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Article

Carolyn Gianturco

( b Siena, c 1710; d ?Siena, after 1755). Italian music theorist . He was a knife maker by profession who had an interest in music history and theory; according to Schmidl he was also a chapel singer at S Maria in Provenzano. He published two treatises. His Lettera (dated 4 October 1743) argues in favour of Guido of Arezzo's more complicated method of sight-singing as opposed to the French one of Anselmo then recently introduced by F. Frittelli, maestro di cappella of Siena Cathedral. Provedi's Paragone (1752) purports to establish continuity between the music of the Greeks and Gregorian chant. Correspondence between Padre Martini and Provedi on the latter's writings continued up to 1755.

Lettera di Francesco Provedi Coltellinajo Sanese ad un suo amico in Roma, in cui si esamina qual sistema di musica sia più perfetto, o quello di Guido Aretino o quello di Anselmo Fiammingo...

Article

Miguel-Ángel Marín

[Pere]

(bap. Barcelona, Sept 21, 1683; d Seville, Dec 12, 1767). Spanish composer and music theorist. He came from a family of musicians, and was educated at Barcelona Cathedral. At the turn of the 18th century he was a singer there and was taught by Francisco Valls. During this time the young Rabassa must have been influenced by the Austrian and Italian musicians employed at the court of Archduke Carlos III, which had temporarily settled in Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14). On 10 March 1713 Rabassa was appointed maestro de capilla at Vich Cathedral, but on 24 May the following year he moved to Valencia Cathedral as maestro. On 9 June 1724 he finally became maestro at Seville Cathedral, where Philip V's court settled from 1729 to 1733. Rabassa remained there until his retirement in 1757, although he continued to compose music for the cathedral until his death....

Article

Graham Sadler and Thomas Christensen

(b Dijon, bap. Sept 25, 1683; d Paris, Sept 12, 1764). French composer and theorist. He was one of the greatest figures in French musical history, a theorist of European stature and France's leading 18th-century composer. He made important contributions to the cantata, the motet and, more especially, keyboard music, and many of his dramatic compositions stand alongside those of Lully and Gluck as the pinnacles of pre-Revolutionary French opera.

His father Jean, a local organist, was apparently the first professional musician in a family that was to include several notable keyboard players: Jean-Philippe himself, his younger brother Claude and sister Catherine, Claude's son Jean-François (the eccentric ‘neveu de Rameau’ of Diderot's novel) and Jean-François's half-brother Lazare.

Jean Rameau, the founder of this dynasty, held various organ appointments in Dijon, several of them concurrently; these included the collegiate church of St Etienne (1662–89), the abbey of St Bénigne (...

Article

W.H. Husk

revised by Nicholas Temperley

(Francis)

(b London, June 13, 1816; d London, Sept 26, 1876). English musicologist. He was a descendant of a Huguenot refugee family, and the son of a London organist, Stephen F. Rimbault (1773–1837). He received his first instruction in music from his father and then became a pupil of Samuel Wesley. At the age of 16 he was appointed organist of the Swiss Church, Soho. As a young man he directed his attention to the study of music history and literature, and in 1838 delivered a series of lectures on the history of music in England. In 1840 he took an active part in the formation of the Musical Antiquarian and Percy societies; he became secretary of both and edited several works for them, and in 1841 was made editor of the music publications of the Motett Society. In 1842 he was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music, was awarded a doctorate by Göttingen University and was offered (but declined) the chair of music at Harvard University. He joined the committee of the Handel Society in ...

Article

Almonte Howell

revised by Wolfgang Freis

(b Herencia, nr Toledo, March 26, 1717; d ?Toledo, Dec 15, 1779). Spanish theorist and composer. He spent most of his life at Toledo Cathedral: after being a choirboy there, he competed unsuccessfully for the post of maestro de capilla, but from 1747 until his death he served as claustrero and maestro de melodía (director of cantus eugenianus). Between 1774 and 1776 Romero contributed to Cardinal Francisco Antonio de Lorenzana's editions of the Mozarabic rite for use in Toledo Cathedral. For the Breviarium gothicum (1775) he provided a rhythmical transcription of Mozarabic chant with an explanation he claimed to have derived from an anonymous treatise, De omnibus figuris musicis antiquis. However, neither the explanation nor the contents of the Breviarium has much relationship to the still indecipherable ancient notation. For the [Graduale], Liber segundo, Romero composed a cycle of complete masses for the season from Easter Sunday to Whit Sunday: the Proper is in plainchant, in square notation, and the Ordinary is set polyphonically; and all sections are in triple metre and mixed species of counterpoint. Individual masses and mass sections also appeared in other manuscripts. A ...

Article

Patrizio Barbieri

(b Gunzing, near Lohnsburg am Inn, Germany, Nov 28, 1669, d Mainz, Germany, April 30, 1728). German priest, philosopher, editor of Latin works of Raymond Lull, and inventor of an enharmonic keyboard. While working at the court of Johann Wilhelm, Prince-Elector of the Palatinate, in Düsseldorf, Salzinger invented and built a keyboard (‘Tastatura nova perfecta’) accommodating the division of the octave into 31 equal parts. His enharmonic harpsichord is mentioned by Joseph Paris Feckler, who reports (1713) that a further two had been ordered: one for the Emperor in Augsburg, the other for the Grand Duke of Tuscany, in Florence. Details of this instrument appear in Salzinger’s ‘Revelatio secretorum artis’ (1721), which he published as an introduction to his edition of Lull’s Ars magna et major. This work tells that ‘the Most Serene Elector continuously used this harpsichord for music at court’, and that years earlier the construction of an organ with the same kind of keyboard had begun, only to be halted in ...

Article

(b Rio de Janeiro, Feb 4, 1696; d Salvaterra, Portugal, Jan 31, 1759). Portuguese writer on music. Before becoming a calced Carmelite his name was José Pereira de Sá Bacon. He studied at Olinda (Brazil) and at Coimbra, there obtaining the doctorate in theology on 17 May 1725...

Article

Juan Bautista Varela de Vega

(b Logares, nr Fonsagrada; d Lugo, March 17, 1738). Spanish theorist and organist. After serving as organist at Sigüenza Cathedral, as maestro de seises at Seville Cathedral and as director of music at the seminary in Seville, he succeeded Domingo Benito as maestro de capilla of Lugo Cathedral on 3 February 1731. From Lugo he wrote a famous letter to the Catalan composer Francesc Valls which Valls reproduced in his Mapa armónico with the date 22 October 1742 (though Santiso had died over four years earlier). Santiso defended Valls in the controversy over the latter’s Missa ‘Scala aretina’, but was himself criticized in Luis Cirilo González’s Restáurase la propiedad de B mol, desterrada por Don Gregorio Santisso (Madrid, 1731). Santiso’s aesthetic creed was: ‘If a composer has a good ear for harmony he is free to embroider’.

published in Seville unless otherwise stated

Article

George J. Buelow

(b Leipzig, May 5, 1708; d Copenhagen, April 22, 1776). German composer and theorist, son of Johann Scheibe. Johann Adolph contributed an autobiography to Mattheson’s Grundlage einer Ehren-Pforte in which he reported the loss of his right eye at the age of six in an accident in his father’s shop. At 11 he entered the school at the Nikolaikirche where his education conformed to his father’s hopes for him of a career in law. In 1725 he entered Leipzig University to continue studies in jurisprudence, and at this time heard lectures by and became acquainted with Johann Christoph Gottsched, professor of poetry and rhetoric, whose works on the reform of drama and poetry deeply influenced Scheibe’s own writings on music theory and aesthetics. However, his university education was abandoned when a family financial crisis forced him to remain at home. Although he said that he had begun to study keyboard instruments at the age of six, it was only at this time that he gave serious thought to music as a career. He read everything he could find about music, and began to practise the organ with the hope of becoming a professional, to compose music and to study philosophy. Scheibe was therefore largely self-taught as a musician and scholar; his own writings were to reveal his remarkable command of musical knowledge....

Article

George J. Buelow

(b Breslau, 1696; d Breslau, 1759). German theologian. According to Eitner, he studied theology in Leipzig and became a teacher at the Elisabeth-Gymnasium, Breslau, in 1736. He had previously lived in Oels (now Oleśnica), Silesia, where he wrote his most important music treatise, Zufällige Gedancken von der Kirchenmusic (1721). This significant book presents a clear statement on the value of music in the Protestant church service at that time, particularly its role in moving the emotions of the congregation in harmony with the word of God. Scheibel defended the place of music in the church against the attacks of those he called ‘Zwingelianer’. He was one of the first to suggest that women deserved admission to church choirs, and that the ever-growing scarcity of good boy sopranos made the need for women critical. He also supported the parody practice, giving examples showing the substitution of sacred texts for secular ones used in opera arias by G.P. Telemann. He urged that the theatrical style be used to enliven church music, adding: ‘I do not understand why the opera alone should have the privilege to move us to tears, and why this is also not appropriate to the church’. Scheibel's work was warmly praised by Mattheson in ...

Article

George J. Buelow, Maribel Meisel and Philip R. Belt

(b Hohnstein, Saxony, Aug 10, 1699; d Nordhausen, May 20, 1782). German organist, composer, keyboard instrument designer and music theorist.

George J. Buelow

After early training in music from his father, he was sent in 1706 to nearby Dresden, where he joined the royal chapel as a soprano and took keyboard lessons from the Kapellmeister, J.C. Schmidt. In 1709 ill health forced him to live for a while with his godfather Hentschel in Bischofswerda. Returning to Dresden in 1710, on Schmidt’s recommendation he was appointed, together with the slightly younger C.H. Graun, Ratsdiskantist (town discantist). With his change of voice he enrolled at the Kreuzschule, where according to his autobiography (see Marpurg) he studied, among other subjects, fugue with Schmidt. He did not say, however, with whom he studied the organ, but he reported practising on the instruments in the Kreuz- and Sophienkirchen as well as on an organ in the royal residence. In ...

Article

George J. Buelow

(b Asel, East Friesland, Aug 8, 1688; d Lübeck, Oct 22, 1762). German theologian and philosopher. Son of Pastor Erich Zacharias von Seelen, he studied at the Gymnasium in Stade. In 1711 von Seelen attended the University of Wittenberg where he studied theology with Valentin Ernst Löscher and philosophy with Johann Christoph Wolf. He was appointed assistant rector in Flensburg in 1713, rector in Stade in 1716, and rector of the Katharinenkirche in Lübeck, 21 December 1717, a position he retained for the rest of his life. He declined several university professorships, including one at the University of Göttingen in 1737. Von Seelen wrote numerous books and articles, principally devoted to theological and philosophical subjects. Some of these involve discussions of music from both a biblical and more general theological standpoint, and they provide important clues regarding the musical training and thought of a well-educated theologian and schoolmaster in early 18th-century Protestant Germany. Of his more than 350 works, those involving music are listed below....

Article

George J. Buelow

(b Mellenbach, Schwarzburg, Thuringia, March 21, 1703; d Lobenstein, Thuringia, April 4, 1778). German organist, composer and theorist. According to his autobiography (in Mattheson) Sorge first received singing lessons from a local Kantor and organist, Nicolas Walter, and his substitute, Caspar Tischer. When Tischer moved to Schney (Franconia) in 1714 to become court organist, Sorge followed him and continued to study keyboard and other instruments with him for another two years. Returning home in 1716, Sorge became a pupil of Pastor Johann Wintzern for theology, Latin, oratory, German poetry, mathematics and especially musical composition. He ‘composed in his 18th year various church pieces to texts he had prepared himself’ (Mattheson, p.338). After a brief episode as private tutor in Burg (Vogtland), Sorge was appointed at the age of 19 court and civic organist at Lobenstein, a position also entailing teaching in the local school. Although on more than one occasion he was offered other attractive positions, he remained committed to his employer at Lobenstein for the rest of his life. He established himself throughout central Europe as a talented composer, an authority on organ building, and particularly as a prolific writer of music treatises. In ...

Article

Elizabeth Roche

(b 1671; d Bautzen, nr Dresden, bur. March 6, 1720). German theorist and composer. In 1705 he was appointed choirmaster at the cathedral of St Peter in Bautzen, and in 1708 he became secretary to the cathedral as well. He was also secretary to the local magistrates.

Sperling’s two theoretical works, Principia musicae and Porta musica, both set out to teach singers the basic principles of solmization and notation. Principia is one of the most comprehensive books of its kind, containing an unusually large number of musical examples in which difficult points are carefully explained. The material is presented with great clarity, using the question and answer method, and advancing in very easy stages. Frequent tests ensure that the pupil has a sure grasp of what he has learned. Sperling deals not only with solmization (which he bases on an old-fashioned six-line staff) but also with modern notation and with ornaments. These, he said, could greatly improve a melody, if used with knowledge and taste. He explained many foreign musical terms and gave singers instructions on breathing and on the correct declamation of words. Among the composers he quoted are J.J. Walther, J.H. Schmelzer and J.C.F. Fischer. The treatise also includes four psalm settings, for one voice and continuo, and six exercises for two violins, by Sperling himself. Sperling’s other book, ...

Article

George J. Buelow

[Matthäus]

(b Honsolgen, Swabia, Aug 24, 1683; d Irsee, nr Kaufbeuren, June 12, 1761). German composer and theorist. He entered the Benedictine Abbey of Irsee in 1701 and was ordained priest in 1708. For the next four years he studied music with Giuseppe Antonio Bernabei in Munich. In 1712 he returned as music director to the abbey at Irsee, where he remained for the rest of his life. Although Spiess apparently had little personal contact with the cultural centres of Germany, he became (in 1743) the seventh member of Mizler’s Societät der Musikalischen Wissenschaften in Leipzig, a corresponding society of music scholars and composers including J.S. Bach, Telemann, Carl Graun and Handel. Spiess wrote music almost solely for church services, and his output consists largely of masses, motets and other occasional sacred works. Much of it is lost.

Like several better known 18th-century writers on music, Spiess had an intimate knowledge of the extensive literature on the theory and aesthetics of music. In the foreword to his important ...

Article

(b Grünstädtel, nr Schwarzenberg, Erzgebirge, Jan 13, 1690; d Gotha, Nov 27, 1749). German composer and theorist. He received his first music instruction from his father, a pupil of the Halle court organist Moritz Edelmann. In 1707 he went to Leipzig University, but felt himself drawn more towards the opera, recently reopened there, and to the collegium musicum (founded by Telemann and at that time directed by Melchior Hofmann). He proved to be a helpful copyist to Hofmann, who soon recognized his gifts as a composer. Stölzel's first works were performed under his teacher's name (Emanuel Kegel); they appeared only later under his own. In 1710 he went to Breslau, where he taught singing and keyboard in aristocratic circles. He also composed for the collegium musicum and produced his first dramatic work. A teacher of Italian with whom he was friendly recommended that he go to Italy to improve his composition; but he went next to Halle, wrote a pastorale for the court at Gera, and (through the negotiations of Johann Friedrich Fasch and Johann Theile) received a commission from the Zeitz court for which he composed three operas for the fair at Naumburg. Afterwards he received from both Gera and Zeitz offers of the post of court Kapellmeister, which he refused....

Article

(b Dunchurch, Warwicks., 1700, bap. Nov 6, 1706; d St Neots, Hunts., Oct 7, 1783). English psalmodist and theorist. He was the son of a labourer named Edward Tanzer, but generally used the spelling Tans’ur. The main facts of his life emerge from the prefaces to his publications. For many years he travelled to various parts of England as a teacher of psalmody, sometimes working also as an organist. Later he settled at St Neots as a stationer, bookseller and music teacher, but surprisingly he seems to have played no part in the music of the local parish church. His son, also named William Tans’ur, was a chorister at Trinity College, Cambridge, on which flimsy pretext the father signed some of his prefaces ‘University of Cambridge’. In reality he had no links with the upper strata of English musical life. His field was country church music, and here he established a dominance that extended as far as the American colonies....

Article

Pierluigi Petrobelli

(b Pirano, Istria [now Piran, Istra, Slovenia], April 8, 1692; d Padua, Feb 26, 1770). Italian composer, violinist, teacher and theorist.

Tartini's father Giovanni Antonio, of Florentine origin, was general manager of the salt mills in Pirano. Giuseppe, destined for the church by his pious parents, was to have been first a minore conventuale, a branch of the Franciscan order, and subsequently a full priest. To this end he was educated in his native town and then in nearby Capodistria (now Koper, Slovenia) at the scuole pie; as well as the humanities and rhetoric, he studied the rudiments of music. In 1708 he left his native region, never to live there again, but carrying in his memory the peculiarities of the local musical folklore. He enrolled as a law student at Padua University, where he devoted most of his time, always dressed as a priest, to improving his fencing, a practice in which, according to contemporary accounts, few could compete with him. This account of Tartini's youth has been questioned (see, for instance, Capri), but it is supported by contemporary evidence and is consistent with the later development of his personality, characterized by a fiery and stubborn temperament with a strong tendency towards mysticism. These qualities are equally evident in his writings – both letters and theoretical works – and in his compositions....

Article

Susi Jeans

revised by Penelope Gouk

[Brooke] (b Edmonton, London, Aug 18, 1685; d London, Dec 29, 1731). English mathematician and amateur musician . According to his grandson William Young, his early education at home included classics, mathematics and music. He was musically the most proficient member of his family, and in a large family picture he is represented at the age of 13 sitting in the centre of his brothers and sisters, the two eldest of whom crown him with a laurel bearing the insignia of harmony. Young mentioned frequent musical parties at the family’s country home in Kent and reported that Geminiani, Babell and Louis Lully were among the musicians welcomed there. Taylor entered St John’s College, Cambridge, in 1701 as a Fellow-commoner; he graduated LLB in 1709 and became an LLD in 1714. In 1712 he was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Society, and in January 1714 was elected first secretary, resigning for health reasons in ...

Article

(b Serós, Lérida, c1752; d after 1809). Spanish music historian, theorist, organist and composer. He was possibly related to Domingo Teixidor, maestro of Lérida Cathedral from 1716 until his death in 1737. By 1774 he was in Madrid, as chaplain and principal organist at the Convent of the Descalzas Reales. Four years later, on 22 June 1778, he won a public competition to enter the royal chapel as vicemaestro and deputy rector of the choir school. He competed for posts at the cathedrals of Córdoba in 1781 and Santiago de Compostela in 1784, but without success. On 7 March 1788 he was appointed fourth organist of the royal chapel, and was promoted to third organist on 18 March 1801 and second organist on 6 May 1805. He remained in this post until 1 January 1810, the date on which, as a result of the Peninsular War, the royal chapel was suppressed. Teixidor's refusal to work under Joseph Bonaparte is the reason why we have no precise knowledge of his last years, nor the date and place of his death....