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Article

Neal Zaslaw

(b Lyons, late 17th century; d Paris, c1752). French singer, theorist, composer and actor. He was the head of a theatrical troupe that played in Lille between 1715 and 1722, at Brussels in 1716 and in Antwerp in 1717. The title-page of his Nouveau système calls him ‘formerly of the Royal Academies of Music of Lyons, Rouen, Marseilles, Lille, Brussels and Antwerp, and maître de musique of the cathedrals of St Omer and Tournai’. In 1730 he was married in Paris to Marie-Marguerite Lecouvreur, younger sister of the playwright. The dedication of Denis’ Nouvelle méthode to the ladies of St Cyr suggests that he may have been involved in the musico-theatrical training offered at that school. In the 1740s and early 1750s, and perhaps earlier, Denis ran a music school in Paris; the school continued after his death under his son-in-law Jouve.

Denis’ treatises enjoyed considerable longevity, one of them remaining in publishers’ catalogues until ...

Article

Robert Erich Wolf

revised by Philippe Vendrix

(b Beauvais, Dec 1670; d Paris, March 23, 1742). French diplomat, antiquarian, historian and theorist of the arts. After studies in theology and archaeology at the Sorbonne, he entered the diplomatic service which took him, at one time or another, to Hamburg, London, The Hague, Brussels, Neuchâtel and Italy, and involved him in the preparations for the treaties of Ryswick and Utrecht. As reward, he was given various ecclesiastical benefices and the title ‘Abbé’, as well as election to the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in 1720, of which, three years later, he became ‘perpetual secretary’. His historical writings were both well founded and controversial. Because of his broad acquaintance with the arts, past and present and also French and foreign, which was matched by a certain refined connoisseurship, he was in demand, even as a young man, for advice concerning scenery, costumes and staging at the Opéra. His most important publication for music is his ...

Article

Albert Cohen

(b Lyons, 1696; d Avignon, 1770). French mathematician, astronomer and music theorist. After early studies in Lyons, Avignon and La Flèche, he became a missionary to the New World in 1726 (principally in Martinique and Illinois), returning to France in 1730 to teach philosophy in Dole and Roanne. In 1733 he became a Jesuit priest and subsequently taught mathematics at the collège of Dole. From 1735 to 1742 he served his order as a preacher in several French provincial cities, and he later taught at the Collège de la Trinité in Lyons, where he remained until 1763. At the suppression of his order in France, he retired to the collège at Avignon, where he lived until his death. Except for early mathematical studies, his writings largely remain in manuscript in Lyons, comprising numerous mémoires on different subjects prepared for presentation before the academy there, to which he was admitted in ...

Article

(b Werningshausen, Erfurt, bap. May 8, 1673; d Sondershausen, Dec 18, 1732). German organist, composer and theorist. Although orphaned at the age of nine, Eckelt had a good grammar school education in Gotha and Erfurt. In the latter place he studied briefly with Johann Pachelbel. He became organist of the Liebfrauenkirche in Wernigerode in 1697. Andreas Werckmeister, who had connections with the town, may also have influenced his development. In 1701 or 1703 he moved to the Holy Trinity Church in Sondershausen and remained there until shortly before his death. Johann Friedrich Eckelt succeeded his father as Stadtorganist in 1732. One of his successors at Sondershausen was the court organist and lexicographer Ernst Ludwig Gerber, who subsequently acquired Eckelt’s library.

In the monograph about Eckelt, Gerber cited three theoretical works which later disappeared: Experimenta musicae geometrica (1715), Unterricht eine Fuge zu formiren (1722) and ...

Article

Thomas Hochradner and Harry White

(b Hirtenfeld, nr St Marein, Styria, 1660; d Vienna, Feb 13, 1741). Austrian composer and music theorist. He represents the culmination of the Austro-Italian Baroque in music. His compositions reflect the imperial and Catholic preoccupations of the Habsburg monarchy no less than does the architecture of Fischer von Erlach or the scenic designs of the Galli-Bibiena family. His Gradus ad Parnassum (1725) has been the most influential composition treatise in European music from the 18th century onwards.

Harry White

Fux's exact date of birth is unknown. According to his death certificate he was 81 when he died; Flotzinger (Fux-Studien, A1985, p.34) has conjectured that he may have been born on 5 January 1660. His antecedents were of peasant stock from the village of Hirtenfeld. His father, Andreas (b before 1618; d 1708), married twice, and Johann Joseph may have been his eldest child. Although a peasant, Andreas Fux was a parish official attached to the church at St Marein and came into contact with a number of musicians, among them the Graz organist J.H. Peintinger and the Kantor Joseph Keller, who probably influenced his son's early musical development. It is also possible, given his father's position, that Fux sang in the parish choir....

Article

Enrico Careri

(Saverio) [Xaviero]

(b Lucca, bap. Dec 5, 1687; d Dublin, Sept 17, 1762). Italian composer, violinist and theorist. His contemporaries in England considered him the equal of Handel and Corelli, but except for the concerti grossi op.3, a few sonatas and the violin treatise, little of his musical and theoretical output is known today. He was, nevertheless, one of the greatest violinists of his time, an original if not a prolific composer and an important theorist.

Although the exact date is not known, Geminiani was probably born two days before his baptism, on 3 December 1687, the feast day of St Francis Xavier. His father, Giuliano, a violinist in the Cappella Palatina of Lucca, may have been his first violin teacher. Several contemporary sources name Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti and Carlo Ambrogie Lonati as his teachers. It is still not certain where and when he received his musical training, but we may assume it to have been when he was not in Lucca. His name figures in the register of S Maria Corteorlandini, the parish to which the Geminiani family belonged, between ...

Article

George J. Buelow

(b Juditten, nr Königsberg [now Kaliningrad], Feb 2, 1700; d Leipzig, Dec 12, 1766). German dramatist, poet, literary critic and philosopher. He was a leading figure in the literary reform movement of the German Enlightenment before the mid-18th century. He received his early education from his father, a Protestant minister. On 19 March 1714, before he was 15, he entered Königsberg University to study theology and subsequently philosophy, mathematics and the natural sciences. After earning a master's degree in 1723 he fled his native land under threat of induction into the Prussian army, moving to Leipzig. Two years later he began his university career as a lecturer. In 1727 he headed the local Deutschübenden-poetischen Gesellschaft, which he reorganized as a national society, the Deutsche Gesellschaft. He hoped to model it on the Académie Française and to create a decisive influence for the reform of German as a single national language, but he did not succeed. At this time he founded two weekly journals, ...

Article

Michael Talbot

revised by Gabriella Biagi Ravenni

(b Lucca, 1663; d Lucca, Jan 1745). Italian composer, theorist and violinist. He was appointed as a violinist to the Cappella di Palazzo, Lucca, on 13 April 1688, remaining in that post until January 1742. Ill-health probably caused his retirement, when he relinquished the post in favour of his son Angelo Paolino. During his final years he worked as a violinist in the cappella musicale of S Maria Corteorlandini, also in Lucca. Composition seems to have occupied him somewhat fitfully; his most prolific period, between 1697 and 1705, coincides with the activity of his brother Bartolomeo as a music publisher in Lucca. Giovanni Lorenzo played an active role in the early years of the publishing venture: he requested subventions from the government of the Republic of Lucca and the imprint ‘per i Gregorj’ appears in the first two publications, his treatise Il principiante di musica and Francesco Gasparini's op.1 cantatas. The music to Gregori's most ambitious works, five oratorios (probably all written for the Chirstmas festivities at S Maria Corteorlandini), for three of which he also wrote the librettos, is lost. He was a noted teacher and theorist: five editions of his elementary textbook ...

Article

George J. Buelow

(b c1683; d Salzburg, bur. April 17, 1721). Austrian organist, composer and theorist. He became cathedral organist in Salzburg on 1 October 1717, succeeding Johann Baptist Samber, who probably had been his teacher. In 1710 Gugl's Corona stellarum duodecim, id est Totidem litanie Lauretano-Marianae was published at Salzburg as his op.1, and a Missa Santissimae Trinitatis (1712) survives in manuscript (in A-KR ). Gugl also wrote a thoroughbass treatise, Fundamenta partiturae in compendio data. Das ist: Kurtzer und gründlicher Unterricht, den General-bass, oder Partitur, nach denen Reglen recht und wohl schlagen zu lehren (Salzburg, 1719). Despite its elementary character, it appeared in six published editions, the last one in Augsburg in 1805. The model for the work was apparently (see Federhofer) Samber's thoroughbass manual, Manuductio ad organum (Salzburg, 1704). Gugl's treatise, which he advises should not be studied by keyboard performers until they can play ‘something at the keyboard, such as preludes, fugues, versets, or other ...

Article

Almonte Howell

(b Cádiz, fl 1686–1709). Spanish theorist. He was sochantre (sub-precentor, or director of plainsong) at Cádiz Cathedral from 1686 to 1709. His plainsong treatise, Curiosidades de cantellano, sacadas de las obras del Reverendo Don Pedro de Cerone … y de otros autores (Madrid, 1709), is a substantial volume of 280 pages of text and musical examples. Its purpose was twofold: to aid him in teaching plainsong at the collegiate seminary of S Bartolomé, and to make available valuable material from various treatises of the past, particularly Cerone’s El melopeo y maestro (Naples, 1613). Many of his chapters consist of commentaries upon Cerone; other works cited include the exceedingly rare 1604 plainsong treatise of Vicente Villegas, Suma de todo lo que contiene el arte de canto llano. Guzmán’s prose style is witty and conversational; although he deals with most of the fundamentals of plainsong, the particular significance of his study lies in his detailed treatment of the rhythms used in Spanish chant, the variety of psalm-tone terminations and their functions, the ‘affects’ of the modes and the ...

Article

Alfred E. Lemmon

[Bernardo]

(b Cologne, Feb 27, 1714; d Münster, ?Jan 28, 1781). German philologist and compiler of music. He became a Jesuit missionary in 1732 and in 1746 left for Chile, where he arrived in 1748. After the Jesuits were expelled from the Spanish Americas in 1767 he returned to Germany, and ten years later he published a linguistic treatise, Chilidúgú, sive Res chilenses, vel Descriptio status tum naturalis, tum civilis, cum moralis regni populique chilensis (Münster, 1777). It contains two sections critical for an understanding of the role of music in missiology. In the dictionary of the Araucanian language, sections 561–4 are devoted to native musical terminology. Part 6 includes 16 hymn texts in the Araucanian language set to European melodies with basso continuo; most of the texts are based on Catholic acts of charity and contrition. Also included are songs for the arrival of civic and ecclesiastical officials. While innumerable missionaries left accounts of the practice of making translations from the Catechism and setting them to European melodies, Havestadt was exceptional in publishing both texts and melodies with basso continuo....

Article

George J. Buelow

(b Krössuln, nr Weissenfels, April 17, 1683; d Dresden, July 16, 1729). German composer and theorist. He was the son of David Heinichen who, after an education at Leipzig's Thomasschule and the university, moved to Krössuln for a lifelong career as pastor. Like his father, Heinichen studied at the Thomasschule, having displayed considerable musical gifts as a child. (According to his own testimony in Der General-Bass in der Composition, these involved composing and conducting sacred music in local churches.) He enrolled at the Thomasschule on 30 March 1695 and his education included harpsichord and organ lessons with Johann Kuhnau. Heinichen's talent impressed Kuhnau, who employed the young student as his assistant, with responsibility for copying and correcting Kuhnau's own manuscripts.

In 1702 Heinichen entered Leipzig University as a law student, completing the degree in 1706 and immediately moving to Weissenfels to begin a practice as an advocate. Here the musical life of the court, under the patronage of Duke Johann Georg, seems soon to have attracted Heinichen away from his career in law. Johann Philipp Krieger, the Kapellmeister, apparently encouraged Heinichen to write music for court occasions. In addition, Heinichen came into contact with other composers including Gottfried Grünewald, Krieger's assistant, the court organist Christian Schieferdecker, and for a while Reinhard Keiser, Hamburg's leading opera composer. In ...

Article

Alice Lawson Aber-Count

(b Navalmoral, Toledo, ?1633–43; d Toledo, before July 21, 1713). Spanish harpist, theorist, composer and teacher. Undoubtedly the theorist Andrés Lorente (see Jambou) and the Court harpist Juan de Navas were among his teachers. Huete was the harpist at Toledo Cathedral from 13 October 1681 to 14 June 1710; however he is remembered chiefly for his Compendio numeroso de zifras armónicas, con theórica, y pràctica para arpa de una orden y arpa de dos órdenes, y de órgano (Madrid, 1702–4), which marks the climax of a golden period for the two harp types (single-rank diatonic and two-rank chromatic) predominant in Spain between 1550 and 1700. Part i of the treatise (1702), containing secular pieces, is divided into three books for the beginner, intermediate and advanced player. Part ii (1704), containing sacred pieces, also consists of three books; the first contains 26 pasacalles which demonstrate Huete’s 11-mode system; the second presents the modes in descending and ascending octaves; and the third consists of psalm settings for voice(s), harp and/or organ (the organ is secondary to the harp in the treatise). The ...

Article

Ruth Smith

(b c1698; d Canonbury, London, Jan 11, 1738). English author. He had a reputation as a translator (Peruvian Tales, London, 1734, ‘from the French’, was reprinted into the 19th century), in which capacity he worked for Handel, providing the translations printed in the wordbooks of his operas Poro, Rinaldo (1731 version), Ezio, Sosarme and Orlando, and of two produced under his management, the pasticcio Venceslao and Leo's Catone in Utica. Handel also commissioned him to provide (at short notice) additional text for the extended version (1732) of his oratorio Esther and the librettos of his two subsequent oratorios, Deborah and Athalia (both 1733). Humphreys's most substantial work was his three-volume The Sacred Books of the Old and New Testament, Recited at Large (London, 1735), compiled from the major commentaries ‘and a variety of other eminent authors, ancient and modern’, but with considerable comment from Humphreys himself, which yields interesting glosses on many of the subjects of biblical oratorio. He tended often to choose politically sensitive subjects for his works, for example he wrote a life of the ‘Tory martyr’ poet Matthew Prior, which prefaced an edition of his poems (London, ...

Article

(bap. Brunswick, Dec 30, 1691; d Amsterdam, Dec 17, 1765). German composer, harpsichordist and theorist. He had his first musical education from his father, Heinrich Lorentz Hurlebusch, who was a scholar and an accomplished harpsichordist and organist; through him he became acquainted with the music of Buxtehude, Reincken and the French harpsichordists. In 1715, he left Brunswick and went to Hamburg and Vienna, where he spent two years; from 1718 he travelled in Italy as a harpsichord virtuoso, visiting Massa and Venice among other places. Early in 1721 he returned to Germany and spent several weeks at the court of the Elector of Bavaria, but declined a position at that court for religious reasons. In August 1721 he returned to Brunswick, where he composed his first Italian opera, L’innocenza difesa; there too he refused an offer, repeated in 1722, of a post as court musician in the service of the Duke of Brunswick. At the end of the year he accepted the King of Sweden’s invitation to become Kapellmeister at his court, but he had resigned by Easter ...

Article

Ruth Smith

(b Gopsall, Leics., 1700; d Gopsall, bur. Nether Whitacre, Warwicks., Nov 20, 1773). English patron, scholar and librettist. The grandson of a wealthy Birmingham ironmaster, he was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and subsequently divided his time between London and the family estate of Gopsall, Leicestershire, which he inherited, with properties in five other counties, in 1747.

A member of the circle of Handel’s admirers that included the 4th Earl of Shaftesbury and James Harris, Jennens’s devotion to Handel’s music is first attested in his subscription to Rodelinda (1725), the first Handel score published by subscription; thereafter he was a constant and generous subscriber. Apparently aiming at a complete archive, he amassed the most comprehensive contemporary collection of Handel’s music, both manuscript copies and printed editions, forming the Aylesford Collection (principally GB-Mp ; named after his cousin who inherited it), which also included works by more than 40 other composers, mainly Italian but also English. Through the agency of his friend Edward Holdsworth, a grand tour tutor, he acquired newly published and MS music from Italy, including part of Cardinal Ottoboni’s library, from which Handel borrowed and which he used. Evidently a competent keyboard player, Jennens figured the bass lines in many of his MS copies. He owned one of the first pianos in England, a Cristofori shipped from Florence in ...

Article

Stoddard Lincoln

revised by Gerald Gifford

(b Chichester, c1711; d London, Dec 24, 1786). English organist, theorist and composer. Trained as a choirboy at Chichester Cathedral under Thomas Kelway, he went to London, where he studied composition and Greek with Pepusch. He was appointed organist at Ranelagh Gardens in 1742, and in April 1744 he became assistant organist to Thomas Roseingrave at St George's, Hanover Square, sharing Roseingrave's salary until the latter retired to Ireland in the early 1750s. He was succeeded at Ranelagh by Butler, and as organist of St George's by Jacob Kirkman. His pupils included John Burton and Lord Fitzwilliam (studies by the latter, dated 1762, are in GB-Cfm ).

His four volumes of Select Pieces for the Organ (London, 1777–c1780) are in reality collections of multi-movement voluntaries that demonstrate his traditional concept of formal design. In his preface he refers to the ‘Obligato stile of writing’ of these pieces, drawing particular attention to the use of ‘Fuges, Inversions, Canons, Double Descants and the like’. He carefully marked the appearance of each subject to assist comprehension, and emphasized the cumulative effect of contrapuntal ingenuity. Although his stylistic approach was less commonly adopted by younger composers of voluntaries of the time, he strongly endorsed it as being ‘proper for the Church’. He also composed 25 of a set of ...

Article

George J. Buelow

(b Leipzig, c1670; d Stockholm, April 6, 1748). German organist, lutenist, composer and theorist. Nothing is known about his life before 1711 when he was in Stockholm as organist at the Jacobskyrka and as carillonneur at the German Church. Only vague evidence connects him with Leipzig and Hamburg, where he may have been a captain in the military. Kellner was one of the last of the lutenist virtuoso-composers. His only extant composition is a collection of 17 lute pieces (XVI [sic] Auserlesene Lauten-Stücke, Hamburg, 1747) in various dance forms, as well as more extended pieces described as fantasies and variations on a chaconne in A major. In 1720 Kellner composed a ‘musicalisches Concert’, Der frolockende Parnassus, for the name day (18 July) of King Frederick I of Sweden.

Kellner’s primary fame rests on his popular thoroughbass manual, Treulicher Unterricht im General-Bass, published in Hamburg in ...

Article

Mary Hunter

(d c1780). French theorist. He probably lived in or near Poitiers around 1750. His reputation stands on his Méthode nouvelle pour apprendre parfaitement les règles du plainchant et de la psalmodie (Poitiers, 1748), which appeared nine times in four editions up to 1784. It advocates the ‘expressive’ performance of chant in accord with the doctrine of the Affections as it was then understood. La Feillée wrote: ‘Expression is an image which sensitively renders the character of all that one utters in singing, and which depicts it realistically’. The use of trills and other ornamentation is recommended, and relative speeds of delivery are prescribed. The same text should be sung more slowly on a solemn feast-day than on normal days, but otherwise the immediate contents of the text should determine the manner of singing: prayers are to be sung ‘devoutly and sadly’, narrative texts ‘without any passion but with good pronunciation’. The treatise provides a valuable sidelight on the history of chant performance, and may reflect the kinds of expressive effect that 18th-century composers of religious music may have intended. La Feillée also published ...

Article

Albert Cohen

revised by Philippe Vendrix

(b Auxerre, March 7, 1687; d Auxerre, Aug 10, 1760). French historian. His early training was in religion and humanistic studies in his native city and in Paris (from 1701). In 1712 he returned to Auxerre as canon, and shortly afterwards as sous-chantre, at the cathedral – a post he held until 1743. His principal interests – church history, archaeology and music in the liturgy – manifested themselves early in his career, and he published over 200 essays on various aspects of these subjects throughout his life. He actively corresponded with leading church figures of the day and travelled widely in pursuit of knowledge. In 1740 he was named a member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres.

Lebeuf’s principal contributions to music relate to the history, theory and practice of plainchant. He was a proponent of reform in liturgical practice, and he played an active role in promoting revisions in the music for the Gallican service. Many of his ideas, first stated in letters and articles in the ...