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Article

[Petrus Abailardus]

(b Le Pallet, nr Nantes, 1079; d Saint-Marcel, nr Chalon-sur-Saône, April 21, 1142). French philosopher, poet and musician of Breton origin. After studying philosophy in Paris, he taught dialectic at the cathedral school. His love affair with Heloise, the young niece of Canon Fulbert, brought him fame as a musician. However, after they had secretly married in 1118 Fulbert had Abelard castrated. Heloise became a nun and he became a monk at St Denis. His highly original scholastic method and his restless and blunt nature aroused opposition to his teaching; principal among his opponents was Bernard of Clairvaux. After condemnation by the Council of Sens in 1140, Abelard found support from Peter the Venerable, Benedictine Abbot of Cluny.

Abelard’s songs are few beside his numerous theological and philosophical writings. Heloise’s testimony suggests that his love songs must have been important from both a literary and a musical point of view. In a later letter (probably revised by Abelard) she declared that he had ‘the gift of poetry and the gift of song’; he ‘composed quite a number of metrical and rhythmic love songs. The great charm and sweetness in language and music, and a soft attractiveness of the melody obliged even the unlettered’. These songs, presumably in Latin, have all been lost: they have not been identified among the anonymous repertory....

Article

Acourt  

David Fallows

( fl c 1420). Composer . His three-voice rondeau Je demande ma bienvenue survives only in the manuscript GB-Ob Can.misc.213 (facs., Chicago, 1995; ed. in CMM, xi/2, 1959). Its extreme simplicity and economy of gesture suggest that the composer is not identifiable with Johannes Haucourt , composer of an apparently much earlier virelai in the same manuscript....

Article

Adam  

Tom R. Ward

revised by David Fallows

(fl 1420–30). Composer, possibly French. His three rondeaux, Au temps vendra, Au grief hermitage and Tout a caup, were copied into the manuscript GB-Ob Can.misc.213 soon after 1430 (all ed. in CMM, xi/2, 1959). He could be identifiable with Adam Fabri, clerc de matines at Notre Dame in Paris in 1415; Adam Meigret, first chaplain to Charles VI of France at the time of the king's death in 1422; Erasmus Adam, mentioned in the motet lamenting the death of King Albrecht II in 1439; Adam Hustini de Ora from Cambrai, who was in the Habsburg chapel in 1442–3; or more likely Adamo Grand (sometimes called Magister Adam), master of the choirboys at the Savoy ducal chapel from 1433 to 1438.

J., J.F.R. and C. Stainer, eds.: Dufay and his Contemporaries (London, 1898/R) [incl. complete edition] D. Fallows: A Catalogue of Polyphonic Songs, 1415–1480 (Oxford, 1999)...

Article

Afat  

Tom R. Ward

revised by David Fallows

(fl ?c1430). Composer, possibly Italian. He may have been active in Brescia, if that is indeed the origin of the manuscript I-Bu 2216, which contains his only known work. This is a Sanctus (ed. in MLMI, 3rd ser., Mensurabilia, iii, vol.ii, 1970, pp.86–8), written in major prolation, with two equal high voices in florid style over a tenor....

Article

Owen Wright

[al-Urmawī]

(d Baghdad, 1294). Theorist, performer and composer, possibly of Azeri origin. He was a prominent court musician under the last Abbasid caliph, al-Musta‘ṣim (1242–58), although he first attracted attention for his skill as a calligrapher. Surviving the sack of Baghdad in 1258, he entered the service of the Mongol Il-Khans and became attached to the powerful Juwaynī family, but after their fall (1286) he lost favour, and died imprisoned for debt.

Ṣafī al-Dīn is one of the most important figures in the history of music theory in the Islamic Middle East, and the first great theorist since Ibn Sīnā (980–1037) and Ibn Zayla (d 1048) whose works are extant. His two treatises on music, the Kitāb al-adwār (‘Book of cycles’) and the later and fuller Risāla al-sharafiyya (‘The Sharafian treatise’), present a synthesis of elements found in the earlier theoretical tradition which dominated the thinking of all the more important theorists of the following two centuries....

Article

Owen Wright

[ibn Ghaybī al-Marāghi]

(b Maragh; d Herat, 1435). Timurid composer, performer and theorist. He first rose to prominence in the service of the Jalā’irid rulers of Iraq and Azerbaijan, al-Ḥusayn (1374–82) and Aḥmad (1382–1410). After the conquest of Baghdad by Tīmūr (1393), most of his career was spent in Samarkand and, especially, Herat, at the courts of Tīmūr and of his successors al-Khalīl (1404–9) and Shāh Rukh (1409–47).

‘Abd al-Qādir was one of the most important and influential theorists of the Systematist school. His most substantial surviving works are the Jāmi‘ al-al ḥān (‘Compendium of melodies’), largely completed in 1405 and revised in 1413, and the slighter Maqāṣid al-al ḥān (‘Purports of melodies’), which covers essentially the same ground and probably dates from 1418. Written in Persian, which was by then the language of culture, these works proved particularly influential among later 15th-century theorists; but although both thoughtful and highly competent, on the theoretical side they may be regarded as, essentially, restatements and amplifications of the theory elaborated by ...

Article

Maria V. Coldwell

(fl late 12th century). Troubadour. She exchanged a tenso with Giraut de Bornelh, S’ieus quier conseil, bel’ amig’ Alamanda (PC 242.69). The music survives in one manuscript ( F-Pn f.f. 22543, f.8r; ed. in H. van der Werf and G. Bond: The Extant Troubadour Melodies, Rochester, NY, ...

Article

Gilbert Reaney

[?Johannes]

(fl 14th century). Composer. He is possibly to be identified with the ‘Johan d’Alamanya, juglar del duch Aendrich de Gascunya’ mentioned as one of the minstrels of King Peter IV of Aragon in 1351. His only known work is an incomplete three-voice Credo (ed. in PMFC, xxiii, 1989, no.121), which is clearly based on the popular discant-style ‘Sortes’ Credo (both works ed. in CMM, xxix, 1962). Possible corroboration of his identity with the minstrel comes from the fact that the Credo survives in a manuscript of which fragments exist in E-Bbc 971 and E-G .

H. Anglès: ‘Gacian Reyneau am Königshof zu Barcelona in der Zeit von 139 … bis 1429’, Studien zur Musikgeschichte: Festschrift für Guido Adler (Vienna, 1930/R), 64–70 H. Stäblein-Harder: Fourteenth-Century Mass Music in France, MSD, 7 (1962), 61, 148–9 B. Stäblein and H. Harder: ‘Neue Fragmente mehrstimmiger Musik aus spanischen Bibliotheken’, Colloquium amicorum: Joseph Schmidt-Görg zum 70. Geburtstag...

Article

Gianluca D’Agostino

(b Florence, c1358; d Bologna, 1415). Italian poet. The son of the wealthy merchant Nicolaio (d 1377), he inherited his father’s business and properties, including the famous country villa ‘Il Paradiso’. He took an active part in the Florentine government. In 1401, however, he and his brothers were charged with taking part in a conspiracy against the rival Albizzi family and were banished from Florence. His brothers went to Paris, whereas Antonio spent the rest of his life in Bologna, teaching algebra at the Studio. Another member of the exiled branch of the family in France and Antonio’s nephew, the poet Francesco d’Altobianco, is now thought to have brought on his way back to Florence (in about 1426–7) the exemplar for the manuscript now the Chantilly Codex ( F-CH 564), which belonged to him in 1461.

Giovanni da Prato, writing in about 1425–6 his fictional narrative known as ...

Article

Alcuin  

Jane Bellingham

[(Flaccus) Albinus]

(b Northumbria, c735; d Tours, May 19, 804). Anglo-Saxon scholar, writer and poet. Little is known about Alcuin's early years, but he was educated at the cathedral school in York, which, under the guidance of magister, and later archbishop, Aelberht (d 780), became one of the foremost centres of learning in England during the second half of the 8th century. Alcuin remained at York as Aelberht's assistant, becoming magister himself in 767, and several times travelled to the Continent, especially Gaul and Italy, in search of books for the cathedral library. It was on one such visit that Alcuin met Charlemagne (reigned 768–814), who, in 781, invited him to join the scholars of the Frankish court. In Francia Alcuin became one of the leading members of the court school. He is known to have been the personal tutor of Charlemagne and is generally considered to have been the architect of many of the king’s educational reforms, including those in the ...

Article

Burkhard Kippenberg

revised by Lorenz Welker

[Der wilde Alexander]

(fl mid- to late 13th century). German poet-composer. He is not attested in official documents or mentioned in contemporary literature. The only biographical clues are certain allusions in his poetry to historical events between 1285 and 1288 but more recent study shows additional allusions to events from 1247 to 1252. In two manuscripts he is named ‘der wilde Alexander’, perhaps because of his unusual style or his restless itinerant life, and in the Jena manuscript he is called ‘Meister Alexander’. But the Meistersinger did not regard him as one of the 12 masters.

Alexander was one of the most important Minnesinger and composers of Sprüche (see Spruch) after the time of Walther von der Vogelweide. In the surviving sources he is represented mainly by 24 Spruch strophes (in only one Ton), but also by two Minnelieder and one Leich. The principal themes of his Spruch...

Article

Patrick Boyde

(b Florence, May or June 1265; d Ravenna, Sept 14, 1321). Italian poet and theorist. Italy’s greatest poet became prominent in the 1280s as a leading member of a group of young poets who were transforming the style and content of the fashionable, elevated love-lyric; later he characterized the achievement of those years as the ‘dolce stil novo’. He included the best of his early poems in his short prose work La vita nuova (c1292–3), the record of his love for Beatrice and his grief at her early death in June 1290. In the mid-1290s he fell in love with Philosophy, personified in his poems as a noble lady, and devoted himself wholeheartedly to the study of logic, ethics, physics, metaphysics and theology – indeed, to almost every branch of medieval science. Simultaneously he began to be active in the political life of the turbulent Florentine republic. He rose to be one of the six Priors in ...

Article

Gilbert Reaney

(fl late 14th century). French composer. The only composition attributable to him with certainty is the four-part bitextual ballade Armes, amours/O flour des flours set to the text by Eustache Deschamps lamenting Machaut’s death in 1377. Two three-part ballades (De Narcissus and Phiton, Phiton, beste tres venimeuse) by Magister Franciscus from the same manuscript ( F-CH 564) suggest that the two composers may be the same person. Phiton, Phiton borrows its first three bars from a similarly-titled piece by Machaut. (All three works are ed. in CMM Corpus mensurabilis musicae liii/1, 1970, and in PMFC Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century, xviii–xix, 1981–2.)

U. Günther: Der musikalische Stilwandel der französischen Liedkunst in der zweiten Hälfte des 14. Jahrhunderts (diss., U. of Hamburg, 1957), 167, 174–6 R. Magnan: ‘Eustache Deschamps and his Double: Musique naturele and musique artificiele’, Ars lyrica, 7 (1993), 47–64 L. Earp: Guillaume de Machaut: a Guide to Research...

Article

David Fallows

(fl c1444). English composer. His two two-voice songs, Io zemo, suspiro and Che farò io (both in P-Pm 714 only) set the first and 12th stanzas of a 17-stanza poem by the Ferrarese poet Girolamo Nigrisoli, lamenting the departure from Ferrara of Isotta d'Este, apparently at her first marriage in ...

Article

Gordon A. Anderson

revised by Thomas B. Payne

[Archpoet]

(b ?Cologne, c1130; d shortly after1165). Latin lyric poet. His real name is unknown. He was a German or French clerk of knightly birth whose patronage by Reinald of Dassel, Archbishop of Cologne and Archchancellor to Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa may have given rise to his pseudonym. He travelled throughout Germany and to Austria and Italy, where he was desperately ill in 1165. He must have written many Latin poems, but only ten survive; additions to his corpus present problems of ascription, since his name was sometimes conferred honorarily on later poets. His poetic technique follows that of his older contemporary Hugh Primas, but with less spite and more wit. The Confessio, written at Pavia, is his greatest achievement and illustrates his best characteristics: a keen knowledge of biblical and classical authors, ingenious rhythm and supreme rhyming skill, great wit and genial humour, cunning word-play and melodious cadence. No melodies are known for his poems. His poetic style is mirrored in a number of Notre Dame conductus texts....

Article

(bc1000; d before 1050). Benedictine writer and composer. He was a monk, and later prior, of St Emmeram in Regensburg and the author of a new plainchant Office for the patron saint of his monastery; he also wrote extensively about St Emmeram and on other matters. The Office, which survives in D-Mbs Clm 14870 (Arnold’s autograph or at least a contemporary source) and in a number of later manuscripts, includes over 40 antiphons and 20 responsories arranged in numerical order of mode. According to Arnold, the Office was first celebrated while he was visiting Hungary, by the cathedral clergy at Esztergom.

K. Langosch: ‘Arnold von St. Emmeram’, Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters: Verfasserlexikon, 1 (2/1978), 464–70 D. Hiley: ‘Musik im mittelalterlichen Regensburg’, Regensburg im Mittelalter, i: Beiträge zur Stadtgeschichte vom frühen Mittelalter bis zum Beginn der Neuzeit, ed. M. Angerer and H. Wanderwitz (Regensburg, 1995), 311–22 D. Hiley...

Article

Arrigo  

Kurt von Fischer

revised by Gianluca D’Agostino

[Henricus]

(fl 2nd half of the 14th century). Italian composer. He is known only from a two-voice ballata, Il capo biondo (ed. in PMFC, x, 1977, p.71), which is transmitted F-Pn 568 (ff.96v–97; added to fill unused space in the manuscript) under the name Arrigo, and in F-Pn 6771 (f.25v), ascribed to ‘Henricus’. The piece combines elements of style both conservative and new for Italian music in the second half of the 14th century. Since, from the musical style, the composer was evidently Italian, he may not be identified with other known composers named Henricus.

J. Wolf: Geschichte der Mensural-Notation von 1250–1460 (Leipzig, 1904/R), 2, no.57a/b N. Pirrotta: ‘Rhapsodic Elements in North-Italian Polyphony of the 14th Century’, MD , 37 (1983), 983–99 J. Nadas: The Transmission of Trecento Polyphony: Manuscript Production and Scribal Practices in Italy at the End of the Middle Ages...

Article

Owen Wright

[Avenpace]

(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....

Article

Gianluca D’Agostino

(fl late 14th century). Italian ?composer. One three-voice Sanctus, with a partly isorhythmic tenor, is transmitted with this ascription in the Paduan fragment GB-Ob Can.pat.lat.229 (‘PadA’, f.37v; ed. in PMFC, xii, 1976, p.88). The word may refer to the Greek instrument shaped like a lyre, called a ‘barbitos’. That the work comes from northern Italy seems to be confirmed by the additional label ‘ambrosius’ written next to the second voice....

Article

Kurt von Fischer

(de Florentia)

(fl Florence, c1330–60). Italian composer. In Filippo Villani’s chronicle Bartholus (and not Giovanni da Cascia, as given in Galletti; the chronicle is also ed. G. Tanturli, Padua, 1997) is mentioned together with Lorenzo da Firenze. Villani wrote that Bartholus had introduced in Florence Cathedral a Credo which was performed with voices (vivis vocibus). This type is perhaps represented by his sole surviving composition, a two-voice Credo in F-Pn 568 (no.194; ed. in De Van erroneously under the name of Bartolino da Padora, also ed. in CMM, viii/1, 1954, and in PMFC, xii, 1976) which combines elements of earlier organal style with madrigalesque melismas. Bartholus is not to be confused with Bartolino da Padova.

F. Villani: De origine civitatis Florentiae et eiusdem famosis civibus, ed. G.C. Galletti (Florence, 1847); ed. G. Tanturli (Padua, 1997) [see also E. Li Gotti, Italica, xxiv (1947), 196–200] G. De Van...