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Odington, Walter

Odington, Walter

Odington, Walter, English music theorist and scientist who fluorished from 1298 to 1316, known as Walter of Evesham. He was a monk at Evesham, a Benedictine abbey near Worcester; was at Oxford (c. 1316). He was one of the chief medieval writers on mensural notation. His De speculatione musices (MS in Corpus Christi Coll., Cambridge) was printed by Coussemaker in 1864 (Scriptores, I; modern ed. by F. Hammond, Walteri Odington Summa de speculatione musicae, in Corpus Scriptorum de Musica, XIV, 1970). This work is particularly valuable for the light it throws on musical rhythm as practiced in the late 13th century; it also discusses intervals, notation, musical instruments, and musical forms (rondellus, motet, etc.). His views on consonance and dissonance are interesting for their acceptance of thirds and sixths as legitimate consonances. He was also noted as an astronomer.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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