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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....


Peter Bergquist

revised by Stephen Keyl

[Bickel, Conrad; Pickel, Conrad]

(b Wipfeld, Feb 1, 1459; d Vienna, Feb 4, 1508). German humanist and poet. Son of a vintner, he ran away from home in 1477 and studied at Cologne University for two years. After receiving the baccalaureate he travelled and studied further before matriculating in 1484 at Heidelberg University, where he received the MA within a year. When in 1487 he was crowned Poet Laureate in Nuremberg by Emperor Frederick III, he was the first German to be so honoured. During the next ten years he travelled widely through central Europe, in Italy during the period 1487–9, in Kraków, Danzig (now Gdańsk), Prague and north Germany between 1489 and 1491. In 1491–2 he lectured at Ingolstadt University for a short time. He was in Nuremberg for most of 1493, then in 1494 appointed again at Ingolstadt, where he retained his position until 1497, though spending much of that time in Heidelberg. There he founded the first of his associations of learned men for the advancement of the new humanist literary culture, the Sodalitas Litteraria Rhenana. In ...


Jan Kouba

(b Husinec, Bohemia, ?1371; d Konstanz, July 6, 1415). Czech reformer. He was one of the most influential preachers and teachers at Prague University at the beginning of the 15th century. He was burnt at the stake by order of the Council of Konstanz. He has been associated with a number of Latin and Czech hymns, but there is very little evidence to support his authorship; it seems that he arranged the medieval melody ‘Jesu Kriste, štědrý kněže’ (‘Jesus Christ, thou bountiful prince’) in the Jistebnice Hussite hymnbook, and he may also have arranged or translated the texts of several other hymns, but the best-known one attributed to him, ‘Jesus Christus, nostra salus’, is clearly not by him. Some Czech musicologists (e.g. Nejedlý) have described Hus as the innovator of congregational singing in church, but this practice arose in 15th-century Bohemia only after his death. Hus's aesthetic views on music and singing did not deviate from those of the medieval tradition. Thus musical history was influenced only indirectly by him: the Hussite reformation, of which he was the inspiration, constitutes the first significant chapter in the history of Protestant church music in Europe....


Elżbieta Witkowska-Zaremba

(b Legnica, 1464; d after 1546). German humanist, theorist and composer, active in Poland. He belonged to a German family in Silesia and his true name was probably Weihrauch. In 1494 he began his studies at Kraków University, and later went to Cologne for a time before returning to Kraków in 1501. From 1506 he was probably associated with the Gymnasium of the church of St Maria, Kraków, first as a cantor and from 1514 as rector. In 1511, 1513 and 1520 Liban lectured at Kraków University. About 1530 he travelled to the abbey of St Florian, near Linz. Among his many writings are two music treatises: De accentuum ecclesiasticorum exquisita ratione and De musicae laudibus oratio (both Kraków, c1539). There are also passages on music in his De philosophiae laudibus oratio (Kraków, 1537). All three treatises are reprinted in MMP, ser.D, vi–viii (1975–6...


[BartolomeoRamos de Pareja, Bartolomé]

(b Baeza, Andalucía, c1440; d ?Rome, after 1490). Spanish theorist and composer active in Italy. His life is undocumented; all that is known about him comes from his own testimony or that of later writers. His first teacher was one Johannes de Monte. He claimed to have lectured at the University of Salamanca for a time, though his position (as later in Bologna) may have been unofficial. While there he wrote a treatise in Spanish (perhaps the one he elsewhere referred to as Introductorium seu Isagogicon) and a mass, both now lost. He went to Italy in the 1470s; his extended residence in Bologna is the best-recorded period of his life. There he lectured publicly on music (though not under the auspices of the university) and had private pupils, including Giovanni Spataro. His important Musica practica (ed. J. Wolf, Leipzig, 1901/R; ed. C. Terni, Madrid, ...


Craig Wright

[Jean de Noyers ]

(b c1370; d before Aug 1410). French composer and pedagogue . Tapissier, whose true name was Jean de Noyers, is named along with the composers Susay and Jehan Vaillant in the anonymous Règles de la seconde rhétorique (c1400) as one of the principal French poet-musicians of the day. By 1391 he had been engaged as a chamber valet and court composer to Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. That same year he accompanied Philip and his court on a journey to Milan and Avignon; in the spring of 1395 he made a second visit to Avignon in the ducal service; and in the summer of 1399 he was with Duke Philip in Flanders. The Burgundian court records reveal that Tapissier maintained an ‘escole de chant’ in Paris and that in 1406 three choirboys of the court were sent to his school ‘to learn how to sing’. In ...