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Rudolf Pohl

(Fr. Aix-la-Chapelle).

City in Germany. The cathedral and its music were the creation of Charlemagne (742–814), who made the town the northern capital of the Holy Roman Empire; the Holy Roman emperors were crowned there from 813 to 1531. The city was occupied by France in 1794 and formally annexed in 1801; after the Congress of Vienna (1814–15) it became part of Prussia. It was severely damaged in World War II.

Aachen was the political, religious and cultural centre of Charlemagne’s empire, and the Hofkirche was constructed according to his own plans. The Aachen Cathedral choir dates from his founding of the Schola Palatina, whose teachers (including Alcuin from 782) were among the most distinguished scholars of the age. Alcuin described the school in a poem, mentioning a singing teacher named Sulpicius. For Charlemagne the idea of a politically united empire was closely linked with the establishment of a uniform liturgy, set to uniform music; his reforms in this direction led to the burning of all books connected with the Ambrosian rite in order to ensure adherence to the Gregorian style. As early as 774 he sent monks to Rome to study the teaching of such chant, and in 790 Pope Hadrian I responded to repeated requests from Charlemagne and sent two trained singers to the north with copies of the antiphonary. Organ music was also cultivated; in the early 9th century an Arab organ was sent to Charlemagne by Caliph Harun-al-Rashid and installed in the Hofkirche, while on the emperor’s instructions a second organ was built for the cathedral....


David Johnson

revised by Roger B. Williams and Charles Foster

Ctiy in Scotland. Bishop Elphinstone founded the University of Aberdeen in 1495 with stringently chosen prebendary priests to sing the daily Divine Office. From 1662 to 1720 John Forbes, printer to the town council, was Scotland's only notable music publisher, and during the 1760s and 1770s John Gregory, James Beattie and Alexander Gerard, all professors at King's or Marischal universities, were the leading British writers on musical aesthetics. From about 1890 to 1930 Aberdeen was the centre of Scots fiddle playing and folksong collecting, and the university library houses the Greig Duncan collection of north-east songs. Aberdeen's most distinguished native musicians are the operatic soprano Mary Garden, the tenor Neil Mackie, the percussionist Evelyn Glennie, the folksinger Jeannie Robertson and composers Martin Dalby, John McLeod and Judith Weir.

Aberdeen's earliest-known musical institutions are the St Nicholas, St Machar and King's College song schools, which were in existence at the beginning of the 16th century. During the course of the century the composers John Fethy, John Black and Andrew Kemp were employed as ‘maisters’ at the St Nicholas song school. As church schools the first two of these establishments survived the Reformation and continued to teach singing, theory and instrumental playing until about ...


Robyn Holmes and Peter Campbell

City in Australia. Unlike Australian convict settlements, the city (the capital of South Australia) was founded, in 1836, through planned colonization and subsidized migration. Dependence on a pastoral and mining economy meant that the city’s prosperity was subject to the fluctuating seasons, the Victorian goldrush and the commercial interests of rival cities. 19th-century migration added a distinct ethnic mix to the transplanted British society, most notably the German communities who established wine-making regions. European and Asian migration after World War II continued this trend, and national clubs and cultural organizations preserve many diverse music and dance traditions. The Aboriginal population in South Australia (estimated at 12,000 before colonization) was decimated and pushed into arid lands during the 19th century, but extensive research in Aboriginal culture and special initiatives such as the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music, founded at the University of Adelaide by ethnomusicologist Catherine J. Ellis in 1975...


Marcel Frémiot

City in southern France. Strophic songs, ‘planchs de St Estève’, were chanted from the 9th century for the feast of St Stephen in the former cathedral, Notre Dame de la Seds, but the city suffered for a long time from Saracen invasions and was able to resume any artistic activity of note only from the 11th century. The first known maître de musique was Pons (Pontius Grammaticus) who ‘for 40 years taught the tuneful singing of the Psalms of David’ to about 20 churchmen in the second half of the century. The first stone of the cathedral, St Sauveur, was laid in 1060; the building was consecrated in 1103 and in 1115 there were 40 canons and churchmen to sing the Office. No troubadours are known, probably because the princes who owned the town then resided in Barcelona, Toulouse or Aragon rather than in Aix; a palace was built there only in the second half of the 12th century. In the second half of the 13th century the first choir school was established at St Sauveur, with between eight and ten boys. The marriage of Béatrix de Provence and Charles I d’Anjou, who took Adam de la Halle into his service, is the main reason for the Bibliothèque Méjanes in Aix now possessing a fine manuscript of the ...


Karl Hinterbichler

City in New Mexico (pop. 541,615; metropolitan area 869,684; 2010 US Census). The Rio Grande Valley has been populated and cultivated since as far back as 2000 bce. The Pueblo people who lived in the area when Europeans arrived had a sophisticated culture and advanced skills in stone masonry, ceramics, and a wide range of arts and crafts. Although the Spanish settled in New Mexico in 1598, a city charter was not granted to this small outpost until 1706, when provincial governor Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdes named it in honor of Don Francisco Fernández de la Cueva, viceroy of New Spain (1653–60). One of de la Cueva’s aristocratic titles was Duke of Alburquerque, referring to the Spanish town of Alburquerque, which led to Albuquerque, New Mexico becoming known as the Duke City. Present-day Albuquerque retains much of its Spanish and Native American cultural heritage, but long ago dropped the additional “r” found in the Spanish name. The spectacular Sandia Mountains run along the eastern side of Albuquerque, and the Rio Grande flows through the city, north to south....



Frank Dobbins

City in France, capital of Picardy. Christianity was introduced in the 4th century, St Firminus being the city’s first bishop. The cathedral of Notre Dame, the largest in France, was built between 1220 and 1270. During the Middle Ages the town’s prosperity was based on the cloth trade. By the Treaty of Arras (1435) King Charles VII ceded Amiens to Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy, but Louis XI recaptured the city in 1471 and, except for brief occupations by the Spanish in 1597 and the Germans in 1914 and 1940, the town has since remained part of northern France.

The history of the city’s music centres on the cathedral. The first evidence of plainchant dates from after the Norman invasion, when Bishop Gervin (1091–1102) engaged several choirboys, clerks and a cantor named Rogerus. Surviving manuscripts include a late 13th-century ‘Liber ordinarius’ in troped plainchant and a 14th-century ‘Liber organicus’ in polyphony. By ...


Jan van der Veen, J.H. Giskes and Michael Davidson

Capital city of the Netherlands. Its musical history reflects the city’s rapid growth from a small settlement in the 13th century to a centre of world trade as a result of 17th-century Dutch colonial expansion. During this period the city government, merchants and patricians promoted music not only as a leisure activity, but also to add to their status. Civic encouragement of music has continued since then, notably in support of the Concertgebouw Orchestra (founded 1888), which has received international acclaim over many years.

Jan van der Veen, revised by J.H. Giskes

Amsterdam's musically important churches in the late Middle Ages were the Nicolaaskerk or Oude Kerk (c1300), the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk or Nieuwe Kerk (c1410), the Heilige Stede or Nieuwezijdskapel (1347) and the St Olofskapel or Oudezijdskapel (c1450): all had organs. From 1537 the Heilige Stede used the Occo Codex, from the workshop of Pierre Alamire, with polyphonic music by Josquin, Mouton, Isaac and others. In the 16th century laymen were admitted to the choirs, and in ...


Susan Wingrove

City in Alaska, USA. Anchorage Opera, a nationally recognized regional non-profit-making company founded by Elvera Voth, its artistic director, presented Pagliacci as its first production in 1975, followed by The Ballad of Baby Doe to celebrate America’s 1976 bicentenary, then La bohème in 1977. In 1979 Lucia di Lammermoor became the first fully produced non-English opera to be presented in its original language in Alaska. Since ...



Elvidio Surian

revised by Marco Salvarani

City in Italy. It is the capital of the Marches region. Documents of the mid-16th century attest to the activities of a group of players of wind instruments and singers employed by Municipal Authorities, to be used in civil and convivial occasions. Among the earliest musicians recorded as active in the cathedral of S Ciriaco are Nicolò Branchino or Bianchini (1559) of Pesaro and the Flemish composers Hector Vidue (1562) and Giovanni Ferretti (?1573–9), all perhaps preceded by the Anconan Francesco Lupino. Among those in Ancona in the 17th century were Fabio Costantini, Nicolò Cherubini (1629–40), Biagio Gherardi (1645–50) and Giovanni (?1687) and Pietro Paolo (1691–1701) Moresi. Eliseo Ghibel (1581), Giacomo Finetti (1608–12) and Francesco Boccella worked at the church of SS Sacramento; a collection of Boccella's instrumental music (1653) was among the works printed by the publisher Ottavio Beltrano, who established himself in Ancona in ...



Jeffrey M. Engel

City in France. It is situated at the western end of the Loire valley.

The cathedral of St Maurice was constructed between 1125 and 1148. Musical activity centred around it until the French Revolution. Of particular note was the Psallette, a choir school founded in 1369. Four children aged seven and older were given vocal and instrumental instruction by a maître de chapelle and prepared for participation in the service. By the mid-16th century the Pueri Chori (children of the Psallette) had increased to ten. The Psallette still functions. The chanson composer Clément Janequin was a maître (appointed 1534). The earliest written reference to an organ at St Maurice also dates from 1369. Major renovations during the 16th century transformed it into one of the country’s finest. Jean Daniel (1540) and Jean Huré (1899) were among the titular players.

The city’s first theatre was built in ...


Nathan Platte

City in Michigan (pop. 113,934; 2010 US Census). It was founded in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey, then chartered as a city in 1851. When the new city charter arrived by train at the Ann Arbor depot in 1851, performances from the local German Brass Band heightened the awaiting crowd’s celebratory mood. From the time of that inaugural event, Ann Arbor’s musical life has continued as a sonic expression of the city’s people, institutions, and spaces.

The university of Michigan and University Musical Society (UMS) have long played a vital role. In 1879 a group of community members led by university professors Henry Frieze and Calvin Cady formed the Choral Union to perform choruses from Handel’s Messiah. The UMS formed the following year to support additional Choral Union concerts and attract visiting artists. The Ann Arbor School of Music—which has since become the University’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance—also formed in ...




Percy M. Young

Town in Germany. It was formerly the seat of the Hohenzollern margraves of Brandenburg-Ansbach in Bavaria. The margravate was established in the 14th century. An organ was installed in the newly built parish church of St Johannis in 1435, but it was only after Georg ‘the Pious’ (ruled 1536–43) had recognized Lutheranism as the official creed that music began to assume considerable importance. After 1565, under the Kapellmeister Jacob Meiland and Teodore Riccio, the music staff of the court included Flemings, Italians and Saxons, and the repertory became more cosmopolitan. Martin Zeuner, organist of the collegiate church of St Gumbertus – for which a new organ was built in 1565 – was for 40 years a conspicuous (if sometimes quarrelsome) influence on the music of the town. In 1579 the margrave became Duke of Prussia, which required his staff to serve from time to time at his residence in Königsberg.

In the later 17th century the Ansbach court began to develop towards its final Baroque splendour, and this was also a climactic period in the musical life of the court. In ...





Godelieve Spiessens

(Flem. Antwerpen; Fr. Anvers)

City in Belgium. For centuries it has been an important musical centre and has played a leading role in the music of the Low Countries. Around 1410 the choir school of the church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk; later the cathedral) began to develop an active musical life. Up to the 17th century its choirmasters, organists and singers included such composers as Pullois, Ockeghem, Barbireau, Obrecht, Waelrant, Gérard de Turnhout, Séverin Cornet, Pevernage, Opitiis and John Bull; in addition Rore, Lassus and Monte all spent some time in the city. Secular music was promoted by the establishment of the town players (before 1430) and the formation of a musicians’ guild (c1500). Musicians who either came from Antwerp or were active there outside the cathedral included the composers Faignient, Hèle, Canis, Verdonck, Luython and Messaus, and the lute virtuosos Adriaenssen, Huet and Hove. Music printing flourished after 1540...


Raffaella Camilot-Oswald

Town in Italy. From early Christian times and during the Middle Ages it was an important city in the Friuli region of Northern Italy, giving its name to the patriarchate it governed. It is known to have been a major liturgical centre and probably developed a distinctive tradition of plainchant. The patriarchate of Aquileia was suppressed in the 18th century. The town is of Roman origin.

According to tradition the episcopal see of Aquileia was founded by St Mark and from the 5th century was established as an archbishopric. The earliest known evidence for the use of the title of patriarch for the bishop of Aquileia dates from the reign of Pope Pelagius I (556–61) and the term ‘ritus aquileiensis’ or ‘partiarchinus’ for the Aquileian rite is documented from the 7th century. In 606 the patriarchate was divided and a double sequence of patriarchs instituted: one governed from the city of Aquileia and was subsequently controlled by the Lombards and Frankish Empire; the other from Grado and was ruled by Byzantium and, later, Venice. From about 737 the patriarch of Aquileia was based at Cividale del Friuli and from ...



Marc Signorile

City in Provence, France. Originally a Gallo-Greek settlement, it became a Roman colony in 46 bce and prospered as a maritime trading centre. It soon had a theatre, an amphitheatre, arenas and a circus. Archaeological finds now in the Musée d’Archéologie show that there was a lively interest in music at the time: the sarcophagus of Julia Tyrannia is decorated with carvings of two hydraulic organs, panpipes and a three-string kithara, and other sarcophagi preserved in the Alyscamps Roman cemetery are ornamented with reliefs showing kitharas and depictions of the aulos, barbitos, syrinx and hydraulic organ.

Christianity came early to Arles. In 314 the Emperor Constantine called the first of the 19 councils held in the city, and excommunicated the theatrici, actors and instrumentalists who were regarded as symbolic of paganism. Arles became the second city in the empire, and was designated the capital of the Gauls in 392, a title confirmed by Honorius in ...



Robert Falck

French city. It is in Northern France, capital of the modern département of Pas-de-Calais, formerly the province of Artois. From the 12th century Arras was an important commercial centre and, increasingly in the 13th century, a bastion of the urban middle class. Much of its activity as a literary and musical centre originated with the Confrérie des Jongleurs et des Bourgeois d’Arras, a lay religious guild whose existence is documented from the last decade of the 12th century to about the mid-14th. During a plague in Arras (according to local legend) the Virgin Mary appeared separately to two jongleurs, Pierre Normand and Itier of Brabant, telling them to go to Arras and there reconcile their differences before Bishop Lambert. When they did this in the church of Notre Dame in Arras the Virgin appeared again and gave them a candle (the sainte chandelle); its wax was poured into the water used to treat the wounds of the plague-stricken, and they were miraculously healed. This prompted the Confrérie; and although written accounts of the miracle in both Latin and French place it at the beginning of the 12th century, the Confrérie was more probably founded nearer the end of the century....


Philip A. Jamison

City in North Carolina (pop. 83,318; metropolitan area 417,012; 2010 US Census). Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, at the crossing of early livestock drover roads, Asheville was incorporated in 1797. Since the early 1800s, when visitors arrived by stagecoach, this small Appalachian mountain city has been promoted as a tourist destination (“The Land of the Sky”) for those seeking the beauty and cooler temperatures of the Southern Highlands. As a result, Asheville has never been culturally deprived. In 1876, residents were enjoying performances ranging from vaudeville to opera in an opera hall on the third floor the county courthouse. During the decade following the completion of the railroad in 1880, the city’s population quadrupled, and Asheville was transformed with the construction of dozens of resort hotels and George W. Vanderbilt’s Biltmore House (completed in 1895). During the summer months, dance orchestras played the latest waltzes and polkas in the hotel ballrooms every night of the week....



Elvidio Surian

revised by Caterina Pampaloni

Italian city. It is situated in the Umbria region. The earliest evidence of a flourishing musical activity in Assisi is given by a Franciscan breviary and two fragments with neumatic notation from the 13th century ( I-Ac 683, 694 and 696). Another source from the same century ( Ac 695), including nine compositions in early polyphonic style and probably originating at Reims, provides a link between Assisi’s musical life and the prevailing polyphonic practice of the time. Giuliano da Spira (d c 1250) was at Assisi (1227–30) after having served at the court of Louis VIII in Paris; he was delegated to compose the first rhythmical Office of the Franciscan Order. Troubadour songs were cultivated by several secular societies (the most famous being the Del Monte) and were heard on 1 May each year when the town’s districts competed in a musical contest called the Calendimaggio....