(b Novara, c1535; d May 8, 1596). Italian composer and organist. Of a well-to-do family, he travelled widely in his youth. He spent some years in Rome, where he probably completed his studies in theology. He served as parish priest at S Stefano, Novara, and S Giovanni Battista, Milan. After serving from 1570 to 1577 as organist at Como Cathedral, he returned to Novara on his nomination as prior at the cathedral there. Sometime between 7 October 1587 and May 1589, Alcarotto journeyed to the Holy Land; though he stayed only 16 days, he published an account of his journey, Del viaggio in Terra Santa (Novara, 1596), that is of interest for its description of music and musical instruments of the region.
revised by Serena dal Belin Peruffo
(b Bourges, c1510; d Lyons, June 1561). French writer. After studying at the University of Bourges he was appointed professor of rhetoric at the Collège de la Trinité in Lyons before 1538, becoming principal in 1540. He was murdered as a suspected Protestant during a riot in Lyons. Among other writings, especially on poetics, he wrote several plays with important musical content. The Chant natal (1538), made up of contrafacta of well-known chansons, ends with a ‘Noël mystic’ on the chant Le dueil yssu ‘harmonized’ by the ‘nightingale Villiers’. The allegorical satire Lyon marchant (1542) includes a scene in which Arion (representing François I) sings Doulce mémoire (a poem written by the king which enjoyed great success in a musical setting by his singer-composer, Pierre Sandrin). Another Christmas play, Genethliac (1558), includes 17 new songs for three or four voices, which survive incomplete (...
Claude V. Palisca
(b Florence, Feb 5, 1534; d Sept 1612). Italian literary critic, poet, playwright and composer. As host to the Camerata and patron of Vincenzo Galilei and Giulio Caccini he gave the main impetus to the movement that led to the first experiments in lyrical and dramatic monody.
Bardi evidently received a good literary education, since he knew both Greek and Latin. His youth, however, is notable mostly for military exploits. In 1553 he served in the war against Siena under Grand Duke Cosimo I of Tuscany and in 1565 under the command of Chiappino Vitelli in the defence of Malta against the Ottoman Empire. He was one of the captains who commanded the infantry sent by Duke Cosimo to help the Emperor Maximilian II defeat the Turks in Hungary. In 1562 he married Lucrezia Salviati, daughter of Piero Salviati. He enjoyed the favour of Grand Duke Francesco I, who depended on him particularly for the organization of court festivities. But when Francesco's brother became grand duke as Ferdinando I in ...
Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller
(b Ober- or Niedermarsberg, c1560; d after 1595). German writer and theologian. During his youth he lived for a time at Emden and in 1581 matriculated at the University of Marburg, but in 1582 he transferred to Rostock, where he studied with David Chyträus. He was again living at Marburg in 1587. In 1588 he matriculated at the University of Basle, where on 15 May 1593 he became a doctor of theology. He gave some lectures at Kassel in 1590. Between 1584 and 1596 he published numerous learned books on grammar, rhetoric and so on, among them Syntagma Philippo-Rameum artium liberalium (Basle, 1588, 2/1596), which includes a chapter on music (‘De musica’, 355–60). In this book, which he wrote for a private pupil at Marburg in ten weeks in 1587, he steered a middle course – as its title suggests – between the views of Philipp Melanchthon and Petrus Ramus. In the chapter on music he subscribed to Ramus’s definition ‘Musica est ars bene canendi’ as well as to the rules for ligatures set out by Friedrich Beurhaus, whose ...
(b Noyon, July 10, 1509; d Geneva, May 27, 1564). French theologian, one of the leaders of the Reformation in Switzerland.
In 1523 he studied theology in Paris, then studied law in Orléans in 1528 and in Bourges in 1529. In 1531 he returned to Paris to complete his classical studies, publishing a commentary on Seneca’s De clementia in the following year. Between 1528 and 1533 he became converted to reformed doctrines and in 1533 he had to leave Paris when the Lutheran sect at the university was proscribed by the court. He went to Basle at the end of 1534 and began work on his Christianae religionis institutio; in the dedication of the first edition (1536) to François I he called for toleration of Protestants. In 1536 he stayed for a short time at the court of Renée of France in Ferrara, and there met Clément Marot. On his way back to Strasbourg he went to Geneva, where the reformer Guillaume Favel persuaded him to help with the organization of the Church. However, in ...
revised by Álvaro Zaldívar
(b Alcalá de Henares, ?Sept 29, 1547; d Madrid, April 22, 1616). Spanish writer. He was brought up in Valladolid, Seville and Madrid, and in about 1569 he went to Rome in the service of Cardinal Acquaviva. He distinguished himself as a soldier and was wounded at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. He was captured by corsairs in 1575 and taken as a slave to Algiers, where he was held captive by the Moors for five years (1575–80). After his return to Spain he made an unhappy marriage, fell frequently into trouble with the law over his accounts and other incidents, and was several times imprisoned. Despite the success of Don Quixote (1605–15) he lived in straitened circumstances to the end of his life.
Cervantes’s references to music-making have been scrutinized by scholars, notably Roda, Salazar and Querol, and it is generally agreed that the descriptions in his plays, novels and ...
(b Rome, 1465; d San Gimignano, 1510). Italian humanist. He was the son of Antonio Cortese, a papal abbreviator (i.e. a writer of papal briefs) and the pupil of Giulio Pomponio Leto and Bartolomeo Platina, both abbreviatores. In 1481 he was appointed to the papal chancery to the place vacated on Platina’s death. He was promoted to papal secretary in 1498, resigned in 1503 and spent the rest of his life in a family villa called Castel Cortesiano, near San Gimignano. There he was the host to such guests as Duke Ercole I of Ferrara, Duke Guidobaldo of Urbino and Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, later Pope Paul III. He must also have had a comfortable house in Rome in which in the early 1490s there were learned discussions, interspersed with strambotti sung by Serafino Aquilano. Cortese may have known Josquin, who was a papal singer at this time. He praised Josquin highly as a mass composer in his ...
(b Rotterdam, 27/Oct 28, 1469; d Basle, July 12, 1536). North Netherlandish humanist. According to Glarean, Erasmus said that as a boy he sang in the choir at Utrecht under the direction of Jacob Obrecht. There is no archival evidence for this, and no extant documents show that Erasmus had any particular affinity with music. The familiarity with musical terminology implicit in his works may be attributed partly to the teaching of music customary within the framework of humanistic education. Erasmus’s text for the déploration for Johannes Ockeghem (composed by Johannes Lupi, first published in 1547) suggests from its tone of warm admiration that he was personally acquainted with the composer. Erasmus himself was honoured at his death with a dirge by Benedictus Appenzeller, court composer in Brussels to Queen Mary of Hungary.
As far as can be deduced from the various observations made by Erasmus in his writings (often only in passing) his outlook on music was based mainly on his own understanding of the world of antiquity. Thus, even in musical matters, Pliny, Plato and Aristotle are cited as his authorities. Another element that influenced his views on music was theological: his puritanism in music must be understood as a combination of his belief in biblical doctrine on the one hand, and his reaction to the abuses of contemporary church music on the other. He condemned the chansons of his day without exception on the grounds that they had obscene texts, and, following from this, the use of secular melodies as cantus firmi in sacred polyphony. He deplored the use of the organ in church, and considered that magnificent polyphonic music consorted ill with the monastic ideal of silence with which he was familiar from his student years in the Augustinian monastery at Steyn. He also strongly criticized the manners and behaviour of the singers. He called for ‘harmonias sacris dignas’, a ‘music worthy of holy things’; with this dictum he anticipated the statements on music made by several synods and provincial councils. The spirit of Erasmus’s ideas is fully reflected in the musical policy of the Council of Trent....
(b Zadar, 1472; d Zadar, 1538). Croatian cosmographer, mathematician, astrologer and physicist. He is known particularly for his ingenious theory of ebb and flow. In 1507–8 he taught astrology and mathematics at the university of Padua and was later active as a physician in his own town. His ideas on music are contained in two published treatises: Speculum astronomicum terminans intellectum humanum in omni scientia (Venice, 1507), which includes a chapter ‘De musica integritate’, and De modo colegiandi, pronosticandi et curandi febres (Venice, 1528). He was not an original thinker and recapitulated some late-medieval ideas, mostly concerning neo-Pythagorean speculative numerology and the theory of musical ethos as conveyed by Boethius.I. Supičić: ‘Glazba u djelu Federika Grisogona’ [Music in F. Grisogono's writings], Zbornik radova o Federiku Grisogonu, zadarskom učenjaku [Collection of essays on F. Grisogono, the scholar from Zadar] (Zadar, 1974), 143–9 S. Tuksar: ‘Federik Grisogono-Bartolačić (Federicus Chrisogonus): Pythagorean Cosmology and the Mysticism of Numbers’, ...
(b Mallorca, c1510; d Besançon, Jan 12, 1582). Spanish grammarian, rhetorician and theologian. A descendant of Ramón Llull, he settled at an early age in the Franche-Comté, where he was private tutor to Claude de Baumes. The latter, on his later appointment as Bishop of Besançon, made Lull curate of the diocese. An expert in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, Lull also taught theology at Dôle University. Four of his works survive (two on rhetoric, one on grammar and one on ecclesiastical matters), of which one, Sobre el decoro de la poética, is available in a modern edition (ed. A. Sancho Royo, Madrid, 1994).
In his most important work, De oratione libri septem (Basle, c1558), Lull attached great importance to various musical questions, perhaps because he himself had written a treatise on music (now lost). He explained the relationship between rhetoric and music in terms of the ...
Robin A. Leaver
(b Eisleben, Nov 10, 1483; d Eisleben, Feb 18, 1546). German theologian and founder of the Lutheran Church. He influenced all 16th-century church reformers to a greater or lesser extent by his writings and activities but, unlike some of them, Luther gave an important place to music.
Luther was the son of a fairly prosperous Thuringian miner, who wanted his son to become a lawyer. He was sent to appropriate Latin schools in Mansfeld and Magdeburg, and to the Georgschule in Eisenach. In 1501 he entered the University of Erfurt, where he took the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Then, following his father’s wishes, he began to study law, but unexpectedly entered the local Augustinian monastery and in 1505 became a monk. In April 1507 he was ordained priest and celebrated his first Mass a month later. Three years later he was commissioned to visit Rome to plead the cause of the reorganization of the Augustinian order. While there he was shocked by the commercialism and worldliness of the Italian clergy....
David J. Smith
(b North Mimms, Herts., 1578; d ?London, c 1644). English author and musician . He graduated MA from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1598, and spent most of his career as a schoolmaster in Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and London, except for a period between 1613 and 1615 when he travelled in France, Germany and the Low Countries. The last known reference to him is a poem that he contributed for an engraving by Wenceslaus Hollar in 1644.
Peacham’s musical importance lies in his chapter on music in The Compleat Gentleman (1622), a compendium of knowledge intended for the education of children from noble households. Peacham advocated the inclusion of music in the curriculum, though he warned against allowing musical pursuits to distract a gentleman from ‘his more weightie imployments’: ‘I desire no more in you then to sing your part sure, and at the first sight, withall, to play the same upon your Violl, or the exercise of the Lute, privately to your selfe’. Appealing to scripture and to the writings of the ancients, he pointed to music’s therapeutic properties. Peacham related music to poetry, the topic of his preceding chapter, and to rhetoric: ‘hath not Musicke her figures, the same which Rhetorique?’. Most of his material is derived from unacknowledged sources: he borrowed from Byrd’s preface to ...
(b 1542; d Mantua, 1612). Italian Jewish physician and writer on Hebrew antiquities. He discussed music, at great length, in his final work Shil ṭei ha-gibborim (‘Shields of Heroes’; Mantua, 1612), in which he glorified the ancient Temple, its architecture, its liturgy and its music. Ten of the 90 chapters are devoted to music. Portaleone conceived the music of the Levites after Italian Renaissance practices and humanist music theory: thus the discussion turns on polyphony, lute tablatures, contemporary instruments (in analogy to ancient ones, which are described in considerable detail), modes, the doctrine of ethos, simple and compound intervals and the differentiation between consonance and dissonance. He maintained that music in the Temple was a learned art, acquired after a rigorous course of training; it was notated, thus meant to be preserved; its performance was based on written sources. Portaleone acknowledged Judah Moscato as his teacher, although he noted that they conceived music differently: whereas Moscato spoke, generally, of number, harmony and ‘science’, treating music for its cosmological and spiritual connotations, his pupil was concerned with ...
Christopher R. Wilson, F.W. Sternfeld and Eric Walter White
(b Stratford-upon-Avon, bap. April 26, 1564; d Stratford-upon-Avon, April 23, 1616). English playwright.
Christopher R. Wilson, assisted by F.W. Sternfeld
Music has an important role in Shakespeare’s works: any of his plays would suffer only in its total impact if sound effects and processions, fencing and costumes were eliminated, but the actual sound of vocal and instrumental music is essential to Shakespeare’s dramatic purpose. It remains of course complementary to the sound of verse and prose, but where it punctuates the dialogue it could be omitted only at considerable loss. Beyond this, the traditional associations of music, its divine and degrading powers, often play their part in providing the dramas with a network of wider associations, not only in the actual use of music in the dramatic action but in the frequent use of musical imagery in the text of the play, for important structural and thematic purposes. These allegorical and symbolic functions of music would be recognizable by an Elizabethan audience but less so today....
Clement A. Miller
(b Resel, Värmland, c1486; d Frankfurt an der Oder, Nov 12, 1552). German humanist, physician, writer and musician . The generally accepted birthdate for him is about 1486, but according to Pietzsch it is 1501. In 1516 he entered the University of Frankfurt an der Oder, where he probably studied music under Johann Volckmar. After graduating he taught music from 1522 to 1539. In 1524 Willich became professor of Greek and in 1540 professor of medicine. Although he retained his connection with the university until his death, he was frequently called to other countries (such as Poland and Hungary) because of his renown as a physician. He corresponded with Erasmus and was personally acquainted with Luther, Melanchthon and Glarean. More than 60 writings on philology, antiquity, philosophy, theology, law, medicine, mathematics and music, some of which remained current into the 18th century, gave Willich a position as one of the outstanding German humanists of his time. An ardent lutenist, he founded about ...
(b Vacha, 1501; d Mainz, Feb 16, 1573). German theologian . He studied theology in Erfurt from 1516 to 1517, and in 1520 he continued his studies in Wittenberg with Luther. He was ordained in Merseburg and received a curacy in his home community of Vacha. When in 1524 he became a Lutheran and married, he forfeited his ecclesiastical office and worked as town clerk in Vacha. For some years he was a Lutheran pastor in Wenigen-Lupitz and in Niemegk. However, intensive study of the writings of the Church Fathers caused him to turn away from Lutheranism, and by 1533 he was a Catholic preacher in Eisleben. Many apologetic writings followed in which he supported the Old Church and its service. He was summoned to the court in Dresden by the Catholic Duke Georg the Bearded of Saxony, but lost this appointment with the death of the duke and the ensuing Reformation in Dresden in ...
(fl 1560–92). Scottish clergyman . He compiled an important set of partbooks, sometimes known as the St Andrews Psalter or ‘Thomas Wode’s Partbooks’, containing Scottish (and other) music of the 16th century. A canon of Lindores Abbey before the Reformation (1560), Wood joined the reformers, settled in St Andrews in 1562, became vicar there in 1575, and is frequently mentioned in Kirk Session Registers until 1592. His duplicate sets of partbooks (EIRE-Dtc, GB-Eu , Lbl , US-Wgu ) contain the 106 four-voice psalm settings by David Peebles (1562–6), canticles by Angus, Kemp and Blackhall (1566–9), and motets, anthems, psalms, songs and instrumental pieces – Scottish, English and continental (copied from 1569 to 1592) – together with illuminating and entertaining comments by Wood on many of the items. Between 1606 and about 1625 further additions to the partbooks were made by other hands.H. Scott, ed: ...
(b Lezat-sur-Lèze; fl Avignon, c1555–1582). French musician and author . He wrote a short didactic work on practical music, Traité de la musique pratique … le tout extraict de plusieurs auteurs latins et mis en langue françoise (Paris, 1582/R). He dedicated the treatise to the humanist Georges d’Armagnac, Archbishop of Avignon, his patron for 25 years or more. The layout follows that of similar treatises by Bourgeois, Martin, Guilliaud and Menehou published in the 1550s, although Yssandon admitted only to Latin models and quoted Boethius, Tinctoris, Faber Stapulensis and Listenius. Like his more immediate predecessor, Cornelius Blockland (Instruction, Lyons, 1573, 2/1587/R), he included many musical examples.F. Lesure and G. Thibault: Bibliographie des éditions d’Adrian le Roy et Robert Ballard (1551–1598) (Paris, 1955), 43 [transcr. of ded.], 208 A. Seay: ‘French Renaissance Theory and Jean Yssandon’, JMT, 15 (1971), 254–72...