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date: 19 October 2019

Aix-en-Provencelocked

  • Marcel Frémiot

Extract

City in southern France. Strophic songs, ‘planchs de St Estève’, were chanted from the 9th century for the feast of St Stephen in the former cathedral, Notre Dame de la Seds, but the city suffered for a long time from Saracen invasions and was able to resume any artistic activity of note only from the 11th century. The first known maître de musique was Pons (Pontius Grammaticus) who ‘for 40 years taught the tuneful singing of the Psalms of David’ to about 20 churchmen in the second half of the century. The first stone of the cathedral, St Sauveur, was laid in 1060; the building was consecrated in 1103 and in 1115 there were 40 canons and churchmen to sing the Office. No troubadours are known, probably because the princes who owned the town then resided in Barcelona, Toulouse or Aragon rather than in Aix; a palace was built there only in the second half of the 12th century. In the second half of the 13th century the first choir school was established at St Sauveur, with between eight and ten boys. The marriage of Béatrix de Provence and Charles I d’Anjou, who took Adam de la Halle into his service, is the main reason for the Bibliothèque Méjanes in Aix now possessing a fine manuscript of the ...

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The New Grove Dictionary of Opera
F.-J. Fétis: Biographie universelle des musiciens