Antonio Squarcialupi
Antonio Squarcialupi was an Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ. An organist may play solo organ works, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers or instrumental soloists...

 and composer. He was the most famous organist in Italy in the mid-15th century.


He was born in Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 to a butcher with the family name of Giovanni; however he took the name of Squarcialupi, a well-known family from Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

, by mid-century, possibly to disguise his less than aristocratic origins. Most of his early life must have been spent in Florence, and he likely studied with both organist Giovanni Mazzuoli
Giovanni Mazzuoli
Giovanni Mazzuoli was an Italian composer and organist of the late medieval and early Renaissance eras....

 (also called Jovannes de Florentia, who was a pupil of Francesco Landini
Francesco Landini
Francesco degli Organi, Francesco il Cieco, or Francesco da Firenze, called by later generations Francesco Landini or Landino was an Italian composer, organist, singer, poet and instrument maker...

), as well as Matteo di Pagolo da Prato.

He acquired the post of organist at the Orsanmichele
Orsanmichele is a church in the Italian city of Florence...

 in Florence in 1431, but only remained there for two years, moving instead to the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Santa Maria del Fiore
The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral church of Florence, Italy. The Duomo, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi...

, at which post he remained for the rest of his life. He has been honored with a bust in this church.

Music and influence

Squarcialupi was part of the court of Lorenzo de' Medici
Lorenzo de' Medici
Lorenzo de' Medici was an Italian statesman and de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic during the Italian Renaissance. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent by contemporary Florentines, he was a diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists and poets...

, and was also a colleague of Guillaume Dufay
Guillaume Dufay
Guillaume Dufay was a Franco-Flemish composer of the early Renaissance. As the central figure in the Burgundian School, he was the most famous and influential composer in Europe in the mid-15th century.-Early life:From the evidence of his will, he was probably born in Beersel, in the vicinity of...

; there are numerous laudatory references to him in the middle of the 15th century, some, for instance that of diarist Luca Landucci
Luca Landucci
Luca Landucci was an Italian apothecary from Florence, best known as the writer of a diary which later became an important primary source about the history of Florence....

, comparing him in stature to figures such as the sculptor Donatello
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...

. Evidently he was quite close to Lorenzo, and this is mentioned in his epitaph in Florence Cathedral.

None of his music has survived. His principal fame in music history, aside from his fame as an organist, is to have given his name to the splendid Squarcialupi Codex
Squarcialupi Codex
The Squarcialupi Codex is an illuminated manuscript compiled in Florence, Italy in the early 15th century...

, a document he owned (but did not compile), and which is the richest source of music from Italy of the 14th century.
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