World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Pietro Aron

Article Id: WHEBN0000738826
Reproduction Date:

Title: Pietro Aron  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tomás de Santa María, Quarter-comma meantone, Gioseffo Zarlino, Musical temperament, 1523 in science
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Pietro Aron

Pietro Aron, also known as Pietro (or Piero) Aaron (ca. 1480 – after 1545), was an Italian music theorist and composer.[1] He was born in Florence and probably died in Bergamo (other sources state Florence or Venice).


  • Biography 1
  • Published works 2
  • References and further reading 3
  • Further reading 4


Very little is known about Aron's early life but at least one source claims he may have been Jewish. (Blackburn 2001). He was educated in Italy. Aron was a self-taught musician. He claimed in his Toscanello in musica (1523) that he had been friends with Obrecht, Josquin, and Heinrich Isaac in Florence If true, the time frame would have been most likely in 1487 (Bergquist 1964, 24). Between 1515 and 1522, he was Church Cantor at the Cathedral of Imola. In 1516 he became a priest there. In February 1523 Aron went to Venice and became cantor of Rimini Cathedral, where he worked for Sebastiano Michiel, who was Grand Prior of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. In 1525, he was "maestro di casa" in a Venetian house. In 1536, after the death of Michiel, he joined a monastery in Bergamo where he remained until death.

Aron's is known for his treatises on the contrapuntal practice of the period. His earliest treatise, De institutione harmonica, is on counterpoint is written in Italian even though most scholarly writings of the time are in Latin In Thoscanello de la musica (later Toscanello in musica) he was the first to observe the change from linear writing to vertical: this was the first period in music history where composers began to become conscious of chords and the flow of harmony. Aron included tables of four-voice chords, the beginning of the trend which was to result in functional tonality in the early 17th century. He also discusses tuning, and the book is the first to describe quarter-comma meantone. Other topics covered by Aron include the use of the eight modes, four-voice cadences, notation of accidentals.

Aron was a friend and frequent correspondent of music theorist Giovanni Spataro. Only Spataro's letters to Aron have survived. Topics discussed by the two include contemporary composers and composition, notation, and especially the use of accidentals.

While Aron was known as a composer and frequently refers to his own works in his writings, only one composition of his survives.

Published works

  • Libri tres de institutione harmonica (Bologna, 1516 ; this edition on Vicifons)
  • Thoscanello de la musica (Venice, 1523; four reprints as Toscanello in musica 1525-1562)
  • Trattato della natura et cognitione di tutti gli tuoni di canto figurato (Venice, 1525; partially reproduced and retranslated into English in 1950 in Otto Strunk's Source Readings in Music History, N.Y.)
  • Lucidario in musica di alcune opinione antiche e moderne (Venice, 1545)
  • Compendiolo di molti dubbi, segreti, et sentenze intorno al canto fermo et figurato (Milan, n.d., probably posthumous, as the title page bears the inscription: "In memoria eterna erit Aron")

References and further reading

  1. ^ Michael Walsh (ed.). Dictionary of Christian Biography. Continuum. p. 1.  
  • Bergquist, Ed Peter, Jr. 1964. "The Theoretical Writings of Pietro Aaron". PhD diss. New York: Columbia University.
  • Blackburn, Bonnie. 2001. "Aaron [Aron], Pietro [Piero]". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.

Further reading

  • Bergquist, Peter. 1967. "Mode and Polyphony around 1500: Theory and Practice". Music Forum 1:99–161.
  • Link, John W., Jr. 1963. Theory and Tuning: Aron's Mean Tone Temperament and Marpurg's Temperament "I". Boston: Tuners Supply Company.
  • Blackburn, Bonnie. n.d. Pietro Aaron, Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed November 12, 2005), (subscription access)
  • Reese, Gustave. 1954. Music in the Renaissance. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. ISBN 0-393-09530-4
  • Slonimsky, Nicolas. 1984. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, seventh edition. New York: Schirmer Books. ISBN 0-02-870270-0.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.