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John Bergsagel

(Schack Olufsen)

(b Brande, Jutland, April 9, 1893; d Copenhagen, Feb 17, 1949). Danish musicologist. After studying at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music (1910–13), where he graduated as an organist, he was organist and choirmaster at the Luther Church (1914–24) and head of the music division of the Copenhagen Royal Library (1916–21). As a student he attended Hammerich's lectures in music history at Copenhagen University (there was no degree course in music history until 1915) and in 1917 he became the first MA in musicology in Denmark, graduating with a dissertation on the transition from Catholic to Protestant liturgy in Denmark in the 16th and 17th centuries. During his years at the Royal Library he began to study its large collection of Latin liturgical fragments on the basis of which he tried to reconstruct the Danish medieval liturgy and to provide a demonstration of Peter Wagner’s theory of the two traditions, Roman and Germanic, of Gregorian chant. He submitted this as a doctoral dissertation to the university in ...

Article

Dimitri Conomos

revised by George Leotsakos

(b Piraeus, May 19, 1929). Greek composer and musicologist. He graduated in theology from Athens University (1954), in neo-Byzantine music (1955) and harmony (1956) from the Piraeus League Conservatory, and in counterpoint, fugue and composition (1959) from the Hellenic Conservatory, where he studied with Yannis A. Papaïannou. At Brandeis University (1962–5) he studied composition (with Arthur Berger), Byzantine music palaeography and electronic music. In 1950 he revived the boys' choir of the Greek Royal Palace, which he directed until 1967. He also established and conducted the Athens Chamber Chorus (1958–61). Between 1961 and 1963 he taught Byzantine music at the Holy Cross Theological Academy, Boston, Massachusetts. In 1965 he established the first electronic music studio in Athens. He was a founder-member (1965) and later president (1975–85) of both the Hellenic Association for Contemporary Music and the Greek section of the ISCM. In ...

Article

(b Frankfurt, Sept 11, 1903; d Brig, Switzerland, Aug 6, 1969). German writer on music and philosopher. The son of a businessman of Jewish extraction, Oscar Alexander Wiesengrund, and a professional singer of Catholic Corsican origin, Maria Calvelli-Adorno della Piana, he adopted his mother's name in the 1920s, initially as Weisengrund-Adorno, dispensing with the hyphen in 1938. In 1937–8 he also wrote briefly under the pseudonym Hektor ‘Rottweiler’.

Strongly influenced by Ernst Bloch's Vom Geist der Utopie and Georg Lukács's Theorie des Romans while still at school, and having had a musical upbringing, with piano, violin and composition lessons from an early age, in 1921 he went on to study philosophy (with Hans Cornelius) at the University of Frankfurt with musicology, sociology and psychology as subsidiary subjects, continuing composition studies with Bernhard Sekles and piano with Eduard Jung. During his student years he became friendly with the philosopher Max Horkheimer and the literary critic Walter Benjamin, who both had considerable influence on his development. Three years after starting university he took the doctorate with a dissertation on Husserl (...

Article

Eckhard Neubauer

(b Baghdad, July 779; d Samarra’, July 839). Arab musician. He was a son of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mahdī and a Persian slave at court called Shikla. He became famous for his fine and powerful voice with its range of four octaves, and first took part in court concerts during the reigns of Hārūn al-Rashīd (786–809) and al-Amīn (809–13). Proclaimed caliph in 817 in opposition to al-Ma’mūn (813–33), he had to abdicate after barely two years and went into hiding. In 825 he was pardoned and became a court musician once more under al-Ma’mūn and his successor al-Mu‘taṣim (833–42). He was a follower of the school of Ibn Jāmi‘ and represented a ‘soft’ style, probably influenced by Persian music, which also allowed freedom in rendering older works. His rival Isḥāq al-Mawṣilī accused him of stylistic uncertainty; fragments of their polemic writings are quoted in the Kitāb al-aghānī al-kabīr...

Article

Owen Wright

[ibn Ghaybī al-Marāghi]

(b Maragh; d Herat, 1435). Timurid composer, performer and theorist. He first rose to prominence in the service of the Jalā’irid rulers of Iraq and Azerbaijan, al-Ḥusayn (1374–82) and Aḥmad (1382–1410). After the conquest of Baghdad by Tīmūr (1393), most of his career was spent in Samarkand and, especially, Herat, at the courts of Tīmūr and of his successors al-Khalīl (1404–9) and Shāh Rukh (1409–47).

‘Abd al-Qādir was one of the most important and influential theorists of the Systematist school. His most substantial surviving works are the Jāmi‘ al-al ḥān (‘Compendium of melodies’), largely completed in 1405 and revised in 1413, and the slighter Maqāṣid al-al ḥān (‘Purports of melodies’), which covers essentially the same ground and probably dates from 1418. Written in Persian, which was by then the language of culture, these works proved particularly influential among later 15th-century theorists; but although both thoughtful and highly competent, on the theoretical side they may be regarded as, essentially, restatements and amplifications of the theory elaborated by ...

Article

Christian Poché

(b al-A‘zamiyya, June 1921). Iraqi ethnomusicologist and sanṭūr player. The focus of his studies has been on the maqām. He became interested in this in the 1930s after hearing the singing of the masters Muḥammad al-Qundarjī (d 1945) and ‘Abbās aL-Shaykhalī (1881–1967) and in 1937 began learning the maqām himself. In about 1949 he started lessons on the san ṭūr with Sha‘ūbī Ibrāhīm Khalīl (b 1925) and founded a chamber ensemble, al-shalghīal-baghdādī, in 1950. He has widely researched the maqām, making it publicly known with his writings and by touring widely with his chamber ensemble. He is also an expert on manuscripts and has published annotations of treatises by classical authors.

Mukhtārāt al-Abūdhiyya al-‘Iraqiyya [Selections of Iraqi Abūdhiyya] (Baghdad, 1949) al-Maqām al-‘Irāqī [Al-Maqām Al-Iraqi: studies in the classical music of Iraq] (Baghdad, 1961, 2/1983) al-Abūdhiyya [The Abūdhiyya] (Baghdad, 1962) Ḥall Rum ūz Kit...

Article

John C.G. Waterhouse

[Ottavio Felice Gaspare Maria]

(b Montegiorgio, Ascoli Piceno, Nov 16, 1881; d Montegiorgio, Dec 28, 1928). Italian musicologist, conductor and composer. He studied the piano, organ and composition at the Liceo Musicale di S Cecilia, Rome, where he gained his diploma in 1906 and was from 1912 professor of aesthetics and music history. He also graduated in 1907 from Rome University with a thesis on the Italian oratorio, subsequently expanded into an important book. His scholarly writings – notably those on Italian laudi spirituali and on Carissimi – in general helped to lay the foundations of modern Italian musicology. As a conductor he specialized in choral music, and in 1926 he founded the Madrigalisti Romani. He also fought hard for the improvement of Italian music education. His most ambitious composition, the opera Mirra, is eclectic and uneven, but shows technical enterprise – not least in the brief use of a specially constructed ‘pentaphonic harmonium’, in which the octave was divided into five equal parts (cf Indonesian ...

Article

Saul Novack

(Ludwig)

(b Cologne, Nov 17, 1902; d Basle, Oct 19, 1996). American musicologist and pianist of German origin. After schooling in Cologne he was awarded a music teacher's diploma by the Austrian State Commission in 1930. He studied musicology at the University of Vienna (1933–8), and took the doctorate in 1938 with a dissertation on acoustical psychology. He also studied privately with Schenker. In 1940 he emigrated to the USA, later becoming an American citizen, and was active as a conductor, teacher, accompanist and répétiteur. He held teaching posts at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and Art (1947–53) and the University of California at Los Angeles (1953–6) before his appointment in 1956 as professor of music at the California State University at Los Angeles, where he taught until his retirement in 1970 as professor emeritus. He frequently served as accompanist to distinguished singers such as Elisabeth Schumann, Pinza and Fischer-Dieskau, and assisted Lotte Lehmann in her art-song courses. Albersheim was one of the first to write on the importance of the theories of Heinrich Schenker, whose influence is occasionally reflected in his writings. He wrote mainly on acoustics and the psychology of hearing, as well as its relationship to musical aesthetics....

Article

Howard Serwer

(b Görmar, nr Mühlhausen, Jan 8, 1732; d Mühlhausen, 1773). German writer on music and composer. He was a magister of philosophy, an honorary member of the German Society of Altdorf University, and an imperial poet laureate. His writings include an original work on theory, contributions to the current discussions of Rameau's theories which he favoured, and translations and editions of works of others. In addition, he published an important article on the state of music in Mühlhausen, two in defence of music in the church, and one on the German language. His compositions, consisting largely of sacred vocal works to his own texts, were mostly written for the Marienkirche in Mühlhausen, where he was Kantor and music director. They include a setting of the Passion and a yearly cycle of cantatas (texts published in 1764), as well as two published collections of keyboard and vocal pieces intended for students. Only a sacred song ...

Article

Paula Morgan

(b Swansea, MA, July 14, 1904; d Cannes, April 18, 1975). American musicologist and harpsichordist. After receiving the BA from Yale University in 1926, Aldrich went to Europe, where he studied the piano with Matthay in London and the harpsichord with Landowska in France. He returned to the USA to take the MA at Harvard in 1936 and the PhD there in 1942, working with Apel and Leichtentritt. From 1936 to 1944 he was director of the Boston Society of Ancient Instruments.

He began his teaching career in 1942 at the University of Texas, where he taught until 1944. He was on the staff of Western Reserve University (1946–8) and Mills College, Oakland, California (1948–50). In 1950 he was appointed professor of music at Stanford University, where he taught until his retirement in 1969.

Aldrich combined his scholarly interests with an active career as a harpsichordist. In particular he wrote on the performing practice of early music and the musical ornamentation of the 17th and 18th centuries. His study of the rhythm of 17th-century Italian monody examines notational problems encountered by present-day performers and editors of this music and furnishes provocative, sometimes controversial solutions....