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...