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Owen Wright

(fl first half of the 11th century). Arab musician and writer. The son of an eminent musician, he became a prominent singer at the Cairo court of the Fatimid caliph al-Ẓāhir (1021–36), and was still active as a teacher in 1057. His music treatise, completed after 1036 and entitled Ḥāwī al-funūn wa-salwat al-maḥzūn (‘Compendium of the arts to comfort sad hearts’), is of particular interest in that it deals with various topics of little concern to other authorities. Written from the perspective of a cultured musician rather than that of a philosopher-theorist, it calls upon a literary tradition of writing about music, and its historical content is frankly derivative, even if of interest for the implication of continuity with the court music of 9th-century Baghdad. But it is wide-ranging in its treatment of contemporary practice, dealing not only with such basics as mode and rhythm, but also with such matters as the normal sequence of events in performance, deportment and etiquette, the materials and construction of the ‘...

Article

Karl-Ernst Bergunder

[Nikolaus]

(b Erfurt, Aug 31, 1609; d Erfurt, April 5, 1680). German writer on music and organist. He spent his whole life at Erfurt. He attended the St Michael Lateinschule until 1621, when he transferred to the Protestant Ratsgymnasium, which was at that time noted for its fostering of music. One of his teachers there was Liborius Capsius, director of the collegium musicum and an important Erfurt University professor. He matriculated at the university in 1626, took his bachelor’s degree in 1628 and became a Master of Philosophy in 1629. He then became organist at the Protestant Thomaskirche and at the Catholic church of the Neuwerk monastery. From 1632 to 1635 he was Kantor and teacher at the Protestant school of preaching and also studied theology. In 1635 he was ordained and became deacon (in 1638 pastor) of the Kaufmannskirche in succession to Joseph Bötticher, who had won a good reputation as a musician. In ...

Article

Bernarr Rainbow

(fl 1833–56). English organist and pioneer of school music. Music in schools, virtually dead in England since the abolition of the song and monastic schools at the Reformation, began its long period of recovery during the decade immediately following the passing of the first Reform Act (1832). Turner's Manual of Instruction in Vocal Music (1833) was the earliest music textbook published for use in English schools. Ostensibly designed to bring about the improvement of congregational psalmody, it was also meant to exert a wider civilizing effect on the industrial population.

Little is known of Turner’s life; but he wrote as an experienced teacher whose book was presented to the public ‘not as an experiment for the first time tried, but as the result of long experience’. Music master at the Westminster Day Training College for Teachers, Turner was also organist and choirmaster at St Stephen’s Church, Avenue Road, St John’s Wood (since demolished), where one of his choristers, L.C. Venables (...