Vicente Lusitano

(fl. 1550-60)

Theorist and composer. His career as a performer began in his native Portugal but by 1550 had led him to the papal choir. His few motets and one madrigal, published in Italy, are far overshadowed in importance by his theoretical work, especially the ideas he successfully espoused in a debate in Rome in 1551 with the more radical Nicola Vicentino over the role of the diatonic, chromatic, and enharmonic genera in music of the mid-16th century. These ideas appear in his brief Introdutione facilissima et novissima de canto ferma (Rome, 1553; later editions, Venice, 1558 and 1561), which also covers rudiments of music and, particularly, improvised counterpoint.

IVF: Palestrina and his School