1911 Encyclop%C3%A6dia Britannica/Hucbald
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1911 Encyclop%C3%A6dia Britannica/Hucbald

HUCBALD (Hugbaldus, Hubaldus), Benedictine monk, and writer on music, was born at the monastery of Saint Amand near Tournai, in or about 840, if we may believe the statement of his biographers to the effect that he died in 930, aged 90. He studied at the monastery, where his uncle Milo occupied an important position. Hucbald made rapid progress in the acquirement of various sciences and arts, including that of music, and at an early age composed a hymn in honour of St Andrew, which met with such success as to excite the jealousy of his uncle. It is said that Hucbald in consequence was compelled to leave St Amand, and started an independent school of music and other arts at Nevers. In 860, however, he was at St Germain d'Auxerre, bent upon completing his studies, and in 872 he was back again at St Amand as the successor in the headmastership of the convent school of his uncle, to whom he had been reconciled in the meantime. Between 883 and 900 Hucbald went on several missions of reforming and reconstructing various schools of music, including that of Rheims, but in the latter year he returned to St Amand, where he remained to the day of his death on the 25th of June 930, or, according to other chroniclers, on the 20th of June 932. The only work which can positively be ascribed to him is his Harmonica Institutio. The Musica Enchiriadis, published with other writings of minor importance in Gerbert's Scriptores de Musica, and containing a complete system of musical science as well as instructions regarding notation, has now been proved to have originated about half a century later than the death of the monk Hucbald, and to have been the work of an unknown writer belonging to the close of the 10th century and possibly also bearing the name of Hucbald. This work is celebrated chiefly for an essay on a new form of notation described in the present day as Dasia Notation. The author of the Harmonica Institutio wrote numerous lives of the saints and a curious poem on bald men, dedicated to Charles the Bald.

Authorities.--Sir John Hawkins, General History of the Science and Practice of Music (i. 153); Histoire littéraire de la France (vi. 216 et seq.); Coussemaker, Mémoire sur Hucbald (Paris, 1841); Hans Müller, Hucbald's echte und unechte Schriften über Musik (Leipzig, 1884); Spitta, Die Musica Enchiriadis und seine Zeitalter (Vierteljahresschrift für Musikwissenschaft, 1889, 5th year).

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