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Article

Pierre M. Tagmann

revised by Giovanni Maria Bacchini

[Fra Teodoro del Carmine]

(b Mantua; fl 1588–1607). Italian singer, composer and theorist. Canal erroneously gave his first name as Girolamo. He was a Carmelite priest. While at the Mantuan court, he wrote a treatise, De musica, now lost. In 1588 he published a madrigal, Più che Diana, in Alfonso Preti’s L’amoroso caccia (RISM 1588¹4), a collection consisting of compositions by Mantuan musicians primarily associated with the church. He also published a book of masses, the Missarum quinque et sex vocum, liber primus (Venice, 1589). In a letter dated 26 November 1594 to the vicar-general of the Carmelite order, Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga requested that Bacchini, a ‘musico castrato’, be exempt from wearing his monk’s habit while singing in the court chamber. In 1594 he accompanied the duke to the Reichstag in Regensburg and in the following year, along with Monteverdi, G.B. Marinone, Serafino Terzi and other musicians from the Gonzaga court, took part in the duke’s military expedition to southern Hungary. A Mantuan court secretary, Fortunato Cardi, described musical performances directed by Monteverdi, in which Bacchini took part, on the eve of the Battle of Visegrad. It has been suggested that Bacchini sang the part of Euridice in the first performances of Monteverdi’s ...

Article

(b St Georg, Upper Austria, Feb 28, 1655; d Weissenfels, Aug 6, 1700). Austrian-German composer, singer, violinist, keyboard player, music theorist and novelist. At seven his father sent him to the Benedictine monastery at Lambach, a short distance north-east of St Georg, where he began his musical education. Beer pursued further general and music studies at Reichersberg, south of Passau, as well as in Passau itself. In 1670 his parents took him to Regensburg, where they had moved to preserve their Protestant faith. As a student at the Gymnasium Poeticum Beer became a friend of his fellow student Pachelbel. He continued to study music, including composition, and he wrote the score for a school play, Mauritius imperator. At the end of his studies at the gymnasium, the city of Regensburg awarded him a scholarship to enter the university at Leipzig in 1676 as a student of theology. He soon became acquainted with the musicians there, including the Thomas Kantor Sebastian Knüpfer, and Werner Fabricius, organist at the Nikolaikirche....

Article

Kerala J. Snyder

(b Kolberg, Pomerania [now Kołobrzeg, Poland], Jan 1, 1628; d Dresden, Nov 14, 1692). German music theorist, composer and singer. He is best known for his discussion of musical-rhetorical figures in Tractatus compositionis augmentatus.

The birthplace given above is documented in a funeral poem by Bernhard’s brother-in-law C.C. Dedekind and is confirmed by Walther; the birth date appears in Müller-Blattau (2/1963) without documentation. Mattheson states, no doubt erroneously, that Bernhard was born in Danzig in 1612. According to Dedekind, Bernhard studied in Danzig (probably with the elder Kaspar Förster and possibly Paul Siefert) and in Warsaw (very likely with Scacchi); Mattheson’s assertion that Bernhard studied in Danzig with Balthasar Erben must also be in error for Erben did not become Kapellmeister at the Marienkirche until 1658, well after Bernhard was established in Dresden. At some point Bernhard also studied law. He began singing as an alto at the electoral court in Dresden under Schütz probably in ...

Article

Biancamaria Brumana and Colin Timms

(b Perugia, Feb 21, 1625; d Brufa, nr Perugia, July 1, 1705). Italian composer, singer, librettist, historian, and architect. Born Angelini, he studied under Sozio Sozi, father superior of the Oratorio dei Filippini at Perugia, in 1635, continuing in Rome as a protégé of Cesare Bontempi, a nobleman whose name he adopted. There he studied singing under Virgilio Mazzocchi and won the patronage of Cardinal Francesco Barberini. From November 1640 to January 1641 he was a singer in S Lorenzo in Damaso. In 1641 he travelled to Florence, where he met Maximilian I of Bavaria, who brought him to Munich (he was in Maximilian’s service as a singer from July to December 1641, under the direction of Giovanni Giacomo Porro). From1643 to 1650 he was a singer at S Marco, Venice, under Monteverdi, Rovetta, and Cavalli, and in other churches. In 1651 he entered the service of the Prince Johann Georg II of Saxony in Dresden, where, after the death of Johann Georg I and the amalgamation of the two Kapellen in ...

Article

Argia Bertini

revised by Giulia Anna Romana Veneziano

(b Florence, July 8, 1638; d Florence, Jan 16, 1703). Italian composer, teacher, music editor, theorist, organist and singer. He spent his entire life as a priest in Florence. On 1 August 1663 he was appointed chaplain at the cathedral, S Maria del Fiore, where he was also active as an organist and singer. He was particularly admired as a teacher, and it was this above all that determined the nature of his publications; the numerous reprints particularly of Il cantore addottrinato and Scolare addottrinato bear witness to the popularity of his methods. In these two manuals he sought to establish rules for the effective composition and performance of church music, contributing, according to his contemporaries, to the codification of the ‘true rule of ecclesiastical singing’. However, he is better remembered for his Corona di sacre canzoni and Colletta di laude spirituali, which have great importance for the final phase in the history of the ...

Article

Neal Zaslaw

(b Lyons, late 17th century; d Paris, c1752). French singer, theorist, composer and actor. He was the head of a theatrical troupe that played in Lille between 1715 and 1722, at Brussels in 1716 and in Antwerp in 1717. The title-page of his Nouveau système calls him ‘formerly of the Royal Academies of Music of Lyons, Rouen, Marseilles, Lille, Brussels and Antwerp, and maître de musique of the cathedrals of St Omer and Tournai’. In 1730 he was married in Paris to Marie-Marguerite Lecouvreur, younger sister of the playwright. The dedication of Denis’ Nouvelle méthode to the ladies of St Cyr suggests that he may have been involved in the musico-theatrical training offered at that school. In the 1740s and early 1750s, and perhaps earlier, Denis ran a music school in Paris; the school continued after his death under his son-in-law Jouve.

Denis’ treatises enjoyed considerable longevity, one of them remaining in publishers’ catalogues until ...

Article

Brenda M. Romero

(b Tlaxiaco, Mexico, Sept 9, 1967). Mexican singer, composer, and anthropologist. She was already well known in Mexico when she emerged in the US mainstream with her performance in the film Frida (2002). Her father was Scottish American and her mother is Mixtec from Oaxaca, thus Downs grew up traveling back and forth between the United States and Mexico and between cultures. She began singing at the age of five and began formal classical voice studies at 14 at Bellas Artes in Oaxaca. She subsequently studied in Los Angeles and at the University of Minnesota, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, focusing on Oaxacan highland textiles. In addition to crediting African American music in general, and female singers and the music of jazz in particular, for showing her the many ways in which the voice can be used as an instrument to articulate a wide palette of expressiveness, she credits a range of musical influences, including the Grateful Dead, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Meredith Monk (especially her extended vocal techniques), Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane. She has conducted most of her work in collaboration with her husband ...

Article

Claude V. Palisca

[Vincentio, Vincenzio]

(b S Maria a Monte, Tuscany, probably in the late 1520s; d Florence, bur. July 2, 1591). Italian theorist, composer, lutenist, singer and teacher. He was the leader of the movement to revive through monody the ancient Greek ideal of the union of music and poetry.

Galilei was probably born later than his traditionally accepted date of birth of about 1520. As a youth he studied the lute. It was probably his playing that attracted the attention of Giovanni de' Bardi, his principal patron, who facilitated his theoretical studies with Zarlino in Venice, probably about 1563. By that time he had settled in Pisa, where in 1562 he married a member of a local noble family. The scientist Galileo (who was born in 1564) was the first of his six or seven children; another was the lutenist Michelagnolo Galilei (b 18 Dec 1575; d 3 Jan 1631...

Article

(b c1656; d Versailles, April 1708). French composer, theorist and singer. On 24 March 1679 he was appointed chantre clerc at the Ste Chapelle, Paris, where he may have studied with René Ouvrard. He joined the royal chapel at Versailles in 1683 and remained there until his death. He married Anne Typhaine in 1685. In 1696 he became an officer of the king’s music and bought a coat-of-arms.

L’Affilard was the first composer to supply metronomic indications for his own music, and he was scrupulous in editing it, indicating breathing places, ornaments and notes inégales. His surviving music amounts to about three dozen elegant airs de mouvement or dance-songs, which are found in manuscript (in F-V and CDN-Mn ), in Recueils published by Ballard (RISM 1695³ and 1697², and two others of 1701 and 1705) and especially in what might be termed his ‘complete works’: the ...

Article

Clement A. Miller

(fl 1533–57). French singer, composer and theorist. He was a member of the royal chapel of François I and Henri II of France. Glarean called him ‘Antuacensis’, which may refer to his place of origin.

With the exception of Laudate Dominum, a motet appearing in Glarean's Dodecachordon (modern edition in MSD, vi/2, p.356), other compositions by Le Gendre are found only in Parisian editions. Between 1533 and 1547 Attaingnant printed five of his chansons in various collections and Du Chemin brought out eight more between 1549 and 1557. His many French settings of psalms and canticles, more syllabic than the chansons, were printed by Fezandat in 1552–3. A treatise, Brieve introduction en la musique tant au plain chant que chose faites, published by Attaingnant in 1545, is apparently lost. Le Gendre must have been well known in French circles by the middle of the 16th century, for Rabelais in the ...

Article

Joseph S.C. Lam

[given name, Shangquan ]

(fl 1522–72). Chinese composer, singer and theorist . He played a central role in developing the Kunshan qiang, a regional singing style of the Kunshan area of Jiangsu province that had first emerged in the middle decades of the 14th century, into a national genre of operatic music known as Kunqu that came to dominate the Chinese theatre from the late 16th century and the 17th.

Details of Wei’s biography are vague, but available data describe him as a singer of ‘northern arias’ (beiqu) from Jiangxi province who, after moving to Taicang in Jiangsu province, devoted himself to the development of Kunshan qiang. Finding the original Kunshan qiang bland and lacking in interest, he yet realized its expressive potential, and refined it by incorporating aspects from other contemporary vocal styles. His new version of the Kunshan qiang style featured melismatic melodies perfectly matching the linguistic tones of the lyrics, floating around the accompaniment of ...

Article

Jean Mongrédien

revised by Katharine Ellis

( b Paris, Oct 4, 1772; d Laon, May 26, 1832). French music historian, composer, singer and double bass player . He sang in the parish church choir of St Jacques-de-la-Boucherie in Paris, taking music lessons from the choirmaster, the Abbé d’Haudimont. He sang in the chorus of the Opéra from 1792 until 1799, then played the double bass in the Opéra orchestra until 1816. He was appointed professor of harmony at the Conservatoire in 1813, having worked as Catel’s assistant from 1811. In 1815 he was entrusted with the administration of the Conservatoire, serving as inspector general from 1816 to 1822 and succeeding the Abbé Roze as librarian in 1819. He also played the double bass in the orchestra of the Tuileries chapel from its reopening in 1802. He retired in 1822 to the département of Aisne, where he continued private studies until his death.

Perne is best known for his writings on the history of music. He took an early interest in both Greek and medieval music and, as a tireless researcher, brought together an impressive number of documents. In an age in which composers and theorists alike tackled their problems uncritically and were indiscriminate in repeating or commenting on the opinions of others, Perne insisted on going back to the ancient and medieval texts and studying them in their original languages. He lacked the time – and perhaps the talent – needed to put them into proper form and to construct informed theories from them. He took a particular interest in the problems of the notation of Greek music and read a paper on this subject at the Institut de France in ...

Article

Frank A. D’Accone

(b Florence, Oct 12, 1490; d Rome, Jan 23, 1548). Italian composer, singer and classical scholar. He may have acquired the name ‘Pisano’ as a result of having spent some time in Pisa. Trained at the cathedral school in Florence, he also sang in the chapel of the church of the SS Annunziata as a student. In 1511, after being ordained a priest, he was appointed master of the choristers at the cathedral school and a singer in the chapels at the cathedral and the baptistry. He became master of the cathedral chapel less than a year later. Evidently he obtained the post through the good offices of Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici, whose family had recently been restored to power in Florence.

Shortly after the cardinal’s election to the papacy as Leo X, Pisano went to Rome, where on 20 August 1514 he was appointed a singer in the papal chapel – a position he retained until his death. Leo also gave him several ecclesiastical benefices, among them canonries in the cathedrals of Segovia and Lerida and a chaplaincy in the Medici family church of S Lorenzo in Florence. From ...

Article

Katy Romanou

[ConstantinosConstantine](Alexandros)

(b Constantinople [Istanbul], May 19, 1866 or 1874; d Athens, July 9, 1949). Greek musicologist, music teacher, cantor, and composer. He was crucial in organizing a systematic teaching of Byzantine music in Greece and in establishing a uniform repertory and mode of interpretation in all church rites. After studying philology and theology in Constantinople and serving there as a cantor and a music teacher, he moved to Athens in 1904 to organize a course of Byzantine music in the Conservatory of Athens, an institution fully adapted to German and French music education. Through his articles (mainly in the music periodicals Phorminx (1901–10) and his own Nea [New] Phorminx (1921–2)), his lectures, and the performances he gave with his students, he was successful in changing prevailing ideas and practices, spreading the concept of the importance of preserving the ‘original’ sources.

The influence of equal temperament over Byzantine music performance was another concern of his. He organized concerts with the string professors of the Conservatory instructing them to use unorthodox tunings. In collaboration with the mathematician Stavros Vrachamis he designed, for teaching purposes, a keyboard of 42 keys in each octave, capable of producing all scales of the Byzantine echoi. An organ and a few harmoniums were constructed in 1924 in G.F. Steinmeyer’s factory in Oettingen in Germany; they were funded by his student Eva Palmer-Sikelianos, the American wife of the poet Angelos Sikelianos. Psachos gave the instruments her name (...

Article

Armineh Grigorian

revised by Robert Atayan and Aram Kerovpyan

[Gomidas Vartabed; Soghomonian, Soghomon]

(b Kütahya, Turkey, Oct 8, 1869; d Paris, Oct 22, 1935). Armenian composer, ethnomusicologist, choral conductor, singer and teacher. One of the first Armenians to have a classical Western musical education, as well as instruction in the music of his own people, he laid the foundations for a distinctive national style in his many songs and choruses, all of which are deeply influenced by the folk and church traditions of Armenia. His work on Armenian folksong is also of musicological importance.

Robert Atayan, revised by Aram Kerovpyan

Both of his parents (his father Gevorg Soghomonian was a cobbler) had gifts for music and poetry; in 1881, however, the boy was orphaned and sent to Armenia to study at the Gevork’ian Theological Seminary in Vagharshapat (now Edjmiadzine), and was ordained as a celibate priest in 1894, being given the name Komitas (a 7th-century Catholicos who was also a hymn composer). There his beautiful voice and his musical talents attracted notice, and under Sahak Amatuni’s guidance he mastered the theory and practice of Armenian liturgical singing. He also made decisive contact with folksong, to the collection and study of which he gave himself wholeheartedly. When he had only just learnt Armenian modern notation he set about recording the songs of the Ararat valley peasants and immigrant Armenians of other regions. Although he had no knowledge of European music theory, he harmonized these songs for performance with a student choir at the academy. His earliest surviving collection of folk melodies dates from ...