Nicola Sala (7 April 1713 – 31 August 1801) was an Italian composer and music theorist. He was born in Tocco Caudio and died in Naples. He was chapel-master and professor at Naples, having devoted himself to the collection of the finest models of printed music.[1]

Nicola Sala


Sala studied music in Naples at Conservatorio della Pietà dei Turchini from 1732 to 1740 under Nicola Fago and Leonardo Leo. Some of his pupils were Carlo Lenzi, Giuseppe Gherardeschi, Benedetto Neri, Étienne-Joseph Floquet, Adalbert Gyrowetz, Louis Julien Casels de Labarre, Ercole Paganini, Gaspare Spontini, and many others.

He probably wrote his first composition, the opera Vologeso, staged first in Rome, in 1737. In 1745 he was accepted as successor to Leo in the position of master of the royal chapel. In the sixties represented some of his works at the Teatro di San Carlo, including the drama Zenobia, composed by his pupil Ambrogio Minoja, was well received. In 1787 he became second master of the Pieta Turchini, where he stayed for 47 years as teacher and director of the conservatory.

He was one of the most important Neapolitan teachers, having taught many musical composers. He wrote several pedagogical treatises, including Regole del contrappunto pratico, published in Naples in 1794. He also wrote several operas, oratorios, masses and cantatas. His music was recently rediscovered by the Conservatory of Benevento, which has headed the institution and the local association Eufoniarché, producing his operas and oratorios each year with the help of palaeographers and Latin scholars of the University of Naples, Rome and Paris.

The well-regarded state-funded music conservatory Conservatorio Statale di Musica Nicola Sala in Benevento near Naples is named for him.[2]

Selected worksEdit


Other musical worksEdit

Theoretical worksEdit

  • Regole del contrappunto pratico (1794, Naples)
  • Principi di contrappunto
  • Elementi per ben suonare il cembalo
  • Disposizione a tre per introduzione alle fughe di tre parti
  • Il modo di disporre a tre sopra la scala diatonica
  • Disposizioni imitate a soggetto e contrasoggetto
  • Fughe con soggetto e contrasoggetto a suono plagale


  • Peter van Tour: Counterpoint and Partimento: Methods of Teaching Composition in Late Eighteenth-Century Naples. 2015. 318p. (Studia musicologica Upsaliensia, 0081-6744 ; 25) ISBN 978-91-554-9197-0, chapter 6.2: "The Teaching of Nicola Sala" [1].
  • Peter van Tour (ed.), The 189 Partimenti of Nicola Sala: Complete Edition with Critical Commentary (Three volumes, 415 pp. Two printed volumes [352 pp.], the third volume is the Critical Commentary [63 pp.]). Edited by Peter van Tour. (Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Studia Musicologica Upsaliensia. Nova Series 27a–c, 2017). [2].
  1. ^ Urban, Sylvanus (1835). The gentleman's magazine, Vol. 3. W. Pickering. p. 216.
  2. ^ "Home Page - Conservatorio Statale di Musica di Benevento".
  • This article is based on the translation of the corresponding article of the Italian Wikipedia. A list of contributors can be found there at the History section.