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Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Piero]

(b Florence, c1480; d after 1545). Italian theorist and composer. Nothing is known of Aaron’s early training, his teacher, or his career before 1516. He claims to have had ‘the greatest friendship and familiarity’ with Josquin, Obrecht, Isaac, and Agricola in Florence (most likely between 1487 and 1495, and not necessarily at the same time). By 1516 he was a priest in Imola, where he wrote his first book, Libri tres de institutione harmonica, translated into Latin by the humanist Giovanni Antonio Flaminio. A contemporary poem by Achille Bocchi praises Aaron for rescuing music ‘from squalor and dismal neglect’. By March 1520 he was a singer in Imola Cathedral and from the next year a chaplain; he was also paid by the city to teach music to those who wished to learn. His career in Imola ended abruptly in June 1522 when he was wounded in a factional uprising and his chapel in the cathedral destroyed (Blackburn, forthcoming). By ...

Article

Lawrence E. Bennett

Member of Bononcini family

(b Montecorone, nr Modena, bap. Sept 23, 1642; d Nov 18, 1678). Composer and theorist. He probably left his provincial home while still a boy to study in Modena with Marco Uccellini, who in 1641 had initiated an important tradition of Modenese violinist-composers (antedating the more famous Bolognese school by about 15 years). As to his other training, Bononcini himself reported in his treatise Musico prattico that he studied counterpoint with Padre Agostino Bendinelli. However, he was never a pupil of Colonna in Bologna, nor did he serve in the orchestra at S Petronio or as maestro di cappella at S Giovanni in Monte, as has sometimes been stated; these posts were held by his eldest son, (2) Giovanni. The confusion seems to have originated with a letter of 1686 from Giovanni to Colonna, which appears in the first volume of La Mara's Musikerbriefe aus fünf Jahrhunderten...

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

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

Giselher Schubert

(b Hanau, nr Frankfurt, Nov 16, 1895; d Frankfurt, Dec 28, 1963). German composer, theorist, teacher, viola player and conductor. The foremost German composer of his generation, he was a figure central to both music composition and musical thought during the inter-war years.

Hindemith descended on his father’s side from shopkeepers and craftsmen who had settled primarily in the small Silesian community of Jauer (now Jawor, Poland), where the family can be traced back to the 17th century, and on his mother’s side from small farmers and shepherds in southern Lower Saxony. While no signs of musical interest can be found among the relatives of his mother, Maria Sophie Warnecke (1868–1949), his father, Robert Rudolf Emil Hindemith (1870–1915), came from a family of music lovers. Robert Rudolf supposedly ran away from home when his parents opposed his wish to become a musician; after arriving in Hesse, however, he became a painter and decorator. As he was never able to provide a secure income for his family, the Hindemiths were forced to move frequently. Paul spent three years of his childhood with his paternal grandfather in Naumburg. He was sincerely devoted to his mother, whom he is said to have resembled closely, even in similarity of gestures, and dedicated the first volume (...

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

Member of Mozart family

(b Augsburg, Nov 14, 1719; d Salzburg, May 28, 1787). Composer, violinist and theorist.

He was the son of an Augsburg bookbinder, Johann Georg Mozart (1679–1736), and attended the Augsburg Gymnasium (1727–35) and the Lyceum adjoining the Jesuit school of St Salvator (1735–6), where he frequently performed as an actor and singer in various theatrical productions; he was also an accomplished organist and violinist. In 1737 Leopold broke with his family and matriculated at the Salzburg Benedictine University, studying philosophy and jurisprudence. He took the bachelor of philosophy degree the next year, with public commendation, but in September 1739 he was expelled for poor attendance and indifference. Shortly after, he became a valet and musician to Johann Baptist, Count of Thurn-Valsassina and Taxis, Salzburg canon and president of the consistory; it was to Thurn-Valsassina that Mozart dedicated his ...

Article

(fl late 14th century). Theorist and composer, likely from Aversa in the Campania region of Italy. He is best known from the frequent references made in the Ars cantus mensurabilis mensurata per modos iuris by Coussemaker’s Anonymous 5. This author describes Nicolaus as a Celestine monk, naming him ‘Frater’; the Celestines were a branch of the Benedictine order. He is largely associated with certain notational intricacies of the ‘ars subtilior’ style: complicated rhythms conveyed with void, coloured, or complex new note shapes. According to Anonymous 5, Nicolaus critiqued one ‘Cecchus de Florentia’ (the ‘blind one of Florence’, thus Francesco Landini), for his incorrect use of red semibreves in minor prolation, while Nicolaus himself used the dotted semibreve. The treatise does not name specific works that use any of these notational features, a regrettable omission since none of Nicolaus’s compositions are known today. Anonymous 5 does cite a setting of the Credo by Nicolaus for its use of ...

Article

Graham Sadler and Thomas Christensen

(b Dijon, bap. Sept 25, 1683; d Paris, Sept 12, 1764). French composer and theorist. He was one of the greatest figures in French musical history, a theorist of European stature and France's leading 18th-century composer. He made important contributions to the cantata, the motet and, more especially, keyboard music, and many of his dramatic compositions stand alongside those of Lully and Gluck as the pinnacles of pre-Revolutionary French opera.

His father Jean, a local organist, was apparently the first professional musician in a family that was to include several notable keyboard players: Jean-Philippe himself, his younger brother Claude and sister Catherine, Claude's son Jean-François (the eccentric ‘neveu de Rameau’ of Diderot's novel) and Jean-François's half-brother Lazare.

Jean Rameau, the founder of this dynasty, held various organ appointments in Dijon, several of them concurrently; these included the collegiate church of St Etienne (1662–89), the abbey of St Bénigne (...

Article

(Franz Walter)

(b Vienna, Sept 13, 1874; d Los Angeles, July 13, 1951). Austro-Hungarian composer.

His father Samuel (1838–89) was born in Szécsény, his mother (née Nachod, 1848–1921) in Prague. They came to Vienna from Pressburg (Bratislava). Schoenberg accordingly inherited Hungarian nationality, which was converted to Czech on the formation of the state of Czechoslovakia in 1918. He became an American citizen in 1941. The family was Jewish, and the three children, Arnold, Ottilie and Heinrich, were brought up in the orthodox faith. Neither parent was particularly musical; Schoenberg remembered his uncle Fritz Nachod, who wrote poetry and taught him French, as the main cultural influence of his childhood. But his sister and brother showed musical talent, and the latter, like their cousin Hans Nachod, became a professional singer. Schoenberg’s musical education began when he was eight with violin lessons, and he very soon began composing by the light of nature, imitating the violin duets by such composers as Pleyel and Viotti that he was given to learn, and arranging anything that came his way – operatic melodies or military band music – for the same combination. Somewhat later, having met a schoolfellow who played the viola, he was able to spread his wings to the point of writing trios for two violins and viola....

Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Spatarius, Joannes]

(b Bologna, ?26 Oct 1458; d Bologna, 17 Jan 1541). Italian theorist, composer, and choirmaster. His name comes from his family’s occupation: his grandfather was a merchant who dealt in swords. He mentions his age in two letters, which yield a birth year of 1458 or 1459; since he is not listed in the baptismal records, which go back to 1 January 1459, the year is probably 1458, and the day possibly 26 October, the date of two of his wills. Spataro never attended university and did not take holy orders; he may have continued his family’s profession until late in his life (he bequeathed a forge to his ‘compare’).

During the 1490s Spataro was on friendly terms with younger members of the Bentivoglio family: Antongaleazzo received the dedication of his Honesta defensio, and one of his lost treatises was written for Hermes, as well as two masses on pears (a pear appears on Hermes’s arms). Only in ...

Article

Scott Gleason

(b London, 11 Dec 1934; d Belle Mead, NJ, 26 April 1975). American composer, music theorist, and critic of English birth. Winham was educated at the Westminster School (1947–51), and studied at the Royal Academy of Music and privately with Matyas Seiber and Hans Keller before completing the AB (1956), MFA (1958), and PhD (1964) degrees at Princeton University. He married the soprano Bethany Beardslee in 1956.

He was a critic for The Music Review and the recipient of the first PhD in music composition from Princeton, he coined the term ‘array composition’ (see Milton Babbitt), and he wrote the MUSIC 4B PROGRAM (with Hubert Howe) and Music-on-Mini (with Mark Zuckerman) computer music languages. In 1970, with Kenneth Stieglitz, he established a digital-to-analogue conversion laboratory at Princeton, later renamed the Godfrey Winham Laboratory (see Computers and music). With his cohort at Princeton (including ...