Florentius de Faxolis [Fiorenzo de’ Fasoli]
- Clement A. Miller
- , revised by Bonnie J. Blackburn
[Fiorenzo de’ Fasoli]
(bc1461; d 18 March 1496). Italian theorist, son of a Jacobus. He entered the service of Cardinal Ascanio Maria Sforza during his exile in Naples and Rome (1481–2). From 1482 he was a canon at S. Florenzio in Fiorenzuola d’Arda, becoming chaplain of S. Maria della Stella in Milan in 1483. By papal dispensation he was promoted to priest in 1484 at the age of 23. Some time between 1485 and 1492 he wrote a theoretical work of 95 folios entitled Liber musices (I-Mt 2146). This treatise, commissioned by the cardinal for personal use, is notable for its finely executed miniatures by Attavante degli Attavanti or a member of his school; gilded notes on blue staves are used for the music examples. The title page merely gives the name ‘Florentius’; the identification with Florentius de Faxolis, first proposed by Motta (1899), has been contested by Rossi (2007, 2009), who believes Florentius was a Spanish musician in Naples. The work is divided into three books; it begins with an extended treatment of the value, uses, and effects of music and continues more summarily with the elements of music, plainsong, counterpoint, composition, and rules of mensural notation. As authorities Florentius cited many ancient Greek, Roman, and medieval writers, including music theorists, but did not name any contemporary theorists except for Blasius Romero, whom he must have known in Naples and who may be the source of many of his citations (Holford-Strevens, 2009). Nor does Florentius name any composers of renown. He describes briefly such musical practices of his time as fauxbourdon, imitation, and, more extensively, canon. The treatise contains short polyphonic pieces for discant and tenor to illustrate the five genera of proportions; some examples are missing. To conclude the work a Latin poem by the Milanese secretary Francesco Tranchedino praises the treatise as a valuable guide to musical understanding....