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John Whenham

(b 1623–8; d Bologna, 1699, before 28 Jan). Italian singer, composer and instrument maker. He was an Augustinian monk who was employed from about 1649 as a soprano castrato at the Este court at Modena. On 13 November 1660 he was appointed to the choir of S Petronio, Bologna, with a stipend of 50 lire a month; he was discharged on 24 April 1662 but rejoined on 25 July 1663. In October 1665 he returned to Modena, where he succeeded Marco Uccellini as choirmaster of the cathedral. He vacated this post in November 1673 and by early 1674 was again living at Bologna. Between 1677 and 1681 he served as a singer in the cappella of Duke Francesco II of Modena. In 1685 he was made a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, Bologna, and seems to have spent his last years in or near that city. He wrote to the Duke of Modena in ...

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Harold Rosenthal

(b Cologne, June 29, 1896; d Garmisch-Partenkirchen, July 23, 1979). German baritone. He studied with Karl Niemann in Cologne and made his début at Mönchengladbach in 1929 as Wolfram. He sang at the Kroll Oper, Berlin (1930–31), at the Hamburg Staatsoper (1931–3 and 1946–61), and at the Dresden Staatsoper (...

Article

Mareia Quintero Rivera

(b San Juan, PR, July 10, 1910; d Carolina, PR, July 21, 1996). American Puerto Rican composer, singer, percussionist, dancer, and drum-maker. A master of traditional bomba and plena, he was one the most prominent figures of Afro-Puerto Rican musical folklore in the 20th century. He is also known for his commitment to passing down these traditions to subsequent generations. Together with his wife, Caridad Brenes, a gifted dancer, he raised a family of skilled practitioners and maintained a lifelong practice of teaching in the community of Villa Palmeras, Santurce, the working-class area where they lived.

Cepeda was a key figure in gaining national and international recognition for Afro-Puerto Rican musical genres. In the 1940s he created an ensemble for radio performances, and he later developed a stage version of bomba, which he presented in San Juan’s major hotels. Several of his compositions were popularized by Ismael Rivera and Rafael Cortijo. Cepeda also developed ties with the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, founded in ...

Article

J. Bryan Burton

[Goyaałé, Goyathlay, Goyahkla ]

(b New Mexico, 1829; d Fort Sill, OK, Feb 17, 1909). Native American instrument maker, singer, medicine man, prophet, and military leader. He is better known in Western history for his military leadership of Western Apache resistance to reservation life during the 1880s. Goyaałé (“One who yawns”) was given the name Geronimo after an attack on a Mexican village on St. Jerome’s day when terrified Mexican soldiers cried out “Jeronimo” appealing for help from St. Jerome. After his surrender he was held as a prisoner of war, first in St. Augustine, Florida, then in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, until his death. His celebrity was such that he often made public appearances, including at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, rode in Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade in 1904, and wrote an autobiography with S.M. Barrett, the Oklahoma superintendent of education.

As a medicine man (Apache: diyan), Goyaałé performed Apache sacred ceremonies and rituals that required the knowledge of a vast repertoire of traditional songs sung during the ceremonies. A number of the songs he created were collected for Natalie Curtis’s ...

Article

Horst Brunner

(b Nuremberg, Nov 26, 1552; d Nuremberg, Oct 23, 1634). German Meistersinger. He was a shoemaker by profession, like his great model Hans Sachs. From about 1569 until his death he belonged to the Nuremberg Meistersinger guild, presiding as senior Merker from 1619. Along with Benedict von Watt (1569–1616), Hans Winter (d 1627) and Magister Ambrosius Metzger (1573–1632) Hager was among the most notable figures in the later flowering of the Nuremberg Meistersinger tradition. Within the guild he represented the position initiated by Sachs, in whose name he resisted attempts at innovation (in the Schulstreit of 1624). Apart from a few Sprüche (poems in rhyming couplets), 624 sacred and secular Meisterlieder by Hager have survived as well as 36 other sacred and secular gemeine Lieder (songs that are not written in one of the Töne of Meistergesang). 17 melodies survive for ...

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Howard Schott

(b Petersfield, Aug 29, 1931). English maker of lutes and viols, lutenist and singer. He received his early musical training as a chorister at Winchester Cathedral, and was later an alto at St Albans Cathedral, New College, Oxford, and Ely Cathedral. He also studied aircraft design (graduate of the Royal Aeronautical Society, 1953). He made his first lute in 1956 and studied with Diana Poulton; in 1958 he set up as an instrument maker in Oxford, then moved in 1960 to Ely, where he was soon joined by John Isaacs, his partner until 1972. He made his début as a professional lutenist in 1960, when he demonstrated as a performer the musical effect of the lighter construction and low-tension stringing which he advocated as a maker. In 1964 he received the Tovey Prize for his research into the sources of English lute music. He founded the Campian Consort in ...

Article

Joe Wilson

(b Watauga Co., NC, Oct 13, 1911). American Banjoist, folksinger, and instrument maker. He was born into a family of Appalachian folk musicians; his father, Roby Monroe Hicks, taught him to make banjos (the first ofwhich he built when he was 15) and Appalachian dulcimers, and from his father and his mother, Buna Presnell Hicks, he learned Anglo-American ballads and instrumental techniques. His grandfather, a storyteller, taught him “Jack tales,” Appalachian stories of German American origin. Hicks also learned to dance in a flat-footed, “jumping jack” style. His instruments, which are notable for their high level of craftsmanship, are made from cherry and walnut wood grown near his farm in Vilas, North Carolina; the heads of his banjos are made of groundhog hides. He also produces a number of folk toys. Hicks has appeared at the North Carolina Folk Festival, the National Folk Festival, and the Smithsonian Institution’s Festival of American Folklife. Hicks received the Brown-Hudson Award from the North Carolina Folk Society in ...

Article

Kurt von Fischer

revised by Gianluca D’Agostino

[Landino, Franciscus; Magister Franciscus de Florentia; Magister Franciscus Coecus Horghanista de Florentia; Francesco degli orghani; Cechus de Florentia]

(b ? Fiesole or Florence, c1325; d Florence, Sept 2, 1397). Italian composer, poet, organist, singer and instrument maker of the second generation of Italian Trecento composers.

Only a few dates relating to Landini’s life can be established with any certainty. There is no record of his date of birth, which Fétis gave as c1325 and Pirrotta as c1335. Fiesole was stated as his place of birth, but by only one authority: the Florentine humanist Cristoforo Landino (1429–98), Landini’s great-nephew, in his Elogia de suis maioribus. Most of the available biographical information derives from Filippo Villani’s Liber de origine civitatis Florentiae et eiusdem famosis civibus: the chapter that concerns certain of the Trecento composers (Bartholus, Giovanni, Lorenzo and Jacopo) was written after 1381 but still within Landini’s lifetime (see Villani, Filippo). The name Landini (Landino), according to Pirrotta, descends from Francesco’s grandfather, Landino di Manno, who can be traced in Pratovecchio (Casentino) from ...

Article

Tim Carter

[ Il Bardella ]

( d Florence, Jan 25, 1621). Italian lutenist and singer, inventor of the chitarrone . Sometimes styled ‘bolognese’ (and probably related to the Bolognese composer Romolo Naldi), he was associated with the Medici court in Florence from 1571, and by 1588 he was custodian of the court’s musical instruments. In 1609 his salary was a high 16 scudi per month, comparable with that of Giulio Caccini. He is recorded often as performing at court, sometimes as a singer (e.g. in the first of the intermedi for the wedding of Grand Duke Ferdinando I and Christine of Lorraine in 1589) but chiefly as an instrumentalist. Emilio de’ Cavalieri credited him with the invention of the chitarrone (in a letter to Luzzasco Luzzaschi of 1592; see Prunières) – Naldi seems to have designed and first used the instrument in the 1589 intermedi – and his virtuosity on the instrument was praised by Caccini in the preface to ...

Article

Robert B. Winans

(b Laurel Bloomery, TN, 1913; d Reese, NC, Nov 24, 1965). American banjo maker and singer. He learned to make banjos and dulcimers from his father, and as an instrument maker became most famous for his banjos, which were typical of those made in the mountains of northwestern North Carolina where he lived. A fine traditional singer (who was also a tobacco farmer and part-time carpenter), he was important in the folk music revival of the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was the source of the song “Tom Dooley.” The song collector and performer Frank Warner recorded this song from Proffitt in 1939, reshaped it over years of performing it himself, and taught his version to Alan Lomax, who published it in 1947 in Folksong USA, giving credit only to Warner. “Tom Dooley” became a commercial hit when the Kingston Trio recorded this version in 1957, giving credit to no one. This recording was largely responsible for initiating the urban folk music boom. Through Warner’s efforts, Proffitt finally became known as the source of the song, which created a demand both for his appearance at folk festivals and for his handmade banjos. These are made out of native hardwoods, and are characterized by a long, fretless neck, a small body with a wide wooden rim into which is set a small skin head, and a wooden back with a small soundhole. Although this style has been taken to be the authentic mountain folk banjo, it is only one of the many varieties of homemade mountain banjos. Proffitt made recordings for Folk Legacy Records and Folkways Records....

Article

Mark Tucker

(b Belzoni, MS, March 21, 1930; d Chicago, IL, April 24, 1970). American blues pianist and singer. He received instruction as a boy from such local pianists as Frank Spann (his stepfather), Friday Ford, and Little Brother Montgomery, and played piano in church. He worked with various blues bands, performing in bars and clubs in the area around Jackson, Mississippi, then served in the U.S. Army (1946–51). After settling in Chicago in 1951 he led his own group at the Tick Tock Lounge, then in 1953 began to play with Muddy Waters, remaining a key member of the band until the late 1960s. In later years he began singing more frequently, often leading his own groups or performing as a soloist; he appeared at the Newport and Monterey festivals on several occasions and also toured England and France. Spann’s strengths as a blues-band pianist were his aggressive, hard-driving keyboard style (influenced most strongly by Maceo Merriweather, whom he replaced in Muddy Waters’s band) and his highly refined ensemble skills....