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date: 18 October 2019

Abramino [Abramo] dall’Arpa locked

  • Don Harrán

Extract

(fl Mantua, c1577–93). Italian harpist. He was one of a small number of Jewish musicians active in Mantua in the late 16th century. He appears to have been the grandson of Abramo dall’Arpa (not his nephew, as sometimes claimed) and, as his name implies, to have excelled as a harpist. His service for the Mantuan court may be dated from about 1577 to 1593. His name appears on payrolls from 1577 and 1580, though as Abramo. In 1587 he participated in a ‘water music’ entertainment to mark the baptism of a newborn member of the ducal family. In the same year, he accompanied the ill-disposed Duke Guglielmo Gonzaga to Goito, where he comforted him with his playing. In his Trattato dell’arte (1584), the poet and painter Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo referred to Abramino, his grandfather Abramo and Giovanni Leonardo dall’Arpa (from Naples, d 1602) as the three most prominent harp players of their time....

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