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[Petrus Abailardus]

(b Le Pallet, nr Nantes, 1079; d Saint-Marcel, nr Chalon-sur-Saône, April 21, 1142). French philosopher, poet and musician of Breton origin. After studying philosophy in Paris, he taught dialectic at the cathedral school. His love affair with Heloise, the young niece of Canon Fulbert, brought him fame as a musician. However, after they had secretly married in 1118 Fulbert had Abelard castrated. Heloise became a nun and he became a monk at St Denis. His highly original scholastic method and his restless and blunt nature aroused opposition to his teaching; principal among his opponents was Bernard of Clairvaux. After condemnation by the Council of Sens in 1140, Abelard found support from Peter the Venerable, Benedictine Abbot of Cluny.

Abelard’s songs are few beside his numerous theological and philosophical writings. Heloise’s testimony suggests that his love songs must have been important from both a literary and a musical point of view. In a later letter (probably revised by Abelard) she declared that he had ‘the gift of poetry and the gift of song’; he ‘composed quite a number of metrical and rhythmic love songs. The great charm and sweetness in language and music, and a soft attractiveness of the melody obliged even the unlettered’. These songs, presumably in Latin, have all been lost: they have not been identified among the anonymous repertory....


Colleen Reardon

(b c1580; d Siena, Jan 1642). Italian composer and theorist.

Agazzari’s parents were evidently of Sienese origin, and he himself settled in Siena as a boy and received his training there, perhaps from Francesco Bianciardi. He was organist at Siena Cathedral from 1597 to 1602, when he left to direct the music at the Collegio Germanico, Rome (1602–3). In 1604 he attended the celebrations marking the centenary of Siena’s Accademia degli Intronati. By 1606 he was maestro di cappella at the Seminario Romano, but returned to Siena in 1607 after being blacklisted by the Cappella Sistina. In the following years he was organist at Siena Cathedral on three different occasions: in 1609, 1611–17, and 1629–33; he also served for two short periods as music director at S Maria di Provenzano, Siena, 1617–19 and 1620–?1622. Not until February 1641 was he appointed maestro di cappella...


Anna Maria Busse Berger

(b Schwiebus [now Świebodzin, Poland], c1486; d Magdeburg, June 10, 1556). German music theorist, teacher and composer. According to his own statements, he came from a peasant family and was largely self-taught in music. By 1520 he was in Magdeburg working as a music teacher. He became choirmaster of the Protestant Lateinschule in about 1525 and retained this position until his death.

Agricola was one of the earliest teachers of music to realize Luther's wish to incorporate music as a central component of Protestant education. His foremost aim in educating students and congregation was to present material as clearly as possible and to reach a large audience. It was for this reason that his early treatises were written in German rather than the customary Latin. His translation of the terms clavis (as Schlüssel), vox (as Stimme or Silbe) and scala (as Leiter) are still used today. His desire to relate music education to everyday life can be seen in his modernization of old-fashioned rules of harmonic and rhythmic proportions, which he related to commercial arithmetic, in particular the Rule of Three, which formed the most important component of arithmetic instruction in Latin schools. He was the only theorist to consider ...


(b Spanish Basque region, c1755; d San Sebastián, June 23, 1831). Spanish composer and theorist. After serving as maestro de capilla in San Sebastián, he took up the same post in Logroño collegiate church during the French invasion (1795). Five years later he returned to San Sebastián as maestro de capilla at S María la Redonda, where he remained until 1829. He composed a large number of sacred works, which enjoyed great success throughout northern Spain during his lifetime, in particular masses, Vespers, the Office for the Dead, motets and villancicos, many of which survive in manuscript at the churches which he served. He also wrote some piano music (of which a sonata is edited in J. Nin’s Classiques espagnols du piano, i, 1925) and a 133-page theoretical work, Instrucción metódica, especulativa, y prática, para enseñar á cantar y tañer la música moderna y antigua...


Robert Shay

(b Westminster, London, Jan 1648; d Oxford, Dec 14, 1710). English scholar, composer and music collector. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford (after early training in mathematics at Westminster School), in 1662, receiving the BA, MA and DD degrees in 1666, 1669 and 1682 respectively. He took holy orders and was assigned the rectorate at Wem, Shropshire, but chose to remain at Christ Church, becoming a canon in 1681 and dean (a unique position in Oxford as head of both college and cathedral) in 1689, also serving as vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, 1692–5. He was a leader of the Oxford resistance to James II's Catholic advances, and under William III he became one of the chief defenders of High Church practices, publicly opposing both the comprehension of non-Anglicans and revisions to the prayer book. He was an industrious and practically minded scholar, producing books on logic, heraldry and architecture, designing a number of Oxford buildings, serving as draftsman and engraver for the Oxford Almanacks, and producing a sizable body of compositions for the English cathedral service. His account of Greek music survives in manuscript (...


Dennis Libby

revised by Emanuele Senici

(b Rome, June 29, 1801; d Rome, June 12, 1863). Italian musicologist and composer. Ordained a Roman priest in 1823, his life was entirely directed towards the deliverance of liturgical music from what he saw as the debased theatrical style of contemporary composers and the neglect and incompetence of singers and organists in regard to Gregorian chant and Renaissance music. He contributed most importantly to this goal through his editions, particularly the Raccolta di musica sacra (Rome, 1841–6), the seven volumes of which provided the first large modern collection of Palestrina's music. Palestrina was Alfieri's ideal for new church music, which, according to his Ristabilimento, should be grave, succinct and suited in expression to the words, which were to be presented clearly and with few repetitions. His own compositions, many of them published at Rome, exemplified these principles.

Alfieri was also a pioneer in Italy in the historical study of Gregorian chant, which he sought to restore to its original purity, although along lines that now appear somewhat arbitrary and subjective. His early ...


Eleanor Selfridge-Field

(b Rimini, c1600; d Rimini, c1678). Italian composer and author. He was a priest and maestro di cappella of Rimini Cathedral. From 1649 he was librarian of the Biblioteca Gambalunghiana, Rimini. He wrote literary and historical works; all his music dates from his early years. He had some connection with the pseudonymous composer Accademico Bizzarro Capriccioso, to each of whose opp.1 and 2 (1620–21) he contributed a madrigal, one for two voices, the other for three. As a composer he is known mainly for three volumes of sacred music written mostly in a simple style suited to the needs of a provincial maestro di cappella: 14 eight-voice psalms with organ continuo, op.1, a book of four- and five-voice concertato masses, op.2 (incomplete), and four masses and two motets with organ continuo, op.3 (all Venice, 1623). The description ‘a tre voci variate’ of op.3 refers to an unusual arrangement of partbooks – one each for the highest, middle and lowest voices....


Dimitri Conomos


(b Edessa [now Urfa], July 11, 154; d Edessa, 222). Syrian hymnographer, astrologer and philosopher. Born into a pagan priestly family, he was educated by a pagan priest but baptized as a Christian, and in 179 he was ordained deacon and priest. Later denounced as a heretic and excommunicated (c216), he fled to Armenia and there taught a kind of astrological fatalism. Bardaisan has been erroneously regarded as a leader of the oriental school of gnosticism founded by Valentinus. His theology, which in fact combined Christian doctrine with astrological and philosophical speculation, is known from the works of later Christian writers such as Eusebius and Ephrem Syrus, who strongly denounced it, and from Bardaisan’s own Dialogue with Antonius concerning Destiny (or Book of the Laws of the Lands), which is the oldest surviving document in Syriac.

Bardaisan wrote many hymns (madrāshe) in Syriac, which his disciples translated into Greek. They included 150 psalms in pentasyllabic metre, reportedly modelled on those of David, through which he popularized his heretical doctrines (Bardaisan’s son Harmonius is said to have written the tunes). The stanzas of the ...


Teresa M. Gialdroni

(b Novara, Dec 5, 1940). Italian musicologist and liturgist. He studied the violin with Ricciardi (1948–59) and musicology, first in Cologne with Gustav Fellerer, Heinrich Hüschen and Marius Schneider, and later in Erlangen with Bruno Stäblein (1959–63). He obtained the doctorate in 1964 from Cologne University with a dissertation on Offertories in the Ambrosian liturgy. He was a Benedictine monk until 1996 and was Abbot at the Noci Abbey, Bari. He has taught theology in seminaries in Genoa (1976–7) and Novara (1979–80), history of liturgy and codicology at the Institute of Pastoral Liturgy in Padua (1973–81) and Gregorian chant and liturgical codicology at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome (1982–95), where he also became dean in 1988. He teaches the history of liturgy at the School of Musical Palaeography and Philology, University of Pavia, and liturgical codicology at the University of Cassino. His main fields of research are Gregorian chant, palaeography and musical semiology, liturgy and codicology....


John Clapham

(b Přerov, Feb 20, 1523; d Moravský Krumlov, Nov 24, 1571). Czech music theorist, hymnographer, grammarian and poet. He studied theory under Listenius and Hermann Finck at Wittenberg University from 1544. After a short period at Mladá Boleslav (1548–9) he continued his education at Königsberg and Basle. He was a fine linguist who strove to preserve the purity of his native tongue and succeeded in bridging the gulf between Christianity and humanism. He was ordained at Mladá Boleslav in 1553, and became a bishop of the Fraternity of Czech (or Moravian) Brethren in 1557. In the following year he established himself at Ivančice, where before long he installed a printing press. Towards the end of his life he moved to Moravský Krumlov.

His treatise Musica: to gest knjžka zpěwákům, published in Olomouc in 1558 (ed. and Eng. trans. in Sovík), is believed to be the first on music theory in the Czech language, but its information is derived from the writings of Listenius, Finck, Ornithoparchus and Coclico. Blahoslav wrote two entirely new sections for the second edition giving critical and practical advice to singers and choirmasters, and guidance to composers of hymns: he emphasized the need for the musical rhythm to correspond with the ...


Yolande de Brossard

(b Dompierre, bap. Sept 12, 1655; d Meaux, Aug 10, 1730). French priest, theorist, composer, lexicographer and bibliophile. He was descended from a family founded by Antoine de Brossard (b c1286), a natural son of Charles de Valois (son of Philip the Bold) and Hélène Broschart, daughter of the king's treasurer. Sébastien was the last of a family of glass-blowers from lower Normandy. He studied at the Jesuit college in Caen and then attended that city's famous university, studying philosophy for two years and theology for three. When he turned to music, therefore, he was self-taught; he studied the lute, copying and composing pieces for the instrument. He took minor orders in 1675 and became a sub-deacon the next year, but the date when he became a priest is not known, nor is the date of his arrival in Paris. He was living there in ...


Sarah Fuller

[Guido Cariloci, Guy de Cherlieu]

(fl 1132–57). Cistercian monk and abbot of the monastery at Cherlieu from 1132–57. In some manuscripts known in the 18th and 19th centuries, the preface to the Cistercian Gradual, Cantum quem Cisterciensis ordinis, bore an attribution to Guido of Cherlieu. Since these manuscripts have now disappeared, it is impossible to evaluate their testimony. There is a distinct possibility that Guido of Cherlieu is an alternative name for ...


Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Lanfranchinus][Gafori, Franchino]

(b Lodi, 14 Jan 1451; d Milan, 24 June 1522). Italian theorist, composer, and choirmaster. At home in both speculative and practical music, he was the first theorist to have a substantial number of his writings published, and his influence can be traced for more than a century, both in Italy and abroad.

Much of our knowledge stems from the contemporary biography by Pantaleone Malegolo, printed in the De harmonia: Gaffurius was born in Lodi to the soldier Bettino from Almenno in the territory of Bergamo and to Caterina Fissiraga of Lodi. He began theological studies early, at the Benedictine monastery of S. Pietro in Lodi Vecchio (where he was still present in September 1473) and was ordained priest in late 1473 or 1474. His first instructor in music was Johannes Bonadies (or Godendach); Malegolo implies that this was in Lodi, where he briefly returned to sing in the cathedral on Ascension Day, ...



(b c1430; d Oct or Nov 1487). English theorist and composer. His father’s name was William. Nothing is known of his early life, nor where and when he became a Carmelite friar and obtained the master’s degree in sacred theology (in 1467 he is called ‘magister’). He may be identical with the John Otteby, Carmelite friar of the Oxford convent, who was ordained subdeacon on 18 December 1451 in Northampton (Emden, p.1409; the belief that Hothby studied at Oxford in 1435 rests on a mistaken identification, p.969). Before settling in Lucca, where he was installed as chaplain of the altar of S Regolo at the Cathedral of S Martino in February 1467 with the obligation to teach plainchant and polyphony, he had, by his own account (Epistola), travelled in Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain (‘Britania magiore’), and Spain. In the Excitatio quaedam musice artis he refers to his fellow student at the University of Pavia, Johannes Gallicus (here called ‘Johannes Legiensis’); this may have been before Gallicus completed his treatise ...


Sarah Fuller

(b 1163; d Jan 27, 1225). French chronicler of St Martial of Limoges and monk. Received as a boy scholar at St Martial in 1177, Itier held a succession of important offices, culminating in appointments as librarian (1204) and precentor (by 1211), posts he evidently held concurrently. Annotations in Itier's hand, scattered through surviving remnants of the St Martial library, testify to his interest in preserving the monastery books. One manuscript that he had bound includes a collection of early polyphonic music. Other musical manuscripts from the St Martial collection very probably owe their survival to his care.

Although not himself a professional scribe, Itier had charge of the monastery scriptorium and knew how to notate music. One composition in his hand, a Parisian motet based on the duplum of Perotinus's four-voice organum Sederunt ( F-Pn lat.2208, f.1), shows a musical connection between Paris and St Martial in Itier’s lifetime. The chronicle written by Itier is a central source of information on the monastery....


Bernarr Rainbow

( b London, March 16, 1823; d London, March 18, 1889). English church musician and composer . He was a pupil of Thomas Adams, J.A. Hamilton and G.A. Griesbach, and began his career in 1841 as organist of St Peter’s, Eaton Square. After holding similar posts at St George’s, Albemarle Street (1843), and St Paul’s, Portman Square (1845), he was appointed choirmaster (1847) and organist (1849) at King’s College, London. While at King’s he came under the influence of William Dyce, professor of fine arts, whose recent scholarly investigation of the principles of plainchant had prepared the way for its use in the Anglican service. Monk assisted in that development by contributing the first articles on the subject to the journal of the Tractarian Society for Promoting Church Music, the Parish Choir (1846–51), of which he later became musical editor....


Nicholas Temperley

(b London, Aug 12, 1825; d Hereford, April 6, 1889). English church musician, scholar and composer. His father, Sir Gore Ouseley (1770–1844), a noted orientalist, was successively ambassador to Persia and to Russia, and was made a baronet in 1808; he was also an amateur musician, and helped found the Royal Academy of Music in 1822. His only son, named after the boy’s godfathers, Frederick, Duke of York, and Arthur, Duke of Wellington, was educated at home in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. In 1840 he was sent as a pupil to James Joyce, vicar of Dorking, who instructed him in the classics and theology. In 1843 he entered Christ Church, Oxford, and the following year inherited his father’s title and estate. He graduated BA in 1846 and received the DMus in 1854. From 1846, when he moved to London, he sang as a lay member of the newly surpliced choir of St Paul’s, Knightsbridge, under its Tractarian vicar W.J.E. Bennett; after his ordination in ...


Nicolae Gheorghiță

(b Achaias, Palaias Patras, Peloponnese, Greece, 1777; d Bucharest, Oct 10, 1821). Greek composer, psaltēs, teacher, historian, poet, copyist, and calligrapher. He studied Byzantine chant with his father Athanasios (the personal physician to Sultan Abdul Hamit (d 1789) and a servant of the Great Church), and with Iakovos Protopsaltēs (d 1800) and Petros Byzantios Fygas (d 1808) at the School of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople. In 1797 he settled in Bucharest, taking courses at the Princely Academy and at the same time teaching ecclesiastical chant at Căldărușani Monastery (1797–1809) and the schools of psaltic music in Bucharest (1809–16). He was acknowledged as an excellent performer on the tambur and keman, but also played the piano. He was the author of a musical grammar, The Theoretical and Practical Didaskalia of Church Music Written in Particular for the Tambur and Keman Instruments...


Katy Romanou


(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 (...


(b Rio de Janeiro, Feb 4, 1696; d Salvaterra, Portugal, Jan 31, 1759). Portuguese writer on music. Before becoming a calced Carmelite his name was José Pereira de Sá Bacon. He studied at Olinda (Brazil) and at Coimbra, there obtaining the doctorate in theology on 17 May 1725...