41-60 of 122 results  for:

  • 15th c./Early Renaissance (1400-1500) x
Clear all

Article

Albert Dunning

(b Rotterdam, 27/Oct 28, 1469; d Basle, July 12, 1536). North Netherlandish humanist. According to Glarean, Erasmus said that as a boy he sang in the choir at Utrecht under the direction of Jacob Obrecht. There is no archival evidence for this, and no extant documents show that Erasmus had any particular affinity with music. The familiarity with musical terminology implicit in his works may be attributed partly to the teaching of music customary within the framework of humanistic education. Erasmus’s text for the déploration for Johannes Ockeghem (composed by Johannes Lupi, first published in 1547) suggests from its tone of warm admiration that he was personally acquainted with the composer. Erasmus himself was honoured at his death with a dirge by Benedictus Appenzeller, court composer in Brussels to Queen Mary of Hungary.

As far as can be deduced from the various observations made by Erasmus in his writings (often only in passing) his outlook on music was based mainly on his own understanding of the world of antiquity. Thus, even in musical matters, Pliny, Plato and Aristotle are cited as his authorities. Another element that influenced his views on music was theological: his puritanism in music must be understood as a combination of his belief in biblical doctrine on the one hand, and his reaction to the abuses of contemporary church music on the other. He condemned the chansons of his day without exception on the grounds that they had obscene texts, and, following from this, the use of secular melodies as cantus firmi in sacred polyphony. He deplored the use of the organ in church, and considered that magnificent polyphonic music consorted ill with the monastic ideal of silence with which he was familiar from his student years in the Augustinian monastery at Steyn. He also strongly criticized the manners and behaviour of the singers. He called for ‘harmonias sacris dignas’, a ‘music worthy of holy things’; with this dictum he anticipated the statements on music made by several synods and provincial councils. The spirit of Erasmus’s ideas is fully reflected in the musical policy of the Council of Trent....

Article

F.J. León Tello

(fl late 15th century). Spanish theorist. He was the author of a treatise, Introducción muy breve de canto llano (Salamanca, c1496/R). It is heavily dependent on earlier sources and is of an elementary nature, like most Iberian chant manuals. Escobar went further than some theorists in allowing accidentals in performance....

Article

José M. Llorens

revised by Tess Knighton

(d ?1528). Spanish theorist and composer. In his Tractado de principios (Toledo, 1520) Espinosa claims to have been in the service of Cardinal Pedro González de Mendoza, Archbishop of Toledo (1483–95), and later that of Cardinal Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, Archbishop of Seville (d 1502). No other record of him has been found until December 1507, when he took over the position of ‘maestro de la música’ at Toledo from Pedro Lagarto. Espinosa is described as a ‘contrabajo’ (bass), and was one of the eight prebendary singers at the cathedral in September 1508, although he may have been a singer there for some years previously. His name appears in the Toledo records only intermittently: he was apparently replaced in his teaching duties by Francisco de Lugones (1509–12), and after an unspecified dispute with the cathedral chapter in the summer of 1513...

Article

Robert Stevenson

(fl 1410). Spanish theorist. He described himself as a student of Remon de Caçio. At the time he wrote his Reglas de canto plano è de contrapunto, è de canto de organo (ed. M.P. Escudero García, Madrid, 1984) he was a sacristan of the Capilla de S Clemente at Seville. Of the three sections promised in the title (plainsong, counterpoint and polyphony), the one surviving copy of the treatise ( E-Tp R.329), dated Seville, 31 March 1410, contains only the first. Three other 15th-century plainsong treatises, all anonymous and undated ( Bc M.1327, Mn R.14670 and MS 14 of the monastery at S Domingo de Silos), give substantially the same rules as Estevan, but lack his musical examples.

Estevan approved of choosing between B♭ and B♮ to ‘beautify’ the chant. In approving chromatic alterations (E♭ and A♭ in all modes except 3 and 4, F♯ and C♯ in all modes except 5 and 6), he set a precedent followed by later Spanish authorities, of which the most helpful in specifying contexts for the application of ...

Article

Michael Fend

[Lefèvre d’Etaples, Jacques]

(b Etaples,c1460; d Nérac, 1536). French theologian, scholar and music theorist . He matriculated at the University of Paris, possibly in 1474 or 1475, and received the BA in 1479 and the MA probably in 1480. He taught in the Faculty of Arts at the Collège du Cardinal Lemoine, University of Paris, until 1508 and was afterwards active as a scholar at the abbey of St Germain-des-Prés outside Paris. There he prepared a French translation of the New Testament and Psalms, which provoked the Parlement of Paris to summon him on suspicion of heresy. Clearly in sympathy with the Reformation, he fled to Strasbourg in 1525, but in 1526 he was recalled by François I, who appointed him librarian of the royal collection and made him tutor to his children. Faber completed his translation under royal protection; it was published in 1530. He spent his last years at the court of Queen Marguerite of Navarre....

Article

Elżbieta Witkowska-Zaremba

(b Felsztyn,?1480–90; d after 1543). Polish music theorist and composer. In 1507 he entered Kraków University, and in 1509 he took the BA. It has been suggested that he was taught by Jerzy Liban, or by Heinrich Finck, who lived in Kraków until 1510. Sebastian also studied theology, and about 1528 he was appointed priest at Felsztyn, and possibly later at Przemyśl. While at Felsztyn he kept in touch with the important Herburt family and with their support he became the parish priest of Sanok about 1536. His treatise Directiones musicae ad cathedralis ecclesia premislensis usum (Kraków, 1543), now lost, was dedicated to Mikołaj Herburt.

Sebastian’s collection of hymns, Aliquot hymni ecclesiastici (Kraków, 1522), probably containing polyphonic works, is lost. Three motets have survived. They are among the earliest examples of Polish four-voice music. All three are based on plainchant melodies which appear in the tenor in long note values. Sebastian used both florid counterpoint and note-against-note technique, and occasionally some imitation. The Capella Rorantistarum of Wawel Cathedral, Kraków included Sebastian’s compositions in their repertory....

Article

James Haar

(b Figline, 1433; d Florence, 1499). Italian humanist and philosopher active in Florence. He was supported by the steady patronage and friendship of Cosimo and Lorenzo de’ Medici, and was the guiding spirit of the Accademia Platonica di Firenze. His interest in music was that of a dedicated neo-Platonist, and according to contemporary accounts he demonstrated this by singing Orphic hymns to an improvised accompaniment on the ‘lyre’ (probably a lira da braccio). A number of his writings touch on neo-Platonic theories of magic and on neo-Pythagorean musical topics: in De triplici vita (Opera, 1576, p.529) he expounded theories of the effect of music on the human ‘spiritus’; in an Espistola de musica (Opera, p.650) he wrote of the connections between music and medicine; in another letter ‘de rationibus musicae’ (Kristeller, 1937, p.51) and in his commentary on Plato’s Timaeus (Opera, p.1438) he gave an account of the Pythagorean mathematics of music theory. Occasional remarks, such as the equating of the triad with the three Graces, suggest that Ficino thought of music in the terms of his own times, but his main concern was the ethos of ancient musical doctrine. He was nonetheless a great influence on 16th-century writers who stressed the ‘natural force and imitative potency of [musical] sound’ (Tomlinson, 141)....

Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Folianus, Ludovicus]

(b Modena, c1475; d Venice, shortly before 7 May 1542). Italian theorist and composer. His name appears in the records of Modena Cathedral in 1494 as ‘Don Lodovico de Alexandro da Fojano’; his brother Giacomo had been organist there since 1489. Despite the note that Orazio Vecchi wrote on the cover of a Modenese manuscript which includes a mass by Lodovico ( I-MOd IV), ‘Jacobi et Ludovici Foliani olim cathedralis Mutinae magistri opera’, Lodovico was never choirmaster. He may be the ‘Ludovico da Modena’ who was a singer in the chapel of Ercole I d’Este in 1493 and again in 1503–4, especially if this person was the ‘Ludovigo da Fulgano’ listed in 1499–1501 (lists in LockwoodMRF). In 1513–14 he was a singer in the Cappella Giulia. Some time after this he moved to Venice, and seems to have devoted the rest of his career to music theory and philosophy....

Article

Clement A. Miller

revised by Anna Maria Busse Berger

(b ?Herxheim, c1470; d after 1532). German music theorist and composer. He is not to be identified with the theologian Johannes Frosch, also called Rana. He probably studied in Heidelberg where he gained the BA in 1489 and the MA in 1493. He had close ties to Count Georg I (1498–1558) and Duke Ulrich IV of Württemberg (1487–1550), to whom he dedicated his treatise Rerum musicarum opusculum rarum ac insigne. It was first published in Strasbourg in 1532, although most modern reference works list only the edition of 1535 which has been published in facsimile. Although the treatise was pedagogical in purpose, the scope of its 41 folios was unusually broad. In addition to a detailed study of the elements of music and the mensural system, he discussed Greek music and cited many ancient writers, including Aristotle, Plutarch and Pliny. It is one of the few theoretical works of the century to be a valuable source for the parody technique of composition. This procedure is clearly demonstrated in ...

Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Lanfranchinus][Gafori, Franchino]

(b Lodi, 14 Jan 1451; d Milan, 24 June 1522). Italian theorist, composer, and choirmaster. At home in both speculative and practical music, he was the first theorist to have a substantial number of his writings published, and his influence can be traced for more than a century, both in Italy and abroad.

Much of our knowledge stems from the contemporary biography by Pantaleone Malegolo, printed in the De harmonia: Gaffurius was born in Lodi to the soldier Bettino from Almenno in the territory of Bergamo and to Caterina Fissiraga of Lodi. He began theological studies early, at the Benedictine monastery of S. Pietro in Lodi Vecchio (where he was still present in September 1473) and was ordained priest in late 1473 or 1474. His first instructor in music was Johannes Bonadies (or Godendach); Malegolo implies that this was in Lodi, where he briefly returned to sing in the cathedral on Ascension Day, ...

Article

(b Namur, c1415; d Parma, 1473). French humanist and theorist, active in Italy. He wrote that he was born at Namur and learnt to sing there, but studied formally under the celebrated educator Vittorino da Feltre (1378–1446) at Mantua, where he later became a Carthusian monk. His primary treatise was written during the pontificate of Pius II (1458–64). One of the manuscripts is in the hand of his pupil Nicolaus Burtius, who recorded his date of death as 1473. Hothby, who stated that they had been students together at the University of Pavia, referred to the theorist as ‘Johannem Legiensem’ (Legiensis, ‘of Liége’), which was misread by Seay as ‘Legrensem’; Seay mistakenly inferred a family name ‘Legrense’, which has become widespread in scholarly writings. Hieronymus de Moravia used the name ‘Johannes Gallicus’ to refer to Johannes de Garlandia.

Gallicus's three treatises begin ‘Praefatio libelli musicalis de ritu canendi vetustissimo et novo’ (...

Article

Elżbieta Witkowska-Zaremba

[Schelling, Jan]

(b Glogau [now Głogów], ?c1445; d Kraków, Feb 11, 1507). Polish philosopher, astronomer and music theorist. After studying at Kraków University, he was a lecturer there for 40 years. During 1497–8 he lectured in mathematics in Vienna. He was one of the leading scholars in Kraków and Copernicus was probably among his pupils. A manuscript from the Krasiński Library, Warsaw, that included two treatises associated with Jan z Głogowa (MS 47) was destroyed during World War II. The treatises taken together were most probably a commentary on Johannes de Muris’s Musica speculativa. The manuscript, written during the period 1475–8, was owned by Jan z Głogowa and included his writings on astronomy. His commentary to Aristotle’s De anima, Quaestiones librorum de anima magistri 10 annis versaris (Kraków, 1501), presents some of the more standard views of medieval philosophy on the place of music among the mathematical disciplines....

Article

Cecil Adkins

[Schreyber, Heinrich]

(b Erfurt, c1492; d Vienna, winter 1525–6). German mathematician. He matriculated in Vienna in 1507 as ‘Henricus Scriptoris Erfordensis’. After studying in Kraków (1514–17) he returned to Vienna, where his name was listed in the rolls as ‘Magister Henricus Grammateus’. During the 1521 plague he was in Nuremberg, where his most important work, Ayn new kunstlich Buech, had been published in 1518; by 1525 he was back in Vienna, where he held legal and didactic posts. Grammateus was the first German to publish information on quadratic equations and binomial calculation. One section of his book, entitled ‘Arithmetica applicirt oder gezogen auff die edel Kunst musica’, contains the earliest known method for Pythagorean tuning of the monochord using semitones determined by means other than the progression of perfect 5ths. Grammateus established the division of the tone into two equal parts using the Euclidian division (see...

Article

Heinrich Hüschen

(b Speyer, 1472; d Mainz, 1512). German humanist and theologian. He was the son of the personal physician of the same name to the Elector of Mainz, and therefore was sometimes referred to as ‘the younger’. He studied theology and law at the universities of Mainz, Heidelberg, Padua and Bologna and took the doctorate in law at Ferrara University in 1498. After returning to Germany from a fairly protracted journey through Italy, he settled in Mainz where he was active from 1506 as general curate, from 1508 as principal clerk and from 1510 as scholasticus at St Stephan. He was constantly exchanging ideas with the Alsatian group of humanists that included Johann Geiler von Kaisersberg and Jakob Wimpheling. Apart from several small theological and historical works, he wrote the treatise Lucubratiunculae bonarum septem artium liberalium (Mainz, 1494), dedicated to Johannes Trithemius, which appeared in four editions. Written in dialogue form, it discusses the educational value of the ...

Article

[Federicus ]

(b Zadar, 1472; d Zadar, 1538). Croatian cosmographer, mathematician, astrologer and physicist. He is known particularly for his ingenious theory of ebb and flow. In 1507–8 he taught astrology and mathematics at the university of Padua and was later active as a physician in his own town. His ideas on music are contained in two published treatises: Speculum astronomicum terminans intellectum humanum in omni scientia (Venice, 1507), which includes a chapter ‘De musica integritate’, and De modo colegiandi, pronosticandi et curandi febres (Venice, 1528). He was not an original thinker and recapitulated some late-medieval ideas, mostly concerning neo-Pythagorean speculative numerology and the theory of musical ethos as conveyed by Boethius.

I. Supičić: ‘Glazba u djelu Federika Grisogona’ [Music in F. Grisogono's writings], Zbornik radova o Federiku Grisogonu, zadarskom učenjaku [Collection of essays on F. Grisogono, the scholar from Zadar] (Zadar, 1974), 143–9 S. Tuksar: ‘Federik Grisogono-Bartolačić (Federicus Chrisogonus): Pythagorean Cosmology and the Mysticism of Numbers’, ...

Article

(b c1465; d before 1515). English musician. He became a chorister at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in 1474, and was a scholar at Eton College (1479–83). In 1483 he became a clerk at King's College, Cambridge, and later a scholar there. In 1487 he was again a clerk at King's, and by 30 September 1489 was back at St George's Chapel, Windsor, as a clerk. In 1493 he was appointed Master of the Choristers there, and he retained both offices until at least 29 September 1499. He is probably the composer of the incomplete two-part piece that begins Lett serch your myndis, ascribed to ‘Hamshere’ in the Fayrfax manuscript ( GB-Lbl Add.5465; ed. in MB, xxxvi, 1975), an important collection of early Tudor songs. It is possible that this piece was written in honour of one of Henry VII's sons, either Arthur or, less likely, Henry (see Stevens)....

Article

Peter M. Lefferts

(fl ?c1370). English theorist. He was the author of a 14th-century treatise on mensural notation, the Summa, that survives in a single copy from the first half of the 15th century ( GB-Lbl Add.8866, ff.64v–86v). The treatise may once have been part of a larger compendium that also dealt with plainchant and related issues, since a brief definition of sinemmenon (at the bottom of f.64r) concludes with reference to an otherwise unknown multi-volume work by Hanboys (‘ut dicit hanboys libro primo capitulo sexto’). Furthermore, there appear to be traces within the Summa of earlier formulations by the author of some of its material.

Nothing certain is known of Hanboys's biography. The secondary literature, following the 16th-century English antiquary John Bale, formerly placed Hanboys and his Summa around 1470. Bale credited him with the one-volume Summa and also a volume of songs. Brian Trowell, however, compellingly identified Hanboys with the music theorist J. de Alto Bosco named in the famed English ‘musicians motet’ by Johannes Alanus, ...

Article

(b c1470; d mid-Jan 1538). English lawyer and ecclesiastic. He was master at Trinity College, Arundel, and commissioner and donor of the Caius Choirbook. Born into a Shropshire family, he studied at the University of Oxford, from which he held degrees in both canon and civil law by the time of his ordination to the priesthood in 1501. He subsequently pursued a distinguished legal career in London and Westminster as a judge in the Court of Requests (1509–13) and a master in Chancery (9 March 1512); he may also have been the ‘Master Higons’ named as occupying the privileged position of Clerk of the Closet in Henry VIII's retinue at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in the summer of 1520.

As so often happens, professional advancement and ecclesiastical preferment went hand in hand. During a period of some 30 years Higgins amassed an impressive number of benefices, including at least a dozen rectories, vicarages and deanships, a chaplaincy to Henry VIII (by ...

Article

Claude V. Palisca

[Erasmus of Höritz]

(b Hořice, nr Budweis [now České Budějovice], c1465). Bohemian mathematician and music theorist. He was the first in the Renaissance extensively to apply Euclidian geometry to solve problems in music theory. University registers show that he studied or taught at Ingolstadt (1484), Erfurt (1486), Cologne (1488, receiving the Magister degree), Kraków (1494), Tübingen (1499) and Vienna (1501). He was probably in Vienna also in 1498 when Andreas Perlach recorded his music lectures. Horicius established a reputation as a mathematician in Vienna, but he must have left there well before 1510. Two of his works, Musica and Tractatus de sphera, are dedicated to the humanist book collector Cardinal Domenico Grimani, patriarch of Aquileia (north-east of Venice); they must date from after 1503, because the dedication of both works refers to Grimani as Cardinal of S Marco, a title conferred in that year, and probably from before ...

Article

[Johannes]

(b c1430; d Oct or Nov 1487). English theorist and composer. His father’s name was William. Nothing is known of his early life, nor where and when he became a Carmelite friar and obtained the master’s degree in sacred theology (in 1467 he is called ‘magister’). He may be identical with the John Otteby, Carmelite friar of the Oxford convent, who was ordained subdeacon on 18 December 1451 in Northampton (Emden, p.1409; the belief that Hothby studied at Oxford in 1435 rests on a mistaken identification, p.969). Before settling in Lucca, where he was installed as chaplain of the altar of S Regolo at the Cathedral of S Martino in February 1467 with the obligation to teach plainchant and polyphony, he had, by his own account (Epistola), travelled in Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain (‘Britania magiore’), and Spain. In the Excitatio quaedam musice artis he refers to his fellow student at the University of Pavia, Johannes Gallicus (here called ‘Johannes Legiensis’); this may have been before Gallicus completed his treatise ...