581-600 of 57,398 results

Article

Agogo  

James Holland

[Agogo bells]

(from Afro-Brazilian agogô). Percussion instrument. It consists of two conical bells mounted on a sprung steel hoop (it is classified as a percussion idiophone) and is used in samba bands. The player holds the instrument in one hand and strikes the bells with a wooden or metal stick held in the other. A variety of sounds and rhythmic patterns is produced by striking the bells in different spots and squeezing them together. There are also variations on the original, in the form of triple and quattro agogos and a blade agogo, which has a small metal blade between the two bells. There are also wooden agogos: in this case the ‘bells’ are side by side and not on a sprung steel hoop....

Article

George Leotsakos

(b Korça, Albania, Oct 4, 1950). Albanian composer. After studying the piano (1956–60) in Durrës, she entered the Tirana Conservatory, where she studied composition and orchestration with Daïja. From 1974 until her retirement in 1994, she taught solfège, harmony, and analysis at the Jordan Misja Art Lyceum, Tirana, where she encouraged children's composition with an experimental programme for 12- and 13-year-olds.

Although her output has declined in recent years, Agolli remains an outstanding figure among Albanian composers of her generation. As her Second Violin Concerto (1983) testifies, her music combines original melodic invention with subtle rhythmic differentiations and exhibits a tendency to thwart initial expectations through its elegant and intelligent design. Beginning in 1999, she served as head of the National Ensemble of Folk Songs and Dances for several years.

(selective list)

Article

Agolora  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[akoti]

End-blown gourd trumpet of the Logo people of the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. About 90 cm long, it consists of three hollow calabashes joined in a line and adhered together with clay. The Logo call the instrument also by other vernacular names such as akoti, aori, and kanga...

Article

Agōn  

Denise Davidson Greaves

(Gk.: ‘contest’).

In ancient Greece, a general term for any competitive activity or, more specifically, a public festival or a contest within such a festival. These festivals were religious in origin, being celebrations in honour of a specific deity, for example, the Olympian Games in honour of Zeus, the City Dionysia at Athens in honour of Dionysus and the Pythian Games in honour of Apollo. The contests were usually athletic, musical or dramatic. Musical contests often included singing to the accompaniment of kithara or aulos, solo playing of these instruments, and choral singing and dancing. Drama featured musical elements such as choral song, procession and dance as well as solo singing by actors. The term was revived in its primary sense, ‘contest’, as the title of a ballet (1953–7) by Stravinsky.

H.W. Parke: Festivals of the Athenians (Ithaca, NY, 1977) J. Herington: Poetry into Drama (Berkeley, 1985) A. Pickard-Cambridge: The Dramatic Festivals of Athens...

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Article

Agonga  

Article

Mikko Heiniö

(b Voroshilovgrad, Armenia, Nov 23, 1953). Finnish composer of Armenian birth. He studied composition with Aram Khachaturian and instrumentation with Denisov in Moscow. On moving to Finland in 1978 he continued his studies at the Sibelius Academy, where he began to teach theory in 1982. His first works, which culminated in the Sonata for clarinet and piano (1981), recall the style of his teacher, Paavo Heininen, in their 12-note writing and linear polyphony. In his First String Quartet of the following year the instruments are treated as one; thereafter the texture of his works consists not of individual sounds but of webs characterized primarily by their rhythmic and harmonic density. The development of these webs, themselves sometimes the outcome of aleatory counterpoint, results in lively music within natural forms. Among his most successful works is the Cello Concerto (1984).

(selective list)

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Verdello, Bergamo, Nov 23, 1882; d Buenos Aires, July 6, 1954). Italian soprano . She studied in Milan and made her début in 1903 at Pavia as Fedora. She sang throughout Europe, in South America and in Russia. After an engagement at the Manhattan Opera House, New York (...

Article

Iain Fenlon

(b ?Ferrara; d Ferrara, Sept 20, 1569). Italian composer and singer. He was a relation (probably uncle) of Lodovico Agostini. He served as a singer at the ducal court of Ferrara between 1540 and 1545, and then as a beneficed priest and canon at Ferrara Cathedral. In 1563 Pendaglia described him as a priest, singer and practising doctor, and according to Scalabrini he was rector of S Salvatore, Ferrara. His known works comprise two four-voice madrigals published in Lodovico Agostini’s Musica … libro secondo de madrigali (RISM 15727), and two pieces to Latin texts, for six and seven voices respectively, in Lodovico’s Canones, et echo (RISM 1572¹³). His madrigals, Questa che’l cor m’accende and Deh salvator de l’anime smarite, both demonstrate a discreet understanding of contemporary madrigalian techniques.

B. Pendaglia: Quattro canti (Ferrara, 1563), 30 G.A. Scalabrini: Riassunto di spese di sacrestia del Duomo di Ferrara...

Article

Michel Laplace

(b Mercatello, Italy, April 1, 1921; d nr Paris, 1980). French drummer and teacher. He studied music under the trumpeter and conductor Georges Prêtre and the bassoonist Maurice Allard and at the conservatory in Douai under Jack Diéval. He began to play at the Cambrai Hot Club, then as a professional in Lille with Benny Vasseur and the saxophonist Georges Grenu. In ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Verona, July 21, 1874; d Abington, pa , July 26, 1951). Italian tenor . He made his début in 1895 at Nuovi Ligure. In 1897, after singing Rodolfo for the first time at Cagliari, he took the role in the American première of La bohème at Los Angeles and in the New York première (...

Article

Iain Fenlon

(b Ferrara, 1534; d Ferrara, Sept 20, 1590). Italian composer and singer. He was a relation (probably nephew) of Agostino Agostini. He came from a family with strong musical traditions, and from an early age studied for a musical and religious career. The appearance of his first known piece in Barré’s Terzo libro delle muse (Rome, 15627) suggests that he received his early training in Rome, as does the dedication of his first book of six-part madrigals to Tiberio Cerasi, who was also the dedicatee of Marenzio’s first book of villanellas. According to Cavicchi (MGG1), he was associated from 1572 with the cappella of Ferrara Cathedral, where older members of his family had also worked; in 1577 his name first appeared in the payment records of the Ferrarese court of Duke Alfonso II d’Este, in whose service he remained until his death. During the 1580s he served as an informal composition tutor to Duke Guglielmo Gonzaga, with whom he exchanged letters on matters of mutual musical interest. He was associated with many notable poets, among them Tasso and Guarini, and with members of the highest aristocracy. He was a priest, and pursued a distinguished religious career which culminated in his being created a Monsignore and an apostolic prothonotary. Although he composed no liturgical music his writings on religious subjects, ...

Article

Klaus Fischer

(b Vallerano, nr Viterbo, c1583; d Rome, Oct 3, 1629). Italian composer and organist. At the age of eight, at the choir school at S Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, he became a pupil of Nanino, whose daughter he later married. He completed his musical studies in 1607 and his first appointment was as organist and maestro di cappella of the Madonna del Ruscello, Vallerano. He later returned to Rome and became organist of S Maria in Trastevere, a post he held for six months from April 1615. He then worked simultaneously as vicemaestro di cappella there and as maestro di cappella of SS Trinità dei Pellegrini. From 26 May 1618 he was vicemaestro of S Lorenzo in Damaso. On 17 February 1626 he succeeded Vincenzo Ugolini as maestro di cappella of the Cappella Giulia at S Pietro and held the position until his death.

Agostini's output consists entirely of church music. He was a highly skilled contrapuntist. The five books of masses published in ...

Article

[Piersimone]

(b Forlì, c1635; d Parma, Oct 1, 1680). Italian composer. According to Pitoni, he led a swashbuckling and notorious life and had ‘a natural inclination to impropriety and baseness’. As a young man he was expelled from his native city because of his involvement in a murder. He went to Ferrara, where he received his basic musical training from Mazzaferrata. Then he abruptly took up a military career and for serving in Crete in the war against the Turks was made a Knight of the Golden Spur. His earliest datable pieces are the new prologue and interludes that he wrote for a performance of Il Tolomeo in Venice in 1658. In 1660 he competed unsuccessfully for the post of maestro di cappella at Urbino Cathedral.

Apparently by 1664 Agostini had arrived in Genoa. According to Pitoni he once attended a Vespers service there and was so harsh in his criticism of the music that he was invited to compose a service of his own for the same church, which he did with a success that added notably to his local reputation. In Genoa too he was commissioned to write at least two works for the Teatro del Falcone (...

Article

Martha Novak Clinkscale

A device invented and patented by Sébastien Erard as part of his first repetition action of 1808, which replaced the nut (wrest-plank bridge) and nut-pin (bridge-pin) arrangement of earlier pianos. Érard’s early agraffe resembled a small brass staple with a concave top. One agraffe for each note was attached at a vertical angle to the front edge of the wrest plank, and the strings were passed underneath. Agraffes define one end of the strings’ speaking length and keep them in place by assuring downward bearing on the strings as the hammers strike. An Érard grand piano of 1812 with agraffes of the original type is now in the Musée de la musique, Paris. Later agraffes have separate holes through which each individual string is passed; each agraffe contains as many holes as there are strings for each unison. Pierre Érard’s improvement, the barre harmonique, which he patented in 1838, still serves as the model for agraffes on the modern grand piano. The agraffe should not be confused with the ...

Article

John Koegel

(b Puerto Príncipe, Cuba, ?Nov 28, 1844; d Havana, ?Dec 31, 1918). Pianist, music teacher, arranger, conductor, composer, and lawyer of Cuban birth, naturalized American. Born into a prominent family in Puerto Príncipe, Cuba (present-day Camagüey), Agramonte strongly supported the movement for independence from Spain. He studied music and the law in Cuba, Spain, and France. After vocal studies with Enrico Delle Sedie (1822–1907) and François Delsarte (1811–71) at the Paris Conservatory, he immigrated to the United States, settling in New York in 1869, where he remained until after Cuban independence in 1898. He became a US citizen in 1886.

In the 1870s and 1880s, Agramonte taught music at the Academy of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx. In the 1890s he taught with Dudley Buck and William Mason at the Metropolitan College of Music and ran his own School of Opera and Oratorio at his home, teaching singers such as ...

Article

Robert Hoskins

[The Agreeable Surprise, or The Secret Enlarged]

Comic afterpiece, op.16, in two acts by Samuel Arnold to a libretto by John O’Keeffe; London, Little Theatre in the Haymarket, 4 September 1781.

This opera, which played for 200 performances over the rest of the century, chiefly owed its popularity to the novelty of the acting, especially that of John Edwin as Lingo (baritone), the schoolmaster-turned-butler who is continually misquoting Latin tags. The plot is a parable of rustic virtue and innocence set against the deceptions of the town; tuneful strophic airs are appropriate in the representation of comic country characters and Arnold’s score has some good examples. Lingo’s ‘Amo, amas, I love a lass’ became famous as a student song....

Article

Ingmar Bengtsson

revised by Bertil H. van Boer

(b Löth, Östergötland, Feb 1, 1701; d Nuremberg, Jan 19, 1765). Swedish composer, violinist and harpsichordist. His father was a priest. He went to school in Linköping and studied at Uppsala University from 1721 to 1722 or 1723, where he played in the university orchestra, then led by the director musices Eric Burman. Early biographers said that Prince Maximilian of Hesse heard Agrell's violin playing in 1723 and called him to Kassel. Firm evidence of Agrell's activity there is, however, found only from 1734, when F. Chelleri was Kapellmeister. He was still working in Kassel between 1737 and 1742 during the reign of Count Wilhelm VIII and the court long owed him payment for service, as well as ‘ale and food money’, for the years 1743 to 1746. During his time at Kassel Agrell is reported to have made several journeys, visiting England, France, Italy and elsewhere.

Uncertain economic circumstances seem to have driven Agrell to seek the post of Kapellmeister in Nuremberg, a post which he obtained in ...

Article

Keith A. Larson

(b ?Naples, c1575–85; d after 1617). Italian composer. He may have supported himself much as did his elder brother Giovanni Antonio, who in 1598 was teaching singing to the children of the Prince of Roccella, Fabrizio Carafa. Cerreto mentioned both brothers as excellent composers in Della prattica musica (1601), but only works by Agostino have survived. He published a book of six-part madrigals (Naples, 1617); there are also single five-part madrigals by him in two anthologies (RISM 16065 and 1609¹6) and in Macedonio di Mutio’s second book of five-part madrigals (1606). Between 1600 and 1630 Naples was the most important centre for the composition and printing of the increasingly outmoded polyphonic madrigal without continuo. During this period the only books of six-part madrigals published there were Agresta’s and a posthumous collection by Gesualdo (1626); Agresta’s reveals what the style of Gesualdo’s incompletely preserved book may have been. Like many of his Neapolitan contemporaries influenced by Gesualdo’s virtuoso madrigals, Agresta occasionally surpassed him in the degree of contrast between slow chromatic ...

Article

Edward R. Lerner

revised by Rob C. Wegman and Fabrice Fitch

(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 ...