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date: 21 November 2019

Agricola [Ackerman], Alexander locked

  • revised by Rob C. Wegman
  •  and Fabrice Fitch
  • Edward R. Lerner


(b Ghent, ?1445/6; d Valladolid, August 15, 1506). South Netherlandish composer, active in Italy, France and the Low Countries. He was renowned for his composition in all genres cultivated in his time, and his music was as widely distributed as that of any of his contemporaries.

Some biographical information can be gleaned from the text of a musical setting entitled Epitaphion Alexandri Agricolae symphonistae regis Castiliae, printed by Georg Rhau in 1538. Here, the composer is called a ‘Belgian’, who died in 1506 at the age of 60 while travelling through Spain in the service of Philip the Fair. Two more epitaphs have recently been discovered by Bonnie Blackburn; one of these specifies the date of death, and reveals that he was a native of Ghent. Archival documents and musical manuscripts give his surname almost invariably as Agricola, although one payment record from the Burgundian court, written in ...

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