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Article

Albert T. Luper

revised by Manuel Pedro Ferreira

(fl 1440–71). Portuguese court musician. He was a singer in the royal chapel sometime between 1440 and 1446. A letter of 1452 identifies him as mestre de capela of Afonso V. At an uncertain date, but certainly before 1461, King Afonso V (ruled 1446–81) sent him to England to obtain the Chapel Ordinance in use at the court of Henry VI, to serve as a model for the Portuguese court; this document, the most detailed surviving account of any medieval royal chapel, is still in the Biblioteca Pública in Évora under the title Forma siue ordinaçõ capelle illustrissimi et xtianissimi principis Henrici sexti Regis Anglie et ffrancie ac dni hibernie, descripta Serenissimo principi Alfonso Regi Portuigalie illustri, per humilem servitore[m] suu[m], Willi'u Say, Decanu[m] capelle supradicte (William Say was dean of the royal chapel between 1449 and 1468...

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Article

Isabel Pope

revised by Tess Knighton

(fl1482). Iberian composer. He was a singer in the Aragonese royal chapel of Ferdinand V over a period of almost 30 years, from 1482 until 1510. He was presented to various ecclesiastical benefices under royal patronage and held, presumably by proxy, the position of head chaplain of the Dominican monastery in Madrid until 1505.

He was also closely associated with Segovia Cathedral for the best part of his life, being appointed chapel master there from 1 October 1504. For some years he held both positions, but this must have proved incompatible for in the autumn of 1507 he was suspended from his post as chapel master for an unspecified breach of the rules and replaced by Francisco de San Juan. He remained a member of the chapter, however, and was much involved in cathedral business during long periods of absence from the royal chapel during the period ...

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William F. Prizer

[Senese, Ser Ansano di Goro, Sano di Goro]

(b c1470; d 1524). Sienese composer, singer and priest. Ansanus can now be identified as Sano di Goro, the son of a Sienese wool shearer, who is first recorded as a clerk in the cathedral of Siena in March 1484. He joined the chapel as a chorister in 1485, and was ordained in 1500, by which time he was an adult singer. He was dismissed from the choir in 1507 after having written a bitter letter complaining about his treatment by the Opera of the cathedral. He returned to the cathedral's services, at least temporarily, from April 1511 to March 1512. In April 1515 he is again listed as a singer there, and thereafter was more or less permanently employed in the choir until February 1524, serving as maestro di cappella in 1517 and again from 1520 to 1524. He died at the end of 1524.

The sole source of his music is the ...

Article

(b c1480–88; d after 1558). South Netherlandish composer and singer. The earliest known archival documents mention him in 1518 as a singer and in 1519 as the choirmaster at St Jacob in Bruges. After 1519, contemporary publications by Attaingnant and Moderne are the only source of evidence of his activity until February 1536, when he became a singer in Mary of Hungary's chapel choir in Brussels. Soon afterwards, in October 1537, he succeeded Jehan Gossins (who had died earlier that year) as master of the choirboys. In this function, which was indistinguishable from that of maître de la chapelle, Appenzeller served more than 15 years, composing many works for the Brussels chapel. The composer is last mentioned in Mary of Hungary's service in December 1551 in a list of chapel members who accompanied Mary to Augsburg and Munich. It would seem, however, that he continued to serve her until she relinquished her position in ...

Article

Joshua Rifkin

revised by Richard Sherr

[Hottinet], Houtinet, Hutinet, Jehan, Jean]

(b ?Montigny-le-Roi; fl 1510–23). French composer and singer. Under the name of ‘Jehan Barat’ he was an haut-contre at the Ste Chapelle, Paris, in 1510–12. As ‘Jean Barat dit Hottinet’ he was maître de chapelle of Langres Cathedral from 1512 to at least July 1514, and as ‘Hanotin Barra’ he returned to the Ste Chapelle in October 1523. In musical sources he is always ‘Hotinet’ or ‘Hotinet Barra’. Although some of his music is preserved in Italian sources, there is no reason to suppose he travelled to Italy. He must not be confused with Johannes Lomont [Zanin Lumon], called ‘Ottinet’, a singer from the diocese of Cambrai and member of the ducal chapel in Milan from 1473 until his death in 1493, who applied unsuccessfully for a transfer to the ducal chapel of Ferrara in 1479 and was provost of St Géry, Cambrai, from 1480 to 1489–91, residing there briefly in ...

Article

Christoph Petzsch

revised by Martin Kirnbauer

(b Sülzbach, nr Weinsberg, Württemberg, 1420; d Sülzbach, 1472–9). German poet and Meistersinger. After training under his father, a weaver, he entered the service of the imperial chamberlain, Konrad von Weinsberg, as a singer (‘fürtreter’) in the 1440s. He named as his models Muskatblüt, whom he probably met in Konrad's household, and Heinrich von Mügeln. He performed his own songs mostly at royal and noble households in southern Germany in which he was employed: the court of Albrecht Achilles, Margrave of Brandenburg, in Ansbach (1449–53, interrupted by a Scandinavian journey that took him to Copenhagen and Trondheim); the Bavarian court in Munich (1453–4); the court of King Ladislaus of Bohemia in Prague and Vienna (1455–7); in Austria, for Duke Albrecht VI (1454, 1458) and at the court of the Emperor Frederick III in Vienna (1459–65); and finally the court of the Elector Palatine Frederick I (...

Article

Benoit  

Pamela F. Starr

[Benedictus SiredeBenoctus de FranciaBenenoitBenedette di Giov. dito BenoitBenotto di GiovanniBenottus de Ferraria]

(fl 1436–55). French singer and composer. He was probably from the archdiocese of Sens in Haute-Bourgogne. His works appear in 15th-century musical sources under the name Benoit, but an authoritative papal document identifies him as Benedictus Sirede. He is first documented in 1436–7, as a singer for the confraternity of Orsanmichele in Florence. In 1438 he was recruited in Ferrara by Lorenzo de' Medici for the cathedral and baptistry choir of Florence, becoming choirmaster in 1439. He resigned from this position on 23 January 1448. From 1448 to 1450 he served in the chapel of Leonello d'Este in Ferrara; he was also a member of the papal chapel from December 1447 to February 1448, and again from January 1451 to October 1455.

Six works by Benoit survive, probably composed in the 1430s and 40s. All are in manuscripts copied in northern Italy during this period: I-Bc Q15, MOe...

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Article

[da Asti]

(b Asti, c. 1480; d before 1525). Soprano singer and composer, active in Italy. He was one of the most famous singers of his time; Castiglione described his manner of singing as one that was ‘so skilled, quick, vehement, impassioned, and has such various melodies that the spirits of his listeners are stirred and are so entranced that they seem to be uplifted to heaven’. Similar encomia can be found in other writings. A member of the Savoy chapel from 1500 to 1502, he was recruited to join the Ferrarese chapel in 1502 and stayed in Ferrara until he was lured to Rome by Leo X in 1516. He was first employed by the pope in some sort of private capacity, but had become a member of the papal chapel by 1519. He was not altogether happy in Rome, however, and made an attempt in 1517 to return to Ferrarese service which was rebuffed. He must have died before ...

Article

Joshua Rifkin

revised by David Fallows

(b Picardy; fl late 15th century). French singer and composer. It is just possible that he is identifiable with the ‘Pierre Donnell’ or ‘Donelli’ reported at the court of King René of Anjou from 1462 to 1472 and again in 1479. But he certainly worked at the court of Savoy in 1488–9 and at both the cathedral and the convent church of the SS Annunziata in Florence in 1490–91 and 1492–3; later in the decade – perhaps from 1496 to 1499 – he sang in the chapel of Anne of Brittany, Queen of France. He had probably worked at the French court before, for he copied one of his chansons, Qu’en dictez vous, and added attributions for three others in I-Fr 2794, a manuscript almost certainly written at the court during the 1480s. In this source as elsewhere his works appear under his first name alone, which has led some writers to ascribe them to Pierre de La Rue or to Guillaume Pietrequin, a musician by whom no compositions survive....

Article

Lewis Lockwood

revised by John T. Brobeck

[‘Lourdault’]

(d shortly before Jan 22, 1512). French singer and composer. Several musicians were known by this sobriquet. Braconnier ‘dit Lourdault’ was a member of three important musical establishments of the late 15th and early 16th century. He entered the service of Duke René II of Lorraine no later than 1478, and was paid as a singer and canon of the ducal chapel of St Georges, Nancy, between 1485 and 1506. His service to René was not continuous, however, for in 1496 he was employed as a ténoriste in the chapel of Archduke Philip the Fair of Burgundy, whom he accompanied on his voyages to Spain in 1501 and 1506. By April 1507, after Philip’s death, Braconnier had joined the entourage of King Louis XII of France, who then was campaigning in northern Italy. French and papal documents from 1510–12 identify Braconnier as a singer and chaplain of the French royal chapel. He obtained numerous ecclesiastical benefices both in France and in the Low Countries, and his date of death may be estimated from records pertaining to the benefices left vacant by his demise....

Article

(b ?Lowaige [now Lauw], Belgium, c1400–05; d before Oct 22, 1455). South Netherlandish composer and singer. The fact that he celebrated his first mass as a priest in 1426 suggests a date of birth of about 1400–05, while the designation ‘de Ludo’ sometimes appended to his name is thought to indicate that he was born in the village of Lowaige in the province of Limburg. Throughout his career he had close ties with Liège, where he held benefices at several churches. His earliest and most important connections were with the church of St Jean l'Evangeliste (from c1422) and the cathedral of St Lambert (from 1428), at each of which he for a time held the post of succentor. His associations with both institutions continued into the 1430s, and several of his motets were apparently composed for them. He visited Rome in the mid-1420s, and in ...

Article

Lewis Lockwood

revised by David M. Kidger

(fl late 15th century; d before Feb 12, 1479). French singer and composer, active in Italy. In November 1471 he was listed under the name ‘fra Zoane de Franza cantadore’ among the first singers hired by Duke Ercole I d’Este of Ferrara for his newly founded court chapel. In the following year he is listed in court records as ‘fra Zoanne Biribis, maestro de cappella’. In 1473 Johannes Martini joined the Ferrarese chapel and took over the position of cantadore from Brebis. It is known that in 1472 Brebis was in debt to the Ferrara court exchequer, and that in 1475 a debt of this kind was partly cancelled through the intervention of Duke Ercole. He remained in service at the court until 1478, in which year Ercole made him archpriest of the parish church of Coccanile, in the Ferrarese contado. A notarial document of 12 February 1479...

Article

David Fallows

[Breeu, Brawe] [Constans de Languebroek, Constans de Trecht]

(d 1481). Franco-Flemish singer and composer. He was chaplain in the Burgundian court chapel from December 1442 to 1479, and he also held a prebend ‘pro nobili’ at Cambrai Cathedral from 5 November 1451 to 17 November 1452 ( F-CA 1046, f.143v–144). In the 1460s he was listed as a member of the confraternity of St Jacques-sur-Coudenberghe at Brussels as ‘her Constans de senghere’ (see Pinchart). His nephew, Johannes Bouvart ‘de Tricht’ or ‘de Mastricht’, was in the Burgundian chapel from 1453 to 1476. (Languebroek, then, may have been north of Maastricht where a Langbroekbeek still exists, although Marix, 1939, suggested it was Langeboeken near Ghent.)

From November 1456 to December 1457 Hayne van Ghizeghem, a young boy and a protégé of the future Charles the Bold, was lodged at the home of Constans. The account books for subsequent years are lost, but Hayne may well have remained there and received his initial musical training from Constans. The two three-part textless pieces in ...

Article

(b ?Noyon; d after 1521). French singer and composer. He described himself in an unpublished document (I-Rvat Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Registra supplicationum 1425, ff.24v–25r) as a cleric of the diocese of Noyon and as the illegitimate son of a priest and a single woman. As he is identified as a cleric of Noyon in other documents, he would appear to have been French, even though he once received a dispensation from Pope Leo X allowing him to take possession of benefices in Geneva and Lyons without being able to speak the language common in those dioceses (but as Bragard has pointed out, this may not have been the same French that was spoken in northern France). This would make it unlikely that he is the Antonio de Bruges who was a cantor da camera in the Milanese court in 1474. For a few months in ...

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[de Bruzellis, del Chitarino ]

(b Ferrara, ?1417; d Ferrara, Sept 20, 1497). Italian lutenist and singer , one of the most important musicians in Italy in the 15th century. He spent most of his career at the Este court in Ferrara, with periods of service at Milan, Naples, Mantua and the Hungarian court. He is first documented in 1441 as a member of the household of Leonello d'Este, marquis of Ferrara, who gave him the considerable sum of 20 gold ducats (the same amount Du Fay had received in 1437). His reputation grew during his service with Leonello in the 1440s and his successor Borso d'Este in the 1450s and 1460s, by which time he was reported to be earning 1000 ducats a year (chiefly in gifts). The first of several portrait medals of him was struck in 1447. He was in close contact with Francesco Sforza, duke of Milan, in the mid-1450s and early 1460s, visiting Milan in ...

Article

[Antonius]

(b c1430; d shortly before Nov 6, 1492). French composer, singer and poet. He was the most prolific French composer of songs between Guillaume Du Fay and Claudin de Sermisy, and was widely acknowledged, along with Johannes Ockeghem, among the most outstanding composers of the second half of the 15th century.

The place and date of Busnoys' birth are unknown. In all likelihood he hailed from the tiny village of Busnes near Béthune (Pas-de-Calais) in the province of Artois. He could conceivably have been related to ‘Messire et maître Philippe de Busnes’, recorded as priest, dean and canon of Notre-Dame, Lens (about 30 km from Busnes), in 1499, a descendant of the noble counts of Busnes. Nothing is known of his early musical training, though he surely attended an ecclesiastical choir school, as did most late-medieval singers, probably in northern or central France.

Literary, musical and other circumstantial evidence points to Busnoys' activity in aristocratic circles surrounding the French royal court in the Loire valley by the 1450s, if not earlier. The recent re-attribution to Busnoys of the motet-chanson ...

Article

William F. Prizer

[MarcoMarcusMarchettus]

(b Verona, c1465; d Mantua, 1525). Italian composer, singer and lutenist. With Bartolomeo Tromboncino he was one of the two most important composers of frottolas in the early 16th century. During his career he was the central figure in music at the Mantuan court, establishing the way for such composers as Jacquet of Mantua, Giaches de Wert and, eventually, Claudio Monteverdi.

Cara was born in Verona, the son of Antonio and Domenica Cara. His father was a tailor and barber. Cara trained as a cleric, almost assuredly at the Scuola degli Accoliti in his native city. He was already in Mantua in the service of the Gonzaga court by 1494; in 1497, he was apparently lent to Cardinal Giovanni Colonna when he was listed as ‘familiaris’ of the cardinal. In this year, too, he gave up the cloth and renounced his benefices to his younger brother Benedetto (...

Article

Cardot  

Tom R. Ward

[Richard de Bellengues]

(b Rouen, c1380; d Brussels, Feb 25, 1470). French singer and composer. He was a priest, and appears as a singer in the Burgundian chapel between 1415 and 1419. He was in the Papal Chapel from 1422 to 1425. In 1422 he received a canonry in Notre Dame in Ligny and also became rector of St Willibrodus, near Antwerp. He later held ecclesiastical offices in Beauvais, Picquigny and possibly Rouen. By 1430 he may again have been active at the Burgundian court since his name appears in the list of singers in Binchois’ motet Nove cantum melodie, composed in Burgundy in that year. His name is found in the lists of singers from 1434 to 1464. He died in Brussels and was interred in Ste Gudule. His motto ‘Fais tout ce que tu vouldras/Avoir faist quand tu mourras’ served as his epitaph. His single surviving work is a rondeau for three voices ...