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Agostini Agazzari

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A musical composer, born 2 December 1578, of a noble family of Sienna; died probably 10 April, 1640. He is said to have passed the first years of his professional life in the service of the Emperor Matthias. He went to Rome about 1600, succeeding Anerio as maestro di cappella at the German College, going later in a similar capacity to St. Apollinaris and the Roman Seminary. Viadana of Mantua gave him the final touches of his musical education, and both men are entitled to the distinction of having developed thoroughbass and of having taught the correct method of figuring a bass. Agazzari, in his "Sacrae Cantiones", give hints as to its use. In 1630 he returned to Sienna, where he became maestro of the cathedral, and died while holding that post. He was a member of the Academy of Armonici Intronati, and one of the most fruitful composers of the Roman school. His numerous publications comprise masses (1596-1608), motets, Magnificats, litanies, etc., republished frequently. They are mentioned with eulogies in Proske's "Musica divina". Besides two volumes of madrigals, he also wrote a dramatic composition for a nuptial celebration, entitled "Eumelio, drama pastorale" (Ronciglione, 1614), and a pamphlet (Sienna) containing only sixteen pages, entitled "La Musica ecclesiastica, dove si contiene la vera diffinizione della musica come scienza, non piu veduta e sua nobilta", showing how church music should conform to the resolutions of the Council of Trent.


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