(b Mantes-la-Jolie, 5/June 6, 1665; d Paris, July 6, 1734). French composer, harpsichordist, theorist and teacher. He probably learnt music in the maîtrise of the collegiate church of Notre Dame, Mantes, and in that of Evreux Cathedral. According to the Etat actuel de la Musique du Roi (1773) he then studied with Caldara in Rome. In 1692 Bernier was living in the rue Tiquetonne in Paris and was teaching the harpsichord. On 20 November 1693 he failed to win the post of maître de musique at Rouen Cathedral in competition with Jean-François Lalouette. He was appointed head of the maîtrise of Chartres Cathedral on 17 September 1694 and remained there until 18 March 1698, when he obtained a similar position at St Germain-l'Auxerrois, Paris. A Te Deum performed before the king at Fontainebleau on 24 October 1700 was very successful, and was sung again in several Parisian churches in ...
(b nr Tours, 1711; d Paris, 1769). French theorist, composer and cellist. The Marquise de Villeroy was for a time his pupil and patron. He claimed the discovery of a third mode (‘mode mixte’) between major and minor, and his theories provoked controversy and criticism (from Daquin, La Borde and others); after the performance of his symphony in the newly discovered third mode, on 30 May 1751, Rousseau published a sympathetic comment in the Mercure de France (June 1751), and Blainville himself replied (November 1751 and May 1752) to objections such as those of J.A. Serre (January 1752).
In his L'esprit de l'art he discussed aspects of vocal composition and performance: recitative, ariette, the voice, accompaniment and expression. His last theoretical work, the Histoire générale et philologique (dedicated to the Duchesse de Villeroy) has a final section on harmonic theory, in which he tried to demonstrate that the method of ‘counterpoint’ (of Corelli, Lully and Campra) is preferable to that of the ...
(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 ...
(b Lucca, bap. Dec 5, 1687; d Dublin, Sept 17, 1762). Italian composer, violinist and theorist. His contemporaries in England considered him the equal of Handel and Corelli, but except for the concerti grossi op.3, a few sonatas and the violin treatise, little of his musical and theoretical output is known today. He was, nevertheless, one of the greatest violinists of his time, an original if not a prolific composer and an important theorist.
Although the exact date is not known, Geminiani was probably born two days before his baptism, on 3 December 1687, the feast day of St Francis Xavier. His father, Giuliano, a violinist in the Cappella Palatina of Lucca, may have been his first violin teacher. Several contemporary sources name Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti and Carlo Ambrogie Lonati as his teachers. It is still not certain where and when he received his musical training, but we may assume it to have been when he was not in Lucca. His name figures in the register of S Maria Corteorlandini, the parish to which the Geminiani family belonged, between ...
revised by Gabriella Biagi Ravenni
(b Lucca, 1663; d Lucca, Jan 1745). Italian composer, theorist and violinist. He was appointed as a violinist to the Cappella di Palazzo, Lucca, on 13 April 1688, remaining in that post until January 1742. Ill-health probably caused his retirement, when he relinquished the post in favour of his son Angelo Paolino. During his final years he worked as a violinist in the cappella musicale of S Maria Corteorlandini, also in Lucca. Composition seems to have occupied him somewhat fitfully; his most prolific period, between 1697 and 1705, coincides with the activity of his brother Bartolomeo as a music publisher in Lucca. Giovanni Lorenzo played an active role in the early years of the publishing venture: he requested subventions from the government of the Republic of Lucca and the imprint ‘per i Gregorj’ appears in the first two publications, his treatise Il principiante di musica and Francesco Gasparini's op.1 cantatas. The music to Gregori's most ambitious works, five oratorios (probably all written for the Chirstmas festivities at S Maria Corteorlandini), for three of which he also wrote the librettos, is lost. He was a noted teacher and theorist: five editions of his elementary textbook ...
Alice Lawson Aber-Count
(b Navalmoral, Toledo, ?1633–43; d Toledo, before July 21, 1713). Spanish harpist, theorist, composer and teacher. Undoubtedly the theorist Andrés Lorente (see Jambou) and the Court harpist Juan de Navas were among his teachers. Huete was the harpist at Toledo Cathedral from 13 October 1681 to 14 June 1710; however he is remembered chiefly for his Compendio numeroso de zifras armónicas, con theórica, y pràctica para arpa de una orden y arpa de dos órdenes, y de órgano (Madrid, 1702–4), which marks the climax of a golden period for the two harp types (single-rank diatonic and two-rank chromatic) predominant in Spain between 1550 and 1700. Part i of the treatise (1702), containing secular pieces, is divided into three books for the beginner, intermediate and advanced player. Part ii (1704), containing sacred pieces, also consists of three books; the first contains 26 pasacalles which demonstrate Huete’s 11-mode system; the second presents the modes in descending and ascending octaves; and the third consists of psalm settings for voice(s), harp and/or organ (the organ is secondary to the harp in the treatise). The ...
(bap. Brunswick, Dec 30, 1691; d Amsterdam, Dec 17, 1765). German composer, harpsichordist and theorist. He had his first musical education from his father, Heinrich Lorentz Hurlebusch, who was a scholar and an accomplished harpsichordist and organist; through him he became acquainted with the music of Buxtehude, Reincken and the French harpsichordists. In 1715, he left Brunswick and went to Hamburg and Vienna, where he spent two years; from 1718 he travelled in Italy as a harpsichord virtuoso, visiting Massa and Venice among other places. Early in 1721 he returned to Germany and spent several weeks at the court of the Elector of Bavaria, but declined a position at that court for religious reasons. In August 1721 he returned to Brunswick, where he composed his first Italian opera, L’innocenza difesa; there too he refused an offer, repeated in 1722, of a post as court musician in the service of the Duke of Brunswick. At the end of the year he accepted the King of Sweden’s invitation to become Kapellmeister at his court, but he had resigned by Easter ...
George J. Buelow
(b Leipzig, c1670; d Stockholm, April 6, 1748). German organist, lutenist, composer and theorist. Nothing is known about his life before 1711 when he was in Stockholm as organist at the Jacobskyrka and as carillonneur at the German Church. Only vague evidence connects him with Leipzig and Hamburg, where he may have been a captain in the military. Kellner was one of the last of the lutenist virtuoso-composers. His only extant composition is a collection of 17 lute pieces (XVI [sic] Auserlesene Lauten-Stücke, Hamburg, 1747) in various dance forms, as well as more extended pieces described as fantasies and variations on a chaconne in A major. In 1720 Kellner composed a ‘musicalisches Concert’, Der frolockende Parnassus, for the name day (18 July) of King Frederick I of Sweden.
Kellner’s primary fame rests on his popular thoroughbass manual, Treulicher Unterricht im General-Bass, published in Hamburg in ...
(b Goslar, 1666; d after 1726). German organist and theoretician . He was educated at the monastery at Hamersleben, where he was later organist. In 1727 he is known to have been the organist at the church of St Wiperti in Quedlinburg.
Meckenheuser’s one known work, Die sogenannte: Allerneueste, musicalische Temperatur (Quedlinburg, 1727), expounds a temperament based on an arithmetical division of the ditonic (Pythagorean) comma. Although seven of the 12 notes of the octave are slightly sharp, the division produces an adequate equal temperament. Meckenheuser, however, encountered difficulties in the practical application of his temperament. Adlung recounted a disastrous episode experienced by Meckenheuser when he tried to tune the organ at Goslar to his monochord: a fault not of the temperament, but of technique. The treatise was directed with considerable bitterness at Mattheson, who Meckenheuser claimed knew nothing of calculation and even less of musical temperament.J. Adlung...
Craig H. Russell
revised by Monica Hall
(b Madrid, July 25, 1673; d Madrid, April 25, 1739). Spanish composer, theorist, and guitarist. He was the eldest son of Juan de Murcia, a native of Guadalajara in the northern part of Castile–La Mancha, and Magdalena Hernández from Madrid. He was baptized at the church of San Sebastián in Madrid on 9 August 1673. In May 1695 he married Josefa García, the daughter of Joseph García and Isabel Pérez de la Parra, from Valdemoro, a village south of Madrid. In May 1729 both Murcia and his wife made Declarations of Poverty (a form of will). Josefa died shortly afterwards. From Murcia’s declaration it seems that they had no children. He bequeathed his music manuscripts to four executors, Pedro Juan and Inigo de Garay y Cochea, Joseph de Quesada, and Manuel de Pereda. Murcia himself died in Madrid on 25 April 1739 and was buried free of charge in the cemetery of La Buena Dicha attached to the Church of San Martín....
(b Pirano, Istria [now Piran, Istra, Slovenia], April 8, 1692; d Padua, Feb 26, 1770). Italian composer, violinist, teacher and theorist.
Tartini's father Giovanni Antonio, of Florentine origin, was general manager of the salt mills in Pirano. Giuseppe, destined for the church by his pious parents, was to have been first a minore conventuale, a branch of the Franciscan order, and subsequently a full priest. To this end he was educated in his native town and then in nearby Capodistria (now Koper, Slovenia) at the scuole pie; as well as the humanities and rhetoric, he studied the rudiments of music. In 1708 he left his native region, never to live there again, but carrying in his memory the peculiarities of the local musical folklore. He enrolled as a law student at Padua University, where he devoted most of his time, always dressed as a priest, to improving his fencing, a practice in which, according to contemporary accounts, few could compete with him. This account of Tartini's youth has been questioned (see, for instance, Capri), but it is supported by contemporary evidence and is consistent with the later development of his personality, characterized by a fiery and stubborn temperament with a strong tendency towards mysticism. These qualities are equally evident in his writings – both letters and theoretical works – and in his compositions....
Craig H. Russell
(fl c1770). Spanish theorist and guitarist . He is known primarily for his guitar treatise, one of the earliest for the six-course instrument, which circulated in manuscript under various titles; copies in the Archivo General de la Nación, Mexico City, and the Newberry Library, Chicago, bear the title E[x]plicación para tocar la guitarra de punteado por mussica, o cifra y reglas utiles para acompañar con ella la parte de el baxo. Vargas drew on Santiago de Murcia’s Resumen de acompañar la parte con la guitarra (Madrid, 1717) and Joseph de Torres y Martińez Bravo’s Reglas generales de acompañar (Madrid, 1702, 2/1736) for the sections on music theory and accompaniment. The treatise deals extensively with most aspects of guitar playing: stringing and tuning the instrument, scordatura tunings, metres, scales, clefs, accidentals, ornaments, left- and right-hand technique, arpeggios, staff notation and tablature. Music examples are numerous and include Spanish, French, Italian and English dances, as well as ...