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Agostini, Agostino  

Iain Fenlon

(b ?Ferrara; d Ferrara, Sept 20, 1569). Italian composer and singer. He was a relation (probably uncle) of Lodovico Agostini. He served as a singer at the ducal court of Ferrara between 1540 and 1545, and then as a beneficed priest and canon at Ferrara Cathedral. In 1563 Pendaglia described him as a priest, singer and practising doctor, and according to Scalabrini he was rector of S Salvatore, Ferrara. His known works comprise two four-voice madrigals published in Lodovico Agostini’s Musica … libro secondo de madrigali (RISM 15727), and two pieces to Latin texts, for six and seven voices respectively, in Lodovico’s Canones, et echo (RISM 1572¹³). His madrigals, Questa che’l cor m’accende and Deh salvator de l’anime smarite, both demonstrate a discreet understanding of contemporary madrigalian techniques.

B. Pendaglia: Quattro canti (Ferrara, 1563), 30 G.A. Scalabrini: Riassunto di spese di sacrestia del Duomo di Ferrara...


Agostini, Lodovico  

Iain Fenlon

(b Ferrara, 1534; d Ferrara, Sept 20, 1590). Italian composer and singer. He was a relation (probably nephew) of Agostino Agostini. He came from a family with strong musical traditions, and from an early age studied for a musical and religious career. The appearance of his first known piece in Barré’s Terzo libro delle muse (Rome, 15627) suggests that he received his early training in Rome, as does the dedication of his first book of six-part madrigals to Tiberio Cerasi, who was also the dedicatee of Marenzio’s first book of villanellas. According to Cavicchi (MGG1), he was associated from 1572 with the cappella of Ferrara Cathedral, where older members of his family had also worked; in 1577 his name first appeared in the payment records of the Ferrarese court of Duke Alfonso II d’Este, in whose service he remained until his death. During the 1580s he served as an informal composition tutor to Duke Guglielmo Gonzaga, with whom he exchanged letters on matters of mutual musical interest. He was associated with many notable poets, among them Tasso and Guarini, and with members of the highest aristocracy. He was a priest, and pursued a distinguished religious career which culminated in his being created a Monsignore and an apostolic prothonotary. Although he composed no liturgical music his writings on religious subjects, ...


Alamo, Lázaro del  

Robert Stevenson

(b El Espinar, nr Segovia, c1530; d Mexico City, between 17 March and May 19, 1570). Spanish composer, active in Mexico. He served as a choirboy at Segovia Cathedral from 1542 to 1549, where he was taught by Gerónimo de Espinar (who later taught Victoria at Avila) and from 1544 by the maestro de capilla there, Bartolomé de Olaso (d 1567). He was employed at Salamanca University by Matheo Arévalo Sedeño, a rich nobleman, who later acted as his sponsor at Mexico City; he became a cathedral singer there on 16 October 1554 and, after being ordained, was appointed maestro de capilla on 2 January 1556. For the commemoration services for Charles V held in Mexico City on 29 November 1559 he composed an alternatim psalm setting in four parts. His several ‘motetes, villancicos y chanzonetas’ composed for Corpus Christi and Christmas (many to texts by Juan Bautista Corvera) earned the approval of the Archbishop Alonso de Montúfar, who had him promoted from prebendary to canon on ...


Alberti, Gasparo  

Victor Ravizza

revised by Gary Towne

[Albertis, Gaspare de; Albertus, Gaspare; Gaspare bergomensis; Gaspar de Padua]

(b Padua, c1489; d Bergamo, c1560). Italian composer. His entire career was spent at S Maria Maggiore, Bergamo, where he appeared as cleric in 1503, was ordained in 1514, became chaplain in 1515, and was listed as singer in 1517 and maestro di cappella by 1536. As the basilica’s principal composer, he copied nine or ten choirbooks, beginning in 1524. When the famous music theorist Pietro Aaron was admitted to the monastery of S Leonardo, Bergamo, in 1536, he was received by Alberti, who with 22 singers performed Vespers a cori spezzati. When forced into retirement in 1550, Alberti retained the manuscript choirbooks he had copied until he was reappointed in 1552 for another two years. In 1559 he made a living donation of all of his goods to S Maria Maggiore in return for a pension. Three composite choirbooks mostly copied by him are now in the Biblioteca Civica and are the only manuscript sources of Alberti’s creative production. Three of his masses were published in partbooks in Venice in ...


Aldomar, Pedro Juan  

Isabel Pope

revised by Tess Knighton

[Pere Joan]

(fl 1506–9). Iberian composer. A native of Barcelona, he became maestro de capilla at the cathedral there on 19 January 1506. By 1 March 1508 he was appointed singer in the Aragonese royal chapel of Ferdinand V. He appears to have stayed there less than six months and in summer 1509 he succeeded the theorist Juan de Espinosa as ‘master of music’ at Toledo Cathedral; he held this position for only about a year, after which his name disappears from the records. Three villancicos by him appear in the Cancionero Musical de Palacio. It is interesting that these songs are copied in close proximity to two pieces by Pedro de Lagarto, another composer active at Toledo Cathedral. At least one of Aldomar's songs, ¡Ha Pelayo, qué desmayo!, enjoyed considerable popularity: a four-voice version is found in a collection printed in Venice in 1556. His song style is typical of that of the villancico in about ...


Amenreich [Ammenreich, Armenreich], Bernhard  

Friedhelm Brusniak

(b Heilbronn, c1535; d after 1575). German composer, Kantor and organist. He studied at Heidelberg in 1553 and at Tübingen in 1554, gaining the BA in 1555. He was Kantor at Mergentheim in Franconia in 1555 and from about 1560 to 1564 was organist at Feuchtwangen. In 1565 he was probably a court musician at Ansbach. In 1557 he applied for the post of Kantor at Hipoltstein, and in 1563–4 he applied unsuccessfully for the positions of organist at Windsheim and court musician in Württemberg. From 1569 to 1575 he was Kapellmeister and organist to Landgrave Philipp the Younger of Hesse at Schloss Rheinfels and organist at St Goar, south of Koblenz. However, he lost these posts over a dispute with the citizens of St Goar and was imprisoned. In an autobiographical threnody, Bis in den Himmel clage ich über Tyrannei (in A-Wn ), he complained to the emperor of his unjust treatment by Margrave Georg Friedrich of Ansbach-Brandenburg and Landgrave Philipp of Hesse. He composed ...


Annunciação, Gabriel da  

Robert Stevenson

(b nr Coimbra, c1526; d Landim, nr Vila Nova de Famalição, June 14, 1603). Portuguese ecclesiastic. About 1550 he became an Augustinian canon at the priory of S Cruz, Coimbra. Pinto credited him during the 1550s with the compilation of an important anthology ( P-Cug M.M.48) of 127 folios of organ transcriptions of motets and chansons by Josquin, Mouton, Verdelot, Richafort, Gombert, Crecquillon, Morales and others, together with all ten ricercares in Buus’s Recercari libro primo (Venice, 1547) and a tiento by Francisco de Soto (from RISM 1557²). In later life he held several high offices – counsellor, choirmaster, procurator and vicar – in the monastery at Landim, which was dependent on S Cruz, Coimbra. However, Rees proved the fallacy of attributing to him the incomplete Tento de meyo registo, outavo tom natural a 3 (‘Tiento for divided keyboard, tone VIII untransposed a 3’) on f.66 and exposed Kastner’s error in claiming that it ‘may well be the earliest surviving organ work in a Peninsular manuscript specified for ...


Ansanus S  

William F. Prizer

[Senese, Ser Ansano di Goro, Sano di Goro]

(b c1470; d 1524). Sienese composer, singer and priest. Ansanus can now be identified as Sano di Goro, the son of a Sienese wool shearer, who is first recorded as a clerk in the cathedral of Siena in March 1484. He joined the chapel as a chorister in 1485, and was ordained in 1500, by which time he was an adult singer. He was dismissed from the choir in 1507 after having written a bitter letter complaining about his treatment by the Opera of the cathedral. He returned to the cathedral's services, at least temporarily, from April 1511 to March 1512. In April 1515 he is again listed as a singer there, and thereafter was more or less permanently employed in the choir until February 1524, serving as maestro di cappella in 1517 and again from 1520 to 1524. He died at the end of 1524.

The sole source of his music is the ...


Arbeau, Thoinot  

G. Yvonne Kendall

(b Dijon, France, March 17, 1520; d Langres, France, July 23, 1595). French cleric and dance manual author. Born Jehan Tabourot, son of Pierre Tabourot and Valentine Henriette Dubois, Thoinot Arbeau’s Burgundian family included noted writers and architects. His education in Dijon and Poitiers resulted in a law degree and a career in the church. After joining the Order of St Anthony, also known as the Confrérie de Saint-Didier, the order assigned him to the post of canon for the Department of Haute Marne, which included the dioceses of Dijon and Langres. His uncle Jean Pignard served this latter as cathedral composer and master of music. Later Tabourot was appointed parish treasurer and inspector for diocesan schools in Bar-sur-Aube. In 1567 he returned to Langres as vicar-general, a post that authorized him to speak for the bishop.

At the age of 62, Tabourot chose the anagrammic pseudonym Thoinot Arbeau and began to write. His first publication, an almanac of religious holidays titled ...


Arras, Jean d’  

Lavern J. Wagner

[Renverset, Jean]

(b Arras; d ?Madrid, 1582). Flemish organist active in Italy and Spain. On 1 January 1556 he was engaged at the ducal chapel of Parma. In 1580 he was organist in the chapel of Philip II of Spain, as is shown by a receipt that he signed for wages. His tenure there continued until his death. A madrigal by him, Due rose, is found in Josquino Persoens’s first book of madrigals (RISM, 1570²8). A chanson by him was published by Phalèse (RISM, 15754).

Jean d’Arras should not be confused with a younger man of the same name who was listed in 1596 as a mozzo de capilla (‘youth in the chapel’) to Philip II, and to whom further references occur in listings of chapel personnel in 1598, 1599 and 1608.

Vander Straeten MPB P. Becquart: Musiciens néerlandais à la cour de Madrid: Philippe Rogier et son école 1560–1647...


Ballis, Oliviero  

Leland Earl Bartholomew

revised by Franco Colussi

(b ?Crema; d Ceneda, March 24, 1616). Italian composer, singer and priest. He had been appointed priest and contralto singer at Padua Cathedral on 5 May 1577 and he served there for more than 20 years in various capacities. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the post of maestro di cappella at the cathedral in 1580, but served as a substitute in the post, being the most senior member of the choir, after Costanzo Porta’s dismissal and until the election of G.B. Mosto (from May to December 1595), and again during the latter’s absence and after his death until the election of Lelio Bertani (from March 1596 to November 1598). He had various disputes with the new maestro in April 1600. The following year, on the recommendation of Bishop Leonardo Mocenigo, he was elected maestro di cappella of Ceneda Cathedral, a post which he held, despite new disputes with a local canon, until his death. During these final years he published his ...


Barberiis, Melchiore de  

Arthur J. Ness

(fl Padua, c1545–50). Italian priest, composer, lutenist and guitarist. He composed or intabulated books 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10 in Girolamo Scotto’s ten volume series of lute tablatures (Venice, 1546–9), which also included tablatures by Francesco da Milano, Rotta, Giovanni Maria da Crema and Borrono. Barberiis’s name is absent from lists of prominent Paduan musicians of the time, and only two of his pieces were reprinted in later collections. At best, his five books preserve the practical repertory of a ‘sonatore eccellentissimo di lautto’ who had little or no formal musical training.

Barberiis’s ricercares, fantasias and canzonas, some of which are in two or three sections, are usually constructed from a succession of chords (often drawn from madrigals or dances) filled out and linked by ornamental passage work. One fantasia is a simple gloss upon a composition by Francesco da Milano. Book 4 (1546...


Bertram, Johann  

Walter Blankenburg


(b Celle, 1535; d Lüneburg, April 17, 1575). German Kantor, composer and theologian. He studied first at the Johannisschule in Lüneburg where Lucas Lossius was one of his teachers, and from 1555 in Wittenberg. He was appointed town Kantor in Lüneburg in 1558. In 1562 he accepted a post as a preacher at the Nikolaikirche, Lüneburg, and performed the duties concurrently with those of Kantor until 1564; in that year Christoph Praetorius, an uncle of Michael Praetorius, took over Bertram’s town post. From 1571 or 1572 until his death he was principal pastor in Lüneburg.

Bertram’s life story is characteristic of many early Lutheran figures whose first occupation as a Kantor was merely a stepping-stone to the profession of pastor. His are the earliest compositions by a Lüneburg Kantor to have survived. The most important is his contribution to the Erotemata musicae practicae (Nuremberg, 1563), a book of instruction designed by Lossius for music teaching in Lüneburg. In the preface it is stated that Bertram had ‘carefully compiled and extended the book with pleasing and suitable music examples’; it is possible that he was also responsible for the remaining music examples that cannot be identified. To the ...


Beurhaus, Friedrich  

F.E. Kirby

(b Immecke, nr Meinerzhagen, 1536; d Dortmund, Aug 6, 1609). German theorist, teacher and Kantor. He was educated first in Münster and Dortmund, and later at Cologne University where he received the MA in 1560. After serving as teacher, Kantor and administrator for several years in various schools, mainly in Dortmund, he took up a post in 1567 as Kantor at the famous Reinoldi School there; he became Rektor in 1582 in succession to his former teacher and long-standing friend and colleague, Johann Lambach. His work in this post was widely acclaimed and in 1587 he was made Comes Palatinus by Emperor Rudolf II.

He is important for his treatise Erotematum musicae, originally published in 1573 under the title Musicae erotematum, and subsequently reprinted three times. The treatise, of the musica practica type, presents the fundamentals of music in question and answer form. For his formulations Beurhaus borrowed considerably, as was customary in a treatise of this kind, from other German theorists of the time, notably Agricola, Faber (both Gregor and Heinrich), Figulus, Galliculus, Ornithoparchus, Wilfflingseder and Zanger....


Croce, Giovanni  

Denis Arnold

[Ionne a Cruce Clodiensis; Chiozzotto; Chiozzotto]

(b Chioggia, c1557; d Venice, May 15, 1609). Italian composer, singer and priest. One of the best and most influential composers of the Venetian school, he was in particular a master of the canzonetta and madrigal comedy.

Croce was a pupil of Zarlino, who made him a member of the choir of S Marco, Venice, while he was still a boy. He took orders before 1585 and for much of his life was in the employ of the church of S Maria Formosa, though the evidence is conflicting as to whether he was ever parish priest. According to one report to the Venetian procurators he was a reliable singer of moderate quality. In the early 1590s he was made vicemaestro di cappella of S Marco, in 1593 being in charge of the singing teaching at its seminary. On the death of Baldassare Donato in 1603 there was some dispute about the appointment of the ...


Decius [Degius, Deeg, Tech a Curia], Nikolaus  

Hans-Christian Müller

revised by Hans-Otto Korth

[Nickel von Hof]

(b Hof an der Saale, c1485; d after 1546). German Kantor and composer. A member of a respected family of Hof, he matriculated on 16 October 1501 at Leipzig University where he took the Bachelor of Arts and later the Bachelor of Both Laws degrees. He then seems to have entered the church: having made an unsuccessful application to Zwickau, he was made provost of the Benedictine monastery at Steterburg, near Brunswick, in 1519. There he wrote a commentary on Matthew, Summula doctrinam Jhesu Christi ex Codice Matthei (Brunswick, 1521). Parts of it are written in Low German, betraying the influence of Luther (who preferred the use of the vernacular) and the Reformation movement. In January 1522 Decius was appointed rector of the Lyceum at Hanover, but within a few months he returned to Brunswick as a teacher at the schools attached to St Katherina and St Aegidien. It was probably during this year that he wrote three sacred hymns in Low German to replace parts of the Latin Ordinary of the Mass. In ...


Faveretto [Favretto, Favereto, Fabreti], Bartolomeo  

Pier Paolo Scattolin

(b Padua; d probably Padua, 1616). Italian composer, maestro di cappella and instrumentalist. He was a priest. A document dated 7 March 1595 shows that he was a trombone player at S Antonio, Padua. In the same year he was appointed for three years from 1 May as a trombonist in the chapel of Padua Cathedral, and this position was renewed in 1598. He was maestro di cappella at Montagnana, following Lucrezio Venturo, from 14 October 1600 to 24 August 1603; he was succeeded by Vincenzo Neriti. He maintained connections, during this period, with the chapel of Padua Cathedral and had occasional engagements there. On 21 February 1602 he had returned to the cathedral as a chorister. On 21 November 1602 he obtained a papal brève which allowed him to receive his salary while out of residence, and on 6 July 1606 he was appointed for six years as assistant ...


Gaffurius [Gafurius], Franchinus  

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, ...


Gómez de Herrera, Martín  

Almonte Howell

(fl 1569–1600). Spanish singer and liturgist. He studied with Bartolomé de Quevedo, maestro de capilla of Toledo Cathedral, and was admitted there as a treble singer in 1569. According to the Barbieri papers ( E-Mn 14031, no.126 and 14032, no.101) he left in 1587 to become a singer in the royal chapel of Philip II, but returned to Toledo in 1600 as royal chaplain. His unpublished Advertencias sobre la canturía eclesiástica (c1580), hitherto known only in a 19th-century copy in E-Mn , actually exists in a fair copy signed by the author, along with a different and possibly earlier version (in E-Tc ). It is representative of Spanish resistance to attempts to revise Catholic plainchant according to current tastes and was written to reinforce the brief of 1570 that Philip II obtained from Pope Pius V permitting the continued use in Spain of the traditional chants as practised at Toledo Cathedral. Quoting numerous writers, both ancient and modern, Gómez traced the history of chant from biblical times, cited past efforts by church authorities to prevent its alteration and analysed various classes of chant in respect of rhythm, accent, melisma and modality, the elements most subject to tampering....


Götting, Valentin  

F.E. Kirby

(b Witzenhausen; fl 1587–9). German Kantor. He is known principally for the Compendium musicae modulativae, quale brevitate ordinis commoditate et facilitate nunquam visum, observatum et in usum puerorum jam primum ad musicam adhibendorum collectum (Erfurt, 1587), a short treatise of the musica practica type that presents the most basic elements of music. After some preliminary definitions, the material is divided into two parts: the claves, dealing with the rules of solmization, and the characteres, dealing with the mensural music (polyphony). In the first part it is noteworthy that the soft and hard hexachords are regarded as transpositions. The few illustrative examples are extremely simple, using only ascending and descending scales for thematic material; at the end, however, are somewhat more elaborate examples demonstrating the intervals and scales. Götting's formulations appear to be his own throughout. The treatise contains a long preface by Henning Dedekind, together with Latin poems, one by Götting's brother Heinrich, another a set of distichs dedicated to the theorist Beurhaus....