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Article

Anna Maria Busse Berger

(fl early 16th century). South Netherlandish scribe. He was previously thought to be a theorist and priest at the church of St Martin at Akkergem near Ghent, but was in fact Anthony of St Maartensdijk, a small town on the Dutch island of Tholen. He copied folios 63–206 of the manuscript ...

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

Claude V. Palisca

(b c1540; d Bologna, Aug 18, 1613). Italian theorist, polemicist and composer. He was one of the leading Italian theorists in the years around 1600, specially notable for his criticisms from a traditional viewpoint of certain modern tendencies in the music of his day.

Except for becoming embroiled in several musical polemics, Artusi led a quiet, studious life as a canon regular in the Congregation of S Salvatore at Bologna, where there was an important and sumptuous library of Greek and Latin manuscripts and books. He entered the order on 14 February 1562 and professed on 21 February 1563. He studied for a time in Venice with Zarlino, to whom he always remained devoted, honouring him during his lifetime with a compendium of Le istitutioni harmoniche and after his death with a learned eulogy by way of an explication of his teacher's emblem or device, Impresa del molto rev. Gioseffo Zarlino...

Article

[Johann]

(b Tonnedorf, nr Erfurt; d Eisenberg, nr Gera, Jan 22, 1617). German writer on music, composer and schoolmaster. In 1579 he was teaching at the Lateinschule at Ronneburg, near Gera, and in 1591 he was Rektor of the Lateinschule at Gera. Later he was a preacher at Bernsdorf, near Torgau, at Munich and at Krossen, near Gera, and from ...

Article

Pierre M. Tagmann

revised by Giovanni Maria Bacchini

[Fra Teodoro del Carmine]

(b Mantua; fl 1588–1607). Italian singer, composer and theorist. Canal erroneously gave his first name as Girolamo. He was a Carmelite priest. While at the Mantuan court, he wrote a treatise, De musica, now lost. In 1588 he published a madrigal, Più che Diana, in Alfonso Preti’s L’amoroso caccia (RISM 1588¹4), a collection consisting of compositions by Mantuan musicians primarily associated with the church. He also published a book of masses, the Missarum quinque et sex vocum, liber primus (Venice, 1589). In a letter dated 26 November 1594 to the vicar-general of the Carmelite order, Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga requested that Bacchini, a ‘musico castrato’, be exempt from wearing his monk’s habit while singing in the court chamber. In 1594 he accompanied the duke to the Reichstag in Regensburg and in the following year, along with Monteverdi, G.B. Marinone, Serafino Terzi and other musicians from the Gonzaga court, took part in the duke’s military expedition to southern Hungary. A Mantuan court secretary, Fortunato Cardi, described musical performances directed by Monteverdi, in which Bacchini took part, on the eve of the Battle of Visegrad. It has been suggested that Bacchini sang the part of Euridice in the first performances of Monteverdi’s ...

Article

James Haar

(b Venice, May 20, 1470; d Rome, Jan 11, 1547). Italian literary theorist and poet. Born into the Venetian aristocracy, he had a typical humanist upbringing broadened by frequent journeys with his father, an ambassador of the Venetian republic. After two years (1492–4) spent studying Greek in Messina, Bembo spent a year at the University of Padua. In 1497 he went to Ferrara, remaining at the d'Este court for two years. There he took an active part in courtly life and made many friends, including Ariosto, Tebaldeo and the Latin poet Ercole Strozzi. At that time he began his first vernacular work, Gli asolani.

In 1501 Aldo Manuzio published Bembo's edition of Petrarch; in 1502 his edition of Dante appeared. Both are volumes of fundamental importance in Italian philology and represent the foundation of Bembo's interest in Tuscan as a literary language. During another stay in Ferrara (...

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

[Corneille de] [Montfort, Corneille de]

(b Montfoort, nr Utrecht, c1540; fl 1571–86). Dutch composer and music theorist, active in the Franche-Comté. He was also a doctor, astrologer, mathematician and poet. He wrote two Latin poems, published in 1581, in honour of the Florentine mathematician and theologian Francesco Giuntini. According to Du Verdier he also wrote several ephemerides mostly issued under the pseudonym Imbert de Billy; in these Billy is described as ‘natif de Charlieu en Lyonnais’ and tailor to the Baron of Saint Amour (Louis de La Baume, to whom Blockland’s musical Instruction was dedicated). That Billy was in fact Blockland seems to be confirmed by Billy’s Almanach pour l’an 1582 (Lyons, 1582); in the address to the councillors and bourgeois of Lons-le-Saulnier the author declared that he was merely the mouthpiece for ‘le docteur de Montfort’ who had recently settled in the town. He described Montfort as of noble birth, raised in the Catholic religion, and ‘educated at good and famous universities’. This attempt to impress the town councillors and ecclesiastical authorities suggests that Blockland may have been suspected and persecuted as a Protestant. The same ...

Article

Iain Fenlon

(b Bologna, Aug 24, 1531; d Sant’Alberto, nr Bologna, Sept 30, 1612). Italian scholar, mathematician, architect, music theorist, composer and poet. The illegitimate son of Giovanni Battista Bottrigari, a wealthy Bolognese aristocrat, and Cornelia (alias Caterina) de' Chiari of Brescia, he was legitimized on 16 August 1538 and then raised in his father's house at Sant’Alberto, near Bologna. On 7 March 1542 Bottrigari was selected by the Bolognese senate as one of a group of 12 young aristocrats deputed to welcome the new Cardinal Legate, Gasparo Contarini, to the city. Evidently Bottrigari distinguished himself in the recitation of poetry and orations on this occasion; he was duly rewarded by Contarini who invested him with the titles of Knight of the Holy See and Lateran during a solemn pontifical mass in Bologna Cathedral on 9 April 1542. As a young man he studied classical languages with Francesco Lucchino of Trent, perspective and architecture with Giacomo Ranuzzi and mathematical sciences with Nicolo Simo, professor of astronomy at Bologna University. Bottrigari also studied music with Bartolomeo Spontone with whom he remained in close contact for many years; their friendship is acknowledged by Spontone in the dedications to both his ...

Article

[Loïs, Louis]

(b Paris, c1510–15; d 1559). French composer and theorist. He is chiefly remembered for his contribution to the monophonic Calvinist Psalter in which he supervised, with others (including Guillaume Franc and Pierre Davantes), the adaptation of popular chansons and old Latin hymns as well as composing new melodies for the new metrical French translations of Clément Marot and Théodore de Bèze. He also published harmonizations of these psalm melodies in simple syllabic homophony for four voices and rather more elaborate versions for four voices or instruments. As the author of Le droict chemin de musique he adapted the traditional solmization system by giving the letter names of each note a new definition consistently following the soft–natural–hard hexachord order: thus C sol fa ut became C sol ut fa, G sol re ut became re sol ut etc.

Bourgeois first appears as the composer of three four-voice chansons, published in Lyons by Moderne (RISM ...

Article

Clement A. Miller

revised by Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Nicolaus]

(b Parma, c1453; d Parma, Aug 1528). Italian music theorist, poet and chronicler. He was a member of a noble Parmesan family and was destined for the religious life. During the course of his seminary training he studied music with the well-known theorist Johannes Gallicus. He was ordained as sub-deacon on 28 March 1472 and promoted to priest by 1478. He then began to study canon law at Bologna, where he seems to have enjoyed the patronage of the powerful Bentivoglio family. When Annibale Bentivoglio married Lucrezia, daughter of Ercole d’Este, in 1486, Burzio celebrated the event in verse: his Musarum nympharumque is dedicated to Antongaleazzo Bentivoglio. By 1498 Burzio had returned to Parma and by 1503 he held benefices in two Benedictine monasteries. In December 1504 he was named guardacoro at Parma Cathedral, a post he held until his death.

Although Burzio was active as a poet and historian of Bologna and Parma (on these works, see Rizzi), his most significant work is the ...

Article

Adam Adrio

revised by Clytus Gottwald

[Kalwitz, Seth]

(b Gorsleben, nr Sachsenburg, Thuringia, Feb 21, 1556; d Leipzig, Nov 24, 1615). German music theorist, composer, teacher, chronologist and astronomer. He was one of the most influential German theorists of his time and prominent in the musical and intellectual life of Leipzig.

After attending schools at Frankenhausen and Magdeburg, Calvisius began his studies at the University of Helmstedt in 1579 and continued them from Easter 1580 at the University of Leipzig, where he had matriculated in 1576. In 1581 he became Kantor at the Paulinerkirche, Leipzig, only to move in November 1582, on the recommendation of the Leipzig theologian Nikolaus Selnecker, to Schulpforta as Kantor of the Fürstenschule. He spent 12 fruitful years there not only as an inspiring teacher but also in the study of history, chronology and music theory. In May 1594 he was recalled to Leipzig as Kantor of the Thomaskirche in succession to Valentin Otto. For a short period in about ...

Article

Imogene Horsley

revised by David Nutter

(b Naples, c1551; d Naples, c1633). Italian theorist, composer and lutenist. He spent his life in Naples. According to Nicolò Tagliaferro (L’esercitio, I-Nf ) he was head of a Neapolitan music confraternity, the Congregazione della Madonna degli Angeli, around 1600. Because so few of his compositions have survived, he is known today only as a theorist. As such he was not an innovator, but his writings are important because they throw light on many aspects of musical practice in the early 17th century. He followed a conservative path, presenting the rules of strict, osservato counterpoint and stressing two aspects that were to be important in later contrapuntal treatises: the improvising of choral counterpoint and the invention of ingenious types of canon and invertible counterpoint.

Cerreto subscribed to the traditional religious and philosophic approach to theory but also expanded the scope of this theory by fitting a number of new practices into its framework. For him, instrumental music was as valid as vocal. In ...

Article

Donna G. Cardamone

revised by James Haar

(b Monte San Giovanni Campano, nr Arpino, c1510; d after 1579). Italian composer, teacher, poet and theorist. He was active in Naples during the 1540s, though he seems never to have held a permanent post there. He was attached, perhaps informally, to the entourage of Giovanna d'Aragona: his madrigal volume of 1548 opens with dedicatory poems addressed to her and her sons Fabrizio and Marc'Antonio Colonna. He seems also to have had some connection with the short-lived Accademia dei Sereni (1546–8), composing a madrigal for a comedy staged there in 1548. At some point, perhaps in the 1550s, Cimello was in Rome in the service of Marc'Antonio Colonna. During that time he began a treatise on plainchant reform, and he had some dealings with Annibale Zoilo, to which he later alluded in a rambling letter to Cardinal Guglielmo Sirleto (in I-Rvat ). In the early 1570s he was in Benevento, teaching grammar and music at the local seminary and doing research on witchcraft in the area; he claimed to have written some collections of poetry (none are known to survive) including a poem called ...

Article

E. Fred Flindell

[Christoph]

(b at or nr Bamberg, c1538; d Rome, Feb 6, 1612). German composer and mathematician, active mainly in Italy. As a Jesuit novice he studied theology, mathematics, astronomy and music at the priory of S Cruz, Coimbra, from 1555. He was still at Coimbra on 21 August 1560. From 1565 to 1579 or 1580 he taught mathematics at the Jesuit Collegio Romano and later continued to live in Rome. He won fame through the publication in 1574 of Euclidis elementorum libri XVI, cum scholiis, one of his numerous scholarly publications. Pope Gregory XIII appointed him to a papal commission to correct the errors of the Julian calendar, and the new Gregorian calendar was announced in a papal bull of 22 February 1582. He also contributed to the study of coss, a form of algebra developed in the 15th and 16th centuries. Although he enjoyed a wide correspondence with leading astronomers and mathematicians of his day, among them Tycho Brahe and Galileo, he had to spend much time answering polemics from such critics as Mästlin and Scaliger who aimed at undermining his great achievements. He wrote a small amount of music which has not yet been studied. His surviving pieces comprise a motet in two sections to words from the Song of Songs (in RISM ...

Article

Antonio Delfino

(b Milan; d 1629). Italian man of letters. He was associated with the circle of Cardinal Federico Borromeo, to whom he dedicated the first of his three collections of contrafacta (Musica tolta da i Madrigali di Claudio Monteverde, e d'altri autori … e fatta spirituale, 5–6vv, Milan, 1607 (ed. J.P. Jacobsen, 1998), 1608 (lost) and 1609). His Epistolarum libri sex (Milan, 1613) gives information on both his contacts with important figures of the day and on some of the most important stages of his career (which also found him in Turin), culminating in the appointment to the chair of rhetoric at the University of Pavia. His contrafacta are of interest for their concentration on madrigals by Monteverdi (especially the third, fourth and fifth books) and for his treatment of the poetic text. Rather than simply replacing the original text with a liturgical one, he ‘spiritualized’ then through a careful translation which, like an exercise in rhetorical expertise, reproduces the phonemes, accents and rhythms of the secular text....

Article

Nino Pirrotta

(b Rome, 1465; d San Gimignano, 1510). Italian humanist. He was the son of Antonio Cortese, a papal abbreviator (i.e. a writer of papal briefs) and the pupil of Giulio Pomponio Leto and Bartolomeo Platina, both abbreviatores. In 1481 he was appointed to the papal chancery to the place vacated on Platina’s death. He was promoted to papal secretary in 1498, resigned in 1503 and spent the rest of his life in a family villa called Castel Cortesiano, near San Gimignano. There he was the host to such guests as Duke Ercole I of Ferrara, Duke Guidobaldo of Urbino and Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, later Pope Paul III. He must also have had a comfortable house in Rome in which in the early 1490s there were learned discussions, interspersed with strambotti sung by Serafino Aquilano. Cortese may have known Josquin, who was a papal singer at this time. He praised Josquin highly as a mass composer in his ...

Article

Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller

(b Lüneburg, c1542; d Hanover, Jan 8, 1623). German composer and theorist. He matriculated at the University of Wittenberg on 12 July 1565, but he took no degree. On 28 March 1568 he was appointed Kantor of the Lateinschule and of the Marktkirche, the two most important musical positions in Hanover, and he held them until he retired in 1616. His output reflects his activities in these posts. His three masses, which are parody masses, and his motets (1572 and 1581) show that he was a competent composer of polyphony, and his three-part songs (1594) are more contrapuntal than such pieces often were. His primer of 1599, dedicated to 54 of his pupils, including the infant Melchior Schildt, contains 14 canons as exercises.

Article

(b Meissen, 1525; d Meissen, Sept 3, 1598). German theorist and composer. He spent his life at Meissen; he was educated at the municipal school where Johannes Reusch was Kantor from 1543 to 1547 and Rektor from 1548 to 1555, and from 1549 at the Fürstenschule directed by Georg Fabricius where Michael Vogt was Kantor from 1549 to 1551 and Wolfgang Figulus from 1551 to 1588. In 1553 Dietrich was himself appointed Kantor at the municipal school where he remained until in 1585 a stroke rendered him unfit for work. He received a pension until his death and in 1599 a single payment was made to his widow. His treatise Quaestiones musices brevissimae e variis authoribus excerptae (Görlitz, 1573) clearly shows the influence of Reusch and Figulus; its layout and wording are based closely on the Compendiolum by Reusch’s teacher Heinrich Faber, but it includes more music examples. Dietrich reproduced anonymously, as an appendix, three metrical works for four voices to be sung before and after lessons at Meissen; his unacknowledged source for these was ...

Article

Walter Blankenburg

revised by Clytus Gottwald

(b Nebra, Thuringia, Oct 16, 1533; d Zerbst, Anhalt, between 1580 and 1589). German composer and theorist. He is first heard of in 1557 when he enrolled at the academy (later the university) at Jena. He must have attended school at Nebra, after which he probably spent some years in the Netherlands studying music, perhaps with Clemens non Papa, to whose compositions he frequently referred in his theoretical works. In 1558, after only one year’s study at Jena where he got to know Leonhart Schröter and P.M. Schede, he became Kantor at the grammar school at Magdeburg. This school had an outstanding reputation for music as a result of the work of Martin Agricola, whose music for the reformed church was widely known. Dressler was Agricola’s immediate successor, the post having been kept vacant during the two years following his death. Practically the whole of his extant work dates from his years there. In ...