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.


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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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).


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 range of composers, from Guillaume DuFay to Alban Berg, covers styles from the 15th to the 20th centuries, and the variety of tunes, even within each section, is truly impressive.
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Topics include the Franco-Flemish composer Guillaume Dufay (Frederic Billiet), the fragmentation of the Petrarchan source text for musical purposes (Georgie Durosoir),musical settings in sixteenth-century Spain (Louis Jambou), the musical fortuna of the canzone 'Standomi un giorno' (Isabelle His), Petrarch's presence in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian music (Florence Malhomme, Rosy Moffa), and Franz Liszt's Sonnets de Petrarque (Marie-Therese Bouquet-Boyer).The fourth and final part of the volume, 'Dynamique d'une expansion culturelle: elements pour une histoire differentielle de la relation europeenne a Petrarque', forms an interesting sampler of the ways in which Petrarch has been adopted in different European countries.
Nuper rosarum flores has long been known to musicologists and historians of Florence as the brilliant isorhythmic motet commissioned from Guillaume Dufay for the dedication of the new Cathedral of S.
It is the first disc in a long time for which I have no "buts." The music comes to us courtesy of 14th-, 15th-, and 16th-century composers such as Orlando di Lasso, Guillaume Dufay, Estienne Dutertre, Clemens non Papa, Philippe Rogier, Philippus de Monte, and others.
Music to be performed includes Byzantine chants, Latin ceremonial motets and two haunting laments commemorating the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453: Guillaume DuFay's "Ecclesiae Militantis" and a piece by Manuel Chrysaphes, court musician to the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI.
Mixed in with these tunes are more formal pieces by Thomas Tallis, Guillaume Dufay and Hildegard von Bingen.