Ockeghem [Okeghem, Hocquegam, Okegus etc.], Jean de [Johannes, Jehan]
- Leeman L. Perkins
(b Saint Ghislain, nr Mons, c1410; d ?Tours, Feb 6, 1497). Franco-Flemish composer. A native of Hainaut, he spent most of his active career in the service of the French royal court. Alongside Binchois, Du Fay, Busnoys and Josquin, with whom his name is linked in documents of the time, he is considered one of the greatest composers of the 15th century. Of the many forms in which his name appears, ‘Ockeghem’ has been given modern preference on the basis of a supposed facsimile of his signature published by Giraudet (1885) from a document now apparently lost. However, ‘Okeghem’ is the spelling most often found in the payment registers and other documents stemming from the French court and in the sources most central to the area in which he lived.
A recently discovered reference to Ockeghem in the payment records of the parish church of St Martin in Saint Ghislain, near Mons, identifies him as a ‘natif’ of that place and records the establishment of an obit that was celebrated continuously from the 16th century until the end of the ...