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Busnois, Antoine


Renaissance composer and poet (family name, De Busne); b. France, date unknown; d. Bruges, Belgium, Nov. 6, 1492. His name is first found in historical documents about 1465; he served as chaplain at the Burgundian court from 1467, but spent his final years in Bruges. He wrote Masses, motets, and Magnificats, which, although of high quality, were technically less forward looking than his elegant and sophisticated chansons. One of these, Fortuna desperata, was used by Josquin des prez and Jakob obrecht as the basis for Masses, and others served Obrecht, Alexander Agricola, and Heinrich isaak. Obrecht based his Missa L'Homme armé almost directly on Busnois's Mass of that name. In one motet, Victimae paschali, Busnois extended the musical range upward as, in his chansons, he had extended it downward. Another, Antoni usque limina, dedicated to his patron saint, Anthony Abbot, includes a part for a bell (Anthony's symbol). He used much imitation (comparatively new at the time), and was extraordinarily resourceful in his treatment of rhythm. Busnois composed the texts for several of his works and corresponded in verse with the Burgundian court poet Molinet. Johannes tinctoris dedicated an important treatise jointly to Busnois and okeghem.

Bibliography: a. busnois, Missa super L'Homme armé in Monumenta polyphoniae liturgicae, v. 1, fasc. 2 (Rome 1948). Compositions in Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich (1893; repr. Graz 1959) 14. g. thibault, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949) 2: 515520. g. perle, "The Chansons of Antoine Busnois," Music Review 11(1950) 8997. c. van den borren, Études sur le XV e siècle musical (Antwerp 1941). Histoire de la musique, ed. roland-manuel, 2 v. (Paris 196063); v. 9, 16 of Encyclopédie de la Pléiade, v. 1. g. reese, Music in the Renaissance (rev. ed. New York 1959). b.j. blackburn, "Obrecht's Missa Je ne demande and Busnoys's Chanson: An Essay in Reconstructing Lost Canons," Tidschrift van de Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis, 45 (1995) 1832. p. m. higgins, ed., Antoine Busnoys: Method Meaning and Context in Late Medieval Music (Oxford 1999). m. natvig, The Latin-Texted Works of Antoine Busnois (Ph.D. diss. University of Rochester 1991). m. picker, "Antoine Busnois," in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. s. sadie, v. 3 (New York 1980) 504508. e. schreurs and a. wouters, "De Lierse biotoop van Antonius Busnoys en Johannes Pullois," Musica Antiqua 13 (1996) 106132. r. taruskin, "Busnoys and Chaikovsky," International Journal of Musicology, 4 (1995) 111121.

[c. v. brooks]

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