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Robert Falck

[Adan de la Hale, Adan le Bossu, Adan le Boscu d’Arras, Adan d’Arras]

(b Arras, 1245–50; d Naples, 1285–8, or England, after 1306). French trouvère. His musical and literary works encompass virtually every genre current in the late 13th century. He is one of the few medieval musicians to be credited with both monophonic and polyphonic music.

Apart from his own works, there is little other documentary evidence for a biography of Adam de la Halle. It seems certain that he was born in Arras, as his name sometimes appears as Adam d’Arras, or, in one source, Adam le Boscu d’Arras – forms that were probably used when he was a student in Paris. Tax records show that there was a ‘Maison d’Adam d’Arras’ there in 1282, although it is unlikely that he was living in it at that time. The most common form of his name is Adan le Bossu (the hunchback), a name which his family apparently adopted to distinguish themselves from the other ‘Hale’ families in Arras. In the ...