Sala, Niccolo



Renowned Italian composer and theorist of the Neapolitan School, who was born near Naples and lived to be nearly one hundred. He studied in Naples at the Conservatory of La Pieta de' Turchini, where his teachers were Abos and Leo. He is supposed to have been a pupil of the celebrated Alessandro Scarlatti. In 1787 Sala became director of the Conservatory, and is said to have taught in it for over sixty years continuously. Authorities differ as to his work as a composer. Some assert that he wrote nothing except his stupendous work on harmony and fugue, others attribute to him the authorship of numerous masses, an oratorio, and operas. His Regole del Contrappunto prattico, in three volumes, is a work of great importance in the literature of harmony and fugue. It gave the history of harmony with methodic instruction in the composition of fugues, and canons, with the masterpieces of the Neapolitan school classified and preserved. It was printed and published at Naples in 1794 at the expense of the King of Naples, but the plates were unfortunately destroyed, according to some authorities, during the revolution at Naples in 1799. It was eight years later reproduced by M. Choron, who owned an original copy. Some writers, however, assert, that the plates were only lost and were afterwards discovered and that both editions, that of Sala and of Choron are in the Library of the Sacred Harmonic Society.