(b Baghdad, July 779; d Samarra’, July 839). Arab musician. He was a son of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mahdī and a Persian slave at court called Shikla. He became famous for his fine and powerful voice with its range of four octaves, and first took part in court concerts during the reigns of Hārūn al-Rashīd (786–809) and al-Amīn (809–13). Proclaimed caliph in 817 in opposition to al-Ma’mūn (813–33), he had to abdicate after barely two years and went into hiding. In 825 he was pardoned and became a court musician once more under al-Ma’mūn and his successor al-Mu‘taṣim (833–42). He was a follower of the school of Ibn Jāmi‘ and represented a ‘soft’ style, probably influenced by Persian music, which also allowed freedom in rendering older works. His rival Isḥāq al-Mawṣilī accused him of stylistic uncertainty; fragments of their polemic writings are quoted in the Kitāb al-aghānī al-kabīr...
[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 ...
(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 ...
revised by Randall Rosenfeld
(b ?Saxony, c1096; d 1141). Augustinian canon and theologian. After study in Saxony, he went to the abbey of St Victor in Marseilles, and later to the culturally eminent abbey of St Victor in Paris, where he became scholasticus. His diverse writings exerted an enormous influence on the liturgical arts of his time, perhaps affecting the formation of the style that later became known as Gothic. During the 1130s Adam of St Victor was one of his confrères, and it seems likely that Hugh's mystical theology played an important role in the development of the Victorine sequence. Among his numerous works is his early compendium, the Didascalicon, which contains a chapter on music. This is entirely concerned with the three standard divisions of music, mundana, humana and instrumentalis, and with the three kinds of musician, those who compose songs, those who play instruments and those who judge. The thought, and much of the language, is borrowed from Boethius....