Guillaume Dufay

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Dufay, Guillaume

(gēyōm` düfā`), c.1400–1474, principal composer at the Burgundian court. After his early training in the cathedral choir at Cambrai, he sang in the papal chapel in Rome (1428–33) and later in Florence and Bologna (1435–37). He was in the service of the antipope Felix V for seven years and was a canon of the cathedral of Cambrai, where he lived from 1445 until his death. He traveled a great deal, knew many musical styles, and was highly esteemed by his contemporaries. His music is in the northern French tradition, but contains some Italian and English elements. He composed three-part chansons, masses, and motets.

Bibliography

See studies by Hamm (1964) and Fallows (1982).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dufay, Guillaume

 

Born about 1400; died Nov. 27, 1474, in Cambrai. Franco-Flemish composer; one of the founders of the Netherlands school. Worked in Italy and France.

From 1428 to 1437 he was a singer in the papal choirs in Rome and other Italian cities, and from 1437 to 1444 he served the duke of Savoy. From 1445 he was a canon and the director of music at the cathedral in Cambrai. Dufay was a master of both sacred music, notably three- and four-part Masses and motets, and secular compositions, including three- and four-part French and Italian chansons, ballads, and rondos, reflecting national polyphonic traditions, as well as the humanist culture of the Renaissance. Dufay’s art, which had absorbed the achievements of European musical art, had a great influence on the further development of European polyphonic music. He was also a reformer of notation, being credited with introducing white notes. His complete collected works were published in Rome (6 vols., 1951-66).

REFERENCE

Borren, C. van den. Guillaume Dufay: Son importance dans l’évolution de la musique au XVe siècle. Brussels, 1925.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The fifteenth-century manuscript, still held at the library today, contains important evidence for the transmission of secular song, and includes 103 pieces by Dufay, Busnois, Ockeghem, and Tinctoris, among others.
Smend amassed files of numerical data, counting notes, measures, and paragrams, with the intent of proving that Bach regularly laced his compositions with occult meanings based upon number, much in the way Dufay had done in his isorhythmic motet, Nuper rosarumflores, written for the dedication of the cathedral of Sta.
Two selections, Corelli's Sonata VIII and Howarth's Pasce Tuos, are essentially newer works loosely based on originals--Pasce Tuos is based on Guillaume Dufay's Flos Campi.
The gourmandising theme of this year's Birmingham Early Music Festival reaches its final course on Saturday when the Dufay Collective presents "The Feast of the Pheasant" at the Barber Institute, Birmingham University.
Also on the list are: The Clerks' Group, Dufay Collective, Musica Secreta, Concerto Cristofori, Sonnerie, Cardinall's Musick, I Fagiolini and the Bach Players.
The Renaissance (early 15th to early 17th centuries) half of the program will sweep through madrigals, motets, chanconnes, part-songs, one movement of a mass and dance music, mainly from France, Germany, Italy and England by such masters as Guillaume Dufay, Johannes Ockeghem, Josquin Desprez, Claudin de Sermisy, Clement Janequin, Orlando di Lasso, Orazio Vecchi, Luca Marenzio, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Hanns Leo Hassler, Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Morley and John Dowland.
The apotheosis of this approach may have been David Munrow's 1974 recording of Dufay's Missa Se la face ay pale, which combined voices with cornetts, sackbuts, organ and Viols, but played them so tastefully as to be almost irresistible even twentysome years later.(2)
Crantor numbers and carefully proportioned lengths were used by Dufay and Dunstable and many other fifteenth-century composers almost as a matter of course, especially when writing a work reflecting religious concepts (at that time, Masses, antiphons etc.), and their use continued extensively during the first half of the sixteenth century, and to a slightly lesser extent during the latter half.
Lorenz Welker discusses provenances and author ascriptions in the transmission of Dufay songs and other French music to early fifteenth-century Central Europe.
86, 103), Fallows's monograph Dufay in the Master Musicians Series (London: J.
Early Music Network Showcase, Warwick 2004 Tonight St Mary's Church 7.30pm: The Clerks' Group (de Quadris, Dufay, Palestrina) The Dufay Collective ('The Art of Minstrelsy') Musica Secreta (secular and scared music by Cozzolani and other North Italian composer-nuns).