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James W. McKinnon

revised by Joseph Dyer

[Aurelius Augustinus]

(b Thagaste, Nov 13, 354; d Hippo, Aug 28, 430). Saint, churchman, and scholar. He was perhaps the most influential figure in the history of Christian thought, rivalled only by Thomas Aquinas and possibly Origen. Born in North Africa to a pagan father and Christian mother, the sainted Monica, he studied rhetoric in Carthage where he lost his boyhood Christian faith. In 373 his reading of Cicero's Hortensius inspired him to pursue the life of a philosopher, which he experienced first as a devotee of Manicheism. He served as professor of liberal arts for several years in his native Thagaste, moving in 383 to Rome and then in 384 to Milan, as professor of rhetoric. In Milan he came under the influence of the Christian neoplatonist Simplicianus and St Ambrose. He was led gradually through Neoplatonism to Christianity and, after a period of retreat at Cassiciacum, was baptized on Easter Eve of ...


George J. Buelow

(b Mühlhausen, Dec 24, 1625; d Mühlhausen, July 9, 1673). German composer, organist, writer on music and poet, father of Johann Georg Ahle. He was a prolific composer of popular sacred music, notably songs, in central Germany a generation before J.S. Bach.

The date of Ahle’s birth derives from a report published in the Neues Mühlhäusisches Wochenblatt (1798, no.31; see Wolf). He was educated first at the local Gymnasium and then, from about 1643, at the Gymnasium at Göttingen. In the spring of 1645 he entered Erfurt University as a student of theology. Nothing is known of his musical training, though in 1646, while enrolled at the university, he was appointed Kantor at the elementary school and church of St Andreas, Erfurt, and at this period he became well known for his ability as an organist. He returned to Mühlhausen to marry in 1650, but only at the end of ...


Frank A. D’Accone

[Paolo Antonio del Bivi]

(b Arezzo, bap. March 1, 1508; d Arezzo, July 19, 1584). Italian composer and priest. Although there is no evidence for the frequent assertion that he studied in Florence with Francesco Corteccia, his cordial relations with the Tuscan court (revealed in two extant letters and in the dedication to Francesco de' Medici of his 1558 madrigal book) suggest that he was acquainted with leading Florentine composers and aware of current developments in music there. He spent most of his life in the service of two churches in Arezzo: in 1530 he was appointed teacher of chant at S Maria, a position he held until he became canon at the cathedral in 1533; from 1538 to 1544 he was teacher of chant and maestro di cappella there too. He was maestro di cappella at S Pietro, Faenza from 1545 to 1548. He returned to S Maria as a canon in ...


Imogene Horsley

revised by Herbert Schneider

( fl 1680–1700). French theorist and church musician . According to the title page of his Nouveau traité he was director of music at Châlons-sur-Marne Cathedral, Champagne, around 1680, and later at the Maison Professe of the Jesuits in Paris. His Nouveau traité des règles pour la composition de la musique (Paris, 1697) was the main theory book used in France before Rameau. A second, heavily revised edition was brought out in 1699 (facs. (New York, 1967)) and had several reprintings (Paris, 1700, 1701, 1705/R; Amsterdam, c 1708; Paris 1738, 1755). Masson also published Divers traitez sur la composition de musique (Paris, 1705).

In his Nouveau traité, Masson followed Jean Rousseau and M.-A. Charpentier by giving rules for composing in the major and minor modes, and for using the figured bass for writing tasteful vocal counterpoint as well as for improvising accompaniments. He insists on the importance of tempo and metre to move the soul, and justifies the use of intervals such as the augmented second, and the use of chromaticism in several voices. The work ends with a short theory of fugue and canon. His rules are close to the practice of his day, and he often cites specific compositions by Lully as examples. Rameau refers to Masson several times in his ...


Edith Gerson-Kiwi

revised by Israel J. Katz

(b Filzburg, nr Libau [now Liepāja, Latvia], June 11, 1882; d Johannesburg, Aug 15, 1938). Jewish cantor and musicologist of Russian birth. Raised in a traditional German Jewish environment, he trained as a cantor in Libau; he also studied briefly at Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) where he met Eduard Birnbaum. Later he studied at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin and at the conservatory and university in Leipzig; his claim to have studied at both institutions with Kretzschmar (history), Zöllner (composition) and Jadassohn (harmony) remains unsubstantiated. He served as cantor at the Adat Jeshurun congregation, Leipzig (1902). From 1903 to 1905 he was a cantor at Regensburg and then after a year in Johannesburg he was persuaded by the president of the Zionist movement, David Wolffsohn, to emigrate to Jerusalem, where he lived from 1906 to 1921. These were decisive years for Idelsohn's research into the diverse musical traditions of the Sephardi and ‘Oriental’ Jewish communities and Muslim and Christian sects. Although his plans in ...


(b ?Cremona, c1470; d after 1520). Italian composer and priest. He is listed as ‘clericus Cremonensis’ in the records of Cividale del Friuli Cathedral, a fact that calls into question Ambros's claim that he was born in Vatellina or elsewhere in the Tyrol, and Disertori's that he was born at Laurana in Venetian territory. He was resident in Rome during the late 15th and early 16th centuries; he wrote Quercus juncta columnus est (RISM 1509²) for the wedding of Marcantonio I Colonna to Lucrezia Gara della Rovere, niece of Pope Julius II, on 2 January 1508. In a Florentine manuscript ( I-Fl Antinori 158), the text of his Donna, contra la mia voglia is preceded by the comment ‘this song was the favourite of Duke Valentino’ (Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI), and this and five others of his pieces in the same manuscript are described as having been brought to Florence from Rome. He is also the most heavily represented composer in a Roman manuscript of about ...


Allan W. Atlas

revised by Mitchell Brauner

( fl 1538–53). French musician active in Italy . From at least 13 June 1538 until 24 April 1539 he was director of the Cappella Liberiana at S Maria Maggiore in Rome. Among the singers in his charge was the young Palestrina, whom he probably taught. On 25 April 1539 Mallapert is listed as maestro di cappella at S Luigi dei Francesi, a post that he held for only seven months. On 1 December 1539 he assumed the directorship of the Cappella Giulia at S Pietro, a position he retained until 31 January 1545. From 1 October 1548 to late November 1549 he was maestro di cappella at S Giovanni in Laterano, and on 1 January 1550 he once again assumed directorship of the Cappella Giulia. Palestrina succeeded him on 1 September 1551. In August 1553 he was invited to take over the directorship of the choir at S Maria Maggiore. However, since the ...


(b Rosenthal, Saxony, Feb 2, 1714; d Dresden, June 2, 1785). German composer, organist and Kantor.

The son of a Lutheran pastor, he spent his childhood from 1714 in Porschendorf (Pirna district). After his father’s death in 1722 he attended the Annenschule in Dresden, where in 1734 he composed his earliest extant work, the cantata Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild. He sometimes stood in for the organist at the Annenkirche, J.G. Stübner, who was probably his organ teacher. On 14 May 1735 he matriculated at Leipzig University in law; a class report from the professor A. Kästner (16 September 1741) reads: ‘For three years the candidatus juris has availed himself of my praelectionum iudicarum and striven to master the fundamenta iuris. He has, however, always allowed music to be his main task’. At this time he also took lessons from Bach in composition and keyboard playing, as mentioned by J.A. Hiller (...


Margaret Bent

revised by Andrew Wathey


(b ?Champagne, 31 Oct 1291; d 9 June 1361). French composer, theorist, and bishop.

The early career of Philippe de Vitry remains obscure: he is often styled ‘magister’, but there is no direct evidence either that he studied at the University of Paris (though some contact with its members seems likely) or that he held the degree of magister artium (he is called ‘master of music’ in F-Pn lat.7378A). Vitry is first documented in 1321, when he was presented to a canonry with the expectation of a prebend at Cambrai; in the event no vacancy occurred and Vitry dropped his claim to this position between 1327 and 1332. He may, however, already have been a canon of the collegiate church of Notre Dame in Clermont-en-Beauvais, the family church of the counts of Clermont; he certainly held this position by August 1322, probably acquiring it through the patronage of Louis de Bourbon, Count of Clermont, with whom he was closely linked, as clerk, administrator, and diplomat, over the next 20 years. A connection with Louis de Bourbon may originate before ...