Guillaume de Machaut

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Guillaume de Machaut (sometimes spelled Machault) (c. 1300 – April 1377) was a Medieval French poet and composer. He is one of the earliest composers on whom significant biographical information is available. Machaut was "the last great poet who was also a composer", in the words of the scholar Daniel LeechWilkinson. Well into the 15th century, Machaut's poetry was greatly admired and imitated by other poets, including Geoffrey Chaucer. Machaut composed in a wide range of styles and forms. He is a part of the musical movement known as the ars nova.

Machaut helped develop the motet and secular song forms (particularly the lai and the formes fixes: rondeau, virelai and ballade). Machaut wrote the Messe de Nostre Dame, the earliest known complete setting of the Ordinary of the Mass attributable to a single composer.

Machaut (at right) receiving Nature and three of her children, from an illuminated Parisian manuscript of the 1350s

Contents
1 Life 2 Poetry 2.1 Puis Qu'en Oubli 3 Principal works of Guillaume de Machaut 4 Antisemitism 5 Music 5.1 Secular music 5.2 Sacred music 6 Recordings 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References and further reading 10 External links

Life
Machaut was born c. 1300 and educated in the region around Rheims. Though his surname most likely derives from the nearby town of Machault, 30 km to the east of Rheims in the Ardennes region, most scholars believe his birthplace was in fact Rheims. He was employed as secretary to John I, Count of Luxemburg and King of Bohemia, from 1323 to 1346; in addition he became a canon (1337). Most likely he accompanied

and the ordering of these genres into distinct sections of manuscripts. Duke of Normandy.e. music and non-music sections are separate) suggests that he normally wrote the text before setting some to music. Poetry Guillaume de Machaut's lyric output comprises around 400 poems. Machaut wrote a poetic treatise on his craft (his Prologue). By 1340 Machaut was living in Rheims. His poem Le voir dit (probably 1361-1365) purports to recount a late love affair with a 19-year-old girl. including 235 ballades. her sons Jean de Berry and Charles (later Charles V). or Literature portal "roman" of the same period) follow many of the conventions of the Roman de la rose. many of them military expeditions. Péronne d'Armentières. His unusual self-reflective usage of himself (as his lyrical persona) as the narrator of his dits gleans some personal philosophical insights as well. de Machaut wants his book to have). and the situation of the narrator-lover attempting to return toward or satisfy his lady.[citation needed] When he died in 1377. and spent his later years living in Rheims composing and supervising the creation of his complete-works manuscripts. who was famous and much in demand. and Le voir dit (A True Story). Other than his Latin motets of a religious nature and some poems invoking the horrors of war and captivity. Most likely he accompanied King John on his various trips. and Machaut. in addition he became a canon (1337). Machaut is also responsible for a poetic chronicle of chivalric deeds (the Prise d'Alexandrie) and for poetic works of consolation and moral philosophy. Some of his lyric output is inserted in his narrative poems or "dits". Machaut was a master of elaborate rhyme schemes.[2] . around Europe (including Prague). from 1323 to 1346. In 1346. de Machau wet qu'il ait en son livre" (Here is the order that G. but most are included in a separate. Arras in 1332 and Rheims in 1337.[1] Machaut survived the Black Death which devastated Europe. a poem not meant to be sung).King of Bohemia. French literature By category French literary history Medieval 16th century · 17th century 18th century · 19th century 20th century · Contemporary French writers Chronological list Writers by category Novelists · Playwrights Poets · Essayists Short story writers Guillaume de Machaut's narrative output is dominated by the "dit" (literally "spoken". including the use of allegorical dreams (songes). King John was killed fighting at the Battle of Crécy. 24 lais. and this concern makes him a precursor to the Grands rhétoriqueurs of the 15th century. 10 complaintes. allegorical characters. other composers such as François Andrieu wrote elegies lamenting his death. having relinquished his other canonic posts at the request of Pope Benedict XII. the vast majority of Machaut's lyric poems partake of the conventions of courtly love and involve statements of service to a lady and the poet's pleasure and pains. unordered section entitled Les loanges des dames. At the end of his life. like the romance. 76 rondeaux. such as Le remède de fortune (The Cure of Ill Fortune) which includes one of each genre of lyric poetry. i. This reflects on his conception of the organization of poetry into set genres and rhyme schemes. That the majority of his lyrics are not set to music (in manuscripts. He was named as the canon of Verdun in 1330. and others such as Charles II of Navarre. although the accuracy of the work as autobiography is contested. entered the service of various other aristocrats and rulers including King John's daughter Bonne (who died of the Black Death in 1349). and Machaut did much to perfect and codify these fixed forms. 39 virelais. In technical terms. This pre-occupation in ordering his oeuvre is reflected in an index to MS A entitled "Vesci l'ordenance que G. These first-person narrative poems France portal (all but one are written in octosyllabic rhymed couplets. and 7 chansons royales.

and the unhappy knight is declared the winner. Vie amoureuse et joie a Dieu commant. Jugement du roy de Behainge (Judgement of the King of Bohemia) (before 1346) – The narrator hears a debate between a lady (whose lover is dead) and a knight (betrayed by his lady). an old knight comes to the narrator and reveals the meaning of what he sees and gives him advice for being a better lover. dous amis. Puis Qu'en Oubli is his 18th Rondeau. Christine de Pizan. Vie amoureuse et joie a Dieu commant. one day the second (and preferred) bird comes back to him. 1340s.Machaut's poetry had a direct effect on the works of Eustache Deschamps. Confort d'ami (1357) . Dit de l'Alérion aka Dit des quatre oiseaux (Story of the 4 Birds) (before 1349) – A symbolic tale of love: the narrator raises four different birds. an old. and in a dream the lady consoles her lover. Dit du Lyon (Story of the Lion) (1342) – The narrator comes to a magical island and a lion guides him to a beautiful lady. Mar vi le jour que m'amour en vous mis. 1362-5) – Often seen as Machaut's masterpiece. dous amis. Jean Froissart. The narrative is stuffed with prose letters and lyric poems that the narrator claims were in truth exchanged by the unhappy lovers and put in the book at the behest of his lady.Dedicated to Charles II of Navarre (who was a prisoner in France). Jugement du roy de Navarre (Judgement of the King of Navarre) (1349) – Following up on the Jugement du roy de Behainge. C'est que ja mais n'aray nul autre amant. The work however is highly satirical and mocks the conventional paradigm of medieval courtly literature by presenting himself. Dit de la fontaine amoureuse aka Livre de Morpheus (Story of the Amorous Fountain) (1361) – The narrator meets a hopeless lover who must separate from his lady. impotent poet as the lover of a young . he returns to his lady. Principal works of Guillaume de Machaut Le remède de fortune (The Cure of Ill Fortune) (c. Le voir dit (A True Story) (c. the narrator flees from her and comes to a garden where "Hope" consoles him and teaches him how to be a good lover. this poem is an early example of meta-fiction and tells of the sadness and separation of the narrator. the narrator seeks out the advice of the King of Bohemia who consults allegories. Mais ce tenray que je vous ay promis. ill. the two men come to a magical fountain and fall asleep. dous amis. this poetic consolation gives biblical and classical examples (exempla) of fortitude. before 1357) – The narrator is asked by his lady if the poem she has found is by him. René of Anjou and Geoffrey Chaucer. in order to proclaim one or the other the most unhappy. from his lady and of the false rumors that are spread about him. a lady blames the narrator for awarding the prize to the knight: the King of Navarre is consulted and condemns the poet. Puis Qu'en Oubli Puis qu'en oubli sui de vous. among many others. Puis qu'en oubli sui de vous. Puis qu'en oubli sui de vous. but each one flees him.

However. music and rhetoric." Machaut mostly composed in five genres: the lai. was probably composed for Rheims Cathedral in the early 1360s. including textless interludes. A few works exist to commemorate a particular event. Gloria and Credo. (2) there is no extended melodic theme that . Prologue (c." The top two voices in these three-part compositions. such as in M12 "Corde mesto cantando/Helas! pour quoy virent/Libera me. in updated forms. a few of Machaut's rondeaux. Machaut fused together contemporary styles and techniques to create a series of masterworks that Classicfm Magazine says stands at the summit of 14th century music. some of the tradition of the troubadours.and beautiful maiden. his Messe de Nostre Dame (Mass of Our Lady). who falls in love with him from his reputation as a poet alone. as imparted to him by Nature and Love. though. Though the work is called a voir dit or true story. Machaut's mass differs from these in the following ways: (1) he does not hold a tonal centre throughout the entire work. which continue. 1986) Music As a composer of the 14th century. Agnus and Ita missa est).as he accuses them of poisoning wells and causing the black plague which ravaged France in 1349. this allegory describes Machaut's principles of poetry. For example. the ballade. there is a consensus that this mass is at best a forerunner to the later 15th-century cyclic masses by the likes of Josquin des Prez. In his other genres. Machaut probably was familiar with the Tournai Mass since the Messe de Nostre Dame shares many stylistic features with it. 1372) – written at the end of his life as a preface to his collected works. such as R18 "Puis qu'en oubli". sing secular French texts.[3] Secular music The lyrics of Machaut's works almost always dealt with courtly love. Sacred music Machaut's cyclic setting of the Mass. King of Jerusalem and of Cyprus. after lengthy debate musicologists are still deeply divided. but often utilized creative text setting and cadences. (Girard R. and the rondeau. the motet. most rondeaux phrases end with a long melisma on the penultimate syllable. He also worked in the polyphonic forms of the ballade and rondeau forms and wrote the first complete setting of the Ordinary of the Mass which can be attributed to a single composer. in contrast. However. such as M18. Antisemitism In René Girard's book The Scapegoat Guillaume de Machaut's work is shown to instigate violence against Jews .. Machaut's secular song output includes monophonic lais and virelais. While not the first cyclic mass – the Tournai Mass is earlier – it was the first by a single composer and conceived as a unit. creating interesting concordances between the sacred and secular. he does not utilize sacred texts. Machaut includes many inconsistencies which force the reader to question the truthfulness of his story. Machaut's motets often contain sacred texts in the tenor. are mostly syllabic in treatment. another for Sanctus. Machaut retained the basic formes fixees. as the mass uses two distinct modes (one for the Kyrie. Prise d'Alexandrie (The Capture of Alexandria) (after 1369) – poetic retelling of the exploits of Peter of Lusignan. "Bone Pastor/Bone Pastor/Bone Pastor. Whether or not Machaut's mass is indeed cyclic is contested. Girard uses Guillaume's work to demonstrate the stereotypes of the scapegoat. In these genres. the virelai.

the mass can be said to be stylistically consistent.clearly runs through all the movements. Robert Sadin. Brad Mehldau. 2. on Kronos Quartet. Ensemble Musica Nova. and the mass does not use the parody technique. Leiden. ^ Keitel 1982.Machaut: Messe de Notre Dame. John Ellis. Ars Nova and Ars Subtilior in the Low Countries and Europe. Les quatre saisons de l'Ars Nova. AEON AECD 1093. February 2010. by Louis Thiry (organ). Also adding weight to the claim that the mass is cyclic is the possibility that the piece was written or assembled for performance at a specific celebration. which was once widely accepted."Les motets"."Messe Notre-Dame". 2004 . Mons. 1989 . page 22.2 (2 CDs) 2004 . Utrecht. II. Orlando Consort.Ma fin est mon commencement. Gilles d'Orléans. Hortus records. the mother of Jesus. Contains recordings of "Riches d'amour et mendians d'amie" and "Quant je suis mis au retour" by Guillaume de Machaut. The Hilliard Ensemble 1994 . Ensemble Musica Nova. That the movements may have been placed together does not mean they were conceived so.Remede de Fortune. MEW 0852. References and further reading . Capilla Flamenca. ^ Wimsatt & Kibler 1988. Eufoda 1360. Lucien Kandel. with Mark Feldman. and certainly the chosen chants are all celebrations of Mary. Recordings 1987 . Pierre de Bruges.Art of Love: Music of Machaut. See also List of compositions by Guillaume de Machaut Notes 1. is thought unlikely in modern scholarship. 1997 . Contains a recording of Se vous n'estes by Guillaume de Machaut. Deutsche Grammophon DG Archiv 477 6731. Capilla Flamenca. Milton Nascimento. Early Music (Lachrymae Antiquae).Dreams in the Pleasure Garden: Machaut Chansons. Edge Records. New Albion Records. Hyperion CDA66087. 1997 . Robertsbridge Codex. Hassan Hakmoun. 2010 ."Ballades". p 3-4 ^ Earp 1989. Ensemble Project Ars Nova. The possibility that it was for the coronation of Charles V. 2009 . Manuscrits de Stavelot. and III. 3. The composer's intention that the piece be performed as one entire mass setting makes Le Messe de Nostre Dame generally considered a cyclic composition. 2002 .Machaut: Motets. The Hilliard Ensemble 2004 – Zodiac.[4] Nevertheless.Kyrie I. (3) there is considerable evidence that this mass was not composed in one creative motion. Lionel Loueke. (with Philippe de Vitry. Bernard de Cluny). Lucien Kandel. p 461 ^ Classicfm Magazine. Zig-Zag Territoires 021002. 2010 . 2009 .En un gardin. Lucien Kandel.Machaut: The Mirror of Narcissus. Ensemble Musica Nova. Gothic Voices. 4. AEON AECD 0982.

Lawrence. Earp. Guillaume de Machaut: A Guide to Research (New York: Garland Publishing. 'Machaut's Role in the Production of Manuscripts of His Works'. Dictionnaire des lettres françaises: Le Moyen Age in Collection: La Pochothèque (Paris: Fayard. Daniel (ed. Poet..recmusic. Retrieved from "http://en. Daniel.latrobe. 307–323.. 68. Music in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Stanley Sadie (London: Macmillan Publishers Ltd.se/~akadkor/early/IID_Machaut_Guillaume_de.umu. ISBN 1-56159-174-2 Earp.uk) . La Trobe University Library.acc. ISBN 9781843830160 Leach. External links Guillaume de Machaut FAQ and discography (http://www. Musician (Cornell University Press. Norton & Co. Retrieved 2008-02-08. ISBN: 9780801449338 Leech-Wilkinson.htm) .Arlt. 42.org/lieder/m/machaut/) . Vol.diamm.acc. Keitel. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.lib. Hoppin.org/wiki/Guillaume_de_Machaut" Categories: 1377 deaths | Medieval composers | French composers | Medieval poets | French poets | Crusade literature | Year of birth uncertain This page was last modified on 8 July 2011 at 12:54. Machaut: Le Jugement du roy de Behaingne and Remede de Fortune (University of Georgia Press. 1992). pp. "Guillaume de Machaut" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 1992). Wulf.lib. 1978). Guillaume de Machaut: Secretary. La Messe de Nostre Dame (Oxford University Press. 1989.wikipedia.org/emfaq/composers/machaut. ISBN 0-393-090906 Gleason and Becker.ac. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 2003-06-02. 1995).htm.ac. Machaut's Mass: An introduction (Oxford University Press.au/MMDB/composer/COM003.uk/) containing works by Machaut from Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music Free scores (http://icking-music-archive. 2003). 1990). additional terms .html) Free scores by Guillaume de Machaut in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki) Free access to high-resolution images of manuscripts (http://www. Leech-Wilkinson.html) from (Umeå Akademiska Kör (http://www. a major collection of the poetry and music of Machaut are available for free for anyone to view at The Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (http://www. ). Elizabeth. pp.). Medieval Music (New York: W.au/MMDB/composer/COM003. Vol. ISBN 1843830167. 'The so-called cyclic mass of Guillame De Machaut: new evidence for an old debate'.se/~akadkor/indexENG.html) ).medieval.edu.edu. 2011). Hasenohr and Zinc (eds. Richard H.org/lieder/m/machaut/. Machaut's Music: New Interpretations (Boydell Press.php) by Guillaume de Machaut in the Werner Icking Music Archive (WIMA) Free scores by Guillame de Machaut at the International Music Score Library Project Listen to free recordings of songs (http://www.umu. 1980).diamm. Leach.latrobe. 1988). Lawrence. Elizabeth Eva. The Musical Quarterly. Wimsatt and Kibler (eds. "Author: Guillaume de Machaut (c1300-1377)" (http://www. http://www.org/ByComposer/Machaut. The Lied and Art Song Texts Page. "The Works of Guillaume de Machaut" (http://www. ed.). JAMS.recmusic. 461–503. Full-colour images of the Ferrell-Vogüé MS. Elizabeth Eva (ed.W.). 1982.). http://www.

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