Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Ludovico Zacconi

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Musical theorist, born at Pesaro about 1550; died at Venice, after 1623. He became an Augustinian friar at Venice, where he was ordained priest. In 1585 we find him as maestro di capella at the Augustinian church in Venice; and in 1592 he was attached to the chapel of Wilhelm, Duke of Bavaria. In 1596 he was Kapellmeister to the Archduke Charles at Vienna, but in 1618 he returned to Venice. Zacconi's fame rests on his great work "Prattica di Musica", first published in 1592 at Venice, of which a second volume appeared in 1619. These two volumes — containing four works — treat exhaustively of musical theory, and are copiously illustrated. The directions for rendering polyphonic music are of the highest value, especially the Palestrina illustrations. He deals fully with the six Authentic and six Plagal Modes, studiously omitting the Locorian and Hypolocrian Modes. But he also treats of orchestral instruments — their compass and method of playing — and gives valuable information as to the scoring of early operas and oratorios. In fact he covers the whole ground of music, as practised at the close of the sixteenth century.

BURNEY, Gen. Hist. of Music (London, 1776-89); GROVE, Dict. Of Music and Musicians, V (London, 1910), s.v.

W. H. Grattan-Flood.