Indian musicologist, educationist and patron of Indian music. He was a descendant of one of the wealthiest and most influential families of 19th-century Calcutta; his grandfather, father and elder brother were all renowned for their patronage of the arts. (Rabindranath Tagore belonged to another branch of the family.) He was educated at Hindu College, Calcutta, the leading centre for British-style education, which had been founded by his grandfather, Gopi Mohun Tagore. Subsequently he made an intensive study of Indian music with K.M. Goswami and L.P. Misra, specializing in the sitār (1856–8). In order to prepare himself for studies in comparative musicology, he engaged two Europeans (names unknown) as his instructors in Western music.

Tagore sponsored or co-authored the production of some of the first general music treatises in Bengali (Goswami’s Sa ṅgīta sāra, ‘The Essence of Music’, 1868...