Banchieri, Adriano (actually, Tomaso)

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Banchieri, Adriano (actually, Tomaso)

Banchieri, Adriano (actually, Tomaso), important Italian music theorist and composer; b. Bologna, Sept. 3, 1568; d. there, 1634. He entered the Monte Oli veto monastery in 1587. In 1589 he became a novice and received the name Adriano, and in 1590 he completed his vows. He also received instruction in music from Gioseffo Guami. In 1592 he was at the SS. Barto-lomeo e Ponziano monastery in Lucca, and in 1593 at S. Benedetto in Siena. He was at S. Michele in Bosco in 1594, where he was made organist in 1596. From 1600 to 1604 he was organist at S. Maria in Regola di Imola. In 1604 he was at the S. Pietro monastery in Gubbia, in 1605 at the church of S. Elena in Venice, and in 1606 at S. Maria in Organo in Venice. He returned to S. Michele in Bosco in 1609. In 1634 he went to the S. Bernardo monastery in Bologna. In 1615 Banchieri helped to organize the Accademia dei Floridi in Bologna, where he was known as “II Dissonante.” He was given the honorary title of Abate Benemerito in 1618. His theoretical writings are of particular significance. He publ. Cartella, overo Regole utilissime à quelli che desiderano imparare il canto figurato...devise in 2 parti (Venice, 1601; 2nd ed., rev., 1610; 3rd ed., rev., 1614 as Cartella musicale; 4th ed., rev., 1615 as La cartellina musicale, op.35; 5th ed., rev., 1623 as La banchierina, overo Cartella picciola del canto figurato). In his 1614 edition he was one of the first to advocate the extension of the hexachord by proposing to name the seventh degree of the scale by the syllables ba and hi, thus corresponding to B-flat and B-sharp, respectively. In his vol. of organ masses, L’organo suonarino, op.13 (Venice, 1605; 2nd ed., rev. 1611 as op.25; 3rd ed., rev, 1622 as op.43), he gives instructions for accompaniment and figured bass. His Terzo libro di nuovi pensieri ecclesiastici for I to 2 Voices and Basso Continuo, op.35 (Bologna, 1613) is one of the earliest examples of the use of the signs f and p for loudness and softness, respectively. Banchieri also wrote various nonmusical vols, under the pseudonyms Camillo Scaligerri dalla Fratta or Attabalippa dal Peru. He was a distinguished composer of sacred and secular vocal music, as well as of instrumental pieces. His mastery of seconda prattica is manifested in both his sacred and secular output. Among his sacred works were masses, Psalms, and motets. He publ. several vols, of canzonettas and madrigals along the lines of the commedia dell’arte genre, La pazzia senile: Ragionamenti vaghi, et dilettevoli for three Voices (Venice, 1598; 2nd ed., rev., 1599) being the best known. G. Vecchi ed. a complete edition of his works in Antiquae musicae italicae, XII (1963 et seq.).


H.-J. Wilbert, Die Messen des A. B. (diss., Johannes Gutenberg Univ., Mainz, 1969); W. May, A. B.: Late Sacred Motets:The “Seconda Prattica” in Sacred Music (diss., Tulane Univ., 1975); P. Mecarelli, “II zabaione musicale” di A. B. (Florence, 1987).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire