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Article

Jan Kouba

(b Husinec, Bohemia, ?1371; d Konstanz, July 6, 1415). Czech reformer. He was one of the most influential preachers and teachers at Prague University at the beginning of the 15th century. He was burnt at the stake by order of the Council of Konstanz. He has been associated with a number of Latin and Czech hymns, but there is very little evidence to support his authorship; it seems that he arranged the medieval melody ‘Jesu Kriste, štědrý kněže’ (‘Jesus Christ, thou bountiful prince’) in the Jistebnice Hussite hymnbook, and he may also have arranged or translated the texts of several other hymns, but the best-known one attributed to him, ‘Jesus Christus, nostra salus’, is clearly not by him. Some Czech musicologists (e.g. Nejedlý) have described Hus as the innovator of congregational singing in church, but this practice arose in 15th-century Bohemia only after his death. Hus's aesthetic views on music and singing did not deviate from those of the medieval tradition. Thus musical history was influenced only indirectly by him: the Hussite reformation, of which he was the inspiration, constitutes the first significant chapter in the history of Protestant church music in Europe....

Article

Gordon A. Anderson

(fl early 15th century). Italian music theorist. He came from Olmütz, in Moravia, and is also known as ‘scholasticus de Casteliono’. He is known by a single treatise Palma choralis seu de cantu ecclesiastico (ed. A. Seay, Colorado Springs, 1977), dedicated to Cardinal Branda da Castiglione, of whom he also wrote a biography. The treatise was probably written between ...

Article

Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller

(b Nuremberg, c1470). German theorist. About 1495 he was living in Basle and teaching music at the university. He described his studies in music in Alsace-Lorraine in the prologue of his small treatise Lilium musicae planae (Basle, 1496). It was one of the earliest books containing music printed from woodblocks. It is a manual of practical instruction in Gregorian chant for priests and students, and, as such, does not discuss the philosophical and theoretical bases of the subject. Nevertheless he described himself as a ‘Musicus Alexandrinus’ and linked himself with the Alexandrian interpreters of the Greek classics. His treatment of ‘musica choralis’ is based on the writings of Hugo Spechtshart of Reutlingen (1488). Keinspeck rejected the Guidonian hand as a teaching method, but at the same time he favoured the use of the scala which combined the use of pitch names (‘claves’) and solmization syllables (‘voces’). The treatise, much used at Basle University, was disseminated further by editions in Ulm (...

Article

Andrew Hughes

(d 1431). English author and theorist. John Bale, in his Scriptorum illustrium maioris Brytanniae … (Basle, 2/1557–9), referred to several grammatical tracts by Richard Kendale, none of which is now extant. In GB-Lbl Lansdowne 763, ff.52–3, there is a short musical treatise ascribed to R. Kendale, said to be ‘monachus … de Sherborn’ (Dorset). The Sherborne house belonged to the same order as St Faith’s in Horsham, where Bale found the grammatical tracts: this might provide the means of proving that Richard Kendale and R. Kendale are identical, as is usually supposed. The musical treatise Gamma musice cum versibus misticis deals in the first part with the Guidonian gamut and solmization syllables, to which are added the figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 against the pitches ea d′ e′ a′ e″. The omission of 6 for d″ is clearly accidental. The significance of these figures is not clear, but the pitches chosen represent the normal hexachords of the solmization system transposed up a major 6th, giving all the sharps normally found in music of the period. The second part of the treatise consists of mystical verses ‘huic gamme pertinentes’. The gamut is said to include all music. A transcription of the work exists in ...

Article

Martin Ruhnke

(b in or nr Finsterwalde; fl 1507–20). German music theorist. He matriculated at the University of Frankfurt an der Oder in 1507 and obtained the master's degree there in 1516. By 1520 he had adopted the title ‘Frater’. He may have been the Michael Kosswig who was sub-deacon at Merseburg Cathedral in 1517.

In his Compendiaria musicae artis aeditio (Leipzig, 1516), Koswick endeavoured to present elementary music theory in a concise form. The foreword praises the usefulness and effects of music by quoting from the Bible and ancient Greek authorities. At the centre of the first part, ‘Musica choralis’, is the chapter on church modes together with numerous examples and intonation formulae; the second part deals with polyphonic music and concentrates particularly on mensural theory. The treatise concludes with a chapter on counterpoint, in which Koswick made new progress in compositional theory. After surveying consonances and dissonances, Koswick gave rules for progressions in two-voice settings and for the various possible effects in three-voice compositions, starting with the interval between the tenor and the discant. Koswick himself admitted that he gathered the contents of his treatise from various textbooks, but he added some new points. He quoted only Gaffurius, but his prime sources are the treatises of the Cologne school: Cochlaeus, Wollick and an anonymous ...

Article

(fl late 15th century). Arab theorist. His two treatises, one of which, al-Risāla al-fat ḥiyya (‘The victory treatise’), is dedicated to the Ottoman Sultan Bāyazīd II (1481–1512), are among the last significant additions to the Systematist school of theoretical writing derived from Ṣafī al-Dīn. They treat mainly of intervallic relationships, tetrachord, pentachord and octave species, and rhythm; however, in common with several of the later Systematist treatises they make no significant theoretical contributions in these areas. Al-Lādhiqī is important, rather, for the information he provides on musical practice; while reproducing the definitions of the modes and rhythms given by earlier theorists, he also includes extensive lists relating to contemporary usage which give some insight into the various changes and developments taking place during the 15th century.

Al-risāla al-fat ḥiyya f ī al-m ūs īq ī [The victory treatise concerning the theory of music] (MS, GB-Lbl Oriental 6629; National Library, Cairo, f.j.7); Fr. trans. in ...

Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

(b Terenzo, nr Parma, c1490; d Parma, late Nov 1545). Italian theorist. In the dedication of the first book of his Scintille di musica he names Lodovico Milanese as his organ teacher (perhaps in Lucca after 1512); the expression ‘mio Burtio Parmegiano’ may indicate that he studied music with Nicolò Burzio or simply denote friendship. He was maestro di cappella at Brescia Cathedral from 1528 to 1535, when he assumed the same post in Verona on 1 April. According to Pietro Aaron, he was forced to flee Verona in 1538 for having violated a boy. He took refuge in a small Augustinian monastery near Bergamo, but on 1 January 1540 he was hired as maestro di cappella at the Chiesa della Madonna della Steccata, where he remained until his death, between July and December 1545.

Lanfranco’s Scintille di musica is the earliest comprehensive treatise on music theory in Italian. Written deliberately in the ‘universale Italiana favella’ (i.e. ...

Article

Don Harrán

(b ?Bourges, c1430–40; d ?Paris, 1499). French singer and scholar. He was the author of two tracts on verbal accentuation in plainchant. His early years seem to have been spent in Bourges, where he became a canon of Notre Dame de Sales (his familiarity with the Bourges chant tradition is clear from his writings). Later he was in Paris at the Collège de Navarre, where he enrolled in the 1450s as a student in the arts faculty and from 1465 in theology. He described himself as a ‘scholastic theologian’, that is, engaged in religious studies, and as a concentor, probably the associate of the cantor or precentor in singing the soloist portions of chant in the collegiate chapel services. In 1497 he was appointed rector of the University of Paris, though his tenure lasted only five months.

Of his 12 known publications, five are editions of liturgical books and five relate to various religious topics. In two others on music (ed. in Harrán) he countered the attacks, within the Collège, of certain ‘humanists’ (i.e. grammarians), who contended that music played havoc with the sacred texts. Le Munerat used every argument he could to refute their assertions and demonstrate that music, on the strength of its long tradition preserved in the chant books, could rightly ignore grammatical quantity in items subject to musical as against verbal logic. In the first treatise, ...

Article

Elżbieta Witkowska-Zaremba

(b Legnica, 1464; d after 1546). German humanist, theorist and composer, active in Poland. He belonged to a German family in Silesia and his true name was probably Weihrauch. In 1494 he began his studies at Kraków University, and later went to Cologne for a time before returning to Kraków in 1501. From 1506 he was probably associated with the Gymnasium of the church of St Maria, Kraków, first as a cantor and from 1514 as rector. In 1511, 1513 and 1520 Liban lectured at Kraków University. About 1530 he travelled to the abbey of St Florian, near Linz. Among his many writings are two music treatises: De accentuum ecclesiasticorum exquisita ratione and De musicae laudibus oratio (both Kraków, c1539). There are also passages on music in his De philosophiae laudibus oratio (Kraków, 1537). All three treatises are reprinted in MMP, ser.D, vi–viii (1975–6...

Article

Don Harrán

[Solomon Vivas ]

(fl southern France, 1424). French philosopher and commentator . He referred to music in three short passages in his Ḥesheq Shelomoh (‘Solomon's Desire’, 1424; GB-Ob Opp.Add.Qu.114), a commentary on Judah Halevi's Kuzari (12th century). Music attained great heights in ancient Israel, where it was practised by an élite (the Levites) and recognized as a therapeutic aid (David playing before melancholy Saul). Solomon relays various commentaries on a statement by Halevi about the measurement and relationship of text and music; the statement has particularly telling musical terminology: ‘...

Article

Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller

(b Strasbourg, c1478–80; d Freiburg, Sept 5, 1537). German theorist and composer. He studied from 1494 to 1496 in Heidelberg, later in Leuven and, from 1505, in Vienna. There he took organ lessons from the cathedral organist, Wolfgang Grefinger. Luscinius particularly admired the playing of Hofhaimer, the imperial organist, praising him in his Musicae institutiones and discussing his pupils, among them Hans Buchner and Kotter. Luscinius continued his studies (which were not only in music) in many centres in Europe and the Near East, and gave music lectures at Vienna University. In 1510 he met Virdung at the Reichstag in Augsburg. Further journeys took him to Konstanz and Melk. Between 1511 and 1514 he studied Greek and theology in Paris and then returned to Strasbourg, where he was organist at St Thomas from 1510 to 1520. In 1519 he took the degree of Doctor of Canon Law from Padua University. As a result of the Reformation he lost his organist’s post and was prevented from obtaining a canonry. In ...

Article

F.J. León Tello

( b Azcoitia; d ?after 1538). Spanish theorist and maestro de capilla at Burgos Cathedral. His principal work, Arte de canto llano et de contrapunto et canto de órgano con proporciones et modos (Zaragoza, 1508; 3/1511/R; enlarged 5/1515; 12/1538, ed. A. Seay, Colorado Springs, 1979; 15/1550), is the most successful Spanish plainchant tutor of the 16th century. Martínez was indebted to Guillermo de Podio (Ars musicorum, Valencia, 1495), but disagreed with the earlier theorist on several points. Like Ramis de Pareia, he considered the diatonic semitone (e.g. A–B♭) larger than the chromatic (e.g. B♭–B♮) in opposition to the Pythagorean tradition as transmitted by Boethius. This position brought him into conflict with Juan de Espinosa who accused him of ‘teaching and writing formal heresies in music’. In other matters Martínez was conservative, and his treatise is useful for its full and clear explanations with numerous examples. He also edited ...

Article

F.J. León Tello

( fl early 16th century). Spanish music theorist . He was a priest and maestro de los moços de coro (altar boys) at Seville Cathedral from 1525 until at least 1536. His Arte de canto llano (Alcalá de Henares, 1532) was popular enough to go through several editions (including a Portuguese translation printed in Coimbra in 1603, 1612 and 1625), and offers a good introduction to a number of aspects of plainchant. Martínez allowed a compass of 20 notes in solmization, and three types of melodic movement that he called deduccional (following the deduciones, certain of the hexachords), igual (equal) and disjuntivo (disjunct). His rules concerning alteration, hexachords and word-setting correspond to the usual practice of the time. He defined the intervals empirically and included a brief exposition of the classical theory behind the different types; he analysed the different octaves, distinguishing the authentic from the plagal, and divided the modes into perfect, imperfect, ...

Article

F.J. León Tello

( fl early 16th century). Spanish theorist . He was a member of the Franciscan order and a Bachelor of Theology. He published a brief treatise on plainchant entitled Arte de canto llano Lux videntis dicha (Valladolid, 1504/R), dedicating it to the Bishop of Lugo and explaining his choice of title by saying that ‘those who would like to see and read by it will, in a very short time, be taught, illuminated and removed from error’. It is similar to Durán’s Lux bella (1492) and expounds without originality the essentials of the subject, with a study of the manner of writing chants in different modes when using a single line instead of a staff.

StevensonSM F. Valverde: Colección de los bibliófilos gallegos (Santiago de Compostela, 1949) F.J. León Tello: Estudios de historia de la teoría musical (Madrid, 1962/R) I. Fernández de la Cuesta...

Article

Andrew Hughes

(fl late 15th century). ?Italian theorist. His nationality (or residence) can be deduced only from tenuous evidence: his differentiation of English and French practices from those ‘apud nos’; the location of the unique source of his work in Venice ( I-Vnm lat.336); and the alleged similarity of his examples to the polyphonic laude of the time. His treatise, De preceptis artis musicae (ed. in Seay) seems to be a compilation, since its organization is unsystematic and repetitious, with examples misplaced or omitted and with inconsistencies between the examples and the text. Nevertheless, the work is of great importance because, in addition to practical matters of plainchant, modes, solmization and mensuration, he devoted several passages to gymel and fauxbourdon.

These techniques are presented in sections dealing with improvised counterpoint, for which Guilielmus gave rules and formulae. Descriptions of gymel and fauxbourdon occur first after the heading Ad habendum … cognitionem modi Anglicorum...

Article

Elżbieta Witkowska-Zaremba

( b Kremnica; fl 1494–1515). Slovak theorist . He studied at Kraków in 1494 and taught in Vienna before 1515. His treatise Epitoma utriusque musices practice (Kraków, 1515; facs. in MMP, ser.D, i, 1975) is dedicated to his patron Georgius Thurson, a member of a Hungarian magnate family that had served the cause of humanism. It is written in the two-part form typical of the early 16th century (musica plana, musica mensuralis) and has affinities with Johannes Cochlaeus, Gaffurius, Giorgio Anselmi and Jacobus Faber Stapulensis. In his treatise Monetarius quotes a poem by the German humanist Walter Eck, who was in Kraków about 1515.

MGG1 (R. Rybaric) R. Rybaric: Stephan Monetarius a jeho hudobná teória (Bratislava, 1960) G. Massera: ‘Od Franchino Gaffuriusa do Stefana Monetariusa; termin “practica musices” w tekstach metodologicznych renesansowej teorii muzyki’ [From Gaffurius to Monetarius; the term ‘practica musices’ in methodological texts of Renaissance music theory], ...

Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

[ Negro, Pescennio Francesco ]

( b Venice, April 17, 1452; d after 1523). Italian theorist and humanist . His studies at Venice and Padua were encyclopedic and naturally included music. He is primarily known for his grammatical treatise Brevis grammatica (Venice, 1480 and later editions), which includes five monophonic musical settings appropriate for different Latin metres: hexameters (‘heroica gravis’ and ‘heroica bellica’), elegiacs, sapphics and a remaining category called ‘lyrica’. Printed without staves, these are the first examples of printed mensural notation, as well as the first humanistic odes. Niger is also the author of a lost Musica praxis. His Cosmodystychiae libri XII ( I-Rvat Vat. lat. 3971), sent to Pope Leo X in 1514, includes two sections on music: one repeats that in the Brevis grammatica; the other, on mensural music, is based largely on Johannes de Muris' Libellus cantus mensurabilis but also includes a division of the monochord (Gallo).

KingMP [incl. illustration]...

Article

(b Meiningen, c 1490). German theorist . His first musical studies were in Saxony and later he travelled in Germany, Austria, Bohemia and Hungary. On 19 November 1512 he matriculated at Rostock University. In 1514 he was rector of the parochial school in St Ludgeri, Münster, where he wrote a Latin grammar, Enchiridion latinae constructionis (Deventer, 1515). On 25 August 1515 he matriculated at Tübingen University, although he already held the degree of Master of Arts from Rostock, but he subsequently called himself a Master of Arts of Tübingen. While in Rostock he became particularly interested in music theory and began work on a music treatise. This was the basis for further music lectures at the universities of Tübingen, Heidelberg and Mainz. A travelling humanist scholar and disciple of Erasmus, he matriculated at Wittenberg (1516), Leipzig (1516) and Greifswald (1518).

Ornithoparchus published his treatise ...

Article

Miloš Velimirović

(b Prague, 1413; d after 1471). Czech theorist . He was the author of an encyclopedic work, Liber viginti artium, which includes a discussion of music as one of the arts. He was also known as Paulus de Praga and as Paulus Židek, the latter suggesting that he was of Jewish origin although he may have been brought up as a Christian. He studied in Vienna and in Padua but the claim of a stay in Bologna has not yet been documented. Between 1443 and 1447 Paulirinus taught liberal arts at Prague University. From 1451 to 1455 he was involved in studies as well as political events at Kraków and Breslau. After 1455 he apparently retired to Plzeň where, between 1459 and 1463, he wrote his voluminous encyclopedia in which, besides the liberal arts, he discussed zoology, mineralogy, medicine and metaphysics. The only known copy of this large manuscript is now in the Biblioteka Jagiellónska, Kraków (...

Article

Gordon A. Anderson

revised by C. Matthew Balensuela

[Persona ]

( b Paderborn, 1358; d monastery of Böddeken, nr Paderborn, Nov 17, 1421). German historian, theorist, cleric and reformer . He was first educated at Paderborn. In 1384 he travelled to Italy, where he studied theology and canon law and held several posts at the papal court under Urban VI. In 1386 he was ordained priest at Genoa and in 1389 he returned to Paderborn. In 1405 he was pastor in Warburg, and in 1410 court chaplain to Bishop Wilhelm von Berg of Paderborn; he was made canon in 1411, and in 1416 he became deacon of St Marien, Bielefeld. In 1418, because of poor health, he retired to the Augustinian monastery of Böddeken and attempted to reform its greatly declining discipline.

Person is known principally as a historian. His Cosmodromius, a history of the world, is valuable as a chronicle of Paderborn, particularly for the years 1347–1418; his life of St Meinolf, canon of Paderborn Cathedral and founder of the Böddeken monastery in the first half of the 9th century, is also valuable as a historical document. Person is said to have prepared in ...