(fl Castleton, Derbys., 1723–53). English psalmodist and ?composer. In 1723 he published the first edition of A Book of Psalmody in conjunction with John Barber. A second edition, by Robert Barber alone, followed in 1733, and a third, entitled David’s Harp Well Tuned, in 1753. He also published The Psalm Singer’s Choice Companion in 1727. A Book of Psalmody enjoyed a good deal of popularity in the north Midlands. It was similar to other parochial collections, and most of its contents were derivative. The second edition, however, had a remarkable feature: it included, as well as chants for the canticles, a complete musical setting of Morning Prayer, litany and ante-communion on cathedral lines, but for alto, tenor and bass only. Barber made it clear on the title-page that this was designed for ‘our Country Churches’. He thus brought to its logical conclusion the trend begun by Henry Playford, who published anthems for parish church use in ...
Robert J. Bruce and Ian Bartlett
(b London, bap. Sept 11, 1711; d London, Feb 7, 1779 ). English composer, organist and editor. Though formerly best known for some of his anthems and his editing of Cathedral Music (1760–73), the significant contribution he made to instrumental music, song, secular choral and theatre music in England is now widely recognized.
Boyce’s family came from Warwickshire, where his grandfather was a farmer. His father, John, the youngest of five sons, came to London in 1691 to be apprenticed to a joiner. He settled in the City of London, as a joiner and cabinetmaker, and married Elizabeth Cordwell in 1703. They were living in Maiden Lane (now Skinners Lane) when William, the last of their four children, was born. In 1723 John Boyce was appointed resident beadle for the Joiners’ Company, whose headquarters were situated close to his house. Joiners’ Hall became William’s home for the next 30 years or so....
George J. Buelow
(b Hamburg, Sept 28, 1681; d Hamburg, April 17, 1764). German composer, critic, music journalist, lexicographer and theorist.
Mattheson was the third and only surviving son of Johann Mattheson, a Hamburg tax collector, and Margaretha Höling of Rendsburg (Holstein). Details of Mattheson’s life come largely from his autobiography published in the Grundlage einer Ehren-Pforte. His education was exceptionally broad, perhaps because his parents hoped he would gain a position in Hamburg society. At the Johanneum he received a substantial background in the liberal arts, including musical instruction from Kantor Joachim Gerstenbüttel. He also had private instruction in dancing, drawing, arithmetic, riding, fencing, and English, French and Italian. At six he began private music lessons, studying the keyboard and composition for four years with J.N. Hanff (later organist at Schleswig Cathedral), taking singing lessons from a local musician named Woldag and instruction on the gamba, violin, flute, oboe and lute. At nine Mattheson was a child prodigy, performing on the organ and singing in Hamburg churches. His voice was of such quality that Gerhard Schott, manager of the Hamburg opera, invited him to join the company, and he sang in J.W. Franck’s opera ...
(b Piedmont, ?c1725; d Paris, c1785). Italian composer, violin and viola teacher and music publisher, active in France. He called himself ‘le cadet’ or ‘le jeune’ until 1763–4, when his elder brother probably died. Three of his first four published works were dedicated to Parisians who apparently were his patrons or pupils. In 1765 he began an enterprise which was to be much more important than his compositions or teaching: he and the German painter Johann Anton de Peters (1725–95) founded the first Parisian musical subscription and lending establishment, the Bureau d’Abonnement de Musique. For two years La Chevardière and other publishers fought the new Bureau in court, involving hundreds of musicians on either side; the decision in 1767 was in favour of the Bureau, which continued to operate until at least 1789. Miroglio was listed in periodicals as a composer and teacher up to ...
David Johnson and Heather Melvill
(b Crail, bap. March 21, 1710; d Knebworth, Herts., Jan 2, 1769). Scottish composer, publisher, arranger and cellist. His father, John Oswald (d Berwick-upon-Tweed, bur. 2 Oct 1758), a skilled musician, was town drummer of Crail and later became leader of the town waits at Berwick-upon-Tweed; his brother Henry (b Crail, 1714) also became a professional musician. By 1734 Oswald was teaching dancing in Dunfermline. A sketchbook (Lord Balfour of Burleigh’s private collection, microfilm in GB-En ) shows many features of his compositional style already in place. A set of tunes for scordatura violin (in The Caledonian Pocket Companion, x, c1760), dedicated to patrons in the Fife and Tayside area, was probably written at this time, along with the airs for violin and continuo The braes of Ballendine and Alloa House (in A Curious Collection of Scots Tunes, 1740). In 1735...
Douglas A. Lee and Gregory Butler
(b Nuremberg, bap. April 20, 1705; bur. Nov 27, 1749). German music printer, publisher and composer. He served his apprenticeship as a music engraver in Nuremberg, where he is mentioned as such in church records in 1726. He is almost certainly the same Balthasar Schmid who enrolled in Leipzig University on 13 March 1726, for he appears as engraver of the musical text of J.S. Bach's keyboard Partitas nos.1 (1726) and 2 (1727). This is supported by Ernst Ludwig Gerber's attribution of the success of these works to Schmid's engraving. While in Leipzig Schmid honed his engraving skills as journeyman and may have studied with Bach. From the first documented publication of one of his works, on 7 August 1729, Schmid engraved, printed and published a work of his almost yearly for the next decade. In 1734 he engraved the title-page of Bach's Clavier-Übung II...
revised by Marc Vanscheeuwijck
(b Bologna, Jan 21, 1672; d Bologna, 1727/8). Italian music publisher and composer. Son of the Bolognese music publisher Marino Silvani, he and his brother Matteo took over the business after their father’s death in 1711. He became the sole owner probably in 1712, and certainly by 1716. Continuing his father's work he published compositions and treatises by Bolognese and Modenese musicians, including G.P. Colonna, Berardi, Arcangelo Corelli, Domenico Gabrielli, Bononcini and Attilio Ariosti, while extending his well-organized catalogue to include the works of younger Emilian composers such as Aldrovandini, Pistocchi, P.F. Tosi and Mazzaferrata. However, the publishing house of Silvani found itself in serious financial difficulties in 1723 and had to be mortgaged; evidently the firm was liquidated by 1727. The date of Silvani's death is reported in the index of the Defonti della celebre Accademia de'Filarmonici di Bologna as 1728. However, an index of the firm's printed works dating from ...
Robert L. Marshall
revised by Dianne M. McMullen
[Scholze, Johann Sigismund]
(b Lobendau bei Liegnitz, Silesia, March 20, 1705; d Leipzig, Sept 28, 1750). German poet and musical anthologist. After receiving his schooling in Liegnitz, Sperontes apparently settled in Leipzig some time during the mid-1720s to take up the study of law. There is, however, no official record of his matriculation at the University of Leipzig. His career as a poet and amateur musician had its roots in his association with university student groups and later with a number of Leipzig’s musical and literary ‘societies’. Sperontes, in fact, may well have written his Singspiel Der Frühling (1749, the music, now lost, by one Johann Gottlieb August Fritzsch) and perhaps also the anonymous Der Winter for one of the collegia musica of Leipzig. Similarly, his pastoral plays, Das Kätzgen (1746), Die Kirms (1746) and Das Strumpfband (1748), could have originated in the circle surrounding the leading Leipzig poet of the time, Johann Christoph Gottsched, to which Sperontes evidently belonged....
Manuel Carlos De Brito
(b Barcelona, c1670; d Lisbon, 1736). Catalan printer, composer and poet. The son of a singer, he was probably the harpist Sagau who in 1689 replaced Felip Roca in Barcelona Cathedral. He may have acquired his printer’s skills through his contacts in Madrid with Joseph de Torres y Martinez Bravo, who had founded his Imprenta de Musica there by 1699. Sagau arrived in Lisbon in 1708 in the retinue of the Jesuit diplomat Álvaro Cienfuegos, who assisted in arranging the marriage of João V with Princess Marianna, daughter of Leopold I of Austria, and remained under his protection until 1715. On his arrival in Lisbon he began composing Italian-style cantatas on Spanish texts in the new queen’s honour and from 1713 onwards he also wrote music for palace festivities such as the zarzuela El poder de la armonía (1713), and an oratorio and various villancicos for Lisbon Cathedral, the Church of S Justa and the Convento da Esperança (...
(b Sittingbourne, Kent, bap. April 2, 1688; d London, Sept 18, 1744). English dramatist, librettist and editor. He first wrote for the stage in 1708, when his play The Persian Princess was performed at the Drury Lane Theatre. His early work included translating plays by Sophocles and Aristophanes as well as writing articles for newspapers. By 1718 he was working for John Rich at Lincoln's Inn Fields, providing librettos for works such as Pan and Syrinx (14 January 1718), and a run of extremely successful pantomimes including Harlequin Sorcerer (21 January 1725), Apollo and Daphne (14 January 1726), The Rape of Proserpine (13 February 1727) and Perseus and Andromeda (29 January 1730). J.E. Galliard provided the music for many of these works. Among Theobald's later theatre works were librettos for Lampe's Orpheus and Eurydice (Covent Garden, 12 February 1740...
[Burke of Thomond ]
( fl 1739–50). Irish music editor, composer and instrumentalist . The earliest known references to him occur in Dublin newspapers in 1739 and 1740, when he appeared as a soloist playing concertos on the trumpet and the flute. He also performed in England as a flautist, appearing for instance at Ruckholt House, Leyton, on 14 May 1744.
About 1745–50 he issued two books which provide one of the earliest printed sources of Irish traditional airs. The first consisted of 12 Scots and 12 Irish airs, the second of 12 English and 12 Irish airs. Both books, which contain ‘Variations, set for the German Flute, Violin or Harpsichord’, were published for John Simpson of London, reprinted c1765, and re-engraved and published in one volume about 1785 by S., A. & P. Thompson of London under the title Forty-eight English, Irish and Scotch airs. Thumoth's only other known publication is Six Solos for a German Flute, Violin or Harpsichord, the First Three composed by Mr Burk Thumoth, the Three Last by Sigr. Canaby...
(b Madrid, c1670; d Madrid, June 3, 1738). Spanish composer, organist, theorist and publisher. He entered the royal chapel boys’ school in 1680, when he must have been between seven and ten years old. His training as an organist was almost certainly undertaken at the Daroca school by Pablo Bruna, and he was probably tutored in composition by the then master of the royal chapel, Cristóbal Galán. Torres was appointed organist of the royal chapel on 14 December 1686, and taught at the school there from 1689 to 1691.
The forced exile of the maestro de capilla Sebastián Durón, because of his support for the Archduke of Austria in the War of the Spanish Succession, gave rise to a vacancy in the royal chapel which was filled temporarily by Torres from 1708 until his definitive appointment on 3 December 1718. A second chapel functioned from 1721 at La Granja, where the court had moved as a result of the king’s melancholy state of mind. It was dissolved in ...
George J. Buelow
(b Erfurt, Sept 18, 1684; d Weimar, March 23, 1748). German organist, composer, theorist and lexicographer. His father was Johann Stephan Walther, an Erfurt fabric maker; his mother, Martha Dorothea, née Lämmerhirt, was a close relative of J.S. Bach’s family. Walther’s autobiography was published in Mattheson’s Grundlage einer Ehren-Pforte. His education began at the age of four with private instruction; in 1691 he entered the lower school of Erfurt. Organ lessons were begun with Johann Bernhard Bach, organist of the Kaufmannskirche, and continued with his successor, Johann Andreas Kretschmar. Walther said he learnt in less than a year to sing well enough to become a soloist in church music performances. According to Walther, his teacher was Jakob Adlung, but he probably meant David Adlung, the father of Jakob. The latter, born in 1699, became a friend of Walther in the early 1720s and later a prominent Erfurt organist and theorist....