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Article

Owen Wright

[al-Urmawī]

(d Baghdad, 1294). Theorist, performer and composer, possibly of Azeri origin. He was a prominent court musician under the last Abbasid caliph, al-Musta‘ṣim (1242–58), although he first attracted attention for his skill as a calligrapher. Surviving the sack of Baghdad in 1258, he entered the service of the Mongol Il-Khans and became attached to the powerful Juwaynī family, but after their fall (1286) he lost favour, and died imprisoned for debt.

Ṣafī al-Dīn is one of the most important figures in the history of music theory in the Islamic Middle East, and the first great theorist since Ibn Sīnā (980–1037) and Ibn Zayla (d 1048) whose works are extant. His two treatises on music, the Kitāb al-adwār (‘Book of cycles’) and the later and fuller Risāla al-sharafiyya (‘The Sharafian treatise’), present a synthesis of elements found in the earlier theoretical tradition which dominated the thinking of all the more important theorists of the following two centuries....

Article

Eckhard Neubauer

(b Baghdad, July 779; d Samarra’, July 839). Arab musician. He was a son of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mahdī and a Persian slave at court called Shikla. He became famous for his fine and powerful voice with its range of four octaves, and first took part in court concerts during the reigns of Hārūn al-Rashīd (786–809) and al-Amīn (809–13). Proclaimed caliph in 817 in opposition to al-Ma’mūn (813–33), he had to abdicate after barely two years and went into hiding. In 825 he was pardoned and became a court musician once more under al-Ma’mūn and his successor al-Mu‘taṣim (833–42). He was a follower of the school of Ibn Jāmi‘ and represented a ‘soft’ style, probably influenced by Persian music, which also allowed freedom in rendering older works. His rival Isḥāq al-Mawṣilī accused him of stylistic uncertainty; fragments of their polemic writings are quoted in the Kitāb al-aghānī al-kabīr...

Article

Eckhard Neubauer

[Abū l-Faraj Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq al-Warrāq al-Baghdādī]

(b c930; d c995). Arab bibliographer. He lived in Baghdad, and in 987–8 wrote Kitāb al-fihrist (‘Index of books’), a classified bibliography of Arab literature known to him in his capacity as a copyist and bookseller (warrāq), from libraries and from earlier bibliographies. He listed almost 100 titles from Arab musical literature, giving short biographical notes on the authors and sometimes indications as to the origin and content of the books. Most of these are lost, though some later compilations, such as the Kitāb al-aghānī al-kabīr (‘Great book of songs’) by al-Iṣfahānī, contain fragments of older biographical works on musicians and singers, and collections of song texts. Of particular value is his information about Arabic translations of Greek treatises on music; quotations from these treatises, which are now mostly lost, are also found in Arab musical literature from the early 10th century.

Kitāb al-fihrist...

Article

Owen Wright

[ibn Ghaybī al-Marāghi]

(b Maragh; d Herat, 1435). Timurid composer, performer and theorist. He first rose to prominence in the service of the Jalā’irid rulers of Iraq and Azerbaijan, al-Ḥusayn (1374–82) and Aḥmad (1382–1410). After the conquest of Baghdad by Tīmūr (1393), most of his career was spent in Samarkand and, especially, Herat, at the courts of Tīmūr and of his successors al-Khalīl (1404–9) and Shāh Rukh (1409–47).

‘Abd al-Qādir was one of the most important and influential theorists of the Systematist school. His most substantial surviving works are the Jāmi‘ al-al ḥān (‘Compendium of melodies’), largely completed in 1405 and revised in 1413, and the slighter Maqāṣid al-al ḥān (‘Purports of melodies’), which covers essentially the same ground and probably dates from 1418. Written in Persian, which was by then the language of culture, these works proved particularly influential among later 15th-century theorists; but although both thoughtful and highly competent, on the theoretical side they may be regarded as, essentially, restatements and amplifications of the theory elaborated by ...

Article

Owen Wright

[Abū ‘Umar Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad]

(b Córdoba, 860; d 940). Andalusian Arab writer. Little is known of his life. His most important work is a large-scale compendium entitled al-‘Iqd al-farīd (‘The unique necklace’). Drawn mainly from Eastern Arab sources, it covers a wide range of subject matter and includes a substantial section on music which exemplifies the approach of the literary scholar. Proclaiming first the beneficial effects of music, Ibn ‘Abd al-Rabbīḥ then reflects, but without systematically exploring, the juridical debate on its permissibility. His main concern, however, is to provide a selection of informative, but primarily entertaining or unusual anecdotes, including a copious selection of song texts. For the most part these concern prominent figures of the first two centuries of Islam and the musicians and singing slave-girls (see Qayna) who entertained them. The events described almost all take place in the Eastern Arab world, and there is an unfortunate absence of parallel materials to illustrate musical life at the court of the Umayyads in Córdoba....

Article

Christian Poché

(b al-A‘zamiyya, June 1921). Iraqi ethnomusicologist and sanṭūr player. The focus of his studies has been on the maqām. He became interested in this in the 1930s after hearing the singing of the masters Muḥammad al-Qundarjī (d 1945) and ‘Abbās aL-Shaykhalī (1881–1967) and in 1937 began learning the maqām himself. In about 1949 he started lessons on the san ṭūr with Sha‘ūbī Ibrāhīm Khalīl (b 1925) and founded a chamber ensemble, al-shalghīal-baghdādī, in 1950. He has widely researched the maqām, making it publicly known with his writings and by touring widely with his chamber ensemble. He is also an expert on manuscripts and has published annotations of treatises by classical authors.

Mukhtārāt al-Abūdhiyya al-‘Iraqiyya [Selections of Iraqi Abūdhiyya] (Baghdad, 1949) al-Maqām al-‘Irāqī [Al-Maqām Al-Iraqi: studies in the classical music of Iraq] (Baghdad, 1961, 2/1983) al-Abūdhiyya [The Abūdhiyya] (Baghdad, 1962) Ḥall Rum ūz Kit...

Article

Erkki Salmenhaara

[Erik]

(b Ilmajoki, Feb 2, 1911; d Tampere, Sept 2, 1996). Finnish musicologist and folklorist. He studied at Helsinki Conservatory (1929–36) and under A.O. Väisänen at Helsinki University (MA 1942), where he took the doctorate in 1956 with a dissertation on the polska in Finland. His extended fieldwork on folk music and instruments in Finland and Sweden resulted in a collection of over 10,000 melodies (now in Tampere University library). After teaching music at Helsinki Conservatory (1951–7) and lecturing at Helsinki University (1957–62) he held a research grant from the State Humanities Committee (1962–75). He was professor of folk research at Tampere University (1975–7) and director of the university folk research institute (1977–81). He was active in many folk music research organizations. A list of his writings is included in the Festschrift Kentältä kentälle: juhlakirja Erkki Ala-Könnin 70 - vuotispäiväksi 2.2.1981...

Article

John C.G. Waterhouse

[Ottavio Felice Gaspare Maria]

(b Montegiorgio, Ascoli Piceno, Nov 16, 1881; d Montegiorgio, Dec 28, 1928). Italian musicologist, conductor and composer. He studied the piano, organ and composition at the Liceo Musicale di S Cecilia, Rome, where he gained his diploma in 1906 and was from 1912 professor of aesthetics and music history. He also graduated in 1907 from Rome University with a thesis on the Italian oratorio, subsequently expanded into an important book. His scholarly writings – notably those on Italian laudi spirituali and on Carissimi – in general helped to lay the foundations of modern Italian musicology. As a conductor he specialized in choral music, and in 1926 he founded the Madrigalisti Romani. He also fought hard for the improvement of Italian music education. His most ambitious composition, the opera Mirra, is eclectic and uneven, but shows technical enterprise – not least in the brief use of a specially constructed ‘pentaphonic harmonium’, in which the octave was divided into five equal parts (cf Indonesian ...

Article

Monique Escudier

(b Krempe, Jan 27, 1602; d Brunsbüttel, May 29, 1672). German theologian, historian, poet and music theorist. After studying in Krempe and Hamburg he completed his studies at Leipzig University in 1624 and in the same year became Poet Laureate. Meanwhile in 1621 he had become tutor to the children of a wealthy Leipzig bookseller, Henning Gross. Disappointed at not being made a professor at the university, he became a pastor and from 1630 practised his vocation at Brunsbüttel; he was also assessor to the consistory at nearby Meldorf. He was in contact with the Dutch humanists Johannes Meursius and Daniel Heinsius. He devoted only one work to music, De veterum musica (Schleusingen, 1636). Its point of view is that of a moralist and erudite humanist, and it contains many references to Greek and Latin texts; it is divided into 29 short chapters. After studying the relationship of music to other sciences, Alard presented some rudiments of Greek theory. There follow ten chapters on the effects of music: when well employed it exorcises evil, demons and madness and inspires virtue and piety. Alard then denounced the corrupt music of his time and censured the intrusion of virtuosity and ornaments into religious music. He devoted the last chapter to the mythological or legendary inventors of musical instruments. In an appendix he included the Greek text of a treatise of ...

Article

(b Spanish Basque region, c1755; d San Sebastián, June 23, 1831). Spanish composer and theorist. After serving as maestro de capilla in San Sebastián, he took up the same post in Logroño collegiate church during the French invasion (1795). Five years later he returned to San Sebastián as maestro de capilla at S María la Redonda, where he remained until 1829. He composed a large number of sacred works, which enjoyed great success throughout northern Spain during his lifetime, in particular masses, Vespers, the Office for the Dead, motets and villancicos, many of which survive in manuscript at the churches which he served. He also wrote some piano music (of which a sonata is edited in J. Nin’s Classiques espagnols du piano, i, 1925) and a 133-page theoretical work, Instrucción metódica, especulativa, y prática, para enseñar á cantar y tañer la música moderna y antigua...

Article

Saul Novack

(Ludwig)

(b Cologne, Nov 17, 1902; d Basle, Oct 19, 1996). American musicologist and pianist of German origin. After schooling in Cologne he was awarded a music teacher's diploma by the Austrian State Commission in 1930. He studied musicology at the University of Vienna (1933–8), and took the doctorate in 1938 with a dissertation on acoustical psychology. He also studied privately with Schenker. In 1940 he emigrated to the USA, later becoming an American citizen, and was active as a conductor, teacher, accompanist and répétiteur. He held teaching posts at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and Art (1947–53) and the University of California at Los Angeles (1953–6) before his appointment in 1956 as professor of music at the California State University at Los Angeles, where he taught until his retirement in 1970 as professor emeritus. He frequently served as accompanist to distinguished singers such as Elisabeth Schumann, Pinza and Fischer-Dieskau, and assisted Lotte Lehmann in her art-song courses. Albersheim was one of the first to write on the importance of the theories of Heinrich Schenker, whose influence is occasionally reflected in his writings. He wrote mainly on acoustics and the psychology of hearing, as well as its relationship to musical aesthetics....

Article

Ennio Stipčević

[Giorgio ]

(b Split, 1603; d after 1619). Croatian theorist. He was a descendant of the Alberti-Matulić family, and his father Matija was an eminent Croatian writer. He studied music for a short time in Venice with Romano Michaeli and Martio Valinea, who, according to the title-page of Alberti's treatise, was ‘gentilhuomo d'Urbino, musico straordinario in San Marco’. Alberti was only 15 years old when he wrote his treatise, the Diologo per imparare con brevità à cantar canto figurato (Venice, 1619). It was published not long after he had completed his studies, and comprises 40 pages of basic hints on music for beginners keen to learn so that they could ‘con tanta liberta & sicurezza solfegiando … li magrigali’. It is the earliest Croatian treatise to have been printed as a book in its own right, and is a valuable source of the performing practice of early Baroque monody in Dalmatia....

Article

Charles E. Brewer

(b Genoa, Feb 14, 1404; d Rome, April 3, 1472). Italian humanist, architect and writer. His formal studies began at the gymnasium of Gasparino Barzizza at Padua, where he became friends with Tommaso Parentucelli (later Pope Nicholas V). He went to Bologna, probably in 1421, to study law but became increasingly interested in mathematics, and met the polymath Paolo Toscanelli. In 1431, Alberti joined the Papal civil service in Rome, becoming Papal inspector of monuments (1447–55). He held various ecclesiastical posts, becoming successively prior of S Martino in Gangalandi at Signa, near Florence, rector of Borgo San Lorenzo and canon of Florence Cathedral.

Early in his career, Alberti was influenced by Filippo Brunelleschi, to whom he dedicated the De pictura (1435). While in Rome, Alberti expanded his knowledge of classical architecture and sculpture through his survey of the city's monuments (Descriptio urbis Romae...

Article

Eric Blom

revised by Malcolm Turner

(b Magdeburg, March 31, 1902; d Kiel, Jan 20, 1961). German musicologist. He studied at the Essen Conservatory (1913–21), at the University of Münster and (1921–5) at Berlin with Wolf, Abert, Sachs and von Hornbostel. From 1925 to 1937 he held various teaching posts, organized music festivals in Bremen (1929), Essen (1931) and Aachen (1933), and was active in the Reichsverband Deutscher Tonkünstler und Musiklehrer. After a short period as choral adviser to the Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, he joined the Staatliche Institut für Deutsche Musikforschung, Berlin, in 1939, becoming professor there in 1940 and director in 1941. In 1942 he was elected a member of the Senate of the Preussische Akademie der Künste, representing on that body the interests of musicology.

After the war he became director of the Landesinstitut für Musikforschung, Kiel, in 1947, where he remained until his death, becoming professor at the University of Kiel in ...

Article

Howard Serwer

(b Görmar, nr Mühlhausen, Jan 8, 1732; d Mühlhausen, 1773). German writer on music and composer. He was a magister of philosophy, an honorary member of the German Society of Altdorf University, and an imperial poet laureate. His writings include an original work on theory, contributions to the current discussions of Rameau's theories which he favoured, and translations and editions of works of others. In addition, he published an important article on the state of music in Mühlhausen, two in defence of music in the church, and one on the German language. His compositions, consisting largely of sacred vocal works to his own texts, were mostly written for the Marienkirche in Mühlhausen, where he was Kantor and music director. They include a setting of the Passion and a yearly cycle of cantatas (texts published in 1764), as well as two published collections of keyboard and vocal pieces intended for students. Only a sacred song ...

Article

Paula Morgan

(b Philadelphia, July 8, 1899; d Philadelphia, July 6, 1984). American musicologist and music librarian. He studied Romance languages and literature at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received the BA in 1921, the MA in 1925 and the PhD in 1931, and at the University of Copenhagen from 1922 to 1923. He taught both French and music at the University of Pennsylvania from 1923 until 1970, when he retired as emeritus professor of music. From 1937 he was curator of the university library, which was renamed the Otto E. Albrecht Music Library on his retirement. He also held several government positions, serving on the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees for Bavaria (1945–6), as chief of the publications section for the United States Military Government in Hesse (1947) and in Russia as specialist in musicology for the Department of State (1961).

Albrecht's historical interests included music in America to ...

Article

Robert N. Freeman

(b Klosterneuburg, nr Vienna, Feb 3, 1736; d Vienna, March 7, 1809). Austrian composer, teacher, theorist and organist. From the age of seven he served as a choirboy for the Augustinians in Klosterneuburg, where he learnt the organ and figured bass from the dean, Leopold Pittner. His studies in composition under G.M. Monn (if accurately reported by Albrechtsberger's pupil Johann Fuss) must have taken place during this period. As a student and choirboy at Melk Abbey from 1749 until 1754, he received a thorough training in composition and organ from Marian Gurtler, the regens chori, and Joseph Weiss, the abbey's organist. After a year of study at the Jesuit seminary in Vienna he worked as an organist in various provincial localities: Raab (now Győr, Hungary), 1755–7; Maria Taferl, near Melk, 1757–9; and Melk Abbey, 1759–65, where he succeeded his former teacher Weiss. His precise place of employment in ...

Article

Ricardo Miranda Pérez

(b Mexico City, Dec 5, 1938). Mexican musicologist, writer and critic. He studied at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música under Armando Montiel, Esperanza Pulido and José Pablo Moncayo. He was also a pupil of Otto Mayer-Serra. At the beginning of his career he dedicated himself to composition, which led him to take courses at the Paris Conservatoire as well as spending time in Darmstadt, Venice and London, where he took instruction from Daniel Lesur, Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna and Pierre Wissmer. Among his most important compositions are works for stage and film, which have earned him several prizes. Nevertheless, his most important work is in the fields of criticism and research, although his valuable contributions in the fields of theatre and opera production must also be remembered. As a critic, Alcaraz has played a fundamental role in making diverse repertories known in Mexico, ranging from ancient to contemporary music. He has insistently disseminated and analysed the Mexican repertory, particularly that of the 20th century. His knowledge, combined with a keen sense of humour and a stance legendary for being radical and uncompromising, has made him into one of the most authoritative and recognized critical voices in Mexico and Latin America. As a musicologist, Alcaraz has occupied himself with the discussion and assessment of the Mexican school of the 20th century. His works on composers such as Carlos Chávez, Rodolfo Halffter and José Pablo Moncayo are fundamental, as are his numerous essays on authors such as Rolón, Carillo, Huízar, Revueltas, Sandi, Galindo Dimas, Enríquez and Estrada. As a music critic, he has written for over 20 years (since ...

Article

Alcuin  

Jane Bellingham

[(Flaccus) Albinus]

(b Northumbria, c735; d Tours, May 19, 804). Anglo-Saxon scholar, writer and poet. Little is known about Alcuin's early years, but he was educated at the cathedral school in York, which, under the guidance of magister, and later archbishop, Aelberht (d 780), became one of the foremost centres of learning in England during the second half of the 8th century. Alcuin remained at York as Aelberht's assistant, becoming magister himself in 767, and several times travelled to the Continent, especially Gaul and Italy, in search of books for the cathedral library. It was on one such visit that Alcuin met Charlemagne (reigned 768–814), who, in 781, invited him to join the scholars of the Frankish court. In Francia Alcuin became one of the leading members of the court school. He is known to have been the personal tutor of Charlemagne and is generally considered to have been the architect of many of the king’s educational reforms, including those in the ...

Article

Robert Shay

(b Westminster, London, Jan 1648; d Oxford, Dec 14, 1710). English scholar, composer and music collector. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford (after early training in mathematics at Westminster School), in 1662, receiving the BA, MA and DD degrees in 1666, 1669 and 1682 respectively. He took holy orders and was assigned the rectorate at Wem, Shropshire, but chose to remain at Christ Church, becoming a canon in 1681 and dean (a unique position in Oxford as head of both college and cathedral) in 1689, also serving as vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, 1692–5. He was a leader of the Oxford resistance to James II's Catholic advances, and under William III he became one of the chief defenders of High Church practices, publicly opposing both the comprehension of non-Anglicans and revisions to the prayer book. He was an industrious and practically minded scholar, producing books on logic, heraldry and architecture, designing a number of Oxford buildings, serving as draftsman and engraver for the Oxford Almanacks, and producing a sizable body of compositions for the English cathedral service. His account of Greek music survives in manuscript (...