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Bonnie J. Blackburn


(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 ...


(b Montona [now Motovun], Istria [Croatia], c1480; d after 1538). Italian woodblock cutter, editor, publisher and composer of Croatian birth. His birthplace is frequently appended to his name, as in his papal privilege of 1516: ‘to our beloved son Andreas Antiquus de Montona, cleric of the diocese of Parenzo now living in Rome’. (Despite the reference to clerical status, there is no evidence that he was ordained as a priest or served the church.) Active as a woodblock cutter, editor and music publisher in Rome from 1510 to 1518, in Venice 1520–21 and again from 1533 to 1539, he was the earliest competitor of Ottaviano Petrucci, who had initiated the printing of volumes of polyphonic music at Venice in 1501. Antico was the first to publish such books in Rome.

Antico’s method differed fundamentally from Petrucci’s: Antico was a cutter of woodblocks from which music and text were printed in one impression, whereas Petrucci employed multiple impression from moveable type. Antico both cut the blocks for and published, in collaboration with printers and others, his Roman editions and those of his first two years in Venice. After ...


Lawrence F. Bernstein

(fl Paris, 1540–60). French editor, composer and arranger. He was employed as an editor by Pierre Attaingnant in Paris, where he was known as a ‘musicien compositeur’. The title-pages of books 3, 4 and 5 of Attaingnant’s Danceries state that the music was ‘looked over’ or ‘looked over and corrected’ by Claude Gervaise, sçavant musicien’. After Attaingnant’s death Gervaise continued to give editorial assistance to Marie Lescallopier Attaingnant, who maintained the printing establishment, bringing out volumes of music sporadically until 1558. His circle of friends is known to have included at least one other Parisian musician, Julien Le Maître, court oboist and violinist.

Gervaise is remembered principally for his instrumental music. In addition to editing three books of Danceries, he composed the music of the sixth volume. It contains numerous ensemble dances, almost all of them four-part, and closely resembles the other volumes of the series. The dance forms employed are the ...


Susan Forscher Weiss

(b Kemnath, c1505; d St Lorenzen am Steinfeld, Lower Austria, c1564). German songbook editor and poet. He studied at the University of Vienna about 1523, but in the mid-1530s he married, had a child, and worked as a Protestant cantor in the city of Amberg in Bavaria. About 1540 he deserted his wife and child, moved back to Vienna, reconverted to Catholicism and became a priest, singing in the choir of the Salvatorkapelle and becoming a schoolmaster at the Schottenstift (1540–43). He is thought to have written the first plays in German verse for Viennese audiences (some of them school dramas) and to have taught the first German songs with choral odes to Viennese pupils. He edited Guter seltsamer un kunstreicher teutscher Gesang (Nuremberg, 1544), the earliest known songbook compiled in Vienna. A set of four partbooks, CH-Bu kk IV 19–22, contains one of the few complete copies of Schmeltzl's German lieder (RISM ...