Erculeo [Ercoleo, Erculei], Marzio
- Argia Bertini
- , revised by J. Victor Crowther
(b Otricoli, nr Terni, 1623; d Modena, Aug 5, 1706). Italian writer on music, composer, teacher and singer. He studied music at the Collegio Germanico, Rome. By 1638 he was a soprano in the chapel at the court of Duke Francesco I d'Este at Modena and served as a castrato soprano until the chapel was disbanded by the regent Duchess Laura in July 1662. After petitioning the duchess he was reinstated at court as ‘musico ecclesiastico di SAS’ on a much-reduced stipend. During the regency period (1662–74) he wrote the text of an oratorio, Il battesimo di San Valeriano martire, for the Feast of S Cecilia (?1665) and in 1672 applied unsuccessfully for the beneficed post of choral chaplain at Modena Cathedral. When Duke Francesco II came to power in 1674, Erculeo fell from favour at court. For the rest of his life he taught singing to the seminarists at the schools of the Congregazione della Beata Vergine and S Carlo, where Pacchioni had been one of his pupils. His three books of the 1680s derive primarily from his work as a singing teacher, and the last two are specially interesting for the light they throw on the performance of Gregorian chant at the period. His discussion in ...