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Article

Karl-Ernst Bergunder

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 ...

Article

[Joan, Joannes, Johannes]

(b Jegenye [now Leghea, nr Cluj-Napoca], March 8, 1629; d Szárhegy [now Lǎzarea, nr Gheorgheni], April 25, 1687). Transylvanian compiler of music anthologies, organist, organ builder, teacher and administrator. He studied music at the Jesuit school at Mănăştur, near Cluj-Napoca, which he left in 1641. In 1648 he was converted to Catholicism from the Orthodox faith into which he was born, and he entered the Franciscan school of the monastery at Csíksomlyó (now Şumuleu, near Miercurea-Ciuc), where on 17 November 1650 he was appointed organist and teacher. He continued his philosophical and theological studies at the Franciscan college at Trnava, near Bratislava, and he was ordained priest there on 5 September 1655. He then took up several appointments at Csíksomlyó. He had studied the organ from an early age, and worked as an organ builder and restorer in Transylvania and Moldavia. He was abbot of the monasteries at Mikháza (now Călugăreni) from ...

Article

Peter Smith

revised by Marc Vanscheeuwijck

(b Bologna, June 16, 1637; d Bologna, Nov 28, 1695). Italian composer, teacher, organist and organ builder. He was the son of a well-known organ builder from Brescia, Antonio Colonna (alias Dal Corno) and Francesca Dinarelli, and himself became an active authority on organ construction. As a young man he took organ lessons in Bologna with Agostino Filipucci and then went to Rome to study composition with Abbatini, Benevoli and Carissimi. There he absorbed the technique of polychoral writing, which became a prominent feature in his later work. While in Rome he was possibly organist for a time at S Apollinare. He returned to Bologna, enjoyed an increasing reputation as a composer and was appointed second organist at S Petronio in September 1658 (though he did not take up his duties until December 1659). In 1661 he became the sole organist, but reverted to his former post when C.D. Cossoni was appointed first organist in ...

Article

Peter Williams

(b ?Hennaard, Friesland, c1650; d Tzum, c1725). Dutch writer on music, organist and schoolmaster. While mysteries remain about Douwes’s biography and publications, there is no doubt that his little Grondig ondersoek (Franeker, 1699/R) is one of the most important sources of information for historians and makers of keyboard instruments, offering unique details on the scaling of the clavichord and virginals. It also discusses the trumpet marine and ‘noardske Balke’ (noordsche balk). His general musical education came from such Dutch authors as J.A. Ban, but his data on instruments (useful, like his discussion of musical intervals, to remote Friesian organists) were more empirical and, though based on an uncertain unit of measurement, much more practical than those of any European theorist of his period. His treatise is concerned with the notes (toonen) of music: how to tune them, how to use them harmonically and how to produce them on different instruments. It does not seem to have been widely known at the time....