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Article

Charles Burnett

(bc1080; dc1150). Music theorist active in England. He studied in Tours, probably taught in Laon, travelled in Sicily, southern Italy and the Crusader states, but apparently spent much of his life in the south-west of England. He translated Arabic scientific texts into Latin and wrote original works of considerable literary merit, perhaps in his role as a tutor in an episcopal or royal court: one such text was addressed to the future King Henry II. Adelard dealt with music as an integral part of the Quadrivium. In the De eodem et diverso he mentioned studying music with a master (unnamed) in Tours; he himself played the kithara there in the presence of a queen. Speaking of the powers of music and giving examples from his own experience, he maintained that the soul, before entering the body, has already drunk in the celestial harmonies. In his Questiones naturales...

Article

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen and Robert Anderson

[Aischylos]

(b Eleusis [now Elefsina], 525 bce; d Gela [now Terranova], Sicily, 456 bce). Greek tragic poet. He wrote about 80 dramas, tragedies, and satyr plays, of which eight, all tragedies, have survived.

Probably the earliest of Aeschylus’s plays was the Persians (472 bce), which celebrated the Greek victory over vast invading forces led by Xerxes; set at the Persian court, the play is one long lament. With one exception (the singing of a paean by the Greeks, 393), the references to music emphasize the tone of mourning: ‘there resounds a song unlike that of victory’ (kelados ou paiōnios, 605). The hymns of the Persians are directed to the dead (619–20, 625) and their singing is a cry of pain (1043, iuze melos). In the remarkably extended sequence of strophic lyrics with which the play closes (852–1076), the chorus speaks of the lamentation of a Mariandynian mourner (939). The scholiast on this line referred to a saying about playing on Mariandynian auloi, famous for the playing of dirges, in the Iastian (or Ionian) mode; the resulting problem of modal ethos remains unresolved....

Article

James W. McKinnon

(b Spain, 769; d Lyons, 840). Frankish ecclesiastic. He came as a youth to Gaul, taking up residence in the monastery of St Polycarp near Narbonne. He was ordained in 804 and named bishop of Lyons in 816, where he remained for the rest of his life, except for a period of exile in Italy during the years 835–8 because he had sided with the sons of the emperor Louis the Pious against their father; his temporary replacement as administrator of Lyons was his rival Amalarius.

Agobard was a vigorous controversialist of conservative bent. He was outspoken in his opposition to Frankish folk religious practices, to trial by ordeal, to royal interference in church affairs and to Jewish influence at court. In the liturgical realm he was against the employment of images in worship, the use of non-biblical texts and the allegorical interpretation of the liturgy, the two latter positions being directly contrary to those of Amalarius. After his reinstatement as archbishop of Lyons in 838, he and his deacon Florus sought to undo the liturgical innovations of Amalarius, particularly by revising his Office antiphoner. The principal change was the replacement of non-biblical texts. The opposition of Agobard to non-biblical texts may account for the longstanding absence of hymns and tropes in the liturgy of Lyons....

Article

Aius  

Article

Dimitri Conomos

(Gk.: ‘not seated’).

In the Byzantine rite, an anonymous Kontakion chanted in honour of the Virgin and performed while the congregation stands. The Akathistos possibly dates from the 6th century and continued in use despite the liturgical changes of the 8th century when the performance of entire kontakia was suppressed. It was originally a chant for the feast of the Annunciation (25 March) but is now sung in the Greek Orthodox Church at the vigil of the fifth Saturday in Great Lent.

The Akathistos consists of two prooimia (see Prooimion) and 24 oikoi (stanzas) linked by an alphabetic acrostic; each oikos is seven lines long and has the same metrical pattern. The even-numbered stanzas simply have an ‘allēlouïa’ refrain, whereas the odd-numbered oikoi include a set of Salutations to the Virgin – 12 lines in metrically-matching pairs, with each line beginning ‘Hail!’. Each oikos ends with the refrain ‘Hail, bride unwedded!’. The texts of the first 12 ...

Article

Edward V. Williams

revised by Christian Troelsgård

(Gk.: ‘orders of service’)

Handbooks transmitting the 14th- and 15th-century chant melodies of the Byzantine rite. Alternative names are anthologion anoixantarion, anthologia, psaltikē and mousikon. Akolouthiai manuscripts contain within a single volume a collection of monophonic chants, both Ordinary and Proper, for the psalmody of Hesperinos and Orthros, and settings for the three Divine Liturgies (see Divine Liturgy). Although relatively short, simple melodies for the Greek liturgical texts are transmitted, the greater portion of a manuscript consists of elaborate kalophonic settings of these same texts (see Kalophonic chant). Most akolouthiai also include a preliminary Papadikē and other didactic texts on Byzantine music and notation.

Akolouthiai were probably assembled for the first time in about 1300 by the singer and composer Joannes Koukouzeles. Their immediate antecedents were the so-called Asma collection of the 13th century, preserved exclusively in manuscripts of South Italian origin, and the asmatikon and the psaltikon, which apparently preserved the chanted repertories of the urban rites of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople between the 11th and 13th centuries. Although certain chants from the asmatikon and psaltikon were copied into some of the early akolouthiai, most of this older repertory had disappeared by the 15th century. This change reflected the gradual replacement of the imperial liturgy at Hagia Sophia by the less elaborate practices followed in Byzantine monasteries, a process that was complete by the end of the 13th century....

Article

Eckhard Neubauer

(b Baghdad, July 779; d Samarra’, July 839). Arab musician. He was a son of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mahdī and a Persian slave at court called Shikla. He became famous for his fine and powerful voice with its range of four octaves, and first took part in court concerts during the reigns of Hārūn al-Rashīd (786–809) and al-Amīn (809–13). Proclaimed caliph in 817 in opposition to al-Ma’mūn (813–33), he had to abdicate after barely two years and went into hiding. In 825 he was pardoned and became a court musician once more under al-Ma’mūn and his successor al-Mu‘taṣim (833–42). He was a follower of the school of Ibn Jāmi‘ and represented a ‘soft’ style, probably influenced by Persian music, which also allowed freedom in rendering older works. His rival Isḥāq al-Mawṣilī accused him of stylistic uncertainty; fragments of their polemic writings are quoted in the Kitāb al-aghānī al-kabīr...

Article

Alcaeus  

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

[Alkaios]

(b Lesbos, c620 bc; d after 580 bce). Greek lyric poet. The earlier tradition of sung poetry on Lesbos had been choral, religious, impersonal; now choral lyric faced the challenge of monody. In contrast to the impersonality of the earlier poets, Alcaeus wrote as an individual, describing in an intensely personal manner his chequered political fortunes. Many of his poems, however, were amatory or convivial, consisting of drinking-songs and after-dinner verses (skolia); the range of subjects even included monodic hymns. His favourite metre was the compact four-line stanza which bears his name, although he also used the sapphic stanza. Like his compatriot and friend Sappho, Alcaeus wrote in the distinctive Aeolic dialect of Lesbos.

References to musical instruments show considerable diversity. He seems to have composed an address to the trumpet (salpinx), poeticized as a sounding conch (Edmonds, frag.85). He once mentioned the ...

Article

Alcman  

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

[Alkman]

(fl c. 630 bce). Greek lyric poet. He was possibly a native of Sardis in Lydia. Alcman spent his entire professional life in Sparta. This city was then startlingly different from the grim barracks state that it had been and would again become: its citizens cultivated art, poetry, music, and dance with intensity and brilliance. The poet himself commented on this: ‘To play well upon the lyre weighs evenly with the steel’, that is, military valour (Edmonds, frag.62).

As the trainer of a choir of girls who sang and danced at Spartan religious festivals, Alcman wrote maiden-songs (see Partheneia), which brought him particular fame. Extensive portions of one of these have survived (PLouvre E3320); the lines recreate with great immediacy the half-humorous, half-impassioned rivalry of his young choristers. For solo performance he composed proöimia, preludes to the recitation of Homeric poetry (see Terpander...

Article

Alcuin  

Jane Bellingham

[(Flaccus) Albinus]

(b Northumbria, c735; d Tours, May 19, 804). Anglo-Saxon scholar, writer and poet. Little is known about Alcuin's early years, but he was educated at the cathedral school in York, which, under the guidance of magister, and later archbishop, Aelberht (d 780), became one of the foremost centres of learning in England during the second half of the 8th century. Alcuin remained at York as Aelberht's assistant, becoming magister himself in 767, and several times travelled to the Continent, especially Gaul and Italy, in search of books for the cathedral library. It was on one such visit that Alcuin met Charlemagne (reigned 768–814), who, in 781, invited him to join the scholars of the Frankish court. In Francia Alcuin became one of the leading members of the court school. He is known to have been the personal tutor of Charlemagne and is generally considered to have been the architect of many of the king’s educational reforms, including those in the ...

Article

James W. McKinnon and Christian Thodberg

(Latinized form of Heb. halleluyah: ‘praise God’; Gk. allēlouïa)

Chant of the Mass in the Western Church and of the Divine Liturgy in the Eastern Church.

James W. McKinnon

The alleluia of the Mass is a Proper chant sung during the Fore-Mass after the gradual (see Gradual) except on liturgical occasions associated with penitence and fasting (most notably during Lent), and on ones associated with sorrow (such as the Requiem Mass), when it may be replaced by the Tract. During Paschal Time, beginning with Low Sunday, the gradual is omitted and two alleluias are sung.

The alleluia is performed in a responsorial manner: first the word ‘alleluia’ is sung, concluding with an extended melismatic flourish – the Jubilus; then a verse (rarely, two or three verses) is chanted in a moderately elaborate setting; and finally the alleluia is repeated. Throughout much of the Middle Ages a cantor intoned the alleluia without its jubilus and the chorus answered with the entire alleluia; one or two cantors sang the verse and the chorus entered for the final word or two (usually concluding with a melisma echoing that of the jubilus); the chorus, finally, repeated the alleluia. Early sources fail to indicate such involvement by the chorus, but it might well be that the chorus performed at least the final repetition of the alleluia....

Article

Alypius  

Thomas J. Mathiesen

[Alypios]

(fl 4th century ce). Greek writer on music. His Introduction to Music (Eisagōgē mousikē) contains the most complete tabulation of ancient Greek musical notation. He is mentioned by Cassiodorus (Institutiones, ii.5) in the list of important Greek musical authors together with Ptolemy and Euclid (i.e. Cleonides). Alypius’s treatise may have been known to Boethius, who included notational symbols for the Lydian tonos in all three genera (De institutione musica, iv.3–4), but they are not attributed to him and could have been derived from other sources. Nothing is known of his life. The principal reasons for assigning such a late floruit have to do with the name (which is not otherwise attested before the 4th century), the content of the opening prose section (see below), and the general lack of interest in musical notation shown by writers securely dated before the 3rd century ce...

Article

James W. McKinnon

(b nr Metz, c775; d ?Metz, c850). Writer on liturgy and chant. He was probably educated under Alcuin at the monastery of St Martin in Tours, and served as archbishop of Trier from 809 and 814. In 813 he travelled to Constantinople at the behest of Charlemagne, returning the next year, apparently by way of Rome. He then began his literary activity, probably at Aachen. His longest and most significant work, the Liber officialis, first appeared in about 823, with a second edition in about 830. In 831 Amalarius visited Rome and requested a copy of the Roman antiphoner from Pope Gregory IV, only to be informed that Abbot Wala of Corbie had secured all available copies on his visit of 825 and had returned with them to Corbie. Amalarius himself made the journey to Corbie, there to compare the Roman antiphoners with their Frankish counterparts. Like ...

Article

Ambrose  

James W. McKinnon

(b Trier, c340; d Milan, 397). Saint, bishop and Doctor of the Church. He was the son of the Roman prefect of Gaul, and embarked upon a successful political career, being named consular governor of Liguria and Aemilia in about 370. While yet unbaptized he was elected Bishop of Milan by popular acclaim on 7 December 374. Together with Augustine and Jerome he is acknowledged as one of the three great Latin Church Fathers of the 4th and 5th centuries. He was primarily a public figure, however, unlike Augustine, the philosopher, or Jerome, the scholar; he consolidated the position of the Church against the powerful Arian heresy and the counter-attacks of paganism.

Tradition has assigned him a musical significance exceeding that of any other early Christian leader. This purported achievement can be summarized under four headings: (1) the co-authorship with Augustine of the Te Deum; (2) an involvement in the composition and organization of the Milanese or Ambrosian chant comparable to that formerly attributed to ...

Article

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

[Anakreon]

(b Teos, c.570 bce; d 490 or 485 bce). Greek lyric poet. An Ionian by birth and upbringing, he spent his professional life in the service of Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, and later at Athens under the patronage of Peisistratus’s son Hipparchus. His poetry reflects the gay, sophisticated atmosphere of the courts where he was musical arbiter; underlying it is the cultural heritage of his native Ionia, especially the distinctive tradition of lighthearted monody.

Although the writings of Anacreon include elegiac and iambic poetry as well as lyric, extant musical references occur only in the lyrics. He speaks of ‘the lovely pēktis’ and ‘the 20-string magadis’ of his homeland (Edmonds, frag.18.2–3; 19.1–2); he also mentions auloi with only three finger-holes instead of the usual six (frag.22). Critias, an early 5th-century writer (in Athenaeus, xiii, 600d), portrayed the poet himself as an antagonist of the aulos and fond of the ...

Article

Article

Aoidos  

Geoffrey Chew

revised by Denise Davidson Greaves

(Gk.: ‘singer’, ‘bard’)

A term used by Homer to describe performers of epics (e.g. Phemius and Demodocus in the Odyssey) who sang and accompanied themselves on the Phorminx or kitharis ( see Kithara ). The language, musical accompaniment and details of performing practice of the aoidoi were transmitted orally, and their formulaic practice is believed to underlie the hexameter poetry of the Iliad and Odyssey themselves. Modern studies have explored the similarities between the practice of the aoidoi and that of the modern southern Slav singers of heroic epic accompanied by the gusli (see Lord). (In these oral traditions, each telling of a story – even the same story by the same performer – is likely to differ in detail.) Aoidoi were presumably independent artisans, although the Odyssey suggests that individuals could be linked to specific households.

The precise relationship between the early aoidoi and later performers of epic is not clear. There is evidence that the early kitharodes performed Homeric and other epic poetry (...

Article

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

Ancient Greek god. The origins of Apollo remain uncertain. In myth he is the child of Leto and Zeus. His worship may have come into Greece from Macedonia; or possibly it travelled westward from Asia Minor. Often he was termed ‘Lykeios’: if the epithet means ‘wolf-god’, he may originally have been a god of shepherds. This hypothesis would explain an active concern with music. It leaves unexplained the fact that he is constantly shown in art and literature with the kithara or lyra rather than the shepherd’s panpipes (syrinx) or the aulos, although several Greek writers did associate him with reed-blown instruments (e.g. Euripides, Alcestis, 576–7).

The Homeric evidence indicates that Apollo's nature was complex. In the early passages of Iliad, book i, as the avenging archer-god, he angrily sends shafts of pestilence upon the Greek host, while at its close (603–4) he appears as the lyre-god accompanying the Muses' song; and in the ...

Article

Ellen Hickmann

(Ger. Musikarchäologie)

The application of the methods of archaeology to the study of music. Setting out from the analysis of archaeological findings, however acquired, archaeomusicology reconstructs the music and musical life of early cultures and ethnic groups that can often be dated very far back in time (Buckley, 1989). It then tries to discover features or traces of that ancient musical culture still extant in the more recent musical life of the society living in the same geographical area.

Such archaeologists as Childe (1957) and D.L. Clarke (1968) set out, if not uniformly, from the premise that the analysis of findings, that is, archaeological finds in context, was more important than the recovery and interpretation of isolated finds. Their studies concentrated on problems rather than objects (Ziegert, 1980), attempting to focus on the questions about mankind and human culture behind the actual finds. Accordingly, ‘reconstruction of the historical development of human cultures [is based] primarily on the study of their surviving artefacts, buildings and biological materials’; consequently, it is ‘essential to derive as much information as possible from this material, using all the methods at our disposal. In the last resort, however, all the steps in archaeological fieldwork relate to a reconstruction of past life deriving from an interpretative approach that links the finds with their context’ (Maier, ...

Article

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

(fl ?650 bce). Greek iambic and elegiac poet. He was a native of the Ionian island of Paros. ‘I am the squire of lord Ares’, he sang, ‘and skilled in the lovely gift of the Muses’ (Edmonds, frag.1). More artist than military man, he expressed both the external world and his responses to it in a remarkably personal tone.

His surviving poems contain no certain references to string instruments. The first word (tēnella) of his victory hymn, however, supposedly imitates the twang of a lyre string (Scholiast on Pindar, Olympian, ix.1–4); and one heavily restored fragment (Edmonds, frag.114, xiv) may refer to lyre playing accompanying the dance. He did clearly mention the aulos as a feature of religious or convivial occasions (frags.76; 32); possibly, though not certainly, he associated it with the performance of elegiac verse (frag.123) – a likely combination in this early period of elegy. According to a late source (Pseudo-Plutarch, ...