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Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/13

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A. The name of the sixth degree of the natural scale of C. The reason of its being applied to the sixth instead of the first degree will be found explained in the article Alphabet. It represents the same note in English or German, and in French and Italian is called La.

A is the note given (usually by the oboe, or by the organ if there be one) for the orchestra to tune to, and it is also the note to which French and German tuning-forks are set, the English being usually tuned to C.

In all stringed instruments one of the strings is tuned to A; in the violin it is the second string, in the viola and violoncello the first, and in the contrabasso generally the third. A is also the key in which one of the clarinets in the orchestra is set. In German the keys of A major and A minor are occasionally expressed by A♯ and A♭.

[ F. T. ]

AARON (correctly Aron), Pietro, born at Florence in the latter part of the 15th century. A monk of the order of Jerusalem, and devoted to the study of counterpoint. His various works on the history and science of music (for a list of which see Becker, 'Musik Literatur,' Leipsic, 1836) were printed at Venice and Milan. By Pope Leo X he was admitted into the Roman Chapel, and distinguished in various ways. In or about 1516 Aaron founded a school of music at Rome, which obtained much reputation. He became a canon of Rimini, and died in 1533.

[ C. F. P. ]

ABACO, Evaristo Felice dall', born at Verona, and renowned as performer and composer on the violin; in 1726 concert-meister in the band of the Kurfürst Max Emanuel of Bavaria. Died in 1740. Compositions of his for church and chamber were printed at Amsterdam.

[ C. F. P. ]

A BATTUTA (Ital., 'with the beat'). An indication, mostly used in recitatives, where after the free declamation of the singer the strict time is resumed. It is thus equivalent to A tempo.

ABBATINI, Antonio Maria, was born at Tiferno, or at Castello (Baini), in 1595 or 1605, and died in 1677. Was successively Maestro di Cappella at the Lateran, the Church of the Gesu, and San Lorenzo in Damaso, and three times held the like office at Maria Maggiore; was also, for a time, maestro at the church of Loreto. Was offered by Pope Urban VIII the task of rewriting the Hymnal; but refused to supersede the music of Palestrina by any of his own. His published works consist of four books of Psalms and three books of Masses, some Antifone for twenty-four voices (Mascardi, Rome, 1630-1638, and 1677), and five books of Mottetti (Grignani, Rome, 1635). He is named by Allacci as the composer of an opera 'Del male in bene.' The greater part of his productions remain unprinted. Some academical lectures by him, of much note in their time, mentioned by Padre Martini, do not seem to have been preserved. He assisted Kircher in his 'Musurgia.'

[ E. H. P. ]

ABBÉ, Philippe Pierre de St. Sevin and Pierre de St. Sevin, two brothers, violoncellists, were music-masters of the parish church of Agen early in the last century. It seems doubtful whether they were actually ordained priests, or merely in consequence of their office had to wear the ecclesiastical dress. From this circumstance however they received the name of Abbé l'ainé—or simply l'Abbé—and l'Abbé cadet, respectively. They gave up their connection with the church and went to Paris, where they obtained engagements at the Grand Opera. They were both excellent players, but the younger brother seems