Gilles Binchois

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Gilles de Binchois or Bins (c. 1400September 20,1460), was a Franco-Flemish composer, one of the earliest members of the Burgundian School, and one of the three most famous composers of the early 15th century. While often ranked behind his contemporaries Guillaume Dufay and John Dunstable, at least by contemporary scholars, his influence was arguably greater than either, since his works were cited, borrowed and used as source material more often than those by any other composer of the time.

Life

He was evidently named after his birthplace, Binche, near Mons. In 1419 he became organist at Ste Waudru in Mons, and in 1423 went to live in Lille. Around this time he may have been a soldier in the service of the Burgundians, or perhaps the English Earl of Suffolk, as indicated by a line in the memorial motet written on his death by Ockeghem.

Music and influence

Binchois is often considered to be the finest melodist of the 15th century, writing carefully shaped lines which are easy to sing, and utterly memorable; his tunes continued to appear in copies decades later, and were often used as sources for mass composition by later composers. Most of his music, even his sacred music, is simple and clear in outline, sometimes even ascetic; a greater contrast between Binchois and the extreme complexity of the ars subtilior of the previous century would be hard to imagine. Most of his secular songs are rondeaux, which had become the commonest song form of the century; but Binchois rarely writes simple strophic form, instead shaping his melody almost independent of the rhyme scheme of the verse.

Binchois wrote music for the court, secular songs of love and chivalry, music that was expected by the Dukes of Burgundy and that was evidently loved by them.

References

da:Gilles Binchois de:Gilles Binchois es:Gilles Binchois fr:Gilles Binchois nl:Gilles Binchois fi:Gilles Binchois

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