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Article

F. Alberto Gallo

[Petrus Aponensis ]

(b ?Abano, nr Padua, 1257; d Padua, 1315). Italian philosopher and doctor . He studied at Padua and spent some time at Paris; later he became a professor at Padua University. Music is discussed in two of his works, the Conciliator differentiarum philosophorum et precipue medicorum (Venice, 1476) and the Expositio Problematum Aristotelis (Mantua, 1475). They contain the traditional notion of music as a discipline of the Quadrivium, but also interesting references to musical practice. Rhythm is related to pulse beats, and mention is made of the instruments rubeba and viella, the forms of the muteti and rote, and the practice of ‘bordonizare’.

L. Thorndike: A History of Magic and Experimental Science, 2 (New York, 1923), 917ff F. Alessio: ‘Filosofia e scienza: Pietro da Abano’, ed. G. Folena Storia della cultura veneta, 2 (Vicenza, 1976), 171–206 F.A. Gallo: ‘La trattatistica musicale’, Storia della cultura veneta, 2 (Vicenza, 1976), 469–76...

Article

[Petrus Abailardus]

(b Le Pallet, nr Nantes, 1079; d Saint-Marcel, nr Chalon-sur-Saône, April 21, 1142). French philosopher, poet and musician of Breton origin. After studying philosophy in Paris, he taught dialectic at the cathedral school. His love affair with Heloise, the young niece of Canon Fulbert, brought him fame as a musician. However, after they had secretly married in 1118 Fulbert had Abelard castrated. Heloise became a nun and he became a monk at St Denis. His highly original scholastic method and his restless and blunt nature aroused opposition to his teaching; principal among his opponents was Bernard of Clairvaux. After condemnation by the Council of Sens in 1140, Abelard found support from Peter the Venerable, Benedictine Abbot of Cluny.

Abelard’s songs are few beside his numerous theological and philosophical writings. Heloise’s testimony suggests that his love songs must have been important from both a literary and a musical point of view. In a later letter (probably revised by Abelard) she declared that he had ‘the gift of poetry and the gift of song’; he ‘composed quite a number of metrical and rhythmic love songs. The great charm and sweetness in language and music, and a soft attractiveness of the melody obliged even the unlettered’. These songs, presumably in Latin, have all been lost: they have not been identified among the anonymous repertory....

Article

Jonathan Katz

(fl c1000). Indian philosopher, mystic and scholar. He was born to a Brahman family probably of Srinagar, Kashmir, and continued in their Śaiva Hindu religious tradition, being trained in grammar and philosophy by his father; but he also studied more widely with Hindu, Buddhist and Jain teachers. He lived a life of renunciation as a scholar and religious devotee and never married. His hugely prolific scholarly and literary output in Sanskrit included approximately 50 works which may be crudely grouped into the areas of religious exegesis, philosophical analysis and commentary, and aesthetics. For the historian of music his most important contribution is the monumental commentary Abhinavabhāratī; this became the most celebrated of all commentaries on the Nāṯyaśāstra of Bharata and attests a flowering of interest in aesthetics and the arts in medieval Kashmir. Manuscript evidence has hitherto been insufficient for a full critical edition and reliable translation of the work, and there remain many obscurities in the existing text. Abhinavagupta showed considerable knowledge of the practice of his own time, and it is not always easy to assess the validity of his judgments of earlier music. He argued a distinction between the religious ...

Article

Acourt  

David Fallows

( fl c 1420). Composer . His three-voice rondeau Je demande ma bienvenue survives only in the manuscript GB-Ob Can.misc.213 (facs., Chicago, 1995; ed. in CMM, xi/2, 1959). Its extreme simplicity and economy of gesture suggest that the composer is not identifiable with Johannes Haucourt , composer of an apparently much earlier virelai in the same manuscript....

Article

Geoffrey Chew

[Vojtěch; Wojciech]

(b ?Libice, Bohemia, c956; d nr Danzig [now Gdańsk], April 23, 997). Czech bishop, missionary, martyr, and saint. He belonged to the powerful Slavník family and was baptized Vojtěch, taking the name Adalbert at his confirmation. Educated at Magdeburg, he was consecrated Bishop of Prague in 983. Owing to opposition he twice resigned the see and travelled to Rome, returning each time to Prague. In Italy he became a Benedictine (989) and visited Monte Cassino; he founded the first Benedictine houses in Bohemia (Břevnov, 993) and Poland (Międzyrzecz, c996), and visited Hungary as a missionary. He was canonized in 999 and venerated particularly in Bohemia, Poland, Hungary, and Prussia; for a list of Offices, hymns, and sequences connected with his cult, see Morawski.

The early biographies (ed. in MGH Scriptores, vol.4, 1841/R, pp.574–620; vol.15/2, 1888/R, pp.705–8, 1177, and by Hoffmann) offer no conclusive evidence that Adalbert was a musician. He has been credited, nevertheless, with the earliest vernacular religious songs of both Bohemia (...

Article

Adam  

Tom R. Ward

revised by David Fallows

(fl 1420–30). Composer, possibly French. His three rondeaux, Au temps vendra, Au grief hermitage and Tout a caup, were copied into the manuscript GB-Ob Can.misc.213 soon after 1430 (all ed. in CMM, xi/2, 1959). He could be identifiable with Adam Fabri, clerc de matines at Notre Dame in Paris in 1415; Adam Meigret, first chaplain to Charles VI of France at the time of the king's death in 1422; Erasmus Adam, mentioned in the motet lamenting the death of King Albrecht II in 1439; Adam Hustini de Ora from Cambrai, who was in the Habsburg chapel in 1442–3; or more likely Adamo Grand (sometimes called Magister Adam), master of the choirboys at the Savoy ducal chapel from 1433 to 1438.

J., J.F.R. and C. Stainer, eds.: Dufay and his Contemporaries (London, 1898/R) [incl. complete edition] D. Fallows: A Catalogue of Polyphonic Songs, 1415–1480 (Oxford, 1999)...

Article

Margot E. Fassler

(d St Victor, Paris, 1146). French writer of sequences. Previously thought to have died late in the 12th century but now known to have been active much earlier in the century, he was a seminal figure in the development of the sequence repertory. The first document with a probable reference to Adam is a charter of 1098 in which a ‘Subdeacon Adam’ appears among the signatories from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. By 1107 he had risen through the ecclesiastical ranks to become Precentor; he signed his name ‘Adam Precentor’ throughout his life, even after he left the cathedral for the Abbey of St Victor in about 1133. He was a member of the reform party in Paris, who, with the support of the Augustinians at St Victor, attempted to impose the Rule of St Augustine upon the canons of Notre Dame; it was doubtless the failure of this attempted reform that prompted Adam's departure for St Victor. Adam worked with many influential figures: he would have been a colleague of Peter Abelard during his early years as cantor; he certainly knew and probably collaborated with the famous theologian Hugh of St Victor; and he may have taught Albertus Parisiensis, the man who succeeded him as cantor at the cathedral, and who is credited with a role in the development of the polyphonic innovations now attributed to Leoninus and his generation....

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

Cecil Adkins

(d 1024). North Netherlandish ecclesiastic and treatise writer. He was Bishop of Utrecht under Emperor Henry II. The proximity of two short treatises on the division of the monochord to Adelboldus’s treatise on geometry, De crassitudine sphaerae, in a 12th-century manuscript from Tegernsee ( D-Mbs Clm.18914) prompted Gerbert to attribute them to Adelboldus in his ...

Article

Andrew Hughes

(b c1250; d 1331). Austrian theorist. A Benedictine monk of Admont, he studied at Prague (1271–4) and then at Padua (at the university and the Dominican school of theology). After 1285 he probably became Abbot of St Peter’s, Salzburg, and from 1297 to 1327 he was Abbot of Admont. His De musica (ed. in Enrstbrunner: Der Musiktraktat) was obviously written to improve the musical knowledge of liturgical singers and their teachers. It draws on a collection of well-known treatises (including works by Guido of Arezzo, Boethius and Isidor), surveying traditional music theory and terminology and explaining it in terms influenced by Aristotelian thought; yet, despite its didactic purpose, there is a strange discrepancy between the simple explanations of basics and the high level of presupposed philosophical knowledge.

Englebert divided De musica into a theoretical part (parts I and II) and a part concerned ‘more with the practice’ of music (parts III and IV). Part I presents definitions of music and sound, and the various nomenclatures used by earlier authors; part II explains the proportions of intervals and their species in relation to the diatonic context. Part III is concerned with ‘ars solfandi’, describing the solmization system in detail and prepairing, in its explanation of the tetrachord system of the Reichenau theorists, the doctrine of the eight ‘toni musici’. Part IV, the main subject of which is plainchant, contains chapters conveying general concepts and the musical thinking of Englebert, for example the application of the Aristotelian terms ‘motus naturalis’ and ‘motus violentus’ to music. The work culminates with the last six chapters, his teaching on the ‘distinctiones’ in plainchant, in which he explains the necessity of structure in music and of singing with the natural requirements of perception....

Article

Andrew Hughes

revised by Randall Rosenfeld

[Ailred, Ethelred]

(b ? Hexham, c1110; d York, 1167). English saint, theologian and historian. He was brought up in the household of David I of Scotland, and later became an officer (dapifer) there. He was professed a monk of the Cistercian house at Rievaulx in Yorkshire (1134); he became abbot of Revesby (1143), but later returned to Rievaulx as abbot (c1147). Early in his career he gained the respect and support of Bernard of Clairvaux. Music forms only a small part of his writings: the De abusu musice attributed to him by Vander Straeten (Grove3; GerbertS, i, 26) cannot be identified as his, but chapter xxiii of the second book of the Speculum caritatis, a work inspired by St Bernard, deals with the same topic. He questioned the use of organs and bells in church, unfavourably comparing the noise of the former to the human voice. His chief complaint, however, was against the use of a virtuoso, and indeed histrionic, performance style: ‘Why that contraction and effeminacy of the voice? … Now the voice is reduced, then it is broken, at one time it is forced, at another it is enlarged with a more expansive sound. … At times the entire body is agitated with gestures worthy of actors; the lips twist, the eyes roll, the shoulders play, the fingers move in response to every note’. He was a proponent of stylistic moderation in the performance of chant. Some of his words have been understood as descriptions of part-singing and hocket: ‘One voice joins us, another drops out, another voice enters higher, and yet another divides and cuts short certain intervening notes …. At times you might see a man with an open mouth, as if expiring with suffocated breath, not singing, and with a certain laughable hindering of the voice as if menacing silence’. Some of Aelred's statements resemble those of his contemporary John of Salisbury, and may provide some evidence of the cultivation and performance of complex polyphony in 12th-century England or on the Continent; yet his complaint may have been exaggerated....

Article

Afat  

Tom R. Ward

revised by David Fallows

(fl ?c1430). Composer, possibly Italian. He may have been active in Brescia, if that is indeed the origin of the manuscript I-Bu 2216, which contains his only known work. This is a Sanctus (ed. in MLMI, 3rd ser., Mensurabilia, iii, vol.ii, 1970, pp.86–8), written in major prolation, with two equal high voices in florid style over a tenor....

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

Sarah Fuller

An obscure figure, Magister Airard of Vézelay (a major pilgrimage station along the route to the shrine of St James at Santiago de Compostela) appears as author of a two-part conductus, Annua gaudia, in the 12th-century Calixtine manuscript ( E-SC ). Whether he was actually a musician or poet is unknown, since the Calixtine attribution has no independent confirmation and Airardus is otherwise unknown....

Article

Owen Wright

[Maḥmūd ibn Mas‘ūd al-Shīrāzī]

(b Shiraz, 1236; d Tabriz, 1311). Persian physician and scientist. The most outstanding pupil of the mathematician Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī, he is particularly known for his work in medicine, optics and astronomy. His encyclopedia, Durrat al-tāj (‘Pearl of the crown’) demonstrates his mastery of the whole range of traditional medieval scholarship, and contains within its treatment of the mathematical sciences (quadrivium) a lengthy section on music. This is mainly a restatement of the musical theory developed by Ṣafī al-Dīn, but is important for its attention to musical practice, particularly in its codification and description of modes and rhythmic cycles. In both areas it points to the existence of a wider range of structures than is apparent from the works of Ṣafī al-Dīn; its treatment of the modes in particular is far fuller, and is less restricted by purely theoretical concerns. It ends with the most extended, complex and precise example of notation to be found in the works of the medieval Arab and Persian theorists, a unique document which allows some insight into the nature of the compositional practice of the period with regard not only to formal, modal and rhythmic strategies but also to techniques of text setting....

Article

Owen Wright

[al-Urmawī]

(d Baghdad, 1294). Theorist, performer and composer, possibly of Azeri origin. He was a prominent court musician under the last Abbasid caliph, al-Musta‘ṣim (1242–58), although he first attracted attention for his skill as a calligrapher. Surviving the sack of Baghdad in 1258, he entered the service of the Mongol Il-Khans and became attached to the powerful Juwaynī family, but after their fall (1286) he lost favour, and died imprisoned for debt.

Ṣafī al-Dīn is one of the most important figures in the history of music theory in the Islamic Middle East, and the first great theorist since Ibn Sīnā (980–1037) and Ibn Zayla (d 1048) whose works are extant. His two treatises on music, the Kitāb al-adwār (‘Book of cycles’) and the later and fuller Risāla al-sharafiyya (‘The Sharafian treatise’), present a synthesis of elements found in the earlier theoretical tradition which dominated the thinking of all the more important theorists of the following two centuries....

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

Eckhard Neubauer

[Abū l-Faraj Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq al-Warrāq al-Baghdādī]

(b c930; d c995). Arab bibliographer. He lived in Baghdad, and in 987–8 wrote Kitāb al-fihrist (‘Index of books’), a classified bibliography of Arab literature known to him in his capacity as a copyist and bookseller (warrāq), from libraries and from earlier bibliographies. He listed almost 100 titles from Arab musical literature, giving short biographical notes on the authors and sometimes indications as to the origin and content of the books. Most of these are lost, though some later compilations, such as the Kitāb al-aghānī al-kabīr (‘Great book of songs’) by al-Iṣfahānī, contain fragments of older biographical works on musicians and singers, and collections of song texts. Of particular value is his information about Arabic translations of Greek treatises on music; quotations from these treatises, which are now mostly lost, are also found in Arab musical literature from the early 10th century.

Kitāb al-fihrist...

Article

Owen Wright

[ibn Ghaybī al-Marāghi]

(b Maragh; d Herat, 1435). Timurid composer, performer and theorist. He first rose to prominence in the service of the Jalā’irid rulers of Iraq and Azerbaijan, al-Ḥusayn (1374–82) and Aḥmad (1382–1410). After the conquest of Baghdad by Tīmūr (1393), most of his career was spent in Samarkand and, especially, Herat, at the courts of Tīmūr and of his successors al-Khalīl (1404–9) and Shāh Rukh (1409–47).

‘Abd al-Qādir was one of the most important and influential theorists of the Systematist school. His most substantial surviving works are the Jāmi‘ al-al ḥān (‘Compendium of melodies’), largely completed in 1405 and revised in 1413, and the slighter Maqāṣid al-al ḥān (‘Purports of melodies’), which covers essentially the same ground and probably dates from 1418. Written in Persian, which was by then the language of culture, these works proved particularly influential among later 15th-century theorists; but although both thoughtful and highly competent, on the theoretical side they may be regarded as, essentially, restatements and amplifications of the theory elaborated by ...

Article

Owen Wright

[Abū ‘Umar Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad]

(b Córdoba, 860; d 940). Andalusian Arab writer. Little is known of his life. His most important work is a large-scale compendium entitled al-‘Iqd al-farīd (‘The unique necklace’). Drawn mainly from Eastern Arab sources, it covers a wide range of subject matter and includes a substantial section on music which exemplifies the approach of the literary scholar. Proclaiming first the beneficial effects of music, Ibn ‘Abd al-Rabbīḥ then reflects, but without systematically exploring, the juridical debate on its permissibility. His main concern, however, is to provide a selection of informative, but primarily entertaining or unusual anecdotes, including a copious selection of song texts. For the most part these concern prominent figures of the first two centuries of Islam and the musicians and singing slave-girls (see Qayna) who entertained them. The events described almost all take place in the Eastern Arab world, and there is an unfortunate absence of parallel materials to illustrate musical life at the court of the Umayyads in Córdoba....