1-20 of 20 Results  for:

  • Medieval (800-1400) x
  • Religious or Ritual Musician x
  • Composer or Arranger x
Clear all

Article

[Petrus Abailardus]

(b Le Pallet, nr Nantes, 1079; d Saint-Marcel, nr Chalon-sur-Saône, April 21, 1142). French philosopher, poet and musician of Breton origin. After studying philosophy in Paris, he taught dialectic at the cathedral school. His love affair with Heloise, the young niece of Canon Fulbert, brought him fame as a musician. However, after they had secretly married in 1118 Fulbert had Abelard castrated. Heloise became a nun and he became a monk at St Denis. His highly original scholastic method and his restless and blunt nature aroused opposition to his teaching; principal among his opponents was Bernard of Clairvaux. After condemnation by the Council of Sens in 1140, Abelard found support from Peter the Venerable, Benedictine Abbot of Cluny.

Abelard’s songs are few beside his numerous theological and philosophical writings. Heloise’s testimony suggests that his love songs must have been important from both a literary and a musical point of view. In a later letter (probably revised by Abelard) she declared that he had ‘the gift of poetry and the gift of song’; he ‘composed quite a number of metrical and rhythmic love songs. The great charm and sweetness in language and music, and a soft attractiveness of the melody obliged even the unlettered’. These songs, presumably in Latin, have all been lost: they have not been identified among the anonymous repertory....

Article

Afat  

Tom R. Ward

revised by David Fallows

(fl ?c1430). Composer, possibly Italian. He may have been active in Brescia, if that is indeed the origin of the manuscript I-Bu 2216, which contains his only known work. This is a Sanctus (ed. in MLMI, 3rd ser., Mensurabilia, iii, vol.ii, 1970, pp.86–8), written in major prolation, with two equal high voices in florid style over a tenor....

Article

Andrew Hughes

(d 1286). ?French poet and priest. He was a canon and priest of the collegiate church of St Pierre in Lille, near Arras. About 1280, he wrote a metrical and rhymed paraphrase of the famous poem, Anticlaudianus, by the 12th-century theologian, philosopher and poet Alain de Lille. Its plot concerns Nature’s formation of a perfect man to be imbued with the Arts and Virtues, and an ascent to heaven, on which journey the music of the spheres is heard, to request a soul from God. Adam named his new work Ludus super Anticlaudianum. It survives today in one manuscript ( F-Lm 316), thought to be partly autograph. Adam’s work retains the plot, the moral and the didactic character of the original, but the forbidding allegory and encyclopedic tone is modified in favour of a simpler style and language so that the work, although in Latin, is almost like a ...

Article

Sarah Fuller

[Guido Cariloci, Guy de Cherlieu]

(fl 1132–57). Cistercian monk and abbot of the monastery at Cherlieu from 1132–57. In some manuscripts known in the 18th and 19th centuries, the preface to the Cistercian Gradual, Cantum quem Cisterciensis ordinis, bore an attribution to Guido of Cherlieu. Since these manuscripts have now disappeared, it is impossible to evaluate their testimony. There is a distinct possibility that Guido of Cherlieu is an alternative name for ...

Article

Margaret Bent

revised by Roger Bowers

(b c1385, d 1442). English church musician and composer. Nine compositions in the Old Hall Manuscript are attributed to ‘Cooke’ and one piece preserved anonymously there may also be assigned to him; a further, unclear attribution may read ‘J. Cooke’. The name Cooke was common, and it is possible that this music includes works by more than one composer so named. Most if not all, however, is probably attributable to the John Cooke who, as almost certainly a former chorister of the Chapel Royal, was sent from a very junior clerkship there to study at King’s Hall, Cambridge, in 1402/3. He vacated this fellowship in January 1414, but had already been re-admitted to membership of the Chapel Royal as a chaplain (a Gentleman in priest’s orders) by the summer of 1413. He was among the personnel who accompanied the entourage of Henry V on the Agincourt expedition of ...

Article

Ursula Günther

revised by Yolanda Plumley

[Egidius]

(d 1348). Priest and composer. This name appears together with ‘Magister Heinricus’ in Coussemaker’s copy of F-Sm 222 (facs. in TM, ii, 1977) above a 14th-century motet dedicated to St Ida of Boulogne (1040–1113), the mother of three crusaders and an ancestor of Gui de Boulogne (d 1373) and Pope Clement VII (1378–94). This motet, Portio nature/Ida capillorum/Ante thronum Trinitatis (ed. in CMM, xxxix, 14; PMFC, v, 5), may have been composed for the nomination of Gui de Boulogne as cardinal at Avignon in 1342. In any case, the work dates from before 1376 since it is entered in the first section of the index of F-Pn 23190 (olim SERc ). It is also transmitted (anonymously) in F-CH 564, I-IV 115 and NL-Lu 342A (inc.). The author of the text, ‘Heinricus’ (Henricus), is named in the text of the motetus, and may be identifiable with one of several composers of this name whose works are included in ...

Article

Article

(b Faversham, Kent, c1175; d Anagni, summer 1244). English friar, administrator and liturgist. He was said to have been educated in the arts in England before studying theology at the University of Paris, where on 12 April 1224 he joined the young Franciscan Order. He was active in the affairs of the order and travelled widely in its service, and seems to have played a part in the establishment in 1229 of the Franciscan school in Oxford that formed the nucleus of the new university there. He was elected minister provincial of England in 1239 and minister general of the Franciscan Order on 1 November 1240. As general he did much to strengthen the institutions of the order. But his importance for the history of music lies in his reform of the Franciscan liturgy. He first (probably in 1243) produced an ordinal prescribing the words and actions of private and simple conventual Masses, known from its opening words as ...

Article

James W. McKinnon

[Elisagarus]

(b 8th century; d after 837). Churchman and liturgist. Born a Goth in Septimania, he is first documented in 808 as chancellor to Louis the Pious, who had been placed on the throne of Aquitania by his father Charlemagne. When Louis became emperor after the death of Charlemagne in 814, he brought Helisachar to Aachen with him to continue in the role of chancellor. He served in that capacity until about 817, remaining in close contact with the court of Louis for the rest of his career except for a period of disfavour from 830 to 833. Though a canon and not a monk, he was named abbot of St Aubin, Angers, and also of Saint Riquier (822–37).

Louis took an active interest in ecclesiastical matters including the liturgy, and Helisachar, along with his better-known associate Benedict of Aniane (d 821), served him as adviser in that regard. Helisachar was the author of a preface and supplement to Alcuin's epistolary, and the author of a letter (written probably at Angers between 819 and 822) to Archbishop Nibridius of Narbonne, in which he described his composition of an Office antiphoner. Like ...

Article

Nicky Losseff

( b Château de Landsberg, nr Strasbourg, c 1130; d Mont Ste-Odile, nr Strasbourg, 1195). Alsatian noblewoman and abbess . She was the compiler of the manuscript Hortus deliciarum (‘Garden of Delights’), one of the earliest polyphonic sources from a nunnery. She entered the Augustinian house of St Odilien at an early age and became abbess in 1167; her learning soon became renowned, and earned the praise of the emperor Frederick Barbarossa.

She began compiling Hortus deliciarum as a pedagogical tool for her novices in 1167 and finished it in 1185. Although the manuscript’s contents were not for the most part original, its scope was unusually encyclopedic and it could serve as a compendium of 12th-century knowledge. It was burnt in 1870, but some of the illustrations, poems and music had been published in facsimile by Engelhardt, thus permitting some degree of reconstruction. The illustrations are the most famous aspect of the manuscript: there were 336 symbolic representations of theosophical, literary and philosophical themes. Some are considered technically admirable and artistically imaginative to a rare degree....

Article

Sarah Fuller

(b 1163; d Jan 27, 1225). French chronicler of St Martial of Limoges and monk. Received as a boy scholar at St Martial in 1177, Itier held a succession of important offices, culminating in appointments as librarian (1204) and precentor (by 1211), posts he evidently held concurrently. Annotations in Itier's hand, scattered through surviving remnants of the St Martial library, testify to his interest in preserving the monastery books. One manuscript that he had bound includes a collection of early polyphonic music. Other musical manuscripts from the St Martial collection very probably owe their survival to his care.

Although not himself a professional scribe, Itier had charge of the monastery scriptorium and knew how to notate music. One composition in his hand, a Parisian motet based on the duplum of Perotinus's four-voice organum Sederunt ( F-Pn lat.2208, f.1), shows a musical connection between Paris and St Martial in Itier’s lifetime. The chronicle written by Itier is a central source of information on the monastery....

Article

Luminita Florea

( fl 1351–92). English friar . He was from the Custody of Bristol and was the author-compiler of the Quatuor principalia musice ( GB-Ob Digby 90; CoussemakerS, iv, 200–98; shortened version in GB-Lbl Cotton Tiberius B.IX, ante f. 204-214r; CoussemakerS, iii, 334–64) and the scribe, maker and owner of the earliest extant copy of this work, completed at Oxford on 4 August 1351 and donated by John to the Oxford Franciscans in 1388 with the assent of Thomas de Kingsbury, the 26th provincial minister of the Franciscan order in England. Another book of which John was the author-compiler, scribe, maker and owner, containing the astronomical treatise De situ universorum and two smaller tracts ( GB-Mch 6681), was compiled some time between 1356 (or 1357) and (possibly) 1371, and it includes an explicit date of 1392; several passages in this work indicate that he had been at the Oxford Franciscan convent on ...

Article

Kassia  

Diane Touliatos

[Cassia, Kasia, Eikasia, Ikasia, Kasianē, Kassianē, Kassiani]

(b 810 ce; d by 867). Byzantine-Greek composer and hymnographer. Born into a wealthy family associated with the imperial court in Constantinople, she received a sophisticated education, including the study of classical Greek literature (the influence of which may be seen in her liturgical and secular poetry, epigrams, and moral sayings), and was once considered as a possible bride for the Emperor Theophilus. She became the abbess of a monastery and during the reigns of Theophilus (829–42) and his son Michael (842–67) wrote a number of liturgical compositions to contemporary texts, some of which may be settings of her own poems.

More than 50 liturgical works have been attributed to Kassia (although the authenticity of 26 is now disputed), the majority of them stichēra. Her most famous composition in this genre is the hymn Augoustou monarchēsantos (‘Augustus was reigning’) for Hesperinos on Christmas Day; its melody was so well known in medieval Byzantium that it was mentioned in the chronicles. Words and music are closely interlinked in this hymn: the text compares and contrasts the reign of Augustus (27 ...

Article

Michel Huglo

(b c850; d Liège, May 16, 920). Bishop and composer of historiae (Proper Offices to saints). Born in the Low Countries, he attended the cathedral school in Metz and, in 864, the palace school in Aachen, and later became a canon of Metz Cathedral, abbot of St Mihiel, of St Evre and of Lobbes before his election in 901 as bishop of Liège. He composed three Offices, whose antiphons and responsories follow the ascending order of the eight modes: the Office of the Trinity (see Auda, 115–21), the most widely known in Europe, attributed to him by Herigerus; the Office of the Invention of St Stephen (Auda, 58–66), his own patron saint; and the Office of St Lambert, patron saint of Liège (Auda, 187–97; the rhymed antiphon Magna vox probably existed before this Office was composed). It is unlikely that the composition of historiae in modal order, a new procedure, was initiated by Stephen or by ...

Article

Article

Edward H. Roesner

( fl mid-13th century). Musical scribe active in Paris . In the period following the generations of Perotinus and Robertus de Sabilone, he was involved, along with Johannes ‘Primarius’ and others, in copying the Magnus liber of Notre Dame, work that resulted in the transcription of the repertory from a modal to a mensural system of notation. He is mentioned only by the theorist Anonymus 4 (ed. Reckow, ...

Article

Lawrence Gushee

[Rupertus Tuitiensis]

(b ?Liège, 1075–80; d Deutz, nr Cologne, March 4, 1129/30). Theologian, liturgist and hymnodist. He was an oblate of the Benedictine abbey of St Laurent in Liège and was educated there under Abbot Berengar (d 1115). His teacher in music may have been a certain Heribrand. Ordained priest in 1106, he moved to the abbey of St Michael in Siegburg about 1116 and in 1120 was made abbot of St Heribert in Deutz. His most widely distributed work, to judge from the large number of extant manuscripts, is De divinis officiis; it is on the liturgy and contains a number of observations on plainchant. His copious theological writings involved him in disputes with Anselm of Laon and William of Champeaux. One of them, De Trinitate, in the section De operibus Spiritus Sancti (vol.vii, chap. 16), contains a passage on music of a certain originality, finding in Old Testament citations evidence of the musical proportions usually associated with Pythagoras. There are, in addition, a number of exegetical works; a chronicle of the abbey of St Laurent formerly ascribed to Rupert is no longer considered authentic. He is thought to have written in his youth hymns in honour of St Mary Magdalen, St Goar, St Severinus and St Heribert, and Rupert himself refers to his hymn to the Holy Spirit, ...

Article

Peter Wright

(fl c1430–40). Composer, singer and priest. The musician listed as a singer of Albrecht II, King of the Romans, in the motet Romanorum rex written in commemoration of the king’s death in 1439, must be the same man who composed this and several other sacred works found in early 15th-century manuscripts. If his identity has yet to be established conclusively, the proposal that he was Johannes Doussart, a cleric of the diocese of Liège who was still alive in 1457, is very plausible, and distinctly more so than the earlier suggestion that he was the Cambrai-based musician Jean Du Sart.

Sarto’s four surviving motets are written in an elegant and at times highly expressive melodic style, with well-controlled dissonance and occasional use of imitation. Verbum patris (notable for its use of common material at section ends) and Romanorum rex both employ complex mensural schemes; the latter, a technical tour de force, is remarkable for its simultaneous use of two distinct isorhythmic patterns. One introit survives with an uncontested attribution and in the case of two others Sarto’s name has been substituted for that of his famous contemporary, Johannes Brassart, perhaps indicating some form of collaboration or rivalry. Evidently the two men were closely associated: both were members of the imperial chapel during the 1430s and were probably linked by affiliation to the same diocese (Liège); their works were sometimes copied next to or near one another; two of Sarto’s motets, ...

Article

Margaret Bent

revised by Andrew Wathey

[VitriacoVittriaco]

(b ?Champagne, 31 Oct 1291; d 9 June 1361). French composer, theorist, and bishop.

The early career of Philippe de Vitry remains obscure: he is often styled ‘magister’, but there is no direct evidence either that he studied at the University of Paris (though some contact with its members seems likely) or that he held the degree of magister artium (he is called ‘master of music’ in F-Pn lat.7378A). Vitry is first documented in 1321, when he was presented to a canonry with the expectation of a prebend at Cambrai; in the event no vacancy occurred and Vitry dropped his claim to this position between 1327 and 1332. He may, however, already have been a canon of the collegiate church of Notre Dame in Clermont-en-Beauvais, the family church of the counts of Clermont; he certainly held this position by August 1322, probably acquiring it through the patronage of Louis de Bourbon, Count of Clermont, with whom he was closely linked, as clerk, administrator, and diplomat, over the next 20 years. A connection with Louis de Bourbon may originate before ...

Article

Wipo  

Richard L. Crocker

[Wigbert ]

(b ?Solothurn, c995; d c1050). Priest, poet and chronicler . He studied at Solothurn, became chaplain to the Emperor Conrad II (d 1039) some time before 1020, and then teacher and confessor to Emperor Henry II (d 1056). In 1045 he went into seclusion as a hermit, when he wrote his biography of Conrad.

His musical importance lies in the attribution to him of Victimae paschali laudes by Schubiger on the basis of an Einsiedeln manuscript of the late 11th century (facsimile in Schubiger), which places the name ‘Wipo’ at the head of the sequence. Julian cited as evidence against this the appearance of the sequence in two manuscripts possibly dated too early in the 11th century for Wipo to have written the work ( CH-SGs 340, to which the sequence is apparently added, and F-Pn lat.10510, from Echternacht). The Einsiedeln manuscript, however, may be one of those medieval sources that ascribes items, sometimes on less than good authority, to eminent persons; at least, the other items from this manuscript reproduced by Schubiger are also ascribed, including a Gloria ascribed to ‘Leonis pape’. In all, the attribution remains uncertain....