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Article

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 ...

Article

(b ?Orzivecchi or Orzinuovi, nr Brescia, c1520; fl 1562–81). Italian theorist and Franciscan friar. He was influenced by Pietro Aaron, to whom he referred as ‘my indisputable teacher’, by Spataro and by Marchetto da Padova. His Illuminata de tutti i tuoni di canto fermo (Venice, 1562) expounds a modal theory applicable to plainchant: a mode is a form of diatonic octave divided into segments of 5th and 4th; corresponding authentic and plagal modes comprise the same segments but in reverse order, and the order of steps within the segments is also reversed, ascending in the authentic and descending in the plagal modes. There are eight regular modes (authentic and plagal) with finals on d, e, f and g, and six irregular modes with finals on a, b and c′. The treatise is largely devoted to modal identification of chants with an ambitus smaller or greater than an octave, or which use more than one mode. Identification is based primarily on the predominance of the segments of a single mode, especially those of the 5th, within a chant, and only secondarily on the final and ambitus. Aiguino’s ...

Article

F.E. Kirby

(b Immecke, nr Meinerzhagen, 1536; d Dortmund, Aug 6, 1609). German theorist, teacher and Kantor. He was educated first in Münster and Dortmund, and later at Cologne University where he received the MA in 1560. After serving as teacher, Kantor and administrator for several years in various schools, mainly in Dortmund, he took up a post in 1567 as Kantor at the famous Reinoldi School there; he became Rektor in 1582 in succession to his former teacher and long-standing friend and colleague, Johann Lambach. His work in this post was widely acclaimed and in 1587 he was made Comes Palatinus by Emperor Rudolf II.

He is important for his treatise Erotematum musicae, originally published in 1573 under the title Musicae erotematum, and subsequently reprinted three times. The treatise, of the musica practica type, presents the fundamentals of music in question and answer form. For his formulations Beurhaus borrowed considerably, as was customary in a treatise of this kind, from other German theorists of the time, notably Agricola, Faber (both Gregor and Heinrich), Figulus, Galliculus, Ornithoparchus, Wilfflingseder and Zanger....

Article

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 ...

Article

Albert Dunning

(b Noyon, July 10, 1509; d Geneva, May 27, 1564). French theologian, one of the leaders of the Reformation in Switzerland.

In 1523 he studied theology in Paris, then studied law in Orléans in 1528 and in Bourges in 1529. In 1531 he returned to Paris to complete his classical studies, publishing a commentary on Seneca’s De clementia in the following year. Between 1528 and 1533 he became converted to reformed doctrines and in 1533 he had to leave Paris when the Lutheran sect at the university was proscribed by the court. He went to Basle at the end of 1534 and began work on his Christianae religionis institutio; in the dedication of the first edition (1536) to François I he called for toleration of Protestants. In 1536 he stayed for a short time at the court of Renée of France in Ferrara, and there met Clément Marot. On his way back to Strasbourg he went to Geneva, where the reformer Guillaume Favel persuaded him to help with the organization of the Church. However, in ...

Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Pre Zanetto]

(b c1490; d Venice, 8 March 1544). Italian theorist. All that is known of his early life is that he was a student of the frottolist Giovanni Battista Zesso of Padua. In 1520 he was a cleric attached to the small parish church of S Sofia, Venice, in the sestiere of Cannaregio, where he remained throughout his life; he became deacon in 1527 and was promoted to titular priest in 1542. Towards the end of his life he published a small and largely insignificant treatise on the fundamentals of music, Breve introduttione (reviewed unfavourably by Pietro Aaron; see SpataroC, no. 66), but his chief claim to fame lies in the correspondence he conducted with the foremost theorists of his time, Giovanni Spataro and Aaron, and a host of lesser musicians. Although his plan to publish his letters failed, his correspondence survives, together with many of the letters written to him (...

Article

F.J. León Tello

(fl mid-16th century). Spanish priest and music theorist. He published an Intonario general para todas las iglesias de España (Zaragoza, 1548), which, he assured the reader, he wrote bearing in mind the revision of the missal ordered by Don Fernando of Aragon, Archbishop of Zaragoza, as well as the reforms carried out in other dioceses and the opinions of qualified people. In the introduction he referred to the archbishop's wish to rid chant of the various abuses that had been committed, and he lamented the lack of unity of style in the playing and singing of church music. He established interesting norms in notation, in plainchant allowing the following note forms: the oblique ligature, various other ligatures, the long, the brevis and the semibrevis. In the case of the first four, he insisted that he was merely stating what already existed; semibreves he admitted as melodic ornaments, though with a different function in certain hymns. The ...

Article

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, ...

Article

(b c1465; d before 1515). English musician. He became a chorister at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in 1474, and was a scholar at Eton College (1479–83). In 1483 he became a clerk at King's College, Cambridge, and later a scholar there. In 1487 he was again a clerk at King's, and by 30 September 1489 was back at St George's Chapel, Windsor, as a clerk. In 1493 he was appointed Master of the Choristers there, and he retained both offices until at least 29 September 1499. He is probably the composer of the incomplete two-part piece that begins Lett serch your myndis, ascribed to ‘Hamshere’ in the Fayrfax manuscript ( GB-Lbl Add.5465; ed. in MB, xxxvi, 1975), an important collection of early Tudor songs. It is possible that this piece was written in honour of one of Henry VII's sons, either Arthur or, less likely, Henry (see Stevens)....

Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

(b Terenzo, nr Parma, c1490; d Parma, late Nov 1545). Italian theorist. In the dedication of the first book of his Scintille di musica he names Lodovico Milanese as his organ teacher (perhaps in Lucca after 1512); the expression ‘mio Burtio Parmegiano’ may indicate that he studied music with Nicolò Burzio or simply denote friendship. He was maestro di cappella at Brescia Cathedral from 1528 to 1535, when he assumed the same post in Verona on 1 April. According to Pietro Aaron, he was forced to flee Verona in 1538 for having violated a boy. He took refuge in a small Augustinian monastery near Bergamo, but on 1 January 1540 he was hired as maestro di cappella at the Chiesa della Madonna della Steccata, where he remained until his death, between July and December 1545.

Lanfranco’s Scintille di musica is the earliest comprehensive treatise on music theory in Italian. Written deliberately in the ‘universale Italiana favella’ (i.e. ...

Article

Robin A. Leaver

(b Eisleben, Nov 10, 1483; d Eisleben, Feb 18, 1546). German theologian and founder of the Lutheran Church. He influenced all 16th-century church reformers to a greater or lesser extent by his writings and activities but, unlike some of them, Luther gave an important place to music.

Luther was the son of a fairly prosperous Thuringian miner, who wanted his son to become a lawyer. He was sent to appropriate Latin schools in Mansfeld and Magdeburg, and to the Georgschule in Eisenach. In 1501 he entered the University of Erfurt, where he took the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Then, following his father’s wishes, he began to study law, but unexpectedly entered the local Augustinian monastery and in 1505 became a monk. In April 1507 he was ordained priest and celebrated his first Mass a month later. Three years later he was commissioned to visit Rome to plead the cause of the reorganization of the Augustinian order. While there he was shocked by the commercialism and worldliness of the Italian clergy....

Article

Don Harrán

(b c1530; d 1590). Rabbi and exegete . Music is treated at length in his sermon Higayon be-khinor (‘Strummings/Meditations on the Lyre’; ed. and Ger. trans. H. Schmueli, Tel Aviv, 1953), the first of 52 sermons in the collection Nefutsot yehudah (‘Judah's Dispersions’; Venice, 1589). In accordance with his belief that the origins of arts and sciences lie in ancient Israel, Moscato traces the beginnings of music to Jubal (not Pythagoras), recognizes the first ‘human’ musician as Moses (not Orpheus), explains the Hebrew origins of musical terms (‘music’ from mezeg, mixture or mood) and finds Hebrew prototypes for musica mundana, or the harmony of the spheres. The main theme pursued in a number of variations is ‘harmony’, which Moscato conceives in cosmic and musical terms. He implies that, in music, ‘harmony’ exists apart from the mode of its composition or realization: thus, by implication, harmony comprises monophony and polyphony, composed and improvised music, vocal and instrumental practices (‘and they will sing to the Lord with a lyre, with a lyre and a singing voice’). Since harmony is perfection, and perfection is consonance, Moscato develops the idea of the octave in its musical and spiritual applications: the octave as a perfect interval is paralleled by the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Simḥat Torah), marking the end of the annual reading of the Torah and its renewal; the study of Torah is the eighth science (beyond the ...

Article

F.J. León Tello

[Despuig, Guillermo ]

( fl late 15th century). Spanish priest and music theorist . Born possibly in Valencia or Tortosa, he is usually identified with the Guillermo de Puig who was curate of S Catalina, Alzira, from 1479 to 1488. A Guillermo Molins de Podio held a benefice at Barcelona Cathedral, and was a chaplain to John II of Aragon in 1474. The relationship between these two clergymen has not been established. The theorist wrote Ars musicorum (Valencia, 1495/R; ed. A. Seay, Colorado Springs, 1978) and In enchiridion de principiis musicae (MS, I-Bc ; ed. Anglès); the latter, apparently intended for Spanish students at Bologna, may be evidence that Podio visited that city. The first treatise comprises eight books and sets out to be exhaustive; an expanded treatment of part of it appears anonymously in In enchiridion. Podio’s musical aesthetic was based on the ideas expounded by Boethius; thus, he regarded music as a mathematical and physical science, integrated into the Quadrivium according to the Pythagorean system. He classified musicians as theoretical or practising exponents, the former, as was customary, being regarded as superior. On several important points he opposed Ramis de Pareia's innovations, particularly in his discussion of the sizes of intervals, where he adhered to Pythagorean arithmetic. In the same way, he retained and discussed the use of Guidonian solmization, rather than adopt Ramis’s syllabic notation. Podio attributed the growth of Roman chant and its relationship to polyphony to Pope Vitalian. ...

Article

(b 1542; d Mantua, 1612). Italian Jewish physician and writer on Hebrew antiquities. He discussed music, at great length, in his final work Shil ṭei ha-gibborim (‘Shields of Heroes’; Mantua, 1612), in which he glorified the ancient Temple, its architecture, its liturgy and its music. Ten of the 90 chapters are devoted to music. Portaleone conceived the music of the Levites after Italian Renaissance practices and humanist music theory: thus the discussion turns on polyphony, lute tablatures, contemporary instruments (in analogy to ancient ones, which are described in considerable detail), modes, the doctrine of ethos, simple and compound intervals and the differentiation between consonance and dissonance. He maintained that music in the Temple was a learned art, acquired after a rigorous course of training; it was notated, thus meant to be preserved; its performance was based on written sources. Portaleone acknowledged Judah Moscato as his teacher, although he noted that they conceived music differently: whereas Moscato spoke, generally, of number, harmony and ‘science’, treating music for its cosmological and spiritual connotations, his pupil was concerned with ...

Article

Clement A. Miller

(b Göttingen, c1518; d Brunswick, Nov 29, 1567). German Kantor and music theorist. He was a Kantor at the school attached to St Martin, Brunswick, from 1551 to 1567. In 1566 he published a treatise entitled Musicae practicae sive artis canendi elementa (4/1596) in which he made use of several principles advocated by leading theorists of the time. Following Sebald Heyden (De arte canendi, Nuremberg, 1540) Roggius advocated reducing the three hexachords to two, one employing B♮ and the other B♭. He also simplified the rules for mutation. From Glarean (Dodecachordon, Basle, 1547) he took the theory of 12 modes. In his section on mensural music he introduced several polyphonic compositions, including Ludwig Senfl's six-voice canon Laudate Dominum and Johannes Heugel's Veni Creator for three voices. Part of the appeal of the treatise was its question-and-answer format, a procedure popular since medieval times. (...

Article

Walter Blankenburg

(b Hersbruck, nr Nuremberg, 5/Dec 6, 1528; d Leipzig, May 12, 1592). German theologian. He attended the Gymnasium in Nuremberg, and as early as 1540 became organist in the castle chapel. As a student in Wittenberg from 1549 he lived in the house of Philipp Melanchthon. In 1558 he second preacher in the Dresden court, but through his involvement in religious quarrels between Lutherans and Philippists (the supporters of Melanchthon), was dismissed in 1564. He obtained an appointment as a professor at Jena in 1565, but was again dismissed after only two years. A move to Leipzig followed, where he taught at the university, became a minister at the Thomaskirche, and was later city superintendent. Except for a period of two years between 1572 and 1574 when he was granted leave of absence to supervise the reform of the church in Brunswick and Oldenburg, he remained active in Leipzig until ...

Article

Dragotin Cvetko

revised by Clytus Gottwald

(b Rašica, nr Turjak, June 9, 1508; d Derendingen, June 28, 1587). Slovenian theologian. He studied theology in Trieste (where he was a singer in Bishop Bonomo’s chapel) and in Vienna. A Catholic priest in several places in Slovenia, he became a supporter of the Reformation and in 1548 had to flee to Nuremberg. He preached at Rothenburg ob der Tauber, officially joining the Protestant sect, and was later pastor in Kempten and Urach. In 1561 he returned to Slovenia and became a member of the Reformation movement there. He became superintendent in Ljubljana but was again forced into exile in 1565, at first in Tübingen, and in 1566 in Lauffen and Derendingen, where he stayed until his death. His funeral sermon was given by Jakob Andreä, chancellor of Tübingen University.

Trubar was notable chiefly as the leader of the Reformation in Slovenia, where he strongly emphasized the importance of music in Protestant schools and churches. He is also noteworthy for having arranged and edited the first Slovenian hymnbook, ...

Article

(b ?Leipzig, Sept 29, 1526; d Torgau, March 10, 1606). German theorist, editor and Kantor . In 1544 he matriculated at Wittenberg University where he was a pupil and supporter of Coclico; he also held a post in the cathedral Kantorei there, serving under Johann Walter (i). In 1549 on the recommendation of Melanchthon he was appointed Kantor in Meissen, succeeding Johann Reusch. Later the same year he left to take up a similar post in Torgau as successor to Johann Walter (i); he retired from this post in 1604.

Vogt’s most important work is the Definitio, divisio musices, et eius subdivisio (Basle, 1557); it is thought to have been reprinted twice in 1575 under different titles: Stoicheoisis harmonica and Systemata seu scala harmonica. Printed on a large sheet and folded at the centre, this presents in schematic form a classification of the whole field of music, together with humanistic poems by Coler, Diaconus, Fabricius, Melanchthon and Siberus, diagrams representing the mathematical ratios of the musical intervals, two short two-part canons and pictorial representations of legendary figures important in music (e.g. Tubal, Pythagoras, Orpheus), each of which is accompanied by two lines of Latin verse (distichs)....