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Richard Macnutt

(b Reiterswiesen, Feb 2, 1738; d Paris, Jan 13, 1822). French music publisher and instrumentalist. He went to Paris in 1758 and joined a military band. Subsequently he was employed as a horn player in the orchestras of the Comédie-Française (1762–3), the Opéra (1768–85, first horn from 1778) and the Concert Spirituel (1777–86, first horn throughout). Choron and Fayolle state that he was the first harpist to play in the orchestra of the Paris Opéra, in Gluck's Orphée (1777); the Opéra employed no regular harpist or trombonist until 1782 and 1783 respectively, but in 1780 and 1781 Sieber's name appears as an occasional player of both of those instruments.

It is as a music publisher, however, that Sieber is chiefly remembered. At some time between 2 July 1770 and 28 January 1771, in partnership with a Signor Fischer, he took over the stock and premises (in the rue des Deux-Ecus) of the publisher Huberty; but the arrangement was short-lived, for in ...


John Whenham

[Sylvestris, Floridus de]

(b Barbarano, nr Vicenza, early 17th century; d Rome, after 1673). Italian anthologist and editor of music, composer, singer and dramatist. He was a priest, who from about 1647 until at least 1654 was a bass in the choir of Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome. In 1664 he held a similar position at S Giacomo degli Incurabili, Rome (the church in which he is buried). A manuscript inscription, ‘Floridus de Sylvestris à Barbr. [?]civ.s. [?]Bracc.ni. Dulcia cum flore hic Barbara Sylva Canit’, on the title-page of the copy of the alto partbook of Francesco Pasquali’s Madrigali, libro terzo (1627, in I-Bc ) may be of biographical significance; Pasquali’s book includes a madrigal, Fere barbare, for solo bass. Silvestris seems to have been an accomplished singer. The solo motet Aggrediamur iter vitae in one of his anthologies (RISM 1659¹), written for him by an unknown composer, contains virtuoso passage-work and requires a vocal range of over two octaves (...


Denis Arnold

(b late 16th century; d after 1630). Italian castrato singer and editor. He was a boy soprano in the service of the Graz court in about 1596, remaining there until 9 January 1609, when he resigned. In his later years at Graz he was a pupil of Matthia Ferrabosco. Nothing is then heard of him until 4 January 1613, when he was elected a soprano singer at S Marco, Venice, with a salary of 55 ducats; the minute registering this appointment mentions the fact that he had been singing in the basilica for about a year, presumably on probation. His salary was increased to 70 ducats in 1615 and to 80 in 1626. His name then disappears from the register of S Marco, though he was still in its service in June 1630 when he dedicated his third anthology of sacred music to Alessandro Grandi (i). It seems probable, in view of the fact that his appointment was not renewed at the customary time, that he died in the plague of ...


Peter Holman

(bap.Milton-next-Sittingbourne [now Milton Regis], Kent, April 1, 1582; d ?Copenhagen, before June 20, 1628). English composer, string player and music editor. Nothing is known for certain of his activities before 1608, when he is listed as a musician at the court of the Elector Palatine at Heidelberg, though an apparently autograph bass part of 19 ‘songes’ dedicated to Sir Norton Knatchbull of Mersham, Kent, probably dates from before he left England. Also, his wife came from Lorraine, so he may have spent some time at the court in Nancy. He was still at Heidelberg in 1610, when he published his first collection, though by 1615 he had moved to the court of Count Ernst III of Holstein-Schaumburg at Bückeburg, near Hanover. He was still there when he published his third collection in 1621, and probably left the following year, when Count Ernst died. He was employed as a ‘fiolist’ at the Danish court from ...


Mark Miller

[William Ernest ]

(b Bristol, England, May 12, 1938). Canadian writer, editor, saxophonist, and clarinetist of English birth. He studied aeronautical design and played drums and trumpet in England before moving to Toronto in 1963. He immediately became art director of Coda magazine, and rose to the position of co-publisher with John Norris in 1967; he succeeded Norris as editor in 1976. He was also co-founder with Norris of Sackville in 1968. Having taken up saxophone and clarinet in Toronto, he developed a modest, conversational style and began performing in freely improvised settings in the mid-1970s, first with the pianist Stuart Broomer, then with the Bill Smith Ensemble (1980–89) and as the sopranino saxophonist in Zes Winden (1986–8). He moved the editorial offices of Coda to Hornby Island, northwest of Vancouver, in 1989 and thereafter played saxophone and drums locally. (The magazine's business office remains in Toronto, under Norris.) The Smith Ensemble (David Prentice, violin; David Lee, double bass) recorded both as a trio and with guests Leo Smith (...


Robert Stevenson

revised by Laura Macy

(b Langa, province of Soria, 1534; d Rome, Sept 25, 1619). Spanish singer, music editor and composer, active in Italy. After making a name for himself as a musical prodigy in Spain, where he perhaps began as a choirboy at Burgo de Osma Cathedral, he joined the papal chapel as a soprano on 8 June 1562. He may have been the first castrato hired by that institution. He remained in the papal chapel until his retirement in 1611, serving as maestro five times. In 1566 he began attending the oratory recently founded by S Filippo Neri and he formally joined the group in 1571. He was involved in early negotiations surrounding the establishment of the Compagnia dei musici di Roma, though the papal singers eventually declined to participate in the group. In the years 1566–7 Soto served as chaplain to the church of S Giacomo degli Spagnoli, and by ...


Jeannette Fresne

(b Upshur County, TX, Sept 18, 1892; d Dallas, TX, Aug 19, 1940). American music publisher, singer, teacher, and composer. Known for his success in gospel music education, publishing, and composing gospel music quartets, Stamps founded the V.O. Stamps School of Music in Jacksonville, Texas (1924). Two years later he and Jesse Randall Baxter, Jr., founded the Stamps-baxter music and printing company , followed by the establishment in Dallas of a company headquarters (1929) and printing plant (1934). The company became one of the largest publishers of gospel music and most successful organizers of singing-schools in the 20th century. In addition to convention books and special collections for radio, television, and quartet performances, the company published three periodicals with subscriptions from all states and several foreign countries, and 24 songbooks with four-part harmonies in seven-shape notation. By mid-century annual company sales were in excess of $300,000. The company offered two types of schools: traditional singing-schools, and normal schools for training singing-school teachers. Stamps negotiated with the Texas superintendent of education for a provision for students to earn up to two high school credits for passing a state examination upon completion of either of the schools. After the war (...


Rosemary Williamson

(b Everton, Liverpool, Jan 11, 1839; d Torquay, May 29, 1924). English architect, amateur organist and writer, father of Heathcote D. Statham. He studied the organ at Liverpool Collegiate Institution and practised architecture in Liverpool for several years before moving in 1869 to London, where he increasingly devoted time to journalism and writing. For several years during the late 1870s he gave a series of Sunday afternoon organ recitals at the Royal Albert Hall, but held no regular organist's post beyond an honorary one at St Jude's, Whitechapel. From 1883 to 1910 his principal occupation was as editor of the journal The Builder, and he wrote several standard works on architectural history.

A thoughtful and intelligent critic, Statham combined his knowledge of architecture and music in his writings on concert hall design, arguing that recently built large halls, such as the Royal Albert Hall and St George's Hall, Liverpool, were constructed solely as places of spectacle in defiance of the basic principles of acoustics. His ...


Don Cusic

[Ragsdale, Harold Ray ]

(b Clarkdale, GA, Jan 24, 1939). American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, music publisher, television star, and entrepreneur. Harold Ragsdale began his musical career with a high school band that played R&B songs by the Coasters, Drifters, and other R&B groups. In 1955 the family moved to Atlanta, where publisher Bill Lowery signed him as a songwriter and secured his first recording contract with Capitol Records; Capitol’s Head of A&R, Ken Nelson changed Ragsdale’s name to Ray Stevens. After attending Georgia State University, where he studied music, Stevens had his first success with his recording of “Jeremiah Peabody’s Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills” (Mercury, 1961). In 1962 he moved to Nashville, supplementing his own recording career with work as a session musician, arranger, and background vocalist. He garnered a number-one pop hit and his first Grammy with his recording of “Everything is beautiful” (Barnaby, ...


Herman Trotter


(b Washington DC, Dec 6, 1946). American composer, performer, writer and publisher. He studied at SUNY, Buffalo (MA 1972, PhD 1976), where his teachers included Lejaren Hiller and Morton Feldman. He has been a member of Lukas Foss's Center of the Creative and Performing Arts and has held faculty positions at Empire State College, Buffalo (1974–86), and SUNY, Buffalo (1979–86). He has served as a critic and writer for Musical America/Opus Magazine, the Buffalo News and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is the author of Handbook of Instrumentation (Berkeley, California, 1985). Kallisti Music Press, of which he is the founder, has published the complete works of Anthony Philip Heinrich and 40 previously unpublished compositions by Hiller, as well as Stiller’s own works.

Stiller's music is eclectic and original, but makes no attempt to establish new sonic frontiers. His works are often scored for unusual combinations of instruments and many of his titles reveal a propensity towards the fanciful and whimsical. The chamber opera ...


Kristine Forney


(b c1510–1515, Soest, nr Dortmund; d ?Sweden, 1570 or later). Music publisher, composer and instrumentalist, active in the southern Netherlands. His birthdate is based on a document of 1565 which states he was about 50 years old (‘out omtrent L jaren’). His place of birth, also suggested to be Soestdijk, near Utrecht, is clearly in the environs of Cologne (probably Soest in Westphalia): he refers to himself as ‘Tilemannus Susato Agrippinus’ (the Roman name for Cologne) in two publications, he is described in 1561 as ‘Thielman Suzato, geboeren van Coelen’ and in 1563 as one born outside the lands of the Emperor. Further, he was granted a subsidy in 1542 by the city of Antwerp for bringing a new trade from outside. Documentation confirms that he was the son of another Tylman (Thielmanssone); his father may have been the blind musician ‘Tielman dem blynden’ mentioned in a 1508...


Mark Berresford

(Coleman )

(b Brunswick, MO, Feb 7, 1882; d New York, NY, March 9, 1961). American clarinetist, bandleader, composer, and music publisher. His first professional engagement (c1897–8) was with a “pickaninny” band led by Nathaniel Clark Smith. In 1902 he was assistant leader of P.G. Lowery’s band with Forepaugh and Sells Circus and later that year joined Mahara’s Minstrels band under the leadership of W.C. Handy. In 1903 he formed his own band in Minneapolis, where he made the first recordings by an African American band. Sweatman moved to Chicago in 1908, where he led trios at the Grand and Monogram theaters. In 1911 he made his first vaudeville appearance, and in late 1916 made the first records recognizable as jazz performances. In 1918 Sweatman’s band was signed to an exclusive recording contract with Columbia, their records rivalling those by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. He continued to work through the 1920s and early 1930s in vaudeville, and in ...


Elizabeth Forbes

(b Magdeburg, Dec 26, 1800; d Dresden, May 7, 1883). German singer, teacher and music editor. He studied singing and composition with C.F. Zelter and Klein in Berlin, then went to Italy, where he studied with Giorgio Ronconi, Eliodoro Bianchi and Girolamo Crescentini. Through his acquaintance with Fortunato Santini he became interested in old Latin and German church music. Returning to Germany, he studied singing in Dresden, and then settled in Berlin as a singing teacher using Italian principles. In 1873 he was appointed Royal Prussian Professor. His numerous editions of old church music include H.L. Hassler’s Psalmen und christliche Gesänge, Eccard’s Geistliche Lieder auf den Choral and Preussiche Festlieder by Eccard and Stobaeus. He also published several collections of solfèges by Minoja, Crescentini, Zingarelli and Clari, as well as some of his own vocal exercises. His collection of early music is in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Berlin. (...


Barry S. Brook

(b Wehrsdorf, nr Bautzen, Feb 2, 1748; d Leipzig, Sept 12, 1806). German impresario, composer, horn player, writer on music and publisher. He attended the Gymnasium in Bautzen for seven years; in 1770 he began studying law at Leipzig University but within a year turned to music, becoming first horn player for the Grosse Concert-Gesellschaft in 1771. In 1776 he founded a music copying business and manuscript storehouse, producing a large thematic catalogue (rivalling Breitkopf’s) that he sold in manuscript. He described this catalogue (of manuscript works available for copying) and his idealistic plans for the storehouse in a series of pamphlets published between 1778 and 1781. From 1782 he sponsored a series of independent concerts in Leipzig, later producing the Gewandhaus concerts, Dilettanten concerts and Stadtmusik, and undertaking concert tours as far as Dresden, Hamburg and Prague. In addition to works by Haydn, Mozart and others, he performed a number of his own compositions. In ...


Brian Boydell

[Burke of Thomond ]

( fl 1739–50). Irish music editor, composer and instrumentalist . The earliest known references to him occur in Dublin newspapers in 1739 and 1740, when he appeared as a soloist playing concertos on the trumpet and the flute. He also performed in England as a flautist, appearing for instance at Ruckholt House, Leyton, on 14 May 1744.

About 1745–50 he issued two books which provide one of the earliest printed sources of Irish traditional airs. The first consisted of 12 Scots and 12 Irish airs, the second of 12 English and 12 Irish airs. Both books, which contain ‘Variations, set for the German Flute, Violin or Harpsichord’, were published for John Simpson of London, reprinted c1765, and re-engraved and published in one volume about 1785 by S., A. & P. Thompson of London under the title Forty-eight English, Irish and Scotch airs. Thumoth's only other known publication is Six Solos for a German Flute, Violin or Harpsichord, the First Three composed by Mr Burk Thumoth, the Three Last by Sigr. Canaby...


Stanley Webb

revised by Paul Hale

(b Much Wenlock, Shropshire, March 17, 1895; d London, June 16, 1976). English organist, editor and teacher. Virtually self-taught, he held a number of posts, among them director of music at Sherborne School, sub-organist of Wells Cathedral, organist of St Paul's Cathedral, Calcutta, and organist of St Peter's, Eaton Square, London (1937–64), and of Lincoln's Inn Chapel. As a broadcasting recitalist in the 1930s his lucidity and sense of style brought much unfamiliar music to life, notably that of Reger, whose organ works were then little known in England. Highly regarded as a teacher at the RAM (1936–64), where his pupils included Simon Preston and Barry Rose, his abiding legacy is in the large number of series of graded anthologies of organ music he edited. These contain works of all periods, many of them by composers then largely unknown to British organists. Trevor's Oxford Organ Method...


Deane L. Root

[Hubert Prior]

(b Island Pond, VT, July 28, 1901; d North Hollywood, CA, July 3, 1986). American bandleader, singer, saxophonist, actor and publisher. From 1918 he learnt the saxophone and played in a theatre orchestra in Portland, Maine, then attended the University of Maine (1921) and Yale University (to 1927). In 1928 he formed his own band, the Connecticut Yankees; he made his début as a singer in George White’s Scandals (1931), and appeared in Broadway musicals, television and over 20 films, mostly as a musician or comic actor. During the 1930s and 1940s, with his salutation ‘Heigh-ho, everybody!’, he was one of the most successful American bandleaders and singers, among the first crooners to inspire mass hysteria in his audience. With his thin, nasal voice and using a megaphone – later a microphone – he popularized the Maine Stein Song, the Yale Whiffenpoof Song, his own ...


Deane L. Root

[James; Babcock, Edward Chester]

(b Syracuse, NY, Jan 26, 1913; d Rancho Mirage, CA, Feb 7, 1990). American composer, publisher and pianist. At the age of 16 he became a pianist, singer and announcer for a radio station and adopted his professional name. He then studied singing with Howard Lyman and wrote college shows at Syracuse University. In 1933 he replaced Harold Arlen as composer at the Cotton Club in Harlem, and worked as a pianist and song plugger for Tin Pan Alley publishers, including Remick and Santley Brothers. He had his first songwriting success in 1938 with It’s the dreamer in me (in collaboration with Jimmy Dorsey) and wrote for the bandleader Eddie DeLange before teaming up with the lyricist Johnny Burke in 1939. Together Burke and Van Heusen wrote the songs for 16 of Bing Crosby’s best-known films, including Road to Morocco (1942) and others of the ‘Road to …’ series, and ...


Gilles Potvin

(b Natashquan, Quebec, Oct 27, 1928). Canadian songwriter, singer, poet and publisher . He wrote poems and songs while teaching French and mathematics in Quebec City. He first sang publicly in 1960 and his success led to a first recording in 1962. Two years later, his song Jack Monoloy won second prize at an international competition in Sopot, Poland. His best-known song is Mon pays, also sung at Sopot in 1965. He has toured extensively in Canada and French-speaking countries of Europe. He was awarded a Grand Prix du Disque by the Académie Charles Cros in 1970 and 1984. Vigneault’s songs are about the people of Quebec, specifically those who live on his native north shore of the St Lawrence. Some of his songs contain social protest, some are simple love stories, some are whimsical and humorous.

EMC2 (C. Rioux) M. Gagné: Gilles Vigneault (Quebec City, 1977)...


(b ?Leipzig, Sept 29, 1526; d Torgau, March 10, 1606). German theorist, editor and Kantor . In 1544 he matriculated at Wittenberg University where he was a pupil and supporter of Coclico; he also held a post in the cathedral Kantorei there, serving under Johann Walter (i). In 1549 on the recommendation of Melanchthon he was appointed Kantor in Meissen, succeeding Johann Reusch. Later the same year he left to take up a similar post in Torgau as successor to Johann Walter (i); he retired from this post in 1604.

Vogt’s most important work is the Definitio, divisio musices, et eius subdivisio (Basle, 1557); it is thought to have been reprinted twice in 1575 under different titles: Stoicheoisis harmonica and Systemata seu scala harmonica. Printed on a large sheet and folded at the centre, this presents in schematic form a classification of the whole field of music, together with humanistic poems by Coler, Diaconus, Fabricius, Melanchthon and Siberus, diagrams representing the mathematical ratios of the musical intervals, two short two-part canons and pictorial representations of legendary figures important in music (e.g. Tubal, Pythagoras, Orpheus), each of which is accompanied by two lines of Latin verse (distichs)....