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Article

Frank Dobbins

(b Chartres, April or May 1546; d Oct 5, 1606). French poet. In 1562 he was described as ‘clerc au diocèse de Chartres’. By 1567 he was in Paris, and at the end of 1573 he accompanied Henry of Valois, Duke of Anjou, to Poland. After Henry was crowned King of France in 1574 he granted Desportes several benefices. Desportes was a follower of the Pléiade but was also a fervent admirer of Italian literature, borrowing freely not only from Petrarch but also from 16th-century poets including Tasso, Tebaldeo, Sannazaro, Bembo and Ariosto. At Henry's court he satisfied the prevailing taste for simpler strophic forms and a more refined, mellifluous style. His Premières oeuvres appeared between 1573 and 1583, but as the religious wars intensified he forsook secular poetry to follow the path of Clément Marot and Baïf in making verse translations of the psalms, and these were published between ...

Article

Howard Mayer Brown

revised by Frank Dobbins

(b Rouen, early 16th century; d c1565). French poet, translator and publisher. He is reputed to have gone to Geneva when he was young, to join the Calvinists, but his first published work was printed in Paris: a setting by Janequin of one of his chansons spirituelles, Hellas, mon Dieu, ton ire, published by Attaingnant in 1545. In 1546 his translations of the Te Deum and Psalm cxxiv were printed in Geneva as an appendix to two of Calvin's sermons; in the same year he published a prefatory quatrain in the Chrestienne resjouissance of Eustorg de Beaulieu. Denounced for bawdiness and swearing against Calvin and his pastors, he was imprisoned briefly in 1549 and thereafter took refuge in Lyons. By 1547 he had contributed a dedicatory poem to Loys Bourgeois' settings of psalm translations by Marot printed by Beringen of Lyons, while in 1548 a volume of his ...

Article

Caroline M. Cunningham

(b Chalon-sur-Sâone, 1522; d Châtillon-sur-Loing, Aug 1597). French composer and theorist. He came from a solid French bourgeois family, his father serving as deputy to the Estates General in Blois in 1576. After an education in local schools he went to the Collège de Navarre in Paris as early as 1552, according to the dedication of his treatise. At the college he received the doctorate in 1561; he was noted for his pleasant disposition and his erudition in both philosophy and theology. Guilliaud was well grounded and versed in all branches of knowledge; he was selected to be a tutor for the young Charles de Bourbon, who was made Archbishop of Rouen in 1550. Guilliaud also served as canon and chapel-singer at Châtillon-sur-Loing, and as prior of the monastery of Ste Geneviève-des-Bois, where he was eventually buried.

Guilliaud edited two theological works written by his father; his Magnificat...

Article

Frank Dobbins

[Anthoinne]

(fl Paris, 1552–88). French composer and organist. He is mentioned as organist of St Séverin between 1570 and 1588. Most of his surviving music was published in Paris early in his career at a time when music printers offered unusual opportunities for young and comparatively unknown local composers. Nicolas Du Chemin introduced six of his four-voice pieces in anthologies of ‘chansons nouvelles’ between 1552 and 1557, and in 1557 Le Roy & Ballard devoted an entire collection to his three-voice compositions. Cartier dedicated this to his pupil Loise Larcher, whose beauty and musical skill were celebrated by poets of the Pléiade; Etienne Jodelle in particular praised her voice and lute playing. The texts in the 1557 book are mostly old-fashioned; for example, J'ay le rebours is the second strophe of a ballade by Marot. Toutes les nuits (whose text is a rondel from the Jardin de plaisance, 1502...

Article

Samuel F. Pogue

revised by Frank Dobbins

(b Sens, c1515; d Paris, 1576). French music printer. He was active in Paris between 1549 and 1568 and occupied an important position between Attaingnant, whose last music book under his own name was issued in 1550, and Le Roy & Ballard, who began a long career as royal printers of music in 1551.

Described as a bookseller in a document dated November 1540, Du Chemin issued his first printed book in 1541. In 1543 he moved his shop to the rue St-Jacques-de-Latran under the sign of the silver Griffin, the address from which he issued music as well as many books on medicine, grammar, arithmetic, law and Latin literature to the end of his career. In November 1545 he married Catherine Delahaye, ward of the printer Poncet le Preux, who was Attaingnant’s brother-in-law – a circumstance that undoubtedly helped turn his attention towards music printing. Although the inclusion of some music types in a 17th century inventory compiled by Guillaume Le Bé suggests that Du Chemin was himself an engraver, he purchased punches and matrices for music from ...

Article

Frank Dobbins

(fl 1568–76). French choirmaster and music editor. In 1568 he was maître de musique at the collegiate church of St André in Grenoble. By 1576 he had moved to Paris, where he worked for his friend Nicolas Du Chemin as an editor and as tutor to his three children. He appears as an editor in only one surviving print, Sonetz de P. de Ronsard, set for four voices by Guillaume Boni and published by Du Chemin in 1576. Evidently Boni was not satisfied with Chandor's work, since he obtained a privilege for a revised edition which was subsequently issued by the rival press of Le Roy & Ballard.

L. Royer: ‘Les musiciens et la musique à l'ancienne collégiale, Saint-André de Grenoble du XVIe au XVIIIe siècles’, Bibliothèque d’humanisme et Renaissance, 4 (1937), 237–75, esp. 246 E. Droz: ‘Guillaume Boni de Saint-Flour en Auvergne, musicien de Ronsard’, Mélanges offerts à M. Abel Lefranc...

Article

[Loïs, Louis]

(b Paris, c1510–15; d 1559). French composer and theorist. He is chiefly remembered for his contribution to the monophonic Calvinist Psalter in which he supervised, with others (including Guillaume Franc and Pierre Davantes), the adaptation of popular chansons and old Latin hymns as well as composing new melodies for the new metrical French translations of Clément Marot and Théodore de Bèze. He also published harmonizations of these psalm melodies in simple syllabic homophony for four voices and rather more elaborate versions for four voices or instruments. As the author of Le droict chemin de musique he adapted the traditional solmization system by giving the letter names of each note a new definition consistently following the soft–natural–hard hexachord order: thus C sol fa ut became C sol ut fa, G sol re ut became re sol ut etc.

Bourgeois first appears as the composer of three four-voice chansons, published in Lyons by Moderne (RISM ...

Article

Howard Mayer Brown and Barra R. Boydell

[Kort Instrument, Kurz Pfeiff] (from Ger. kurzes Holz: ‘short woodwind’)

A generic term, referring to double-reed instruments from the 16th and 17th centuries with bores that double back on themselves (as in bassoons). The pitch of such instruments is thus deeper than their length would suggest. Specifically the word ‘Kortholt’ was applied to four kinds of instrument: a dulcian or early Bassoon (especially in England, according to Praetorius (2/1619), where the word ‘curtal’, a corruption of Kortholt, was used); a Racket, according to various late 16th- and early 17th-century inventories cited by Kinsky and Boydell; a Sordun, or ‘courtaut’ as Mersenne (1636–7) called a similar instrument; and a wind-cap sordun.

The instrument Praetorius illustrates as a Kortholt is of the last type; it has a wind cap over a double reed and an apparently cylindrical bore, doubled back on itself within a single wooden column (see illustration). The bore issues through a small lateral hole at the back below the wind cap. The instrument has 16 soundholes in all: the tips of all the fingers and the thumbs cover ten holes, and the joints of the index fingers cover two more; the latter and the little-finger holes are duplicated to allow for left- and right-handed playing (the four holes not in use are presumably stopped with wax). There are two closed keys which extend the range upwards. The range is shown in the illustration as ...

Article

Clement A. Miller

(fl 1533–57). French singer, composer and theorist. He was a member of the royal chapel of François I and Henri II of France. Glarean called him ‘Antuacensis’, which may refer to his place of origin.

With the exception of Laudate Dominum, a motet appearing in Glarean's Dodecachordon (modern edition in MSD, vi/2, p.356), other compositions by Le Gendre are found only in Parisian editions. Between 1533 and 1547 Attaingnant printed five of his chansons in various collections and Du Chemin brought out eight more between 1549 and 1557. His many French settings of psalms and canticles, more syllabic than the chansons, were printed by Fezandat in 1552–3. A treatise, Brieve introduction en la musique tant au plain chant que chose faites, published by Attaingnant in 1545, is apparently lost. Le Gendre must have been well known in French circles by the middle of the 16th century, for Rabelais in the ...

Article

Frank Dobbins

(b Couches; fl 1549–57). French theorist and composer. Together with Loys Bourgeois, he was one of the first to satisfy a growing demand among the French nobility and bourgeoisie by publishing treatises explaining musical techniques. The first version of his Elementorum musices practicae pars prior (Paris, 1550/R) was dedicated to the humanist parliamentarian Jean de Brinon. Its two parts explain melodic and rhythmic notation, following the mainstream of earlier theoretical writings. It ends with two four-voice ‘exercises’ on Virgil's Dulces exuviae. In 1556 he provided an abbreviated, simplified version in French which could compete with the similar vernacular treatises by Guilliaud, Jambe de Fer and Menehou printed by N. Du Chemin between 1554 and 1558. A Magnificat and nine chansons by him were published in collections printed by Du Chemin. The chansons are typical of the Parisian genre of the mid-16th century. Most of the texts are ...

Article

Frank Dobbins

(fl 1544–68). French composer. The title-page of his parody mass on Mithou’s O gente brunette printed by Du Chemin in 1568 describes him as choirmaster at Noyon Cathedral. Both his other masses are also parodies, on Je suis desheritée by Cadéac and on Panis quem ego dabo by Lupus. Marle’s 12 chansons, printed mainly by Attaingnant and Du Chemin between 1544 and 1554, represent both types then current: predominantly homophonic settings of courtly épigrammes by François I, Marot and others, and light imitative and syllabic settings of rustic anecdotes, for example Frere Jehan, Un gros lourdault (both in RISM 15505) and Une bergiere (154510; ed. in SCC, xix, 1991).

all for 4 voices

Article

Frank Dobbins

(fl Paris, 1557–68). French theorist and composer. In 1558 he was maître de chapelle at the abbey church of Saint Maur-des-Fossés and enjoyed the patronage of Cardinal Guillaume Du Bellay, the dedicatee of his Nouvelle instruction familière, en laquelle sont contenues les difficultés de la musique. According to Du Verdier and La Croix du Maine, and Draudius, the treatise was reissued in 1571 under the title Nouvelle instruction contenant en brief les preceptes ou fondemens de musique tant pleine que figurée; an edition with this title was published at Paris in 1582. The book responded to contemporary demand for vernacular treatises on music, but it differs from similar works by Loys Bourgeois, Maximilien Guilliaud, Philibert Jambe de Fer and Claude Martin in devoting much space to elementary harmony; the full title referred to ‘concordances et accords’ (concordances and intervals) and their use in two- to five-part writing, while Menehou's prologue mentioned young people's desire to learn ‘how to practise chords in order to set something down in writing’. He accordingly included chapters on three-, four- and five-part harmonization, counterpoint, canons and cadences, as well as the usual ones on rudiments (mode, mutation, time, prolation and proportion) which quote from earlier theorists, notably Gaffurius, Frosch, Lampadius and Glarean. The treatise ends with a four-voice chanson, ...

Article

Frank Dobbins

(fl Clermont-Ferrand, 1551–7). French composer. According to the title-page of his five-voice Missa pro mortuis (Paris, 1556), he was a canon and master of the choirboys at Clermont-Ferrand. Three four-voice chansons by him were included in anthologies also printed by N. Du Chemin in Paris (15519...

Article

Frank Dobbins

(fl Paris, 1561–8). French composer and editor. He worked as a corrector and transcriber for the press of Nicolas Du Chemin between 1561 and 1568 and was commissioned to prepare a series of selections from existing anthologies: four volumes duly appeared in 1561 and 1567. Among others he drew on pieces in the two Trophée de musique collections printed at Lyons in 1559. According to Du Verdier, in 1567 he adapted for two voices a collection of four-voice chansons, retaining the original melodies intact except for the insertion of an occasional rest, and edited a set of 30 similar duet reductions of pieces by E. (? recte A.) Gardano and Antoine de Villers. Neither has survived, but the latter must surely have been modelled on a collection already published by Le Roy & Ballard (RISM 1555²4). The only original piece by Bisson which has survived is the lively, imitative four-voice chanson, ...

Article

Denise Launay

revised by James R. Anthony

(b before 1600; d after 1630). French composer. In 1618 he was a musician in the household of the Bishop of Toul. He published three books of Airs à 4 parties from 1618 to 1625 (the second book is lost). He was sufficiently well regarded in musical circles in 1618 for Pierre Ballard to include six of his airs de cour and four of his psalm settings in an anthology. Signac dedicated his Cinquante pseaumes de David (1630) to François II, Duke of Lorraine and Bar, which suggests that even if he was not in the duke's service he at least enjoyed his protection.

For his psalm settings Signac used the translation by Desportes, who was attempting to supplant the Protestant version by Marot and Bèze. The 1630 volume comprises settings of 47 psalms – two of them in two sections – together with the Libera me in French; the 15 pieces for five voices cannot be transcribed complete because the fifth part is missing. In his ...

Article

Nigel Fortune

(fl 1610). Italian theorist. He was a Franciscan monk. He wrote Arte pratica latina et volgare di far contrappunto à mente, et à penna (Venice, 1610). This treatise, in ten sections, is one of a number of such works written in Italy whose authors continued to advocate the virtues and skills of traditional counterpoint at a time when the upsurge of monodic music must have seemed to be undermining it. Chiodino's work is mentioned by Silverio Picerli in his ...

Article

[Anthoine]

(b c1515; fl 1530–53). French composer. He was active in Paris. After serving as a chorister at the Ste Chapelle until his voice broke, he was educated at the expense of the canons there between December 1530 and December 1532. His first works were printed by Attaingnant in 1534; the same publisher issued a volume of 25 Latin motets and a book of 17 French psalms in 1546. Both volumes refer to the composer as ‘de Mornable’, but this form is not found in subsequent anthologies. The title-page of the motets designates him ‘most learned musician’, but the book of psalms specifies that he was maître de chapelle and valet to Count Guy XVII of Laval, a Protestant sympathizer.

Mornable also wrote 43 chansons which were published in collections, mostly by Attaingnant, between 1538 and 1553. The majority are courtly pieces in the style of Claudin de Sermisy and show Mornable's penchant for setting ...

Article

(b London, 1455 or 1456; d Cambridge, Sept 8, 1528). English ecclesiastic and composer. He was 13 when, in 1469, he was elected a scholar of Eton College. Like many Etonians he went on to King's College, Cambridge, being admitted as a scholar there in 1472. He took his BA in 1475 or 1476, his MA in 1480, his BD in 1490 and his DD in 1507. A Fellow of King's College between 1475 and 1509, he became its provost in 1509 and held this office until his death. The following extract from the college's accounts is typical of several which testify to the interest which he, as provost, took in the musical life of the foundation. ‘Item xxiiij° die Martii [1516] Cobnam pro emendatione organorum ex conventione per Magistrum Prepositum iij li. vj s. viij d.’.

A five-part Salve regina in the Eton Choirbook ( GB-WRec 178, ed. in MB, xi, ...

Article

Denise Launay

revised by James R. Anthony

(fl 1622). French amateur composer and poet. All we know about him is that he called himself ‘elected member’ and ‘lieutenant particulier’ on the title-page of his only known collection of music, Cantiques spirituels (Paris, 1622; one piece in D. Launay, ed.: Anthologie du motet latin polyphonique en France, 1609–1661, Paris, 1963; three in D. Launay, ed.: Le psaume français polyphonique au XVllème siècle, Paris, 1974). This volume is interesting for two reasons. The first is the appearance of bilingual texts at a time when the church prohibited the use of languages other than Latin for liturgical use. The pieces include settings of six psalms in the French verse translation by Desportes, two other French sacred pieces to words by Courbes himself and a series of Latin liturgical pieces (hymns, sequences, antiphons, responds). In this last group, the Latin text is printed under the highest voice part, while the other voices have Courbes’ own French verse translation: performers could thus choose between the two languages according to whether they were singing in a service or not. The other interesting feature is that the collection shows Courbes to have been a late follower of the humanist ideas of Baïf and Mauduit. Most of his pieces are four-part homophonic, syllabic settings, sometimes employing short note values. He stresses that they are ...

Article

Frank Traficante

A term used in England during the 17th century for a technique of improvised variation in which the notes of a cantus firmus, or Ground, are divided into shorter ones, usually not of the same pitch, and chosen with regard to clearly delineated rules of musical composition. Division playing, especially on the Division viol, achieved a high degree of excellence during the second half of the 17th century. It may be viewed as part of the long tradition in Western music of variation and embellishment practices both as spontaneously performed improvisations and as formal compositions. Earlier terms referring to similar practices in the 16th and early 17th centuries (particulary in Italy, England and Spain) are Diminution (It. diminuire), diferencia (Sp.) and breaking (as in ‘breaking bass’): these are fully discussed in Improvisation, §II and Variations, §6. In England this tradition was practised by singers as well as by players of keyboard, wind and string instruments. During this period these instruments relied on pre-existing vocal or dance music as a basis for variations, but by the time Simpson codified the principles of division playing, instrumental divisions were evolving idioms of their own and were changing from an adornment of what was divided into the actual musical substance itself....