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Article

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen and Robert Anderson

[Aischylos]

(b Eleusis [now Elefsina], 525 bce; d Gela [now Terranova], Sicily, 456 bce). Greek tragic poet. He wrote about 80 dramas, tragedies, and satyr plays, of which eight, all tragedies, have survived.

Probably the earliest of Aeschylus’s plays was the Persians (472 bce), which celebrated the Greek victory over vast invading forces led by Xerxes; set at the Persian court, the play is one long lament. With one exception (the singing of a paean by the Greeks, 393), the references to music emphasize the tone of mourning: ‘there resounds a song unlike that of victory’ (kelados ou paiōnios, 605). The hymns of the Persians are directed to the dead (619–20, 625) and their singing is a cry of pain (1043, iuze melos). In the remarkably extended sequence of strophic lyrics with which the play closes (852–1076), the chorus speaks of the lamentation of a Mariandynian mourner (939). The scholiast on this line referred to a saying about playing on Mariandynian auloi, famous for the playing of dirges, in the Iastian (or Ionian) mode; the resulting problem of modal ethos remains unresolved....

Article

Alcaeus  

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

[Alkaios]

(b Lesbos, c620 bc; d after 580 bce). Greek lyric poet. The earlier tradition of sung poetry on Lesbos had been choral, religious, impersonal; now choral lyric faced the challenge of monody. In contrast to the impersonality of the earlier poets, Alcaeus wrote as an individual, describing in an intensely personal manner his chequered political fortunes. Many of his poems, however, were amatory or convivial, consisting of drinking-songs and after-dinner verses (skolia); the range of subjects even included monodic hymns. His favourite metre was the compact four-line stanza which bears his name, although he also used the sapphic stanza. Like his compatriot and friend Sappho, Alcaeus wrote in the distinctive Aeolic dialect of Lesbos.

References to musical instruments show considerable diversity. He seems to have composed an address to the trumpet (salpinx), poeticized as a sounding conch (Edmonds, frag.85). He once mentioned the ...

Article

Alcman  

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

[Alkman]

(fl c. 630 bce). Greek lyric poet. He was possibly a native of Sardis in Lydia. Alcman spent his entire professional life in Sparta. This city was then startlingly different from the grim barracks state that it had been and would again become: its citizens cultivated art, poetry, music, and dance with intensity and brilliance. The poet himself commented on this: ‘To play well upon the lyre weighs evenly with the steel’, that is, military valour (Edmonds, frag.62).

As the trainer of a choir of girls who sang and danced at Spartan religious festivals, Alcman wrote maiden-songs (see Partheneia), which brought him particular fame. Extensive portions of one of these have survived (PLouvre E3320); the lines recreate with great immediacy the half-humorous, half-impassioned rivalry of his young choristers. For solo performance he composed proöimia, preludes to the recitation of Homeric poetry (see Terpander...

Article

Alcuin  

Jane Bellingham

[(Flaccus) Albinus]

(b Northumbria, c735; d Tours, May 19, 804). Anglo-Saxon scholar, writer and poet. Little is known about Alcuin's early years, but he was educated at the cathedral school in York, which, under the guidance of magister, and later archbishop, Aelberht (d 780), became one of the foremost centres of learning in England during the second half of the 8th century. Alcuin remained at York as Aelberht's assistant, becoming magister himself in 767, and several times travelled to the Continent, especially Gaul and Italy, in search of books for the cathedral library. It was on one such visit that Alcuin met Charlemagne (reigned 768–814), who, in 781, invited him to join the scholars of the Frankish court. In Francia Alcuin became one of the leading members of the court school. He is known to have been the personal tutor of Charlemagne and is generally considered to have been the architect of many of the king’s educational reforms, including those in the ...

Article

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

[Anakreon]

(b Teos, c.570 bce; d 490 or 485 bce). Greek lyric poet. An Ionian by birth and upbringing, he spent his professional life in the service of Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, and later at Athens under the patronage of Peisistratus’s son Hipparchus. His poetry reflects the gay, sophisticated atmosphere of the courts where he was musical arbiter; underlying it is the cultural heritage of his native Ionia, especially the distinctive tradition of lighthearted monody.

Although the writings of Anacreon include elegiac and iambic poetry as well as lyric, extant musical references occur only in the lyrics. He speaks of ‘the lovely pēktis’ and ‘the 20-string magadis’ of his homeland (Edmonds, frag.18.2–3; 19.1–2); he also mentions auloi with only three finger-holes instead of the usual six (frag.22). Critias, an early 5th-century writer (in Athenaeus, xiii, 600d), portrayed the poet himself as an antagonist of the aulos and fond of the ...

Article

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

(fl ?650 bce). Greek iambic and elegiac poet. He was a native of the Ionian island of Paros. ‘I am the squire of lord Ares’, he sang, ‘and skilled in the lovely gift of the Muses’ (Edmonds, frag.1). More artist than military man, he expressed both the external world and his responses to it in a remarkably personal tone.

His surviving poems contain no certain references to string instruments. The first word (tēnella) of his victory hymn, however, supposedly imitates the twang of a lyre string (Scholiast on Pindar, Olympian, ix.1–4); and one heavily restored fragment (Edmonds, frag.114, xiv) may refer to lyre playing accompanying the dance. He did clearly mention the aulos as a feature of religious or convivial occasions (frags.76; 32); possibly, though not certainly, he associated it with the performance of elegiac verse (frag.123) – a likely combination in this early period of elegy. According to a late source (Pseudo-Plutarch, ...

Article

(b Chalki, ?1770; d Chalki, 1840). Romaic (Greek) composer and scribe. He studied Byzantine chanting with Georgios of Crete and the patriarchal cantors Petros Byzantios and Jakobos Peloponnesios. As was customary, he also became fluent in the Arabo-Persian tradition of Ottoman secular music. He was evidently active by 1792, the date of his only known autograph not to employ Chrysanthos of Madytos’s ‘New Method’ of Byzantine notation, yet he seems never to have held a major office among the singers of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which bestowed on him the title ‘archivist’ (chartophylax). He chanted at several Constantinopolitan parish churches and at the monastic dependency (metochion) of St Catherine’s, Mt Sinai. Following patriarchal acceptance of the New Method in 1814, Chourmouzios began to collaborate with Chrysanthos and Gregorios the Protopsaltes on the refinement and dissemination of the reform. While the ‘three teachers’ were serving together as instructors at the Fourth Patriarchal School of Music (...

Article

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

(fl c580 bce). Greek aulos player and poet. He wrote lyric and elegiac poems, but none has survived. He provided his elegiac verses with musical settings (during the central classical period elegy had no accompaniment). According to Pseudo-Plutarch (On Music, 1134a–c, 1135c), he was a skilled aulete who three times carried off the prize at the Pythian games, beginning in 586 bce. The reawakening of musical culture at Sparta after Terpander’s great initial changes was ascribed to Sacadas and a few others who kept the exalted Terpandrian manner but introduced new rhythms.

Pausanias’s Description of Greece (ii.22.8–9, iv.27.7, vi.14.9–10, ix.30.2, x.7.4) contains the additional point that Sacadas was the first to perform the ‘Pythian aulos tune’ at Delphi. This was not an auloedic Nomos but an auletic one, that is an extended piece for solo aulos in which the music itself is highly descriptive or evocative. In some way Sacadas portrayed the victorious combat of ...

Article

Arion  

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

(b Methymna [now Molyvos], Lesbos; fl 625–600 bce). Greek singer to the kithara and choral lyric poet. He was associated with the beginnings of the dithyramb. None of his works has survived. According to Herodotus he spent most of his life at the court of Periander, tyrant of Corinth (c625–585 bce); this account (i, 23–4) consists almost entirely of a legend that a music-loving dolphin saved Arion from drowning, but nevertheless describes him as ‘to our knowledge the first man who composed a dithyramb and gave it a name and produced it in Corinth’. The Suda attributes to Arion the invention of the tragic mode or style (tragikos tropos; cf Aristides Quintilianus 1.12 [Winnington-Ingram 30.2–3]) and the introduction of ‘satyrs speaking verses’, but without citing its authorities. Proclus (412–85 ce), in chapter xii of his Useful Knowledge, claims that Pindar had said ‘the dithyramb was discovered in Corinth’, and that Aristotle had spoken of Arion ‘as having begun the song’ (...

Article

Warren Anderson, Thomas J. Mathiesen and Robert Anderson

[Aristophanēs]

(bc450 bce; dc385 bce). Greek dramatist. The chief poet of Athenian Old Comedy, he wrote more than 40 plays, of which 11 have survived.

Warren Anderson, revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

Of the works of Aristophanes’ first period (427–421 bce), the revised Clouds includes many references to music; the most noteworthy are the mockery of Damon for his concern with technicalities of metre (647ff) and a description (961ff) of ‘the old-fashioned education’ (hē archaia paideia) provided by the kitharistēs (not merely a teacher of the kithara but more properly a schoolmaster). The Knights (also from the first period) similarly shows a special concern with music. A criticism of grotesque Mimesis in drama leads to a parody of the Pythagorean theory of the soul as a harmonia (521ff, 531ff). There are also passages on lyra tuning and modality (989ff), and on the nomos orthios...

Article

(bc1000; d before 1050). Benedictine writer and composer. He was a monk, and later prior, of St Emmeram in Regensburg and the author of a new plainchant Office for the patron saint of his monastery; he also wrote extensively about St Emmeram and on other matters. The Office, which survives in D-Mbs Clm 14870 (Arnold’s autograph or at least a contemporary source) and in a number of later manuscripts, includes over 40 antiphons and 20 responsories arranged in numerical order of mode. According to Arnold, the Office was first celebrated while he was visiting Hungary, by the cathedral clergy at Esztergom.

K. Langosch: ‘Arnold von St. Emmeram’, Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters: Verfasserlexikon, 1 (2/1978), 464–70 D. Hiley: ‘Musik im mittelalterlichen Regensburg’, Regensburg im Mittelalter, i: Beiträge zur Stadtgeschichte vom frühen Mittelalter bis zum Beginn der Neuzeit, ed. M. Angerer and H. Wanderwitz (Regensburg, 1995), 311–22 D. Hiley...

Article

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

[Bakchylidēs]

(b Iulis, Keōs [now Tzia/Kea]; fl c470 BCE). Greek lyric poet. He was a nephew of Simonides and contemporary of Pindar; there are many indications of intense rivalry between the two as composers of victory odes and dithyrambs. Unlike Pindar, Bacchylides had little to say of the power of music; his references are correct but conventional, rendered distinctive only by colourful adjectives. Thus in one of the many victory odes the champion has returned home to the triumphal accompaniment of auloi ‘that delight mortals’ and revel-songs ‘sweetly breathing’ (Edmonds, frag.40.72–3). In another, the sound of the phorminx and ‘clear-ringing’ choruses are alien to war (Edmonds, frag.41.12–15; liguklangēs is one of many Bacchylidean coinages). Two poems begin with references to the barbitos, ‘lyre with many strings’ (Edmonds, frags.70, 71); here the term appears to be used with precision.

R.C. Jebb, ed. and trans.: Bacchylides: The Poems and Fragments...

Article

Alexander Lingas

[Balasios the Priest and Nomophylax; Balasēs ho Hiereūs kai Nomophylax]

(b Constantinople, ?1615; d ?1700). Romaic (Greek) composer and patriarchal official. Born into a family of Peloponnesian origin, he received his general education at the Patriarchal Academy under Theophilos Korydalleus. Together with Kosmas Makedonos he was taught Byzantine chant by Germanos, for whom he composed an acclamation. In a pre-1660 manuscript Balasios refers to himself as a domestikos, which therefore places him among the musicians of the patriarchal cathedral at the time Panagiotes was prōtopsaltēs. After ordination to the priesthood he continued to serve the Ecumenical Patriarchate in an impressive series of liturgical and administrative posts (c. 1663–1700), but in musical manuscripts he is customarily described as ‘nomophylax’, a patriarchal title that he appears to have held from about 1680.

As a composer Balasios continued the renewal of the received medieval chant repertories pursued by Panagiotes and Germanos, complementing their ‘beautified’ stichēraria with a new edition of the Heirmologion and a complete series of eight modally ordered Great Doxologies, the first such set ever written. Other chants for the Divine Office include a modally ordered series of eight ...

Article

Dimitri Conomos

[Bardesanes]

(b Edessa [now Urfa], July 11, 154; d Edessa, 222). Syrian hymnographer, astrologer and philosopher. Born into a pagan priestly family, he was educated by a pagan priest but baptized as a Christian, and in 179 he was ordained deacon and priest. Later denounced as a heretic and excommunicated (c216), he fled to Armenia and there taught a kind of astrological fatalism. Bardaisan has been erroneously regarded as a leader of the oriental school of gnosticism founded by Valentinus. His theology, which in fact combined Christian doctrine with astrological and philosophical speculation, is known from the works of later Christian writers such as Eusebius and Ephrem Syrus, who strongly denounced it, and from Bardaisan’s own Dialogue with Antonius concerning Destiny (or Book of the Laws of the Lands), which is the oldest surviving document in Syriac.

Bardaisan wrote many hymns (madrāshe) in Syriac, which his disciples translated into Greek. They included 150 psalms in pentasyllabic metre, reportedly modelled on those of David, through which he popularized his heretical doctrines (Bardaisan’s son Harmonius is said to have written the tunes). The stanzas of the ...

Article

David Hiley

(dc1193). Benedictine abbot and composer. He was a monk, and later chancellor (1174) and prior (1175), of the cathedral priory of Christ Church, Canterbury, and was appointed abbot of Peterborough in 1177. A friend of Archbishop Thomas Becket, whose murder he may have witnessed, he composed the rhymed monastic office of St Thomas of Canterbury (d 1170) as well as many other writings about Thomas, presumably shortly after the saint’s martyrdom. The plainchant Office, which begins with the Magnificat antiphon Pastor cesus (first responsory Studens livor), includes 22 antiphons and 12 responsories and is one of the most advanced compositions of its time, with texts in accentual rhyming verse and music of great melodic richness, fully exploiting tonal resources within a modal framework. The Peterborough chronicler Robert of Swapham expressly attributed both text and music to Benedict: ‘totam dico, quia dictamen cantu excellenter insignivit’....

Article

Alexander Lingas

[Bereketēs, Petros; Byzantios, ho Melōdos, Glykys, Tzelepēs, Kouspazoglou]

(b Constantinople, ?1665; d ?1725). Romaic (Greek) composer and cantor. Though undoubtedly influenced by the works of Panagiotes, Germanos and Balasios, he appears never to have been directly associated with the patriarchal court that nurtured his older colleagues. His own substantial contributions to their continuing renewal of Byzantine chanting were made instead from the Constantinopolitan parish church of St Constantine (in the district of Hypsomatheia), where Bereketes held successively the offices of reader, domestikos, and prōtopsaltēs.

Among the traditional repertories, Bereketes virtually ignored the stichērarion and heirmologion recently ‘beautified’ by Panagiotes, Germanos, and Balasios in order to focus his compositional skills on the more structurally malleable chants of the Papadikē. He also brought the newer paraliturgical genre of the kalophonic heirmos to its highest point with the composition of 45 heirmoi for use in monastic refectories or during the distribution of antidoron (blessed bread) at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy. Cultivating what Chatzigiakoumis and Stathis have described as a comparatively popular style of liturgical music, he occasionally composed works incorporating elements of the Arabo-Persian tradition of Ottoman secular music. Among his chants for Orthros are settings of the first and second ...

Article

Andrew Wilson-Dickson

(b Auxerre, June 27, 1923; d Paris, June 27, 1994). French organist and composer. He first studied with his father, organist of Auxerre Cathedral, and later (1945–6) with Guy de Lioncourt (composition) and Edouard Souberbielle (organ, fugue, counterpoint) at the Ecole César Franck in Paris. In 1960 he moved to Paris as editor to the recording company Fleurus and in the same year was appointed organist of the Jesuit church of St Ignace, a position he held until his death.

From his youthful years onwards Berthier was consistently drawn to liturgical composition. His musical output includes settings of texts by Joseph Gelineau, the Jesuit liturgical scholar and composer who was to become the inspiration for much of his mature work; a Requiem, which blends Latin texts (chorus) with French (soloists) and is exceptional for its large scale; an important corpus of settings, for use in parish churches, of the revised, vernacular liturgy; and various contributions to monastic liturgy, particularly for the Roman Catholic communities of En-Calcat, Landévennec and Maredsous and, most notably, for the ecumenical community of ...

Article

Alexander Lingas

(b Neochorios, Bosphorus, mid-18th century; d Iaşi, 1808). Romaic (Greek) composer and scribe. First mentioned in the records of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as second domestikos (1771), he rose over the next three decades through the hierarchy of patriarchal cantors, serving as first domestikos, lampadarios (1789–1800), and, in succession to Jakobos Peloponnesios, prōtopsaltēs (1800–05). Dismissed from this last position by Patriarch Kallinikos IV for entering into a second marriage, he left Constantinople for Kherson in the Crimea (thereby acquiring the sobriquet ho fugas, ‘the fugitive’) and later travelled to Iaşi, Moldavia, where he died.

In 1791, together with Jakobos Peloponnesios, Petros founded the Third Patriarchal School of Music. Whereas the conservative Jakobos would teach only chants in traditional styles to be sung with considerable rhythmic freedom, Petros, according to his student Chrysanthos of Madytos, supplemented the older repertories with the works of his own teacher ...

Article

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

(b Verona, ?84 bce; d ?54 bce). Roman poet. He settled in the capital while still a youth, and there formed an adulterous liaison with the woman whom he called Lesbia in his poems. These include one group (1–60) of short pieces reflecting particular occasions, a second (61–4) made up of long poems, and a third (65–116) which ranges from the epigram to the epyllion, a miniature epic, but which retains elegiac metre throughout. Catullus's characteristic passion and simplicity could often manifest themselves as extreme obscenity.

References to music occur only in the second group of poems. At the beginning of 63, the poet lists the instruments that are proper to the cult of Cybele: the tympanum (a small drum), the cymbal and the ‘deep-sounding’ Phrygian aulos ‘with curved pipe’, popular in Rome (63.8–10, 21–2). These reappear in his description of Bacchic rites (64.261–4), with trumpets, described as having a raucous, booming tone. Poem 64 also contains a spinning song (323–81), sung by the Fates; 61 begins with a cult song to the wedding god; and 62, an amoebean wedding song for double chorus, has the tone of folk poetry. Catullus never mentioned the lyre or any other string instrument, nor is there any direct evidence that his poetry was sung during his own time. The qualities already noted, however, together with related evidence, suggest that such performance was possible. The clearest case is 34, a hymn to Diana which parallels the ...

Article

James Grier

(b 988/9; d Jerusalem, 1034). French monk, composer of liturgical music and scribe. He was associated with the abbey of St Martial in Limoges. Born into a family with strong ties to the ecclesiastical hierarchy of Limoges, Adémar was pledged as an oblate to the abbey of St Cybard in Angoulême, probably before 1000. By 1010 he was at the monastery of St Martial, where he studied history, computus, liturgy and music under the tutelage of his paternal uncle Roger of Chabannes, later cantor at the abbey. After a failed attempt to become abbot of St Cybard, he returned to St Martial in 1028, where he supported the pilgrims’ tales about the apostolicity of Martial and pressed for its official acceptance. As part of his promotion of the idea, Adémar wrote a new liturgy for the saint’s feast, consisting of both Office and Mass. Much of the music for the feast is borrowed and adapted from the existing episcopal liturgy, but Adémar also contributed several original compositions, including the Proper chants of the Mass, Proper tropes for the introit, offertory and communion, a Gloria trope, one untexted sequence and several items for the Office. Adémar’s music for the feast is preserved in a manuscript (...