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Machaut (also Machault, Machau, Mau-chault), Guillaume de (Guillelmus deMascaudio)

Machaut (also Machault, Machau, Mau-chault), Guillaume de (Guillelmus deMascaudio)

Machaut (also Machault, Machau, Mau-chault), Guillaume de (Guillelmus deMascaudio), important French composer and poet; b. probably in Machaut, Champagne, c. 1300; d. probably in Rheims, April 13?, 1377. He entered the service of John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, about 1323, and was his secretary until the King’s death (1346). He was granted a canonry in Verdun (1330), a second in Arras (1332), and a third Rheims (1333), retaining the first until 1335. He settled in Rheims permanently about 1340, and from 1346 was in the service of the French nobility, including the future King Charles V. His Messe de Nostre Dame for 4 Voices is one of the earliest polyphonic settings of the Mass. He also wrote 42 ballades, 33 virelais, 23 motets, 22 rondeaux, 19 lais, a double hocket, a complainte, and a chanson royal. An ed. of his works was prepared by F. Ludwig for the Publikationen Älterer Musik (1926–34; continued by H. Besseler, 1954) and by L. Schrade in Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century (Vols. 2 and 3, Monaco, 1956). BlBL.: A. Douce, G d.M., Musicien et poète rémois (Rheims, 1948); S. Levarie, G. d.M.(N.Y., 1954); A. Machabey, G. d.M.: La Vie et l’oeuvre musicale (2 vols., Paris, 1955); W. Dömling, Die mehrstimmigen Balladen, Rondeaux und Virelais von G. d.M.(Tu-tzing, 1970); G. Reaney, G. d.M.(London, 1971); B. Harden, Sharps, Tlats, and Scribes: Musica ficta in the M. Manuscripts (diss., Cornell Univ., 1983); L. Earp, G.d. M.: A Guide to Research (N.Y., 1995).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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