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Martin Agricola

See Agricola for several other people of the same name.

Martin Agricola (6 January 1486 – 10 June 1556) was a German composer of Renaissance music and a music theorist.[1][a]


Agricola was born in Schwiebus in Lebusz.

From 1524 until his death he lived at Magdeburg, where he occupied the post of teacher or cantor in the Protestant school. The senator and music-printer Georg Rhau, of Wittenberg, was a close friend of Agricola, whose theoretical works, providing valuable material concerning the change from the old to the new system of notation, he published.[2]

Among Agricola's other theoretical works is Musica instrumentalis deudsch (1528 and 1545), a study of musical instruments, and one of the most important works in early organology; and one of the earliest books on the Rudiments of music.[2]

Agricola was also the first to harmonize in four parts Martin Luther's chorale, Ein feste Burg.[2]


  1. ^ Four other Agricolas (Alexander, died 1506; Johann, flor. 1600; Wolfgang Christoph, flor. 1630; and Georg Ludwig, 1643–1676) are known as composers between the end of the 15th century and the middle of the 17th.
    In the 18th century Charles Burney, in the course of his tour in Germany (1772), was much impressed by Johann Friedrich Agricola (1720–1774), court composer and director of the royal chapel to Frederick the Great (Chisholm 1911).
  1. ^ His German name was Sohr or Sore (Chisholm 1911)
  2. ^ a b c Chisholm 1911.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Agricola, Martin". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Further reading