Power, Lionel (DNB00)

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POWER, LIONEL (fl. 1450?), composer and writer on musical theory, is mentioned among fourteenth and fifteenth century composers by John Hothby [q. v.], in his ‘Dialogus in Arte Musica,’ a manuscript preserved in Florence, and quoted by Morelot and incorrectly by Coussemaker, who read ‘Iconal’ for ‘Leonel.’ Among the curious manuscripts in the volume once belonging to the monastery of the Holy Cross, Waltham, and now in the British Museum (Lansdowne MS. 763), is a tract on musical theory, entitled ‘Lionel Power of the Cordis of Musike.’ This work contains the rudiments of extempore descant, and thereby furnishes evidence of the existence of such a practice in early times. It describes the laws of harmonical combination adapted to the state of music as far back as the reign of Henry IV (Hawkins, History of Music, 2nd edit. i. 248, 255). Both Burney and Hawkins give extracts from Power's manuscript.

Of manuscript music by Power there are in the ‘Liceo Filarmonico’ of Bologna, Codex 37: 1. ‘Salve Regina;’ 2. ‘Alma Redemptoris;’ and 3. ‘Ave Regina.’ They are respectively signed ‘Leonell Polbero,’ ‘Leonelle,’ and ‘Leonel’ (Ambros). Several pieces by Leonell Anglicus are preserved in Codices 87 and 90 of the cathedral chapter-books of Trent, and a ‘Kyrie eleison’ by Power appears on a flyleaf of a Sarum gradual in Brit. Museum Lansdowne MS. 462, fol. 152. Other music by him is in the Este Library in Modena.

[Authorities cited; MS. Magliabecchia, No. xix. 36; Haberl's Bausteine für Musikgeschichte, i. 89, 93; information from Mr. Davey.]

L. M. M.