Franchino [Franchinus] Gafori [Gaffurius, Gafurio, Gaforio]

(1451 - 1522)

Italian theorist, composer and humanist. His most notable work, Practica musicae (Milan, 1496), contains rules of counterpoint, a theory of mensural proportions, and a statement about the semibreve being equivalent to the 'pulse beat of a quietly breathing man'. He was recognized by contemporaries as one of the foremost musicians of his era. He was active in many Italian cities from 1473, notably Naples and Milan (where he was maestro di capella of the cathedral from 1484, and had an extensive knowledge of the music written in his time, and many composers and theorists, including Tinctoris. He himself composed mainly Masses and motets, and some madrigals. In addition to Practica musicae, his writings include Theorica musicae (Milan, 1492), and De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum (Milan 1518); his treatises together cover all aspects of speculative and practical theory.

IVO: Sacred Music in the Italian Cinquecento outside Venice and Rome