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Walter Odington



An English Benedictine, also known as WALTER OF EVESHAM, by some writers confounded with WALTER OF EYNSHAM, who lived about fifty years earlier, died not earlier than 1330. During the first part of his religious life he was stationed at Evesham and later removed to Oxford, where he was engaged in astronomical and mathematical work as early as 1316. He wrote chiefly on scientific subjects; his most valuable work "De Speculatione Musices" was first published in complete form in Coussemaker's "Scriptores"; other works are in manuscript only. This treatise, written at Evesham and therefore certainly before 1316, according to Riemann before 1300, is a remarkable work in which the author gathered together practically all the knowledge of the theory of music possessed at his time and added some theoretical considerations of his own. A discussion of his work is given by Riemann, who claims for him the distinction of having, before the close of the thirteenth century, established on theoretical grounds the consonance of minor and major thirds. Davey enumerates the following works: "De Speculatione Musices"; "Ycocedron", a treatise on alchemy; "Declaratio motus octavæ spheræ"; "Tractatus de multiplicatione specierum in visu secundum omnem modum"; "Ars metrica Walteri de Evesham"; "Liber quintus geometriæ per numeros loco quantitatum"; "Calendar for Evesham Abbey".

DAVEY, History of English Music (London, 1895); IDEM in Dict. Nat. Biog., s. v. Walter of Evesham; COUSSEMAKER, Scriptorum de Musica Medii Ævi nova series, I (Paris, 1864); RIEMANN, Geschichte der Musiktheorie (Leipzig, 1898).

Edward C. Phillips.








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