1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Agricola, Martin

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AGRICOLA, MARTIN (c. 1500-1556), German musician, was born about 1500 in Lower Silesia. His German name was Sohr or Sore. From 1524 till his death he lived at Magdeburg, where he occupied the post of teacher or cantor in the Protestant school. The senator and music-printer Rhau, of Wittenberg, was a close friend of Agricola, whose theoretical works, providing valuable material concerning the change from the old to the new system of notation, he published. Agricola was also the first to harmonize in four parts Luther's chorale, Ein' feste Burg.

Four other Agricolas[1] are known as composers between the end of the 15th century and the middle of the 17th.

In the 18th century we find Burney, in the course of his tour in Germany (1772), much impressed by Johann Friedrich Agricola (1720-1774), court composer and director of the royal chapel to Frederick the Great. This Agricola was a pupil of Bach, and a fine organist and clever writer on music, especially on operatic style, the problems of which were beginning to be raised by French writers-and composers in preparation for the work of Gluck.

  1. Alexander, died 1506; Johann, flor. 1600; Wolfgang Christoph, flor. 1630; and George Ludwig, 1643–1676