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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....


Mary Berry

(b nr Ilchester, c1214; d Oxford, c1292). English theologian and philosopher. He studied first under Grosseteste in Oxford, then in Paris. In 1247 he gave up his official teaching in Paris, returning some three years later to Oxford. In about 1255 he entered the order of friars minor. Guy de Foulques (later Pope Clement IV), then Archbishop of Narbonne, wrote about 1265 asking him to outline a syllabus for the reform of learning – a sign of the high esteem in which Bacon and his teaching were held. Bacon responded by composing the three summaries known as the Opus maius, the Opus minor and the Opus tertium, submitting them to the pope in 1268. Clement died, however, that same year, before he had had time to study or implement them. During the next decade Bacon produced further writings on mathematics, science and language, including Greek and Hebrew grammars and a ...


(b c1000–02; d Füssen am Lech, Bavaria, 1083). Writer on music. He was probably born in Bavaria, and later became a canon of Augsburg Cathedral; by the middle of the 11th century he was acting as scholasticus in the cathedral choir school there. In 1083, as the result of a conspiracy, Henricus was expelled from Augsburg at the same time as his bishop, Wigold. He sought refuge in the monastery of St Mang in Füssen, where he died and was buried. There is insufficient evidence to confirm his identification with Honorius Augustodunensis (see Flint).

Henricus's teachings on music are assembled in a treatise entitled De musica. This survives only in a south German manuscript ( A-Wn cpv 51), which has a lacuna at the end of the treatise. The work is set out in the form of a dialogue between pupil and teacher, a very popular literary technique used two centuries earlier by the author of the ...


Michel Huglo


(d Lobbes, nr Liège, 1007). Benedictine monk of Liège. From 990 he was abbot of Lobbes. He accompanied Bishop Notker of Liège (formerly Provost of St Gallen) to Rome in 989. Herigerus taught divinity and the liberal arts; Berno of Reichenau described him as ‘of no small authority’ (‘vir non parvae auctoritatis’, PL , cxlii, 1033). He wrote mainly hagiographical and biographical works; in the dedication of his Gesta episcoporum leodiensium to Bishop Stephen of Liège, he quoted documents showing that Stephen composed the Office of the Trinity. His works on chronology were dedicated to his disciple, the monk Hugo, who in 1033 also became abbot of Lobbes. Albéric de Trois-Fontaines recorded that Herigerus in 990 composed Regulae numerorum super abacum Gerberti (see Olleris, 1867, pp.311–24).

In 980 he was mentioned as ‘learned and skilled in the art of music’ (‘didascalum ac musicae artis peritum’, Elevatio s. Landoaldi...


C. Matthew Balensuela


(fl mid-14th century). Philosopher and music theorist. He is cited by several late-medieval music theorists for his ideas on chant, including his explanation of half steps outside the Guidonian tradition, his treatment of coniunctae, and his use of the term tonus peregrinus. Johannes is believed to have been born in Monickedam, near Amsterdam. He attended the University of Prague, earning the Bachelor’s in 1355. He may have then travelled to Oxford because his extant writings on logic (Bos, 1985) demonstrate his acquaintance with contemporary English scholars such as William Heytesbury (c. 1313–1372/3) and Thomas Bradwardine (c. 1295–1349). He earned the doctorate in 1368 in Prague and was then named Dean of the Faculty of Arts in 1369 (Monumenta Historica Universitatis Carolo-Fredinandae Pragensis, 1830).

Johannes Hollandrinus’s writings on music have not survived, although he is credited as the author of a ...


Yves Chartier

(b northern France, c850; d St Amand, June 20, 930). Benedictine monk, theorist, poet, composer, teacher and hagiographer. Though chiefly known as a theorist – ironically for works that have proven not to be his own – he was also a writer (of both verse and prose) and a composer, whose reputation has grown considerably with the progressive discovery of works that can positively be attributed to him. Coming immediately after Aurelian of Réôme (Musica disciplina, ?c840s), he was probably a contemporary of the anonymous authors of the Musica enchiriadis and other related treatises to which his name was assigned (Commemeratio brevis, Alia musica, De modis), composed in the same area at the end of the 9th century. He remains one of the foremost expositors of music theory in the Carolingian era.

Apart from a few sketchy indications found in his own works or in the contemporary ...


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....