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Robert Shay

(b Westminster, London, Jan 1648; d Oxford, Dec 14, 1710). English scholar, composer and music collector. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford (after early training in mathematics at Westminster School), in 1662, receiving the BA, MA and DD degrees in 1666, 1669 and 1682 respectively. He took holy orders and was assigned the rectorate at Wem, Shropshire, but chose to remain at Christ Church, becoming a canon in 1681 and dean (a unique position in Oxford as head of both college and cathedral) in 1689, also serving as vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, 1692–5. He was a leader of the Oxford resistance to James II's Catholic advances, and under William III he became one of the chief defenders of High Church practices, publicly opposing both the comprehension of non-Anglicans and revisions to the prayer book. He was an industrious and practically minded scholar, producing books on logic, heraldry and architecture, designing a number of Oxford buildings, serving as draftsman and engraver for the Oxford Almanacks, and producing a sizable body of compositions for the English cathedral service. His account of Greek music survives in manuscript (...


Albert Cohen

(b Pont-de-Vaux, Ain, April 24, 1633; d Paris, May 4, 1691). French lawyer and man of letters. He is often confused with his great-grandson, Charles-Emmanuel Borjon de Scellery (c1715–95). He was active in the law courts of both Dijon and Paris and is known chiefly for his writings on jurisprudence. He also composed poetry (noëls ‘en patois bressan’), published after his death and later set to music, and is credited with Traité de la musette, avec une nouvelle méthode, pour apprendre de soy-mesme à jouer de cet instrument facilement, et en peu de temps (Lyons, 1672, 2/1678/R), which describes an instrument in vogue throughout France at the time and includes examples of music collected by the author.

DBF (M. Prevost) P. LeDuc: Les noëls bressans de Bourg, de Pont-de-Vaux et des paroisses voisines (Bourg-en-Bresse, 1845) C.-J. Dufaÿ: Dictionnaire biographique des personnages notables du département de l’Ain...


Howard Mayer Brown

revised by Florence Gétreau

(b Bordeaux, 1586–7; d Bordeaux, before 1649). French author, theorist, collector and lawyer. By profession a lawyer in the Parliament of Bordeaux he made use of the humanistic education he had received from his uncle, Jean d'Avril, by publishing during his lifetime two tragedies, a book on witchcraft and two volumes of epigrams. He was also a collector of books, printed portraits, medals, naturalia, ethnographic objects and mathematical and musical instruments; an inventory of the entire collection was printed in his Synopsis rerum variarum and translated in his Dénombrement. His interest in music is further demonstrated by the inclusion, among his publications, of poems in praise of two composers active in or near Bordeaux: the Spaniard Juan d'Escobar and Hugues de Fontenay. About 1630, or perhaps earlier, he began work on his Traité des instruments de musique. It was not published during his lifetime, possibly because he was not able to perfect it according to his own standards before he died. In his ...


(fl 1612–22). Humanist aristocrat who lived in Prague. He was descended from a family from Rovereto, in the south Tyrol; one of its members was knighted at Vienna on 25 May 1557. In recognition of his services Troilus was named Councillor of the Emperor on 2 May 1617 in Prague, but this title carried no official duties. He assembled in his library a valuable collection of Italian monody published mostly in Venice between 1604 and 1618, and mainly by composers from northern Italy. It is a fairly representative collection of music that cannot have been well known in Bohemia at that time, but it includes nothing by such important figures as Caccini, Marco da Gagliano and Peri. The volume of monodies from Troilus’s library is now in the National Library in Prague.

J. Racek: Italská monodie z doby raného baroku v Čechách [Italian monody from the early Baroque time in Bohemia] (Olomouc, 1945)...