1-20 of 31 results  for:

  • Composer or Arranger x
  • 15th c./Early Renaissance (1400-1500) x
Clear all

Article

Owen Wright

[ibn Ghaybī al-Marāghi]

(b Maragh; d Herat, 1435). Timurid composer, performer and theorist. He first rose to prominence in the service of the Jalā’irid rulers of Iraq and Azerbaijan, al-Ḥusayn (1374–82) and Aḥmad (1382–1410). After the conquest of Baghdad by Tīmūr (1393), most of his career was spent in Samarkand and, especially, Herat, at the courts of Tīmūr and of his successors al-Khalīl (1404–9) and Shāh Rukh (1409–47).

‘Abd al-Qādir was one of the most important and influential theorists of the Systematist school. His most substantial surviving works are the Jāmi‘ al-al ḥān (‘Compendium of melodies’), largely completed in 1405 and revised in 1413, and the slighter Maqāṣid al-al ḥān (‘Purports of melodies’), which covers essentially the same ground and probably dates from 1418. Written in Persian, which was by then the language of culture, these works proved particularly influential among later 15th-century theorists; but although both thoughtful and highly competent, on the theoretical side they may be regarded as, essentially, restatements and amplifications of the theory elaborated by ...

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

Barbara H. Haggh

[Carlier, Gilles; Charlier, Gilles]

( b Cambrai, c 1400; d Paris, Nov 23, 1472). French theologian, theorist and poet . After studying and teaching in Paris until 1432, he acquired a reputation at the Council of Basle for his disputations with the Hussites. The council deputed him to Bohemia in 1433, and in 1434 he was sent to the court of Charles VII of France in an effort to end the Hundred Years War. In 1436 (1431 according to Fétis) he was appointed dean of Cambrai Cathedral, an office he held to the end of his life. From the 1450s he divided his attentions between Cambrai and the Collège de Navarre, Paris. He produced numerous theological, devotional and controversial writings, some of which were posthumously published in Sporta fragmentorum and Sportula fragmentorum (Brussels, 1478–9). The latter volume contains his Tractatus de duplici ritu cantus ecclesiastici in divinis officiis (ed. in Strohm and Cullington). The treatise, probably written late in Carlerius’s life, is a defence of the singing of polyphony in the divine service, citing classical, biblical and patristic writers on the value and effects of music. Tinctoris’s ...

Article

Gilbert Reaney

[Philipoctus, Filipoctus]

( fl c1370). Theorist and composer. He was active in Avignon c1370, and his residence at the Papal court there is confirmed by his ballade Par les bons Gedeons which pays homage to the antipope Clement VII (1378–94). The extent of his theoretical writing is disputed. Arlt has argued that the ascription of the Tractatus figurarum (or Tractatus de diversis figuris) to Egidius de Murino is incorrect; it also survives with ascriptions to Philippus de Caserta ( I-FZc ) and Magister Phillipotus Andreas ( US-Cn ). The doubtful suggestion by Strohm (following Pirrotta) that the two are identical is supported by the association of Caserta with the Visconti court of Pavia, where the latter manuscript was copied. If this is correct, there are five treatises that survive with dubious ascriptions to Caserta. (Four of these treatises occur in a manuscript from the second half of the 15th century. This source is closely associated with John Hothby's teaching.)...

Article

Dimitri Conomos

(fl c1440–63). Byzantine composer and theorist. The only surviving biographical evidence about Chrysphes is contained in music manuscripts. Information in IL-Jp 31 (c1440) reveals that he held the office of lampadarios (leader of the left choir) in the Byzantine palace. His autograph appears in an Akolouthiai manuscript, GR-ATSiviron 1120, which bears the date 1458. The latest recorded date for Chrysaphes is in a signed manuscript, TR-Itks 15, completed on 29 July 1463. A number of sources indicate that some of his compositions were commissioned by the last two Byzantine emperors, John VIII Palaeologos (1428–48) and Constantine XI Palaeologos (1449–53). Chrysaphes is also known to have spent some time in Crete and even to have travelled as far as Serbia, where he wrote liturgical music.

His treatise, Peri tōn entheōroumenōn tē psaltikē technē kai hōn phronousi kakōs tines peri autōn (‘On the theory of the art of chanting and on certain erroneous views that some hold about it’; ...

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

David Fallows

[Don Paolo Tenorista da Firenze; Magister Dominus Paulus Abbas de Florentia]

(b Florence, c1355; d Florence, after September 20, 1436). Italian music theorist and composer of more known pieces than any other Trecento composer apart from Landini.

Most earlier views on his life were superseded by the discovery of an antiphoner ( F-DOU 1171), dated 1417, with an inscription crediting its organization to Dominus Paulus, abbot of the Benedictine monastery of S Martino al Pino, near Arezzo, and rector of the church of S Maria Annunziata Virgine (generally known by the name of the hospice it occupied and served, Orbatello) in Florence. This antiphoner is beautifully illuminated in the style of S Maria degli Angeli in Florence, namely the style found both in the Squarcialupi Codex and the manuscript I-Fl Ashb.999, which contains Paolo's Gaudeamus omnes. Further evidence that this is the correct Paolo comes from his will, bequeathing three books of music and ‘unum Boetium musicale’....

Article

Alejandro Enrique Planchart

(b Beersel, Aug 5, 1397; d Cambrai, Nov 27, 1474). French composer and theorist. He was acknowledged by his contemporaries as the leading composer of his day. He held positions in many of the musical centres of Europe and his music was copied and performed virtually everywhere that polyphony was practised.

According to the executors of Du Fay’s will, his ‘homeland’ was the town of Bersele [Beersel] near Brussels. His date of birth has been postulated by Planchart (EMH, 1988; 1995) as 5 August 1397; this date is based on the year of his ordination (late 1427) and his years as a chorister at Cambrai Cathedral (1409–12), and events connected with the establishment of his obit. His original patronymic was Du Fayt; he apparently altered the spelling to Du Fay during his years in Italy. The family name (Du Fay as well as Du Fayt), universally spelt as two words in all 14th- and 15th-century documents traceable directly to bearers of the name, was not common in Cambrai: the largest concentration is found in documents from the area of Valenciennes. Du Fay was born the illegitimate son of a single woman, Marie Du Fayt, and a priest whose name has not come down to us....

Article

José M. Llorens

revised by Tess Knighton

(d ?1528). Spanish theorist and composer. In his Tractado de principios (Toledo, 1520) Espinosa claims to have been in the service of Cardinal Pedro González de Mendoza, Archbishop of Toledo (1483–95), and later that of Cardinal Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, Archbishop of Seville (d 1502). No other record of him has been found until December 1507, when he took over the position of ‘maestro de la música’ at Toledo from Pedro Lagarto. Espinosa is described as a ‘contrabajo’ (bass), and was one of the eight prebendary singers at the cathedral in September 1508, although he may have been a singer there for some years previously. His name appears in the Toledo records only intermittently: he was apparently replaced in his teaching duties by Francisco de Lugones (1509–12), and after an unspecified dispute with the cathedral chapter in the summer of 1513...

Article

Elżbieta Witkowska-Zaremba

(b Felsztyn,?1480–90; d after 1543). Polish music theorist and composer. In 1507 he entered Kraków University, and in 1509 he took the BA. It has been suggested that he was taught by Jerzy Liban, or by Heinrich Finck, who lived in Kraków until 1510. Sebastian also studied theology, and about 1528 he was appointed priest at Felsztyn, and possibly later at Przemyśl. While at Felsztyn he kept in touch with the important Herburt family and with their support he became the parish priest of Sanok about 1536. His treatise Directiones musicae ad cathedralis ecclesia premislensis usum (Kraków, 1543), now lost, was dedicated to Mikołaj Herburt.

Sebastian’s collection of hymns, Aliquot hymni ecclesiastici (Kraków, 1522), probably containing polyphonic works, is lost. Three motets have survived. They are among the earliest examples of Polish four-voice music. All three are based on plainchant melodies which appear in the tenor in long note values. Sebastian used both florid counterpoint and note-against-note technique, and occasionally some imitation. The Capella Rorantistarum of Wawel Cathedral, Kraków included Sebastian’s compositions in their repertory....

Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Folianus, Ludovicus]

(b Modena, c1475; d Venice, shortly before 7 May 1542). Italian theorist and composer. His name appears in the records of Modena Cathedral in 1494 as ‘Don Lodovico de Alexandro da Fojano’; his brother Giacomo had been organist there since 1489. Despite the note that Orazio Vecchi wrote on the cover of a Modenese manuscript which includes a mass by Lodovico ( I-MOd IV), ‘Jacobi et Ludovici Foliani olim cathedralis Mutinae magistri opera’, Lodovico was never choirmaster. He may be the ‘Ludovico da Modena’ who was a singer in the chapel of Ercole I d’Este in 1493 and again in 1503–4, especially if this person was the ‘Ludovigo da Fulgano’ listed in 1499–1501 (lists in LockwoodMRF). In 1513–14 he was a singer in the Cappella Giulia. Some time after this he moved to Venice, and seems to have devoted the rest of his career to music theory and philosophy....

Article

Clement A. Miller

revised by Anna Maria Busse Berger

(b ?Herxheim, c1470; d after 1532). German music theorist and composer. He is not to be identified with the theologian Johannes Frosch, also called Rana. He probably studied in Heidelberg where he gained the BA in 1489 and the MA in 1493. He had close ties to Count Georg I (1498–1558) and Duke Ulrich IV of Württemberg (1487–1550), to whom he dedicated his treatise Rerum musicarum opusculum rarum ac insigne. It was first published in Strasbourg in 1532, although most modern reference works list only the edition of 1535 which has been published in facsimile. Although the treatise was pedagogical in purpose, the scope of its 41 folios was unusually broad. In addition to a detailed study of the elements of music and the mensural system, he discussed Greek music and cited many ancient writers, including Aristotle, Plutarch and Pliny. It is one of the few theoretical works of the century to be a valuable source for the parody technique of composition. This procedure is clearly demonstrated in ...

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

[Johannes]

(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 ...

Article

Jan Kouba

(b Husinec, Bohemia, ?1371; d Konstanz, July 6, 1415). Czech reformer. He was one of the most influential preachers and teachers at Prague University at the beginning of the 15th century. He was burnt at the stake by order of the Council of Konstanz. He has been associated with a number of Latin and Czech hymns, but there is very little evidence to support his authorship; it seems that he arranged the medieval melody ‘Jesu Kriste, štědrý kněže’ (‘Jesus Christ, thou bountiful prince’) in the Jistebnice Hussite hymnbook, and he may also have arranged or translated the texts of several other hymns, but the best-known one attributed to him, ‘Jesus Christus, nostra salus’, is clearly not by him. Some Czech musicologists (e.g. Nejedlý) have described Hus as the innovator of congregational singing in church, but this practice arose in 15th-century Bohemia only after his death. Hus's aesthetic views on music and singing did not deviate from those of the medieval tradition. Thus musical history was influenced only indirectly by him: the Hussite reformation, of which he was the inspiration, constitutes the first significant chapter in the history of Protestant church music in Europe....

Article

Elżbieta Witkowska-Zaremba

(b Legnica, 1464; d after 1546). German humanist, theorist and composer, active in Poland. He belonged to a German family in Silesia and his true name was probably Weihrauch. In 1494 he began his studies at Kraków University, and later went to Cologne for a time before returning to Kraków in 1501. From 1506 he was probably associated with the Gymnasium of the church of St Maria, Kraków, first as a cantor and from 1514 as rector. In 1511, 1513 and 1520 Liban lectured at Kraków University. About 1530 he travelled to the abbey of St Florian, near Linz. Among his many writings are two music treatises: De accentuum ecclesiasticorum exquisita ratione and De musicae laudibus oratio (both Kraków, c1539). There are also passages on music in his De philosophiae laudibus oratio (Kraków, 1537). All three treatises are reprinted in MMP, ser.D, vi–viii (1975–6...

Article

Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller

(b Strasbourg, c1478–80; d Freiburg, Sept 5, 1537). German theorist and composer. He studied from 1494 to 1496 in Heidelberg, later in Leuven and, from 1505, in Vienna. There he took organ lessons from the cathedral organist, Wolfgang Grefinger. Luscinius particularly admired the playing of Hofhaimer, the imperial organist, praising him in his Musicae institutiones and discussing his pupils, among them Hans Buchner and Kotter. Luscinius continued his studies (which were not only in music) in many centres in Europe and the Near East, and gave music lectures at Vienna University. In 1510 he met Virdung at the Reichstag in Augsburg. Further journeys took him to Konstanz and Melk. Between 1511 and 1514 he studied Greek and theology in Paris and then returned to Strasbourg, where he was organist at St Thomas from 1510 to 1520. In 1519 he took the degree of Doctor of Canon Law from Padua University. As a result of the Reformation he lost his organist’s post and was prevented from obtaining a canonry. In ...

Article

[da Ferrara]

(b Piacenza, c1400; d ?Ferrara, c1476). Italian dancing-master, dance theorist and composer. He taught dancing to Guglielmo Ebreo da Pesaro and to Antonio Cornazano, who referred to him as ‘mio solo maestro e compatriota’ in his Libro dell’ arte del danzare. As far as is known, Domenico spent the years of his youth and early maturity in Piacenza. His first contact with his future patron, the Marchese Leonello d’Este, appears to have been made on the occasion of the prince’s wedding to Margherita Gonzaga, in Ferrara in 1435, which Domenico is said to have attended. He is then cited in the registers of the mandati of the Este court in 1439, 1441, 1445, 1447 and 1450 as ‘spectabilis miles’ and ‘familiaris noster’; Guglielmo Ebreo and Antonio Cornazano refer to him as ‘dignissimo cavaliere’ and ‘cavagliero aurato’, probably in acknowledgment of his having been made Knight of the Golden Spur. After a five-year interval, centred mainly on the Sforza court in Milan, Domenico returned to Ferrara; in ...

Article

Frank A. D’Accone

(b Florence, Oct 12, 1490; d Rome, Jan 23, 1548). Italian composer, singer and classical scholar. He may have acquired the name ‘Pisano’ as a result of having spent some time in Pisa. Trained at the cathedral school in Florence, he also sang in the chapel of the church of the SS Annunziata as a student. In 1511, after being ordained a priest, he was appointed master of the choristers at the cathedral school and a singer in the chapels at the cathedral and the baptistry. He became master of the cathedral chapel less than a year later. Evidently he obtained the post through the good offices of Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici, whose family had recently been restored to power in Florence.

Shortly after the cardinal’s election to the papacy as Leo X, Pisano went to Rome, where on 20 August 1514 he was appointed a singer in the papal chapel – a position he retained until his death. Leo also gave him several ecclesiastical benefices, among them canonries in the cathedrals of Segovia and Lerida and a chaplaincy in the Medici family church of S Lorenzo in Florence. From ...

Article

Pyrros Bamichas

[Joseph of Methone]

(b Crete, ?1429; d Methone, Aug 9, 1500). Composer of Byzantine chant, theologian, music theorist, domestikos, diplomat, calligrapher, and scribe. His last name indicates his birthplace was Prousia (or Plousia), a village near Chandakas. His father George was probably his first music teacher. During his youth Plousiadenos lived in Constantinople until sometime before its fall in 1453 where he must have been a student at the city’s famous University (Mega Didaskaleion). Upon his return to Crete he probably met Manuel Chrēsaphēs and became his student. He also spent over two decades in Italy, mostly in Venice (1472–c. 1492, 1497–8). In 1455 he joined the priesthood. During the years 1482 to 1486 he appears to have been abbot at the convent of St Dēmētrius in Chandakas and in 1492 he was ordained bishop of Methone, taking the name Joseph. He was one of the many casualties after the capture of Methone by the Turks....