Martini, Giovanni Battista

views updated May 09 2018


Influential music authority and church-music composer; b. Bologna, April 24, 1706; d. there, Oct. 4, 1784. After musical studies, first with his father and later with Predieri, Riccieri, G. A. Perti, and F. A. Pistocchi, he became a Franciscan at Lugo di Romagna (1722) and was ordained the next year (hence his familiar title, Padre Martini). An avid student of music history and theory, he amassed a large music library and produced numerous scholarly works, among them the three-volume Storia della musica (Bologna 175781) and the two-volume Saggio fondamentale pratico di contrappunto (177475), which had a decisive influence on current teaching of counterpoint. He had close professional relations with musicians and scholars all over Europe, and as a teacher he attracted a whole generation of musicians, among whom were J. G. Naumann (composer of the "Dresden Amen"), grÉtry, gluck, jommelli, J. C. bach, and mozart. Church music and oratorios shared his creative activity with operas and instrumental music. His knowledge of Renaissance polyphony enabled him to employ the stile antico in strict a cappella polyphony, thus laying the foundation for the 19th-century church-music reform (see caecilian movement). At the same time he employed stile moderno in orchestrally accompanied sacred music characterized by the galant manner of the time. His own contrapuntal skill is evident in numerous canonic compositions. The breadth of his scholarly efforts, his discernment, and his clear presentation of the historical and artistic problems of his time are revealed clearly in his musical and historical studies (which, like his music, are largely unpublished). He had the same kind of appreciation for J. S. bach as he had for palestrina, the same understanding of the requirements of liturgical music as for those of opera and instrumental music. He was a leading figure in the Accademia dei Filarmonici in Bologna and the Accademia dei Arcadi in Rome.

Bibliography: g. b. martini, Carteggio, ed. f. parisini (Bologna 1888); Musikerbriefe (Leipzig 1886) v. 1. l. busi, Il Padre G. B. Martini (Bologna 1891). a. pauchard, Ein italienischer Musiktheoretiker (Lugano 1941). l. f. tagliavini, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949) 8:171924. o. ursprung, Die katholische Kirchenmusik (Potsdam 1931). p. h. lÁng, Music in Western Civilization (New York 1941). n. slonimsky, ed., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (5th ed. New York 1958) 1037. i. cavallini, "L'idée d'histoire et d'harmonie du Padre Martini et d'autres penseurs de son temps," International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, 21 (1990) 141159. f. gonin, "Mozart et le Padre Martini: histoire d'une légende?," Revue de Musicologie 85 (1999) 277295. n. lucarelli, "Sulla condizione sociale di un musicista del settecento: Vincenzo Carmanini e un raccomandazione di Padre Martini," Esercizi: Musica e Spettacolo, 12 (1993) 6986. a. pompilio, ed., Padre Martini: Musica e Cultura nel settecento europeo (Florence 1987). a. schnoebelen, ed., Padre Martini's Collection of Letters in the Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale in Bologna: An Annotated Index (Hillsboro, N.Y. 1979). m. vanscheeuwijck, "Mozart en Padre Martini (Bologna 1770)," Musica Antiqua 8 (1991) 6367.

[k. g. fellerer]

Martini, Giovanni Battista

views updated May 18 2018

Martini, Giovanni Battista

Martini, Giovanni Battista, famous Italian pedagogue, writer on music, and composer, known as Padre Martini; b. Bologna, April 24, 1706; d. there, Aug. 3, 1784. He received the rudiments of musical knowledge from his father, a violinist, then took courses with Angelo Predieri, Giovanni Antonio Ricieri, and Francesco Antonio Pistocchi. A man of unquenchable intellectual curiosity, he studied mathematics with Zanotti, and took a seminar in ecclesiastical music with Giacomo Perti. In 1721 he entered the Franciscan conventual monastery in Lugo di Romagna, but abandoned monastic aspirations and returned to Bologna in 1722, where he became organist, and later maestro di cappella, at S. Francesco in 1725, and was ordained a priest in 1729. He was a prolific composer and a learned scholar; his Storia della musica (3 vols., Bologna, 1757, 1770, and 1781; reprinted 1967) gives an extensive survey of music in ancient Greece. But it is as a pedagogue that Padre Martini achieved lasting fame. His magnum opus in music theory was Esemplare ossia Saggio fondamentale practico di contrappunto (2 vols., Bologna, 1774 and 1775). J.C. Bach, Jommelli, Gretry, and Mozart were his students. A by-product of his various activities was the accumulation of a magnificent library, which Burney estimated at nearly 17,000 vols. After Martini’s death, it became the foundation of the collection in the library of the Liceo Musicale (later the Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale). He received many honors during his long life; in 1758 he became a member of the Accademia dell’ Istituto delle Scienze di Bologna and of the Accademia dei Filarmonici di Bologna. In 1776 he was elected to membership in the Arcadi di Roma, where his Arcadian title was “Aristosseno Anfioneo” ( “Aristoxenos Amphion”). He conducted a voluminous correspondence of about 6,000 letters, which are extant. It included communications with scholars, kings, and popes.


L’assunzione di Salomone al tronto d’lsraello, oratorio (1734); masses, introits, graduals, offertories, vespers, hymns; Litaniae atque antiphonae finales B. Virginis Mariae for 4 Voices, Organ, and Instruments, publ, in Bologna in 1734; secular vocal works, including 24 sinfonias, numerous concertos for various instruments, and about 100 keyboard sonatas.


Regola agli organisti per accompagnare il canto fermo (Bologna, 1756); Compendio della teoria de’ numeri per uso del musico (Bologna, 1769). correspondence: A selection of his letters was ed. by F. Parisini as Carteggio inedito del G. Martini, coi piu celebri musicisti del suo tempo (Bologna, 1888). A. Schnoebelen ed. Padre Martini’s Collection of Letters in the Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale in Bologna: An Annotated Index (N.Y., 1979).


A. Eximeno, Dubbio sopra il saggio fondamentale pratico di contrappunto del P. G.B. M. (Rome, 1775); G. Della Valle, Memorie storiche del p. m. Giambattista M. (Naples, 1785); G. Gandolfi, Elogio di G.B. M. (Bologna, 1813); F. Parisini, Della vita e delle opere del P.G.B.M. (Bologna, 1887); L. Busi, II P. G.B. M. (Bologna, 1891); W. Reich, P. M. als Theoretiker und Lehrer (diss., Univ. of Vienna, 1934); P. Pauchard, Ein italienischer Musiktheoretiker: Pater Giambattista M. (Lugano, 1941); P. Zaccaria, P. M. compositore (diss., Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra, Rome, 1959); H. Brofsky, The Instrumental Music of P. M. (diss., N.Y.U., 1963); P. Wiechens, Die Kompositionstheorie und das kirchenmusikalische Schaffen P. M.s (Regensburg, 1968); P. Zaccaria, P. Giambattista M.: Compositore musicologo e maestro (Padua, 1969).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Martini, Giovanni (Paolo)

views updated May 29 2018

Martini, Giovanni (Paolo) ( Martini il Tedesco, ‘ Martini the German’; [ Schwarzendorf, Johann Paul Aegidius]) (b Freistadt, 1741; d Paris, 1816). Ger. organist and composer. After service with King Stanislaus, settled in France 1764, changing name to Martini. Held various court posts, was th. cond., and taught comp. at Paris Cons. 1800–2. Chief cond. royal court orch. 1814. Wrote operas, church mus., military mus., and songs, of which best-known is Plaisir d'amour.

Martini, Giovanni (Battista)

views updated Jun 08 2018

Martini, Giovanni (Battista) [ Giambattista; known as ‘ Padre Martini’] (b Bologna, 1706; d Bologna, 1784). It. composer and theorist. Studied mus. and mathematics. Entered monastery 1721, but abandoned monastic life and returned to Bologna 1722. Choirmaster, S. Francesco, Bologna, 1725. Took minor orders 1725, ordained priest 1729 and devoted much time to scientific aspects of mus., amassing library of 17,000 books. Pupils incl. J. C. Bach, Grétry, Mozart, and Jommelli. Wrote church mus., instr. sonatas, and theoretical books.

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