Marchettus of Padua


Early Fourteenth Century theorist, who made praiseworthy efforts to enlarge and simplify the means of musical expression. Nothing is known of his life except that he was at one time employed by Rainier, the Prince of Monaco. His two great works, Lucidarium in arte musica planae, and Pomerium artis musicae miserabilis, may have been written at Verona and Cesena. Manuscripts of them at Milan and Rome indicate that the works date from 1274 to 1283, but their dedications lead to the belief that they did not appear until later than 1309. The Lucidarium is interesting for its peculiar system of chromaticism, and the Pomerium as showing the change from the French to the Italian form of notation. The writer realized that improvement was necessary in writing the notes of small value, but his solution of this and other theoretical problems which he studied lacked the simplicity necessary for success.