Biography of Martin Agricola (1486-1556)

Composer and theoretician German, born in Swiebodzin (today Poland) January 6, 1486 and died in Magdeburg (Germany) June 10, 1556.

He was Professor of music in Magdeburg until in 1525, he/she obtained the post of choirmaster of the Protestant School of music from the aforementioned town (Lateinschule), a position he/she would occupy until his death.

The musical work of Martin Agricola was essential for the objectives proposed by Luther in his doctrine (see also Lutheranism). Thanks to its seven treaties, of divulgative character as music instrumentalis deudsch (1529) and music figuralis (1532), written in German and latin, have today a great testimony of instrumental practices of the Lutheran age. Texts were published by Publisher Georg Rhau de Wittenberg, good friend of Agricola, and had to be reissued given its great popularity. His contribution to the musical in German terminology, is also important because it was he/she who began to use concepts such as Stimme ('voice'), which until then had been used in latin (scala and vox) and Leiter ('scale').

As composer wrote several chorales, included in the book Newe deutsche Geistliche Gesenge für die Gemeinen Schulen, edited also by Rhau in 1544 and which includes sacred vocal pieces from different authors. In his theoretical works it also includes musical examples for four voices, adding up to a total of two hundred. He/She also wrote hymns based on texts by Aurelius Prudentius and instrumental works for the use of students of Magdeburg.