Jeronimo / Hieronimo Bassano da Ponte (1480 - 1545) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Bassano del Grappa, Venice, Italy
Death: Died in Venice, Venezia, Veneto, Italy
Managed by: Pam Wilson
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About Jeronimo / Hieronimo Bassano da Ponte

Jeronimo Bassano

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Hieronymous Bassano (1460-1545), musician and instrument maker, was born in Bassano del Grappa, Italy which is located 35 northwest of Venice.

Hieronymous Bassano was the first generation of a family of musicians and instrument makers including himself, his son, Jacomo, and his grandson, Santo Griti. Although later called by the name Bassano after their birthplace, this family was originally known as Pive ("pipe").

In addition to constructing recorders and cornetts, they were among the first to make curtals (bassoni curti or Italian fagotto). Music composed by Jeronimo Bassano is still available today.

It is likely that the bassoni curti were bass reed instruments and a precursor to the bassoon. Hieronymous is credited with the invention of "a new bass wind instrument" by Lorenzo Marucini, a Venetian doctor, who wrote a brief history in 1577 of the town of Bassano del Grappa and its local celebrities.

Over the 1530s five of the six sons of Hieronymous (also "Jeronimo"), emigrated to England to work as musicians in the Court of Henry VIII. They played many instruments including the cornett, sackbutt, and curtal. In order of birth, Jacomo (who traveled to England but eventually returned to Venice), Alvise, Jasper, John, Anthony, and Baptista may have been responsible for introducing the curtal to England.

See some facts at

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Jeronimo Bassano was an Italian musician who is noteworthy for having been head of a family of musicians — Anthony Bassano, Jacomo, Alvise, Jasper, John and Baptista — who moved from Venice to England and the household of Henry VIII to serve the King's court. Jeronimo himself never moved, however, but was listed in Venice as a "Maestro of the trumpets and shawms." It is not known whether he was related to the composer Giovanni Bassano.

Jeronimo was the son of Baptista "Piva" of Bassano del Grappa, a town 35 miles from Venice. Baptista was a musician who played the piva, a small bagpipe. He was the son of Andrea de Crespano who was from the village of Crespano, about nine miles east of Bassano. Andrea, Baptista and Jeronimo were all described as musicians and musical instrument makers.

At the beginning of the 16th century Jeronimo moved from Bassano to Venice where he was described as "Maestro Hieronimo", piffero player to the Doge of Venice between 1506-1512 [1].

The historian A.L. Rowse in his correspondence to The Times in 1973 claimed that the Bassanos were Jewish[2] and Dr. David Lasocki of Indiana University claimed in his 1995 book that the family were converted Jews[3].

However, Giulio M. Ongaro in his "New Documents on the Bassano Family" in Early Music[4] and Alessio Ruffatti (who did research in the archives of Bassano del Grappa assisted by Professor Pier Cesare Ioly Zorattini [5]) both argued that that the Bassanos who moved to England were not of Jewish origin[6]

References

  1. ^ Ruffatti, Alessio (2 December 1998). "La Famiglia Piva-Bassano Nei Document Degli Archevi Di Bassano Del Grappa". Musica e Storia 6 (2). 
  2. ^ "Revealed At Last, Shakespeare's Dark Lady.", The Times January 29, 1973: 12.
  3. ^ Lasocki and Prior, The Bassanos: Venetian Musicians and Instrument Makers in England, 1531-1665, (1995)
  4. ^ Ongaro, Giulio M. (August 1992). "New Documents on the Bassano Family". Early Music 20 (3): pp. 409–13. doi:10.1093/earlyj/XX.3.409. 
  5. ^ Musician-family Bassano Jewish debate, Barbara Lyon Harrison, July 13, 2003
  6. ^ Ruffatti, Alessio. "Italian Musicians at the Tudor Court--Were They Really Jews?" Jewish Historical Studies 35 (1996-1998): 1-14., Jewish Historical Society of England

Retrieved from

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from www.alisabassano.com:

Jeronimo Bassano musician \BJ M.1490-1545

Born: before 1490 Bassano del Grappa, Italy

Died: 1545 Venice, Italy

Spouse: ?? ?? F. -

Jeronimo Bassano was an instrument maker and sackbut player to the Doge of Venice. He made wind instruments.

The village of Bassano del Grappa is roughly 35 miles to the northeast of Venice. The noted artist Jacopo Bassano came from there too.

Jeronimo Bassano was head of the family of musicians who moved to England before 1540. Many believe that the members of this family were originally Jewish and had dark complexions because they had Moorish ancestry. Many researchers believe that this family had come from Spain to Italy. It is believed that Jeronimo Bassano himself remained in Italy when his sons moved to England.

The Italian name Jeronimo is the same as our Geronimo or Jerome. It is the same name as Hieronymous also.

One internet source which is unverified suggests that an older Jeronimo Bassano changed to Christianity before he moved from Spain to Italy. His original name is believed to have been Joshua ben Joseph ibn Vives al-Lorqui and his original Christian name is believed to have been Hieronymus de Santa Fe. While the source indicates that it is certain that this is not the Jeronimo Bassano whose sons moved to England, it may be that that Jeronimo is a descendant of the first.

One source indicates that the father of Jeronimo Bassano may have been named Santo Bassano who may have been born about 1440 in Bassano.

The noted librarian and historian Stephen W. Massil, who is associated with the Jewish Historical Society of England, on 16-OCT-2003 pointed out to the author of this webpage an article by Alessio Ruffati which offers strong evidence that the Bassano family of Italy was not Jewish. This article is listed in the bibliography.

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They had the following children.

Anthony Bassano "Antonio" \BJA M.1511-1574

  • See the chart for his family.
  • Born: before 1511 Bassano Del Grappo, Italy
  • Died: 1574
  • Spouse: Elena De-Nazzi F.1515-
       Married: 10-AUG-1536 Venice, Italy
       Born: before 1515 Venice, Italy
       Father: Beneditto De-Nazzi                   M.    -

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Jacomo Bassano \BJJ M. -1566

       Died: 1566 England

Spouse: Orsetta Griti F. -

       Father: Santo Griti                          M.    -

Jacomo Bassano and his family were in England by 1540.

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Advise Bassano \BJD M. -1554

       Died: 1554 England

Child: Laura Bassano \BJDL F. -

The husband of Laura Bassano was:

Who: Joseph Lupo M. -

The father of Joseph Lupo was:

Who: Ambrose Lupo M. -

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Jasper Bassano \BJS M. -1577

       Died: 1577 England

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John Bassano \BJO M. -1570

       Died: 1570 England

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Baptista Bassano \BJB M. -1576

       See the chart for his family.
       Died: 11-MAY-1576 Bishopsgate, England
       Buried: 11-MAY-1576, Botolph, Bishopsgate, London, England

Spouse: Margaret Johnson F.1545-1587

       Married: They just lived together.
       Born: 1545
       Died: 1587 England
       Buried: 07-JUL-1587, Botolph, Bishopsgate, London, England

Baptista Bassano was "The Queen's Musician". Baptista Bassano was in England by 1540.

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Source: Carol Middleton

  • ****************************

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Jeronimo Bassano I was a wind player and instrument maker who moved from the town of Bassano to Venice, probably around 1500. He seems to have been a Jew, forced out for religious reasons. In Venice he converted to Christianity, or became a nominal Christian, for the sake of obtaining employment and holding property. He may have been the Ser Jheronimo who was a member of the Doge's trombe e piffari around 1510

Jeronimo had six sons, Jacomo, Alvise, Jasper, John, Anthony I and Baptista. All were wind players, and most (or all) of them were also instrument makers. They may have been members of the Doge's trombe e piffari, although that has not been confirmed. Alvise may have visited the Court of Henry VIII in England around 1525. He, Jasper, John and Anthony did go there in 1531, when they became members of the Court sackbut consort for a short time. By 1536, Anthony was back in Venice where he married, then returned to England two years later to take up a position as 'maker of diverse instruments' to the Court. Jacomo came with him, perhaps to help him set up shop; but he never obtained a Court appointment and returned to Venice within a few years.

In 1539 King Henry was keen to attract the other four brothers back to England. Although negotiations for the release with the Venetian authorities broke down, they did leave for England, losing their employment in Venice and risking 'utter banishment'. On 6 April 1540 Henry granted places to 'Alvixus, John, Anthony, Jasper and Baptista de Bassani, brothers in the science or art of music' The considerable risk they undertook and the losses they underwent in going to England strongly suggest that they had religious reasons for doing so.

-------------------- •Occupation: •Note: Head of the family of Italian musicians who moved from Venice to England and the household of Henry VIII, to serve and revitalize the arts of that royal court. •Religion: •Note: It is thought the family was Jewish, but assimilated rapidly when they reached England.

Jeronimo Bassano musician \BJ M.1490-1545

       Born: before 1490 Bassano del Grappa, Italy
       Died: 1545 Venice, Italy

Spouse: ?? ?? F. -

Jeronimo Bassano was an instrument maker and sackbut player to the Doge of Venice. He made wind instruments.

The village of Bassano del Grappa is roughly 35 miles to the northeast of Venice. The noted artist Jacopo Bassano came from there too.

Jeronimo Bassano was head of the family of musicians who moved to England before 1540. Many believe that the members of this family were originally Jewish and had dark complexions because they had Moorish ancestry. Many researchers believe that this family had come from Spain to Italy. It is believed that Jeronimo Bassano himself remained in Italy when his sons moved to England.

The noted librarian and historian Stephen W. Massil, who is associated with the Jewish Historical Society of England, on 16-OCT-2003 pointed out to the author of this webpage an article by Alessio Ruffati which offers strong evidence that the Bassano family of Italy was not Jewish. This article is listed in the bibliography.

The Italian name Jeronimo is the same as our Geronimo or Jerome. It is the same name as Hieronymous also.

Of Marranos and Musicians

Did Jewish 'Ministers of Pastime' shape the music of the Tudor Court?

  What's in a name? Shakespeare may have found little of value, but for historians investigating the music of Tudor England, a handful of names unlocked a secret history at the very root of art music in England.

Roger Prior, a retired lecturer in English Literature at Belfast University, investigated the names of the instrumentalists imported from Italy in the late 1530s by Henry VIII and found that one by one they revealed their bearers to be Jewish.

Some of these Jews - among them the Bassanos, Comys and Lupos - were to found musical dynasties that definitively shaped the English style and dominated the King's music.

This weekend, the English viol consort Fretwork presents a concert dedicated to the music of these Jewish musicians in New York before taking the program on a tour through the United States. Fretwork, one of the premier early music ensembles in Britain, had long been performing music by one of the descendants of the first generation of Italian immigrants without suspecting his identity. "We had been playing Thomas Lupo without knowing where he came from, or what his antecedents were," says Richard Boothby, a founding member.

How these Jewish musicians came to England had always been well documented: in preparation for his fourth marriage, Henry VIII instructed his ambassadors to seek out the best "musicians and other ministers of pastime" throughout Europe and bring them to his court.

An English resident in Venice identified four brothers thought to be among the best musicians in the city and recruited them for the king - against the express wishes of the Venetian government, which refused to grant the Bassano brothers permits to leave the city.

The Bassanos, all wind players, were soon followed by a group of six string players, also from Venice. With first names like Alberto, Vincenzo and Antonio, and family names denominating towns in northern Italy - Bassano, Vicenza and Milan - there was nothing about them identifying them as Jews. But according to Prior, the musicians had one set of names they used in official business, and another set of names which were revealed only in private or at rare documented moments, such as the witnessing of wills.

In these,

  • "John Anthony" became "Anthonius Moyses,"
  • "Peregrine Symonds" became "Simon de Maion" and
  • "Antony Maria" signed as Cuson or Cossin, both variants of the name Gershon.

Another musician, Ambrose of Milan, appeared in one record as "deolmaleyex," which Prior convincingly interprets as an English scribe's awkward attempt to transliterate the name "de Almaliach."

Beyond the Jewish character of these names, the discovery of these "secret" names was significant for the evidence they provided of a Spanish, and in some cases Portuguese, origin of the musicians.

De Almaliach, or Elmaleh, was a well-known Jewish family from pre-expulsion Spain. Two other string players in the King's consort, George and Innocent de Combe, could be traced back to Coimbra in Portugal.

Of course the very fact that the Italian musicians had been active in Venice outside the Ghetto - as the Senate's attempt to keep them in the city suggests - is evidence that they were Marranos who had settled in Venice, living outwardly as Christians.

Their official names, including several Johns and Baptists, confirm this. But the uncovering of the crypto-Jewish identity of the musicians, together with their Iberian roots, allowed Prior to shed light on an episode in Anglo-Jewish history which had long been a riddle.

"Toward the end of 1541, Henry VIII received information that some Portuguese nationals living in London were 'secret Jews,'" recounts Prior. "Normally, so far as one can tell, he would have taken little notice of such an accusation. All his other actions suggest that, if anything, he tended to favor Jews rather than persecute them.

But the circumstances were exceptional. He was anxious at this time to ally himself more closely with the Emperor Charles V, and the prosecution of crypto-Jews was one way of showing himself a true Catholic and a friend of Spain.

Around Christmas time of 1541, these 'certain persons' were imprisoned and their property confiscated." The imperial envoy in London, Eustace Chapuy, reported the arrests to the chief minister in Spain. However, due to pressure from the Emperor's sister, and of the King and Queen of Portugal, Chapuys was forced to retract his accusations and ask Henry VIII to free them again. When they were released, in March 1543, Chapuys wrote in a bitter letter to Madrid: "Most likely, however well they may sing, they will not be able to fly away from their cages without leaving some of their feathers behind." Chapuys seemed to be calling the prisoners songbirds, a metaphor for musicians.

"But," explains Prior, "this interpretation had always come up against the difficulty that no Portuguese or Jewish musicians were known of in Tudor England, and the remark has never been explained.

It is now no longer a problem, for we know that there were musicians in England who were both Portuguese and Jewish." In addition, court records showed that the other Jewish musicians left England abruptly at the time of their colleagues' arrest, and returned only the next summer when the affair had blown over.

The Jewish musicians stayed at the Tudor court, shaping the nature of English music. The appointment of the original six string players from Venice, incidentally, marks the first use of the word "violin" in English, although the terms viol, violin and violon would continue to be used interchangeably to describe the different-sized string instruments of the court band. Its function was essentially as a dance band, according to Boothby, and the rediscovery of some of the earlier viol music in Fretwork's new program brought to the surface the original Italian dance rhythms. "It was a discovery to play some of these more obscure composers. It's very clear, functional dance music," says Boothby of the Pavanes, Courantes, Allemandes and other dances the Jewish musicians brought over to England.

"By the end of the sixteenth century, it becomes much more intricate and arty, more sophisticated, but not as danceable as the music of the original generation. "The Lupo family established themselves as stalwarts of the royal music establishment and stayed there for a century," says Boothby. "They developed what came to be called the English style." In addition, they developed reputations as excellent instrument makers, with the Ashkenazic families specializing in wind instruments, and the Sephardic families in the making of string instruments.

The Bassanos turned out wind instruments that, according to contemporary records, were "so beautiful and good they are suited for dignitaries and potentates." And it was the daughter of one of these, Emilia Bassano, who may have left the greatest mark of all on English culture as Shakespeare's Dark Lady. The inspiration behind his central sonnets, the poet immortalized her beauty, wit and cruelty - but not her name. After all, what's in a name?

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Jeronimo / Hieronimo Bassano da Ponte's Timeline

1480
1480
Bassano del Grappa, Venice, Italy
1511
1511
Age 31
Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza, Veneto
1512
1512
Age 32
Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza, Veneto
1515
1515
Age 35
Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza, Veneto
1517
1517
Age 37
1545
1545
Age 65
Venice, Venezia, Veneto, Italy
????
Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza, Veneto, Italy
????
Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza, Veneto, Italy
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