(fl first half of the 11th century). Arab musician and writer. The son of an eminent musician, he became a prominent singer at the Cairo court of the Fatimid caliph al-Ẓāhir (1021–36), and was still active as a teacher in 1057. His music treatise, completed after 1036 and entitled Ḥāwī al-funūn wa-salwat al-maḥzūn (‘Compendium of the arts to comfort sad hearts’), is of particular interest in that it deals with various topics of little concern to other authorities. Written from the perspective of a cultured musician rather than that of a philosopher-theorist, it calls upon a literary tradition of writing about music, and its historical content is frankly derivative, even if of interest for the implication of continuity with the court music of 9th-century Baghdad. But it is wide-ranging in its treatment of contemporary practice, dealing not only with such basics as mode and rhythm, but also with such matters as the normal sequence of events in performance, deportment and etiquette, the materials and construction of the ‘...
(b Woburn, Beds., Sept 24, 1766; d London, Jan 6, 1826). English geologist and writer on music. He was a tenor in the Surrey Chapel Society which met weekly in Southwark to practise sacred music. In 1791, when that society became part of the Choral Fund, Farey served as secretary and librarian and became acquainted ‘with numbers of the most eminent’ practitioners of music. The next year he returned to Woburn as the Duke of Bedford’s land steward and warden of Woburn parish church; from 1802 he lived in London.
Farey found the study of systems of musical temperament ‘a favourite source of amusement, while relaxing from … professional studies and practice’. His thoughts on music appeared mainly in numerous articles in the Philosophical Magazine and reappeared in contributions to David Brewster’s Edinburgh Encyclopaedia and to Abraham Rees’s Cyclopaedia: indeed Rees named only Charles Burney and Farey as ‘co-adjutors’ of the musical articles in the ...
revised by Katharine Ellis
(b Bellême, Sept 6, 1759; d Tours, April 27, 1839). French writer on music . He attended the maîtrise of Le Mans Cathedral, where he met Le Sueur, and studied oriental languages at the Sorbonne. He was ordained a priest and, as a tenor, joined the maîtrise of Notre Dame on the eve of the Revolution. During the Revolution, however, the maîtrise was suppressed, and he joined the Opéra chorus, soon gaining the post of chorus leader.
In 1798 he went to Egypt as a member of a large scientific group accompanying Napoleon on his Egyptian expedition; this journey determined much of Villoteau’s future career. During two years in Egypt he amassed numerous documents, mainly on music, which he later studied with the aid of the principal Paris libraries. He then published several works, the first of which was Recherches sur l’analogie de la musique avec les arts qui ont pour objet l’imitation du langage...