Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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Ornithoparchus [Vogelhofer, Vogelmaier, ?Vogelstätter], Andreas

(b Meiningen, c1490). German theorist. His first musical studies were in Saxony and later he travelled in Germany, Austria, Bohemia and Hungary. On 19 November 1512 he matriculated at Rostock University. In 1514 he was rector of the parochial school in St Ludgeri, Münster, where he wrote a Latin grammar, Enchiridion latinae constructionis (Deventer, 1515). On 25 August 1515 he matriculated at Tübingen University, although he already held the degree of Master of Arts from Rostock, but he subsequently called himself a Master of Arts of Tübingen. While in Rostock he became particularly interested in music theory and began work on a music treatise. This was the basis for further music lectures at the universities of Tübingen, Heidelberg and Mainz. A travelling humanist scholar and disciple of Erasmus, he matriculated at Wittenberg (1516), Leipzig (1516) and Greifswald (1518).

Ornithoparchus published his treatise Musicae activae micrologus in Leipzig in 1517 (R1977). By the term ‘musica activa’ he meant musica practica as opposed to musica theoretica. In the dedications of the four books of the treatise he showed something of his wide musical experience. The first book, on ‘cantus planus’, is dedicated ‘to the Governours of the State of Lyneburg’ (Dowland’s translation) for the use of the young. The second and fourth books are dedicated to two musicians of the chapel of the Heidelberg court, the Kapellmeister Philipp Surus and the organist Arnolt Schlick. The second book, on musica mensuralis, was written in collaboration with Georg Brack, the second Kapellmeister at Stuttgart, whom he had visited there about 1515. Ornithoparchus’s list of the most excellent musicians (bk 2, chap.8) includes Ockeghem, Ghiselin, Alexander Agricola, Obrecht, Josquin, La Rue, Isaac, Finck, Brumel and Lapicida, and among theorists Gaffurius, Jacobus Faber Stapulensis and Tinctoris were considered authorities. In the course of his discussion of musica ficta he extended the Guidonian system by two notes at each end. The fourth book, on counterpoint, follows Schanppecher’s pattern in Wollick’s treatise in distinguishing between improvised counterpoint added to a cantus firmus (‘sortisare’) and the written ‘composition’. Ornithoparchus advised beginners to use a ten-line staff. He sharply criticized practices in sacred music, complaining of the priests’ inadequate musical knowledge and hasty singing, wrong accentuation, incorrect pronunciation, rhythmic waywardness, ‘crying’ and ‘howling’. For psalm singing he advised the reader to study De vero modo psallendi (GB-Ob Ashmol.) written by Michael Muris Galliculus, a member of the Cistercian cloister of Altzelle in Saxony. Ornithoparchus’s treatise was clearly popular, for editions followed in 1517, 1519 and 1521, and editions were published in Cologne (1533 and 1535) with the title De arte cantandi micrologus. It was widely used as a textbook: in 1539 it was used at Kraków University; Angelo da Picitono incorporated whole chapters into his Fior angelico di musica (Venice, 1547), as did Sebastiani in his Bellum musicale (Strasbourg, 1563); and in 1609 Dowland published an English translation (R1973). Both Johann Gottfried Walther and Hawkins knew Ornithoparchus’s work; the latter included a translation of the chapter on sacred music in his General History.



J.W. Lyra: Andreas Ornithoparchus aus Meiningen … und dessen Lehre von den Kirchenaccenten (Gütersloh, 1877)

G. Pietzsch: ‘Zur Pflege der Musik an den deutschen Universitäten bis zur Mitte des 16. Jahrhunderts’, AMf, iii (1938), 302–30, esp. 322; vi (1941), 23–56, esp. 35, 38, 54; pubd separately (Hildesheim, 1971)

E.E. Lowinsky: ‘On the Use of Scores by Sixteenth-Century Musicians’, JAMS, i (1948), 17–23

L.C. Michels: ‘Een musico-dialectologische tekst’, Neophilologus, xl (1956), 310–14

N.C. Carpenter: Music in the Medieval and Renaissance Universities (Norman, OK, 1958/R)

E.E. Lowinsky: ‘Secret Chromatic Art Reexamined’, Perspectives in Musicology, ed. B.S. Brook, E.O.D. Downes and S. van Solkema (New York, 1972), 91–135; repr. in idem: Music in the Culture of the Renaissance and other Essays (Chicago, 1989), 754–78

W. Werbeck: Studien zur deutschen Tonartenlehre in der ersten Hälfte des 16. Jahrhunderts (Kassel, 1989), 86–123

W. Braun: Deutsche Musiktheorie des 15. bis 17. Jahrhunderts, ii: Von Calvisius bis Mattheson (Darmstadt, 1994), 90, 254

E. Schwind: Kadenz und Kontrapunkt: zur Kompositionslehre ca.1470–ca.1570 (diss., U. of Freiburg, 1995)


Ornstein, Leo

(b Kremenchug, 2 Dec 1893). American composer and pianist of Ukrainian birth. As a child, he studied at Petrograd Conservatory. Emigrating to New York in 1907, he studied the piano at the Institute of Musical Art with Bertha Fiering Tapper, who became an important mentor. In 1911 he made his New York début performing standard repertory, while two years later, in 1913, he wrote his first Modernist compositions, Dwarf Suite and Wild Men's Dance (Danse sauvage). The same year he set off on a European tour with Tapper, on which he met Busoni and M.-D. Calvocoressi and gained a strong sense of the newest European trends. His first major appearance as a virtuoso specializing in modern music took place in London on 27 March 1914, where he performed his own music, together with that of Schoenberg and a group of Bach transcriptions by Busoni. In January and February 1915 he gave a series of four recitals at the Bandbox Theatre in New York, which quickly led to Ornstein becoming something of a cult figure, especially for the tone clusters that became his trademark. He abruptly withdrew from the concert stage in 1922, continuing to perform only occasionally thereafter, for example, in 1925 when he appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra for the première of his Piano Concerto. Ornstein's principal focus during these years was teaching. In 1924 he became head of the piano department at the Philadelphia Music Academy, and a few years later he established the Ornstein School of Music in Philadelphia. He retired from teaching in 1953 but continued to compose.

Ornstein's compositions divide into three large groups: experimental works (almost all dating from the 1910s), more conservative pieces that hint of Eastern Europe (from the same period and after) and later pieces that integrate the two extremes. Most of his instrumental music is programmatic. Some works, such as Impressions de Notre Dame or Three Moods, evoke landscapes or emotional states, many building on Debussy-like practices, from filigree semiquaver textures to extended triadic harmonies, pentatonicism and parallelisms. Most of his experimental works, such as the Wild Men's Dance, were for piano, though the Violin Sonata op.31 is his most uncompromisingly modernist. Dissonant and atonal, these early pieces often display an individual use of gapped, chromatic clusters, quite apart from the manner of Cowell, Ives or Bartók. This period is also distinguished by the common use of free-wheeling structures, which give the impression of a spontaneous composition process. In many ways they exemplify the creative spontaneity espoused at the time by the philosopher Henri Bergson.

Though Ornstein was rediscovered by Vivian Perlis and others in the 1970s – he received the Marjorie Peabody Waite Award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1975 – much of his output remains unknown. Two of his finest works, the Piano Sonatas nos.7 and 8, were written when the composer was in his 90s.


(selective list)


Orch: Evening Song of the Cossack, chbr orch, op.14 no.1, 1923; Pf Conc., 1923; Lysistrata Suite, 1930; Nocturne and Dance of the Fates, c1937Chbr: Sonata, op.31, vn, pf, c1915; 3 Russian Impressions, vn, pf, 1916; Sonata, op.26, vn, pf, c1918; 2 Sonatas, op.52, vc, pf, c1918; c1920; Pf Qnt, 1927; 3 str qts, op.28, op.99, c1929, no.3, 1976; 6 Preludes, vc, pf, 1931; Allegro (Intermezzo), fl, pf, 1959; Fantasy Pieces, va, pf, 1972; Hebraic Fantasy, vn, pf, 1975; Poem, fl, pf, 1979Pf (solo unless otherwise stated): 6 Lyric Fancies, op.10, 1911; A Paris Street Scene at Night, op.4 no.3, 1912; Suicide in an Airplane, c1913; Pièce, pf 4 hands, op.19 no.1, 1913; Wild Men's Dance (Danse sauvage), op.13 no.2, c1913; 3 Preludes, op.20, c1914; Suite russe, op.12, c1914; Three Moods, 1914; Cossack Impressions, op.14, c1914; Impressions de la Tamise, op.13 no.1, 1914; Impressions de Notre Dame, op.16 nos.1–2, 1914; Dwarf Suite, op.11, c1915; A la Chinoise, op.39, c1918; Poems of 1917, op.41, 1918 [after W. Frank]; Serenade, op.5 nos.1–2, 1918A la Mexicana, op.35, c1920; Arabesques, op.42, c1920; 6 Watercolors, op.80, c1921; 2 Improvisations, pf 4 hands, op.95, 1921; Nocturnes nos.1–2, c1922; Sonata no.4, c1924; 2 Lyric Pieces, c1924; 15 Waltzes and 42 numbered pieces, 1950–72; Tarantelle diabolique, 1960; 5 Intermezzi, 1965–8; 3 Landscapes, 1968; A Morning in the Woods, 1971; Some New York Scenes, 1971; Biography in Sonata Form, 1974; Burlesca, 1976Impromptu no.1 (Epitaph), no.2 (A Bit of Nostalgia), 1976; A Dream almost Forgotten, 1978; An Autumn Fantasy, 1978; Barbaro, 1978; 5 pieces, 1978; Just a Fun Piece, 1978; The Recruit and the Bugler, 1978; A Small Carnival, 1978; Valse diabolique, 1978; A Reverie, 1979; Chromatic Dance, 1980; Sonata no.6, c1981; The Deserted Garden, 1981; 2 Legends, 1982, Sonata no.7, 1988; Sonata no.8, 1990; Works for children


Songs (1v, pf): 3 Songs, op.33, c1915; Mother o'mine (R. Kipling), c1916; There was a Jolly Miller Once, c1916; The Corpse, 1917; Two Oriental Songs (F. Martens), c1918; 5 songs (W. Frank), op.17, c1928, arr. 1v, orch, c1929 [untitled]; 4 songs without words, 1928 [untitled]; LullabyChoral: 3 Russian Choruses, SATB, op.61, 1918; America [various arrs.]


Principal publishers: Joshua, Poon Hill Press



C. Van Vechten: ‘Leo Ornstein’, Music and Bad Manners (New York, 1916), 229–43

C.L. Buchanan: ‘Ornstein and Modern Music’, MQ, iv (1918), 174–83

F. Martens: Leo Ornstein: the Man, his Ideas, his Work (New York, 1918/R)

L. Ornstein: ‘The Trend of Ultra-Modern Composition’, Musical Observer, xxi (1922), 54–5

V. Perlis: ‘The Futurist Music of Leo Ornstein’, Notes, xxxi (1974–5), 735–50

T.E. Darter jr: The Futurist Piano Music of Leo Ornstein (diss., Cornell U., 1979)

C.J. Oja: ‘Leo Ornstein: “Wild Man” of the 1910s’, Making Music Modern: New York in the 1920s (New York, forthcoming)


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