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Article

Robert Shay

(b Westminster, London, Jan 1648; d Oxford, Dec 14, 1710). English scholar, composer and music collector. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford (after early training in mathematics at Westminster School), in 1662, receiving the BA, MA and DD degrees in 1666, 1669 and 1682 respectively. He took holy orders and was assigned the rectorate at Wem, Shropshire, but chose to remain at Christ Church, becoming a canon in 1681 and dean (a unique position in Oxford as head of both college and cathedral) in 1689, also serving as vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, 1692–5. He was a leader of the Oxford resistance to James II's Catholic advances, and under William III he became one of the chief defenders of High Church practices, publicly opposing both the comprehension of non-Anglicans and revisions to the prayer book. He was an industrious and practically minded scholar, producing books on logic, heraldry and architecture, designing a number of Oxford buildings, serving as draftsman and engraver for the Oxford Almanacks, and producing a sizable body of compositions for the English cathedral service. His account of Greek music survives in manuscript (...

Article

Jocelyne Aubé

(b Barcelona, March 27, 1862; d Barcelona, March 31, 1908). Spanish composer, folklorist and music critic. He studied composition with Antonio Nicolau and Anselmo Barba and piano with C.G. Vidiella in Barcelona and was music critic for various journals there, including La renaixensa, L'avenç and, from 1905 to 1908, El poble català. He published his Collecció de 6 melodies per a cant i piano and five Cansons per cant i piano (both Barcelona, 1887), which are settings of poems by Angel Guimerá, Francisco Matheu y Fornells, Apeles Mestres and Jacinto Verdaguer. He illustrated the latter volume himself, and some of his work was displayed at an exhibition of the Sociedad de Acuarelistas in Barcelona. A distinguished folklorist as well as a sensitive composer and skilful melodist, he collected Catalan folksongs and published arrangements of 23 of these in Cansons populars catalanas (Barcelona, 1891). He used native rhythms and melodies in his songs and piano pieces (among them ...

Article

(b Buenos Aires, April 13, 1913; d Buenos Aires, June 2005). Venezuelan-Argentine ethnomusicologist, folklorist and composer, wife of Luis Felipe Ramón y Rivera. She studied the piano under Rafael González (1923–31) and composition with Athos Palma (1928–33) at the Buenos Aires National Conservatory of Music, instrumentation with Villa-Lobos in Brazil (1937), anthropology (1938–40) and, with Carlos Vega, folklore and musicology (1938–44) at the Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Buenos Aires. She took the doctorate in musicology in 1967 at the Argentine Catholic University with a dissertation on Argentine folk music. She was an associate member of the Instituto Argentino de Musicología from 1938 to 1950. After working as the first professor of ethnomusicology at the Escuela Nacional de Danzas de Argentina (1950–52) she moved to Caracas, Venezuela, where she has held appointments as research fellow in folklore and ethnomusicology at the Instituto Nacional de Folklore de Venezuela (...

Article

Svetlana Sarkisyan

(b Tehran, Nov 7, 1915; d Los Angeles, March 5, 1994). Armenian musicologist, folklorist and composer. After moving to Yerevan in 1923 he studied composition at the Yerevan Conservatory. From 1944 he taught harmony at the conservatory and completed a second degree at the Institute of Art of the Armenian Academy of Sciences with Kushnaryov, 1945–8. In 1951 he began taking part in folklore expeditions around Armenia and in 1955 he completed his dissertation at the conservatory on Armenian neumatic (khazer) notation. He joined the staff of the Institute of Arts in 1956 and was appointed professor in 1962 at the conservatory, where he also served intermittently as head of the music theory department until 1991. He was made an Honoured Representative of the Arts of Armenia in 1961. He participated in many congresses both within and outside the former Soviet Union, and was highly regarded as a teacher....

Article

Sigurd Berg

(b Copenhagen, March 2, 1801; d Copenhagen, Nov 8, 1880). Danish folklorist, teacher and composer. He began composing and playing the flute while still in school. After his matriculation he studied law for a time, but influenced by the composer C.E.F. Weyse he soon dedicated himself to music and attracted attention in 1823 with a cantata for the 200th anniversary of Regensen, the students' college in Copenhagen. Over the next few years he composed several more cantatas as well as incidental music for the Royal Theatre. From 1838 he was organist at the Trinitatis Kirke, and from 1843 singing master at the metropolitan school. He held both posts until his death; they led him to an intensive occupation with church and school singing. He composed a notable set of hymn melodies, many of which are still used in the Danish Church, and edited many collections of partsongs for schools, containing several of his own compositions. He also made an important collection of Danish and foreign folksongs and melodies. In ...

Article

Viorel Cosma

(b Lugoj, 20 March/April 2, 1877; d Bucharest, Dec 19, 1968). Romanian composer, folklorist and administrator. He studied privately in Lugoj with Josif Czegka and Sofia Vlad-Rădulescu, in Blaj with Iacob Mureşianu, in Sibiu with Hermann Kirchner and in Braşov with Paul Richter. Extremely active in the musical life of Romania, he participated in the foundation of the Romanian Opera, the Romanian National Theatre (1919), the Dima Conservatory, Cluj (1920), the Society of Romanian Composers (1920) and the Astra Conservatory, Braşov (1928); during this period he directed the opera houses in Cluj and Bucharest. He collected more than 2000 folksongs, recorded on 214 cylinders, and made use of them in his ten books of Doine şi cântece poporale (‘Doinas and Other Folksongs’) and in eight books of instrumental pieces published as Jocuri populare româneşti (‘Romanian Folkdances’); he also published a scholarly collection, ...

Article

Viorel Cosma and Owen Wright

[Demetrius]

(b Silişteni-Fălciu, Moldavia, Oct 26, 1673; dDmitrievka, Russia, Aug 21, 1723). Prince of Moldavia (1683, 1710–11), Romanian scholar, encyclopedist, composer, folklorist and theorist. He started his musical studies under Jeremia Cacavelas in Iaşi and continued them in Istanbul with Kemani Ahmed and Angeli. In the Ottoman capital he compiled a treatise on the theory of Turkish music which used an innovative system of musical notation based on the Arabic alphabet. At the end of this treatise, Edvar-i musiki (‘Textbook of music’), he added notations of some 350 instrumental pieces in the peşrev and semai forms, a few of them his own compositions. These notations provide an important comprehensive record of the late 17th-century Ottoman instrumental repertory.

Back in his country, as Prince of Moldavia (1710–11), he continued his ethnographic and folk music studies, recorded in Descriptio Moldaviae (1716). Appointed councillor to the Tsar of Russia, Peter I, Cantemir settled in Moscow. But he continued his musical activities, compiling (in Romanian) ...

Article

Lyndesay G. Langwill

revised by Rosemary Williamson

(von Ahn)

(b Newcastle upon Tyne, May 19, 1878; d Great Missenden, Nov 2, 1958). English collector and historian of instruments and composer. He was educated in Hanover (1892) and as a Macfarren scholar at the Royal Academy of Music (1893–1902, ARAM 1902), where he studied composition with Corder. After serving as assistant music master at Winchester College (1909–22), he returned to the RAM in 1922 as professor of harmony and counterpoint, becoming a Fellow of the RAM in the same year; he held the professorship until 1940.

Carse’s early compositions include an orchestral prelude to Byron’s Manfred, a dramatic cantata, The Lay of the Brown Rosary and two symphonies; his later works, for student orchestras and beginners, are light, tuneful and individual, and ideally suited to their purpose as teaching material. His reputation, however, rests on his study of the history of instruments and the orchestra, and on his collection of some 350 old wind instruments, which he gave to the Horniman Museum, London, in ...

Article

Taisiya Shcherbakova

(b Dzhalal-Oglï, nr Tbilisi, Georgia, 9/May 21, 1869; d Minsk, Dec 27, 1964). Belarusian folklorist and composer. He completed his studies in composition with Ippolitov-Ivanov at the Tbilisi Music College (1892), and then worked as a music teacher in Baku and from 1903 in the north-west region of Russia (in the towns of Kovno, Vil′no and Mstislavl′). He headed amateur societies and choirs, and began his work as a folklorist. His first volume of 53 Belarusian songs was published in Vil′no in 1910. His opera Osvobozhdyonnïy trud (‘Emancipated Labour’) was written in Mstislavl′ in 1922 and was staged there by amateurs in the same year.

After 1935 Churkin lived permanently in Minsk and devoted himself to folklore. He recorded around 3000 Belarusian, Lithuanian, Polish, Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaidjani folksongs. These served as sources for many of his instrumental works – three sinfoniettas (1925, 1949...

Article

Edith Gerson-Kiwi

revised by Bret Werb

[Yuly Dmitrevich]

(b Berdyansk, Crimea, 4/April 16, 1868; d Tel-Aviv, Feb 11, 1927). Russian composer, critic, lexicographer and folklorist. He studied law at Kharkov University but soon turned to music, studying theory and composition with Taneyev and Ippolitov-Ivanov at the Moscow Conservatory (1893–7). From 1897 to 1919 he worked as a music critic for the newspaper Russkiye vedomosti. In 1901 his translation of Riemann’s Lexikon into Russian with newly written sections on Russian music was published in Moscow. Although an early opera, Esther, was performed in 1894, his work as a critic overshadowed that as a composer. Under the influence of the Russian nationalist music critic Vladimir Stasov, however, he turned his attention to Jewish folklore, collecting, arranging, performing and publishing the songs of eastern European Jews. In 1909 his first album of ten Jewish folksongs appeared in Moscow; a second volume followed later in the same year. Engel continued to promote his new interest with public lectures and a series of articles in ...