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(b Atri, 1458; d Conversano, Jan 19, 1529). Italian humanist, patron and theorist. He was a member of the Accademia Pontaniana in Naples and initiated a long-standing tradition of musical culture in the family of the dukes of Atri, who were important patrons; his son Giovanni Antonio Donato was also a lira player. Acquaviva d’Aragona financed the Neapolitan printer Antonio de Frizis and housed the press in his palace in Naples. One of the earliest examples of music printing in the kingdom of Naples was the Motetti libro primo printed by De Frizis in 1519 (it is no longer extant, but a copy was owned by Fernando Colón). In 1526 De Frizis printed Acquaviva d’Aragona’s Latin translation of Plutarch’s De virtute morali, which was followed by an extensive Latin commentary including a 76-page treatise De musica (the whole was reprinted in Frankfurt in 1609). Notable for its wealth of illustrations and for its incorporation into a broader context addressed to humanists in general rather than to a specialized musical readership, the treatise is largely based on the writings of Boethius and Gaffurius, and takes as its point of departure Plutarch’s observations on music’s power of suggestion. The ...


(b c1470; d mid-Jan 1538). English lawyer and ecclesiastic. He was master at Trinity College, Arundel, and commissioner and donor of the Caius Choirbook. Born into a Shropshire family, he studied at the University of Oxford, from which he held degrees in both canon and civil law by the time of his ordination to the priesthood in 1501. He subsequently pursued a distinguished legal career in London and Westminster as a judge in the Court of Requests (1509–13) and a master in Chancery (9 March 1512); he may also have been the ‘Master Higons’ named as occupying the privileged position of Clerk of the Closet in Henry VIII's retinue at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in the summer of 1520.

As so often happens, professional advancement and ecclesiastical preferment went hand in hand. During a period of some 30 years Higgins amassed an impressive number of benefices, including at least a dozen rectories, vicarages and deanships, a chaplaincy to Henry VIII (by ...