(b Bitonto, nr Bari; d after 1651). Italian composer and guitarist. He is known by four books of pieces for five-course Baroque guitar. They consist mainly of simple battute accompaniments to popular songs and dances of the early 17th century such as the passacaglia, ciaccona, folia, Ruggiero and aria di Fiorenza. The accompaniments are set down in the alphabet system of chord notation (alfabeto) devised by Girolamo Montesardo, in which letters of the alphabet designate fingering positions for various major and minor chords. Each of Abatessa’s books contains instructions concerning the interpretation of the alphabet tablature, the fingering of the chords and the tuning of the guitar; the 1652 book also explains how to tune the guitar with the harp, presumably for the simultaneous playing of continuo parts. The 1627 collection gives instructions regarding the execution of certain kinds of strum such as the trillo and ...
revised by Gary R. Boye
(b Genoa, c1600; d after 1640). Italian theorist. A Franciscan, he was chaplain and musician to Cardinal Franz von Dietrichstein, Prince-Bishop of Olomouc and governor of Moravia. Before 1629 he probably taught music at the seminary at St Oslowan and from 1629 at the newly established Loretan seminary at Nikolsburg (now Mikulov), the cardinal’s principal residence. He returned to Italy in 1632. His treatise Regulae contrapuncti excerptae ex operibus Zerlini et aliorum ad breviorem tyronum instructionem accommodate (St Oslowan, 1629/R), which in spite of its Latin title and dedicatory letter is written in Italian, was conceived as a textbook of counterpoint for his seminarians. It is an entirely unoriginal and conservative compendium of the most elementary rules concerning the use of consonances and dissonances, derived, according to the title, ‘from the works of Zarlino and others’.ČSHS EitnerQ E. Bohn: Die musikalischen Handschriften des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts in der Stadtbibliothek zu Breslau...
(b Città di Castello, Jan 26, 1595; d Città di Castello, ? after March 15, 1679). Italian composer and teacher. He travelled to Rome with his brother Guidobaldo, an artist, in 1623 and 1625 (Andrae, 17–19), and was employed at S Giovanni in Laterano from January 1627 to May 1629. According to his verse autobiography (in I-Rvat ) he served there ‘seven years and some months’, or from 1622, but neither this nor his statement that he held earlier positions in Città di Castello and at the Gesù in Rome have been confirmed. He subsequently served as maestro di cappella at the cathedrals of Città di Castello (June 1629 to May 1632, December 1635 to November 1640 and May 1677 to March 1679) and Orvieto (December 1632 to 1635). In Rome his principal tenures were at S Maria Maggiore, where he trained boy sopranos (...
revised by Peter Wollny
(b Grossfurra, Thuringia, Oct 25, 1643; d Gotha, Feb 20, 1676). German composer and writer. After initially going to school in his native town he was sent in 1656 to Eisenach for three years. There he attended the town school, the staff of which included Theodor Schuchardt, a highly respected teacher of music and Latin. From 1659 to 1662 Agricola studied for his school-leaving examination at the Gymnasium of Gotha; the headmaster there was Andreas Reyher, who was the co-author of the Gothaer Schulmethodus, an educational work which set an example for the teaching of music too. In 1662–3 Agricola studied philosophy at Leipzig University and from 1663 to 1668 theology and philosophy at Wittenberg, where he was awarded a master's degree by the faculty of philosophy. His four recorded scholarly essays dating from this period are lost. He had begun to learn the fundamentals of music during his school years, and he may also have been a pupil of the Kantor of the Thomaskirche, Leipzig, Sebastian Knüpfer. He continued his musical training at Wittenberg, completing the study of composition under the guidance of Italian musicians resident there. Returning to his native Thuringia he was able to turn his musical abilities to good use in the Kapelle of the Schwarzburg-Sondershausen court until in ...
(b Nuremberg, c1560–70; d ?Erfurt, after 1601). German composer. In 1601, when he published a collection of motets, Agricola was teaching at the Gymnasium Augustinianum at Erfurt; he can scarcely be identified with the Christianus Johannes Agricola who was a discantist in the Kapelle at Weimar in 1594. The surname ‘Noricus’, used on the title-page and in the dedication, meant ‘born at Nuremberg’, and a Johannes Agricola baptized on 29 November 1564 at St Sebaldus at Nuremberg could be the composer. Yet another Johann Agricola (d 1605), Kantor at St Bartholomäus, Frankfurt, in 1591, was probably not the composer.
As a composer Agricola is known only by Motetae novae pro praecipuis in anno festis (Nuremberg, 1601), dedicated to the Erfurt senate; the bass partbook addresses the same dedication to the Mühlhausen senate, so possibly the collection appeared in at least two editions. The preface is a humanistic essay about the importance of music from ancient times to the 16th century. The 26 motets, for four to six, eight and twelve voices, are settings in a freely imitative style characterized by fluent counterpoint. The exact scansion of the Latin texts, which include some on secular subjects, is evidence of Agricola’s humanistic education and profession....
H. Wiley Hitchcock
revised by Nicholas Temperley
(b Swanton Morley, Norfolk, bap. Jan 15, 1571; d Amsterdam, ?1622–3). English minister and psalmodist. He attended Cambridge University from 1586 to 1591, leaving without a degree. He was expatriated as a ‘Brownist’ in 1593 and settled in Amsterdam, where he became ‘teacher’ of the Ancient Separatist Church in 1596; in 1610 he founded an Independent church, becoming minister of it himself. He took the Calvinist position on predestination. He was the author of a number of controversial religious tracts, annotations, and translations of scripture. Many consider him one of the finest Hebrew scholars of his day. His Book of Psalmes: Englished both in Prose and Metre, with Annotations (Amsterdam, 1612, 4/1644; music ed. in ISAMm, xv, Brooklyn, NY, 1981) contains all 150 psalms in a new metrical version, together with prose translations and annotations. 48 are provided with monophonic tunes (six melodies are used twice and one three times). 21 of the 40 tunes are drawn from the Continental Reformed tradition, and 16 are from English sources (including three of the newer, short variety such as ...
(b Moncalieri, nr Turin, probably between 1580 and 1590; d 1626 or later). Italian composer and musician. He came of a long-established family whose members had included painters and a royal doctor. He became a musician in the service of the court of Savoy at Turin. In 1619 a number of students destined for careers in music or the church were assigned to his care. During the next few years he deputized for Sigismondo d’India, director of court chamber music who was often absent, as a composer of occasional music for court use which he published in his op.2 of 1623. In that year d’India left the court, but Albini did not succeed him. He soon became instead a musician to Cardinal Maurizio, son of the Duke of Savoy, Carlo Emanuele I. This position, which he held when his op.4 appeared in 1626, probably necessitated his spending most of his time in Rome. His surviving music is contained in two similar volumes: ...
revised by Howard Hotson
(b Ballersbach, nr Herborn, March 1588; d Gyulafehérvár [Weissenburg, Transylvania; [now Alba Julia, Romania], Nov 9, 1638). German theologian, encyclopedist and music theorist. From 1608 he taught at the Calvinist academy, Herborn, where J.A. Komenský was among his pupils. Following the disruptions of the Thirty Years War, he transferred to Gyulafehérvár in Transylvania in 1629–30. His liberal strand of Calvinist thought is reflected in his theological understanding of music: he tolerated secular music (both polyphonic and instrumental) alongside strictly regulated church music as long as it was committed to the spiritual purpose of all music. Classifying music among the mathematical disciplines, he treated it briefly in a series of mathematical textbooks and most extensively in his masterwork, the largest, most comprehensive and systematic encyclopedia assembled to that time (1630). Like that of most of the 37 disciplines handled in the work, his treatment of music is derivative, and its chief importance lies in its comprehensiveness, systematic presentation, wide distribution and easy accessibility within the encyclopedia as a whole. Like Erycius Puteanus and David Mostart, he favoured seven-syllable solmization series (...
(b Alach, nr Erfurt, May 27, 1584; d Erfurt, Feb 12, 1640). German composer. He was sent to school at Erfurt in 1590 and went on to study theology at the university there in 1598, gaining the bachelor’s degree in 1599 and the master’s degree in 1603. He taught at Erfurt from 1600, beginning at the Reglerschule; from 1601 he was Kantor at St Andreas and from 1607 was also rector of the school connected with it. He abandoned teaching in 1609 and became a pastor: he worked in the parishes of Ilversgehofen and Marbach, near Erfurt, until 1610 and then moved to Tröchtelborn, near Gotha, where he stayed until 1621 and was probably also Kantor. He published most of his music during these years. He was likened to Orlande de Lassus as an ‘Orlandus Thuringiae’ and he himself was conscious of living at a time of great musical activity: as he wrote in the preface to his ...
Austin B. Caswell
(b ?Normandy, ?1625; d Paris, Sept 27, 1690). French singing teacher and composer. He may have been a priest. He lived for most of his life in Paris but he was also in the service of Charles of Lorraine, Duke of Elbeuf. Although he was important as a composer and teacher, Bacilly’s most valuable legacy is the vocal treatise Remarques curieuses sur l’art de bien chanter, which has for long been recognized as one of the most detailed sources of information on French 17th-century vocal practice. However, until the publication of an English translation with the examples included, the application of its precepts to vocal performance had been virtually impossible since the examples Bacilly used to illustrate his teachings were not included in the text (he simply referred instead to specific passages in published volumes of airs de cour). The importance of the Remarques lies in two main areas: it is one of the earliest volumes to give specific descriptions and applications of the expressive melodic figures (...
revised by Susan Forscher Weiss
(b Bologna, July 24, 1586; d Bologna, Nov 1659). Italian composer, organist and teacher. He was organist at S Giacomo Maggiore, Bologna, where he presumably received his musical training, when, on 6 October 1610, he was appointed organist at Bologna Cathedral, succeeding Manfredi Miglioli. Adriano Banchieri had declined the post. While working at the cathedral he also deputized from April 1612 for the ailing G.B. Mecchi at the second organ of S Petronio. On 16 December 1613, after Mecchi's death, he resigned from the cathedral and took up the S Petronio post permanently, drawing a monthly salary of 17 lire until November 1649, when he was appointed first organist and received 21 lire. On 26 February 1646, when he had been blind for several years, his salary increased to 30 lire and he obtained P.M. Alessandri as a deputy; on 6 September 1658 Alessandri was replaced by G.P. Colonna, who succeeded Barbieri after his death. In about ...
(bur. Westminster, London, Aug 18, 1679). English viol player, teacher, and composer. The earliest reference to Bates is by John Playford, who, in his Musicall Banquet (1651), listed him among the ‘excellent and able Masters’ of the voice and viol in London. Bates probably served the royalist cause during the Civil War: as ‘Captain’ Bates he petitioned unsuccessfully for a place among the vicars-choral at St Paul’s Cathedral when the choir was reconstituted in 1660–61, stating that he had formerly been in the choir of St John’s College, Oxford. He was sworn as one of Charles II’s musicians on 19 June 1660, receiving two posts. One was as viol player and the other as teacher of the royal children, with salaries of £40 and £50 a year respectively. Bates also served as bass viol player in the Chapel Royal; a warrant dated 30 August 1662 orders him to attend on Sundays and holy days. In spite of this potential income, payments were sparse and records show that Bates faced continual financial difficulties (...
Julia Ann Griffin
(b ?Parma, c1650; d Piacenza, c1700). Italian composer and teacher. He was the son of one of Duke Ranuccio Farnese’s servants. On the duke’s recommendation he was elected maestro di cappella of Piacenza Cathedral on 16 June 1679 and held the post until at least 1693. From 1684 to 1686 he was also maestro di cappella of S Giovanni in Canale, Piacenza. He was a respected teacher; his nephew Fortunato Chelleri was one of his pupils. Of his music only that of his oratorio La caduta del Gerico (1693) survives (in I-MOe ). His other works (of which some librettos survive) included the operas L’inganno trionfante (Parma, 1673), Ottone in Italia (Parma, 1679) and Il pedante di Tarsia (Bologna, 1680); the oratorios Il bacio della giustizia e della pace (Piacenza, 1697), Mose in Egitto and Passione di Nostro Signore; I trionfi dell’Eridano in cielo...
(b Lucca, April 26, 1635; d Lucca, after 1702). Italian composer and teacher. He was a canon of S Giovanni in Laterano, Rome. About 1660 he was superintendent of the monastery of S Frediano, Lucca. He was prior of S Agostino, Piacenza, about 1671 and of S Leonardo, Lucca, in ...
A. Lindsey Kirwan
revised by Stephan Hörner
(b Dolsenhaim, nr Altenburg, Saxony, 1584; d Ulm, Jan 10, 1656). German composer, singer and teacher. His father having left him little in the way of worldly goods, he went as a young man to Schwandorf, Nördlingen, and then to Augsburg, where his first publication appeared in 1606. The title ‘Kaiserlicher Notar’, which he held from 1624, indicates a legal training. At the end of 1606 he was appointed a tenor in the Stuttgart court chapel and in 1608 acted also as composer to the duke, Johann Friedrich; however, his application for the post of Kapellmeister was unsuccessful. Despite a contemporary report that he was ‘a good musician and a fine composer’, he was dismissed in 1612 when the number of singers in the chapel was reduced. After this he appears to have employed his talents in various directions. Until 1624 he worked as Präzeptor and music director at Bopfingen, near Nördlingen; then for ten years he was Kapellmeister and probably also official scribe to Count Ludwig Eberhard of Öttingen before returning to Augsburg in ...
(b c1610; d c1671). Italian composer, teacher and organist. With Ignazio Donati and others Beria was one of the Milanese school of early Baroque composers. He was organist at S Pietro, Lodi Vecchio near Milan in 1638; from 1647 to 1650 he was maestro di cappella and organist at S Lorenzo, Mortara, and from 1651 to 1671 first organist of Novara Cathedral. Nothing further is known of his life, but several testimonial poems in his publication of 1647 indicate that he had a significant reputation in northern Italy in the first half of the 17th century.
Beria's known music is entirely sacred and is typical of Italian church music of the period; many of his motets are for two voices deployed in dialogue fashion. He set both liturgical and paraliturgical texts, and, in the latter especially, used various standard expressive devices with good effect. (C. Sartori: ...
(b Weissenburg in Bayern, bap. March 17, 1580; d ?Neudorf, nr Pappenheim, after Aug 1632). German writer on music, schoolmaster and clergyman. He probably attended the Latin school in Weissenburg and may have been at a university for some time before he was appointed school clerk at Weissenburg in 1600. In 1601 he became Kantor and immediately afterwards took holy orders. Two petitions he submitted in 1605 and 1606 give evidence of the state of music in Weissenburg and of Beringer's own conditions. In the first document, he stressed the importance of music as a God-given remedy for troubled souls and as a symbol of unanimity. His main concern, however, was the deplorable state of church music at Weissenburg: the only bass singer had moved away and parents were withdrawing their sons from the school in order that they might learn more profitable trades. To secure the further performance of polyphonic music at feast days, he urged the mayor and council to employ a trombone player and a cornettist to support the few remaining singers. In the second petition he complained about his meagre income which, he feared, was to be further reduced at the appointment of another schoolmaster. His situation appears not to have improved, and in ...
Christopher D.S. Field
(b early 17th century; d London, bur. May 14, 1681). English theorist, composer and teacher. He seems to have been a younger son of Sir Ralph Birchensha, who in 1598 was sent to Ireland as Comptroller of the Musters and Cheques. According to Anthony Wood ( GB-Ob Wood D 19 , f.19) he resided in Ireland with the Earl of Kildare until the rebellion of 1641 forced him to quit Dublin for London. In A Musicall Banquet (1651) he is listed among teachers of the viol active in London; but it was as a teacher of the rudiments of composition that he made his name. He boasted that by means of his rules ‘not only those, who skillfully can sing or play on some Instrument, may learn to compose but also those, who can neither sing nor play’ (letter to the Royal Society, 26 April 1664...
(b Newark, Notts., bap. Feb 23, 1648/9; dWestminster, London, Oct 1, 1708). English composer, organist and teacher. By his mid-20s he had become the foremost musician in England, and in later years he was the elder statesman of the Restoration school, whose chief luminary was Henry Purcell.
Blow's origins were humble. He was the second child of Henry and Katherine Blow, who were married at Newark in 1646. Burney and Hawkins both stated that he was born at North Collingham, Nottinghamshire, but the parish registers there do not mention anyone named Blow, whereas those at Newark record the baptisms of Blow and of his brother and sister, the marriage of his parents, and the burial of his father; moreover, the register of Lambeth degrees notes that in 1677, on taking his doctorate, he himself declared on oath that his birthplace was ‘the faithful borough of Newark’. It is likely that he was one of the six music scholars at the Magnus Song School, Newark, and he was among five boys from Newark and Lincoln whom Henry Cooke conscripted during winter ...
A. Lindsey Kirwan
revised by Gregory S. Johnston
(b Hechingen, Württemberg, c1590; d Mainz, c1638). German composer, organist and teacher. His father, Marcus Bollius, was vice-Kapellmeister of the Hohenzollern court at Hechingen. After attending the University of Dillingen he studied with Jakob Hassler and Christian Erbach and was then court organist at Sigmaringen – which was also under the Hohenzollerns – from 1613 to c1619. By 1626 he had moved to Mainz as organist to the elector, Archbishop Johann Schweikard von Kronberg, a keen supporter of learning and the arts, and he remained there until his death. From no later than 1631 he was Kapellmeister as well as organist. He was renowned in his time as composer, performer and teacher; he had several distinguished organ pupils.
Bollius is primarily important as the composer of one of the earliest examples in Germany of the Italian oratorio form. The Repraesentatio, based on St Luke’s account of the early life of John the Baptist, dates from between ...