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Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Piero]

(b Florence, c1480; d after 1545). Italian theorist and composer. Nothing is known of Aaron’s early training, his teacher, or his career before 1516. He claims to have had ‘the greatest friendship and familiarity’ with Josquin, Obrecht, Isaac, and Agricola in Florence (most likely between 1487 and 1495, and not necessarily at the same time). By 1516 he was a priest in Imola, where he wrote his first book, Libri tres de institutione harmonica, translated into Latin by the humanist Giovanni Antonio Flaminio. A contemporary poem by Achille Bocchi praises Aaron for rescuing music ‘from squalor and dismal neglect’. By March 1520 he was a singer in Imola Cathedral and from the next year a chaplain; he was also paid by the city to teach music to those who wished to learn. His career in Imola ended abruptly in June 1522 when he was wounded in a factional uprising and his chapel in the cathedral destroyed (Blackburn, forthcoming). By ...

Article

Roger Bowers

(b c1420; d 1497). English church musician. He was noted as a fine singer and skilful organist. After service in the household of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (until 1447), and as a lay clerk of Eton College (1447–51), where he was one of the four clerks specially responsible for singing polyphony in the college chapel, he became a clerk of the Chapel Royal in 1451, and Master of the Choristers there from 1455 to 1478. His duties included teaching the boys to play the organ and to sing plainsong and improvised polyphony; also it seems probable that he was instrumental in the introduction about this time of the use of boys’ voices in composed polyphony. The award to him in 1464 of a Cambridge MusB reflects his eminence in the musical profession – he is the earliest known recipient of this degree – while the patronage of Bishop Bekynton brought him valuable sinecures in the diocese of Bath and Wells. His last years were spent as a resident of Sanctuary Yard, Westminster Abbey....

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

Edward R. Lerner

revised by Rob C. Wegman and Fabrice Fitch

(b Ghent, ?1445/6; d Valladolid, August 15, 1506). South Netherlandish composer, active in Italy, France and the Low Countries. He was renowned for his composition in all genres cultivated in his time, and his music was as widely distributed as that of any of his contemporaries.

Some biographical information can be gleaned from the text of a musical setting entitled Epitaphion Alexandri Agricolae symphonistae regis Castiliae, printed by Georg Rhau in 1538. Here, the composer is called a ‘Belgian’, who died in 1506 at the age of 60 while travelling through Spain in the service of Philip the Fair. Two more epitaphs have recently been discovered by Bonnie Blackburn; one of these specifies the date of death, and reveals that he was a native of Ghent. Archival documents and musical manuscripts give his surname almost invariably as Agricola, although one payment record from the Burgundian court, written in ...

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

Herbert Kellman

[Petrus; Imhove, Peter; van den Hove, Peter]

(b Nuremberg, c1470; d Mechelen, June 26, 1536). South Netherlandish music scribe of German birth. He was a member of the Nuremberg merchant family Imhof, but settled in the Netherlands in the early 1490s. He was active principally at the courts of Margaret of Austria, regent of the Netherlands, her successor Mary of Hungary and Emperor Charles V, in Mechelen and Brussels. He was one of several copyists – the others are anonymous – of a complex of more than 60 manuscripts of polyphonic music produced there between about 1495 and 1535. The earliest references to Alamire appear in the accounts for 1496/7 of the Confraternity of Our Lady in ’s-Hertogenbosch. He is listed once as a new member, and was paid for having copied one book of masses and portions of a second book, as well as a book of motets. In 1499 the Confraternity of Our Lady in Antwerp paid him for having copied a book of motets and ...

Article

(fl late 15th century or early 16th). Spanish composer. A number of sacred works and at least one song are attributed to this composer in Iberian sources; one work, a four-voice Agnus Dei, bears the ascription ‘Alonso Perez de Alba’. There are two possible candidates who may be identified with this composer.

In 1503 an ‘Alonso de Alva’ was appointed maestro de capilla in charge of the choristers at Seville Cathedral. He died before 4 September 1504, and after his death some books of polyphony in his possession were purchased by the cathedral chapter. He may well have been a composer, and the fact that Alba’s works are preserved among pieces by Peñalosa and Escobar, both of whom were closely connected with Seville, may be significant, even though he died considerably earlier than these composers.

The music attributed to Alba is also included in manuscripts associated with the royal chapels, and another Alonso de Alba can be found in the registers of the Castilian royal household. This man is first recorded as a chaplain in Queen Isabella’s chapel on ...

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

Isabel Pope

revised by Tess Knighton

(fl1482). Iberian composer. He was a singer in the Aragonese royal chapel of Ferdinand V over a period of almost 30 years, from 1482 until 1510. He was presented to various ecclesiastical benefices under royal patronage and held, presumably by proxy, the position of head chaplain of the Dominican monastery in Madrid until 1505.

He was also closely associated with Segovia Cathedral for the best part of his life, being appointed chapel master there from 1 October 1504. For some years he held both positions, but this must have proved incompatible for in the autumn of 1507 he was suspended from his post as chapel master for an unspecified breach of the rules and replaced by Francisco de San Juan. He remained a member of the chapter, however, and was much involved in cathedral business during long periods of absence from the royal chapel during the period ...

Article

Alonso  

Article

William F. Prizer

[Franciscus VenetusFrancesco Varoter, etc.]

(b ?Venice, c1460; d Venice, late 1502, or before Feb 6, 1503). Italian composer and organist. He was appointed the first player of the second new organ at S Marco, Venice, in 1490, having previously been organist at S Leonardo there. He held the position at S Marco until shortly before 6 February 1503 when he was replaced by Giovanni de Marino and was described as ‘recently deceased’. He is therefore not identifiable with Francesco d’Ana of Padua who was appointed organist at Concordia Sagittaria Cathedral on 15 March 1554.

Many of Ana’s works are marked only with the initials ‘F.V.’ in Petrucci’s frottola books. In a list of corrections to Tenori e contrabassi intabulati … libro primo (1509) Petrucci named ‘F.V.’ as Francesco Varoter (Francesco the furrier). On the basis of this, Disertori attributed to Varoter all the other works ascribed to ‘F.V.’. This is improbable, and it is far more likely that the two musicians are the same. ...

Article

Robert Stevenson

(b ?Urrestilla, nr Azpeitia, 1462; d Azpeitia, July 30, 1523). Spanish composer. He was the second son of Martín García de Anchieta and Urtayzaga de Loyola (an aunt of Ignatius Loyola) and may have studied at Salamanca University, where the music professor from 1481 to 1522 was Diego de Fermoselle, the elder brother of Juan del Encina. After his appointment on 6 February 1489 as a singer in Queen Isabella's court chapel at an annual salary of 20,000 maravedís Anchieta travelled constantly, for Isabella often moved her court (15 times between 1491 and 1503).

Anchieta's salary was raised to 30,000 maravedís on 30 August 1493. Two years later Isabella named him maestro de capilla to her 17-year-old son Don Juan (1478–97). His excellent services to the young prince prompted the queen to reward him with several ecclesiastical preferments. After her death in 1504 Anchieta was transferred with other members of the Castilian royal household to the service of her daughter Joanna, whose consort was Philip the Fair; in their entourage he visited Flanders, and from January to ...

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

William F. Prizer

[Senese, Ser Ansano di Goro, Sano di Goro]

(b c1470; d 1524). Sienese composer, singer and priest. Ansanus can now be identified as Sano di Goro, the son of a Sienese wool shearer, who is first recorded as a clerk in the cathedral of Siena in March 1484. He joined the chapel as a chorister in 1485, and was ordained in 1500, by which time he was an adult singer. He was dismissed from the choir in 1507 after having written a bitter letter complaining about his treatment by the Opera of the cathedral. He returned to the cathedral's services, at least temporarily, from April 1511 to March 1512. In April 1515 he is again listed as a singer there, and thereafter was more or less permanently employed in the choir until February 1524, serving as maestro di cappella in 1517 and again from 1520 to 1524. He died at the end of 1524.

The sole source of his music is the ...

Article

William F. Prizer

(b ?Padua; fl 1505–14). Italian composer. He is probably identifiable with the ‘Honophrius Patavinus’ of Petrucci’s sixth and eleventh books of frottolas. His frottolas consist of nine barzellette, two ode, a ballata and a strambotto, the last, Se un pone un fragil vetro, a poem attributed to Serafino dall’Aquila. Sed libera nos a malo, from Petrucci’s sixth book (RISM 1506³), is one of a group of macaronic works in the frottola repertory that parody biblical or liturgical texts; it begins with a phrase of music and text from the Pater noster. His Se io ti dico el mio gran danno from Petrucci’s eighth book (15074), uses the popular melody Si vivesse cento e un anno in its ripresa, and Crudel amore, from the same source, is one of the earliest settings of a ballata in the frottola repertory. Antenoreo’s works are notable for their stereotyped hemiola rhythm....

Article

(fl c1440–70). ?Italian composer. Previously thought to have been English, he is now presumed to have been a native of the Trentino, perhaps identifiable with the nobleman and lawyer Christophorus Anthonii de Molveno, traceable in Trent in 1449–68. His works, comprising a Sanctus, Magnificat primi toni, and a hymn (all for three voices), are all copied in I-TRmp 90, the Magnificat is also in I-TRcap 93 (all of his works are ed. M. Gozzi, Collana per la storia della musica nel Trentino, xvi, 1991). Two of his cantus firmi suggest Germanic connections: the chant that appears in decorated form in the Sanctus (superius) resembles Sanctus IV in the Passau gradual, and the chant used in Ut queant laxis (also in the superius) is from the Klosterneuburg hymnal. A contrafactum of the latter work honours St Vigilius, patron of Trent. Anthonii's music seems to lack sophistication, often using progressions of consecutive 6-3 chords and employing strict fauxbourdon in the ...

Article

(b Montona [now Motovun], Istria [Croatia], c1480; d after 1538). Italian woodblock cutter, editor, publisher and composer of Croatian birth. His birthplace is frequently appended to his name, as in his papal privilege of 1516: ‘to our beloved son Andreas Antiquus de Montona, cleric of the diocese of Parenzo now living in Rome’. (Despite the reference to clerical status, there is no evidence that he was ordained as a priest or served the church.) Active as a woodblock cutter, editor and music publisher in Rome from 1510 to 1518, in Venice 1520–21 and again from 1533 to 1539, he was the earliest competitor of Ottaviano Petrucci, who had initiated the printing of volumes of polyphonic music at Venice in 1501. Antico was the first to publish such books in Rome.

Antico’s method differed fundamentally from Petrucci’s: Antico was a cutter of woodblocks from which music and text were printed in one impression, whereas Petrucci employed multiple impression from moveable type. Antico both cut the blocks for and published, in collaboration with printers and others, his Roman editions and those of his first two years in Venice. After ...

Article

(b c1480–88; d after 1558). South Netherlandish composer and singer. The earliest known archival documents mention him in 1518 as a singer and in 1519 as the choirmaster at St Jacob in Bruges. After 1519, contemporary publications by Attaingnant and Moderne are the only source of evidence of his activity until February 1536, when he became a singer in Mary of Hungary's chapel choir in Brussels. Soon afterwards, in October 1537, he succeeded Jehan Gossins (who had died earlier that year) as master of the choirboys. In this function, which was indistinguishable from that of maître de la chapelle, Appenzeller served more than 15 years, composing many works for the Brussels chapel. The composer is last mentioned in Mary of Hungary's service in December 1551 in a list of chapel members who accompanied Mary to Augsburg and Munich. It would seem, however, that he continued to serve her until she relinquished her position in ...

Article

Clement A. Miller

(b Aachen, c 1492). South Netherlandish composer. He came from the diocese of Liège and studied music under Thomas Tzamen of Aachen. On 23 November 1510 he entered the University of Cologne where he met Heinrich Glarean, who later published Aquanus’s humanistic motet, Juppiter omnipotens for three voices, in the ...