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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

Aleyn  

Margaret Bent

(fl c1400). English composer. He was the composer of two works in the Old Hall Manuscript. One is a Gloria (no.8), ascribed to ‘Aleyn’ without initial; it is a homorhythmic setting in score, notable for its sprightly text declamation. The other piece, also in score, is an erased descant setting of Sarum Agnus Dei no.3 (Old Hall, no.128), where the remains of the ascription appears to read ‘W. Aleyn’ (not ‘W. Typp’, as reported in D. Fallows: ...

Article

(b ?Medina del Campo, 1394; ruled 1416–58; d Naples, June 27, 1458). Spanish monarch and patron. He was the son of Fernando I of Antequera and Leonor of Albuquerque. His activity as patron is usually divided into two periods, before and after he had settled in Naples (1433). He was an outstanding patron of minstrels, among them the shawm player Jehan Boisard and the lutenist Rodrigo de la Guitarra. The choir of his royal chapel was, according to his contemporaries, one of the finest of its day. In the two earliest records of its members, dating from 1413 and 1417, there are 13 singers, among them Gacian Reyneau and Leonart Tallender, and two organists. His singers were recruited from Spain, France and Germany: in October 1419 he sent one of them, Huguet lo Franch, to his native land in search of singers, providing him with a letter offering all kinds of privileges. In ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Craft guild embracing harpsichord builders in some European cities, especially in the Low Countries. It was named after St Luke, the patron of painters, and like other guilds was originally a religious organization which evolved into a regulatory and protective association. In Antwerp, the Sint Lucasgilde can be traced back to 1382 and kept records until its closure in 1773. Besides harpsichord builders, its members included painters, gilders, carvers, printers, cabinet makers, and certain other specialists, as well as persons engaged in some seemingly unrelated trades. Notably, women were allowed in the Antwerp guild, but this was uncommon elsewhere. The guild protected its members against outside competition, set standards for workmanship, and regulated training and prices, among other functions. A surviving contract shows that Goosen Karest, although already a journeyman painter for eight years, entered a three-year apprenticeship with his brother, the harpsichord maker Joes Karest, in 1537. Goosen was required to work only for Joes, to provide for his own living, to work 11 to 14 hours per day, by candlelight if necessary, with a 90-minute midday break, and to make up any lost time at the end of the three years, in return for a small daily wage but not room and board....

Article

Jack Sage

[Alfonso X]

(b Toledo, Nov 23, 1221; d Seville, April 4, 1284). Spanish monarch, patron, poet and composer. The son of Ferdinand the Saint, he became King of Castile and León in 1252. ‘El Sabio’ may be taken as both ‘the Wise’ and ‘the Learned’, for Alfonso’s works show his conviction that learning begets wisdom. He was a remarkable patron of the arts, sciences and culture; he recognized the importance of Spain’s Islamic as well as its Roman and Visigothic heritage, and his court became celebrated as a meeting-place for Christian, Islamic and Jewish scholars and artists. He has long stood accused of sacrificing his family relations and political stability to impractical schemes for liberal reform but, though out of favour with those close to him in his latter years, he fostered notable social, educational and judiciary reforms, encouraged the use of the vernacular in learning and art, and made Spain respected in Europe. In ...