Guillaume Du Fay
Missa Se la face ay pale: Gloria
Justin Van Groningen
Music History 2180B
Thursday October 25 2012
The fifteenth century marked a time in human history where art, philosophy and science were making major advancements; out of these three, the arts were where the spirit of the Renaissance achieved its sharpest formulation. It was considered a form of knowledge and valuable in its own right, used to explore human consciousness and thought through expression in all kinds of medium, as well as give light to the spiritual realm. This value placed in the arts allowed for much progress and development in musical genres, instruments, composing styles and music theory, most notably by early fifteenth century composer Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474). Guillaume Dufay was a master of varied musical genres and a style of French poetry and melodic lyricism that were unfounded until this era. Dufay was born as an illegitimate son in what is present day Belgium, probably in Beersel, close to Brussels. He was educated at a cathedral school in Cambrai in northeastern France and was quickly made to be a choirboy because of his musical talents. He was very well traveled, taking trips to places like Italy, Savoy and Germany often. It was from his travels and constant studying of music that he was able to get a firm grasp on all of the current and historical forms of music that were available at that time. Dufay borrowed from the French and Italians before him and the contemporary composers of the day that were English and Burgundian. He incorporated all of these styles of music in his own creations and would often juxtapose two contrasting styles in one piece. It is from this observation and incorporation of past and present styles that made Dufay out to be the most internationally acclaimed composer of the fifteenth century. Guillaume Dufay wrote music for varying dedications, events and church services. In total he wrote seven complete...
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