Guillaume de Machaut

Topics: Guillaume de Machaut, Polyphony, Medieval music Pages: 4 (1419 words) Published: December 17, 2008
In the late 1300’s a musical movement started in France. This movement was known to be as Ars Nova. The word Ars Nova means ‘inventor of new art’ and was created by Philippe de Vitry, a very well known French composer and poet. Modern scholars of the early 14th century liked the term Ars Nova so much, that they adopted it as a suitable word denoting the entire century of music before the 1300’s. During this time period a very influential composer started to emerge during the Ars Nova movement, Guillaume De Machaut. Machaut lived a considerable long life and within that he achieved various types of musical principles that we still use today.

Machaut lived from the early 1300’s to 1377. Most of Machaut’s early life was only figured out threw ‘his own narrative poems, many at which describe events in the lives of himself and his patrons.’ He was born in the village of Machault in Champagne. Its not know of what type of status his family was but it can be assumed that he grew up in a fairly known family. During his life he gained schooling from a cathedral school then continuing at a university to receive a Masters Degree. Machaut never continued his education with the cathedral schools for priesthood. Instead he worked to only serve in the offices of the church. Since then he gained education and social graces from his society. In his early twenties he joined the services of John of Luxembourg (King of Bohemia) as a clerk, later on becoming his personal secretary. ‘Machaut then joined the king on many military campaigns that took him all through Eastern Europe.’ He would then start to create stories and poems that reflected his life and travels. This was the start of his reputation as being a poet and a musical creator. Some of his works were turned into plays while others were lost over time. Famous works he created was ‘The Story of the Garden, The Judgment of the King of Bohemia and Fortune’s Remedy’. With the success of his plays he then gained some noble...

Cited: Machaut, Guillaume. The Judgment of the King of Navarre. Trans. R. Barton Palmer. A ed. Vol. 45. New York, NY: Garland, 1988.
Palisca, Claude V., J. Peter Burkholder, and Donald Jay Grout. A History of Western Music. A ed. Vol. 45. Boston, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, Incorporated, 2005.
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