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Article

Albert T. Luper

revised by Manuel Pedro Ferreira

[Sylva, Tristan de, Tristano de]

(b Tarazona; fl 1450–85). Spanish poet, theorist and musician active in Portugal. He worked at the court of Afonso V (reigned 1438–81), to whom he may have given musical instruction. His Amables de musica (lost), written by royal commission, seems to have included a theoretical component as well as songs. His theoretical views partly diverged from those of his friend Bartolomeus Ramis de Pareia, who discusses them in ...

Article

F.J. León Tello

(fl late 15th century and early 16th). Spanish, possibly Andalusian, theorist. His Introducción muy útil e breve de canto llano (Seville, 1504/R) is a brief, practical training manual for singers, although there is some theoretical speculation based closely on Pythagorean principles, with a more personal interpretation of the genera of scales available. It contains an effective study of solmization and is a useful source for the explanation of the various forms of notes and ligatures found in plainsong of the period, as well as of notation on a one-line staff....

Article

Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Spatarius, Joannes]

(b Bologna, ?26 Oct 1458; d Bologna, 17 Jan 1541). Italian theorist, composer, and choirmaster. His name comes from his family’s occupation: his grandfather was a merchant who dealt in swords. He mentions his age in two letters, which yield a birth year of 1458 or 1459; since he is not listed in the baptismal records, which go back to 1 January 1459, the year is probably 1458, and the day possibly 26 October, the date of two of his wills. Spataro never attended university and did not take holy orders; he may have continued his family’s profession until late in his life (he bequeathed a forge to his ‘compare’).

During the 1490s Spataro was on friendly terms with younger members of the Bentivoglio family: Antongaleazzo received the dedication of his Honesta defensio, and one of his lost treatises was written for Hermes, as well as two masses on pears (a pear appears on Hermes’s arms). Only in ...

Article

Mirosław Perz

[Szydłovita]

(fl 15th century). Polish music theorist. His surname is derived from the town of Szydłów or Szydłowiec (Feicht, MGG1) in central Poland. He was the author of the treatise Musica magistri Szydlovite, the oldest Polish music treatise whose author is known (in PL-GNd 200; ed. in Gieburowski). He may be identifiable with one of four ‘De Szydlov’ associated with Kraków University in the 15th century, most probably Johannes Zyzno de Szydlow, son of Marcin, who was born about 1445. He was a manuscript copyist in the Benedictine abbey of Holy Cross on Łysa Góra (central Poland) and later a student at Kraków. By 1471 he was already Bachelor of Arts and in 1474 he was at the Jerusalem College where he copied Johannes de Muris's treatise Musica speculativa ( D-B 175). In 1475 he obtained the master's degree while a monk in the abbey on Łysa Góra. He was abbot of that monastery from ...

Article

Maricarmen Gómez

[Talhanderii, Petrus; Talhienderi, Petrus]

(fl 1390). Composer and theorist . It is not known whether he was related to Antoni Tallander (1360–1446), who was in charge of horns and trumpets in the service of the kings of Aragon, or to Leonard Tallander, choirmaster of the chapel of Fernando I of Aragon (1412–16), though it seems certain that he was not Antoni's grandson Pere, the son of Antoni's eldest son. He could, however, have been Petrus Taillenderoti, a priest of the diocese of Nantes who was a student of law in Avignon in 1393. Tailhandier is the author of a three-voice Credo known in five versions (three of them anonymous) with two different contratenor parts (ed. in CMM, xxix, 1962; MSD, vii, 1962; PMFC, xxiii b, 1991); the text is carried only by the highest voice, which is characterized by the use of melodic progressions and repetition of motifs. The manuscript ...

Article

Beatrice Pescerelli

[Giacomo da Chieti]

(b Chieti; fl 15th century). Italian theorist. His treatise, entitled Summa in arte musica, is transmitted in I-PAVu Aldini 361, ff.36–47 (extract ed. A.G. Galuzzi, Il ‘De partitione licterarum monocordi’ di Jacobus Theatinus, Cremona, 1975); this manuscript is a miscellaneous collection of music treatises and compositions, written in the 15th century in the Veneto (suggesting that Jacobus worked there at that time). The treatise deals with the division of the monochord, intervals and ecclesiastical modes, the usual topics of ...

Article

Ronald Woodley

[Le Taintenier, Jehan]

(b Braine-l’Alleud, nr Nivelles, c1430–35; d ?Feb 9, 1511). Franco-Flemish theorist and composer. He was one of the most significant and influential writers on music of his day, as well as a wide-ranging practictioner as composer, singer and instrumentalist.

Tinctoris’s earliest musical education was probably at one of the maîtrises close to his home town, such as Cambrai, Soignies or Nivelles. His father Martin was probably the Martin le Taintenier who was échevin, or municipal magistrate, of Braine-l’Alleud in the 1450s and 60s, and who died around 1472. Of the rest of his family we know little, though he probably had a sister Jeanne and a brother Evrard; his grandfather may have been Regnier le Taintenier, also échevin of Braine-l’Alleud from the 1420s to the early 1450s. In 1460 Tinctoris was paid for four months’ service ‘in habitu ecclesie’ at Cambrai Cathedral, the payment being approved from the account of the ...

Article

Ronald Woodley

[Johannes ]

(d ?Elsham, Lincs., 1340). English theorist . His treatise Trianguli et scuti declaratio de proportionibus musice mensurabilis (ed. in CSM, xii, 1966) must have been in circulation before 1372, when the Breviarium ascribed to Willelmus (ed. ibid.), which cites it, was catalogued among the books of the Augustinian friars of York. The most likely candidate for identification with the author is the ‘Johannes de Torkeseye’ who was elected prior of the Augustinian canons at Elsham, north Lincolnshire, on 9 November 1339. He had been a canon at Elsham for some time before his election and remained prior for only a year, as his death occasioned the election of his successor in December 1340. If this identification is correct, it places the treatise perhaps in the 1330s, only a decade or two after the constellation of writings associated with Philippe de Vitry.

Torkesey’s Trianguli et scuti declaratio is short but was very influential in England in the 14th and 15th centuries. It is an exposition of two geometrical figures: a shield-shaped cartouche (...

Article

F.J. León Tello

(fl mid-15th century). Spanish poet and theorist. He wrote the general treatise Visión delectable in about 1440 in the best Spanish scientific prose style of that period, although it was not published until about 1480 (followed by numerous later impressions; a facsimile reprint appeared in 1983). Torre discussed music in the section dedicated to the liberal arts and expounded aesthetic rather than technical themes, keeping well within medieval tradition and the influence of St Isidore. He conceived creation as having a formal constitution in accordance with musical proportions. He regarded as important the relationship between music and the emotional effects it can produce; in suggesting that this was a major function of music, he attributed concord, sweetness and gentleness to the enjoyment aroused by music. At the same time he gave traditional examples of the power of music to stimulate other emotions.

An Alfonso de la Torre who was a singer in Toledo Cathedral died in ...

Article

F.J. León Tello

(b Pareja, Andalusia; d? Granada, May 22, 1522). Spanish theorist . Besides Catalonia, where he was active, he claimed also to have been to Zaragoza, Sicily and Rome. In 1510 he was attached to Barcelona Cathedral, and that year he was appointed maestro de capilla at Tarragona Cathedral where he stayed until 1516. A Francisco Tovar was in Seville in 1518, and was in the same year a cantor at Granada Cathedral, becoming maestro de capilla there in 1521. The theorist's Libro de música práctica (Barcelona, 1510; ed. S. Rubio, Madrid, 1978), despite its title, contains important theoretical material; it is influenced notably by Podio and remains closely allied to Boethian tradition, ignoring the theories of Ramos and Martínez de Bizcargui. Tovar related the Gregorian modes to the planetary system, as was usual at that time, and was particularly old-fashioned in his study of notation; in this respect he approached the French practice of the mid-15th century, particularly in his view of proportional theory. Unlike other writers, he did not oppose the hexachord system. He objected to the traditional distinction between perfect and imperfect intervals on the grounds that all musical intervals were acceptable, and proposed instead a classification by type of perfect intervals; in this, however, he was not entirely consistent....

Article

Ronald Woodley

(b Burford, Oxon., c1482; d Gloucester, after 1539). English theorist . His importance rests principally on the survival of his notebook ( GB-Lbl Add.10336, partly ed. in Woodley), which contains often enigmatic material relating to the notation and implicitly to the compositional process of early Tudor polyphonic music.

Tucke gained a scholarship at Winchester College in 1495, followed by fellowship at New College, Oxford (probationer 1501; full fellow 1502), where in 1505/6 he was paid ‘for writing and notating a mass’. He obtained the BA around Easter 1504; although he supplicated successfully for the MA in March 1507, he seems never to have taken the degree. He resigned his fellowship some time before June 1507 to take up a teaching post (music or grammar) at Higham Ferrers College, Northamptonshire. On 16 April 1515 Tucke was appointed lay master of grammar, master of the boys of the Lady Chapel, and organist at the Benedictine abbey of St Peter, Gloucester. He retained this post until the dissolution and surrender of the abbey to the Crown on ...

Article

David Fallows and Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Ugolino di Francesco Urbevetano; Ugolinus de Urbeveteri]

(b ?Orvieto, c1380; d Ferrara, 23–31 Jan 1452). Italian theorist and composer .

David Fallows

He was already at Forlì Cathedral by 18 July 1411. On 13 May 1413 ‘domnus Ugolinus de Urbeveteri’ was reported as a papal singer swearing allegiance to Pope Gregory XII. From 1415, when he represented the city of Forlì at the Council of Konstanz, he was a canon at Forlì Cathedral, appointed archdeacon in 1425; he was also rector at S Antonio abate in Rivaldino, Forlì. In 1427 he served as episcopal vicar during Bishop Giovanni Caffarelli's absence in Rome and was evidently a figure of substance within the city. He had correspondence with the humanists Girolamo Guarini, Ambrogio Traversari and Flavio Biondo; he was famous as an orator; and he is credited with a treatise on physics.

Ugolino visited Ferrara with the singers of Forlì on St Luke's day, 1426. On 12 October 1429...

Article

Claude V. Palisca

(b Piacenza, aut. 1447; d Venice, Jan 23, 1500). Italian professor of classics and humanities. He was the first Italian student of Greek letters to examine in some depth the ancient treatises of Aristoxenus, Euclid, Cleonides, Nicomachus of Gernsa, Aristides Quintilianus, Ptolemy, Porphyry and Bryennius, of which he personally owned good copies, several of which survive (in I-MOe and Nn ). He studied Greek with Constantin Lascaris in Milan and sciences and mathematics at the University of Pavia. He later taught humanities at Pavia between 1467 and 1484 and for brief periods also in Milan and Genoa. In 1485 he moved to Venice as professor of Latin language and literature.

His most important work is De expetendis, et fugiendis rebus opus, published posthumously by his adopted son Gian Pietro Valla Cademusto (Venice, 1501). Books 5 to 9 form a treatise De harmonica, which Valla had completed by ...

Article

Walther Lipphardt

revised by Clytus Gottwald

(b Biberach, nr Heilbronn, c1480; d Halle, April 1539). German monk and theologian . He entered the Dominican order about 1500 and was made prior of the monastery in Wimpfen. In 1506 he belonged to the monastery in Heidelberg, where he studied and took the doctorate of theology in 1513 and became regens in 1515. He represented the Catholics in all the important synods, conferences and Imperial Diets of the Reformation era. In 1520 Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg appointed him provost of the newly founded abbey church in Halle and made him Councillor for Religious Affairs and archdeacon, and chancellor of the new Halle University. In various writings from the period 1531–6 Vehe defended the Catholic doctrine against the reformers. In collaboration with the last Catholic mayor of Halle, Caspar Querhammer, the theologian Georg Witzel and the organists Johann Hoffman and Wolff Heintz, Vehe produced the first Catholic hymnbook with music, ...

Article

F. Alberto Gallo

revised by Gianluca D’Agostino

(b Florence, 1325; d ?1405). Italian chronicler . He completed his law studies in Florence in 1360, was chancellor of the city of Perugia 1376–81, and was lecturer on Dante in the University of Florence 1391–1404. His writings include a continuation of the Nuova cronica (ed. G.C. Galletti, Florence, 1847), begun by his uncle Giovanni and continued by his father Matteo, a commentary (surviving incomplete) on Dante's Commedia, and the two-volume Liber de origine civitatis Florentiae et eiusdem famosis civibus (ed. G.C. Galletti, Florence, 1847; ed. G. Tanturli, Padua, 1997). The second volume mentions several 14th-century musicians, including Bartolo, Lorenzo da Firenze, Giovanni da Cascia and Jacopo da Bologna; it also includes a biography of Francesco Landini. For the latter this is the most detailed account to survive (although some of it is now thought to be spurious) and was used as a source of information for references to the composer throughout the 15th century....

Article

Beth Bullard

(b ?Amberg, c1465; d after 1511). German theorist and composer . His father, Wernczlein (or Wenntzlaw) Vierdung, adopted the name Grop in 1469; he earned citizenship in Amberg (1475), then in Nuremberg (1486). Sebastian matriculated at Heidelberg University in 1483. By 1486 he was studying law while employed as an alto singer in the chapel of Count Philip, elector palatine, at Heidelberg, where Johannes von Soest served as ‘Sängermeister’ and Arnolt Schlick as organist. No record tells of Virdung's gaining a degree; by 1489, however, he had become a priest, as befitted the holder of an ecclesiastical benefice awarded him that year by the elector. Despite an accusation of slander against him in 1490 Virdung maintained his reputation, receiving a second benefice in 1500 at Stalburg Castle; at this time he bore the title of chaplain. In 1503 and 1504 Virdung wrote two letters to his employer's son, Ludwig (then on a visit to the court of Louis XII of France in Lyons), requesting the following items for the chapel library: Gaffurius's treatise ...

Article

T. Herman Keahey

[Johannes ]

(b Lindau; fl c1522–49). German music theorist . He matriculated at Freiburg University in 1522, and from 1549 was a chaplain and schoolmaster in Feldkirch, Vorarlberg. His treatise, Musicae rudimenta (Augsburg, 1542), is a brief Latin didactic work intended to convey the elements of music to schoolboys. The first part, in seven chapters, deals with plainchant (i.e. pitch notation), including notation, keys, solmization, mutations of hexachords, intervals and modes. The music examples, in Hufnagelschrift, are relatively extensive and include interesting four-part settings of psalm tones. The second part, in ten chapters, provides a brief introduction to mensural music (rhythmic notation), including notes, ligatures, rests, dots, mensural relationships and signs, tactus, imperfection, alteration and sesquialtera proportions. Although Vogelsang's treatise is not innovatory in content or approach, it is atypical of its humanist background in that it makes no attempt to cite authority for its assertions. Nine widely dispersed copies are extant....

Article

Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller

(b ?Fulda, c1445; d Wittenberg, 1505). German composer and theorist. Until about 1490 he was at the Benedictine monastery of Vornbach, near Passau, but he had to leave it when he married. In 1490 he entered the service of Frederick the Wise of Saxony, working first as a singer, then as a historiographer (from 1492), finally becoming Kapellmeister by 1498. In 1502 he matriculated at the newly founded University of Wittenberg. Between 1503 and 1504 he wrote his chronicle of Saxon history undertaken at Frederick’s suggestion in 1492, and after Adam’s death (of the plague) in 1505, it was completed by Johannes Trithemius, Abbot of Würzburg.

In 1490 Adam finished his famous treatise De musica (GerbertS, iii, 329), in which he described himself as ‘Musicus ducalis’. The manuscript was burnt in 1870 but the text had already been printed by Gerbert in 1784. In it he noted that Du Fay’s music extended Guido’s musical system by three degrees, and upheld Busnoys as a model to be emulated. Adam inveighed against minstrels (‘ioculatores’) and artless folksingers (‘laici vulgares’), for, he said, they had no knowledge of the art of music-making. He was the first theorist to distinguish between vocal and instrumental music in the modern sense. He also wrote some religious verses which were published by Wolff Cyclopius as ...

Article

Heinrich Hüschen

revised by Joseph Dyer

[Conradus de Zabernia]

(d before 1481). German music theorist. He is presumably to be identified with Conrardus Zabern, a priest of the diocese of Speyer who received the baccalaureate and licentiate degrees at the University of Heidelberg in 1428 and 1430 respectively. He first gained a reputation as a theologian and preacher, esteemed as much for his rhetorical skill as for his personal piety. Later in life he travelled the Rhineland, visiting churches and monasteries to offer instruction in music theory and the proper execution of chant. His principal music treatise, the Novellus musicae artis tractatus (c1460–70), unpublished during his lifetime, treats all the traditional themes of medieval music theory: intervals, staff notation, solmization, hexachords, mutation by means of the claves, the modes, and the pedagogical use of the monochord. Conrad relied most frequently on Guido and Johannes Cotto as his authorities. His teaching on the value of the monochord found fuller expression in a later treatise, the ...

Article

Andrew Hughes

(d ?c1422). English theorist . He was almost certainly the monk and historian of St Albans Abbey, who became precentor and scriptorarius there in the 1380s. This information comes from the register of benefactors of the abbey (now in GB-Ccc ). After becoming prior of Wymundham (now Wymondham), 1394–1409, he returned to St Albans. He is noted for his authorship of Chronica majora (before 1388), Ypogdima Neustrie (c1419) and Historia anglicana (ending in 1422), among other works.

He is thought to be the author of the Regule Magistri Thome Walsingham de figuris compositis et non compositis (ed. in CSM, xxxi, 1983), a treatise on mensural music found in GB-Lbl Lansdowne 763 (compiled by John Wylde). The treatise is a detailed discussion of Ars Nova notation, following the method of Johannes de Muris’s Notitia. Referring to the semiminima as the most recently introduced note value, Walsingham refused to accept such subdivisions of the ...