John Dunstable

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John Dunstable or John Dunstaple (* around 1390; † December 24, 1453 in London ) was an English composer whose harmonic innovations had a great influence on the development of music in the early Renaissance .


1390 born, Dunstable was probably from 1427 canonicus and musicus in the service of the Duke of Bedford , who after the death of his brother, King Henry V , 1422-1435 regent of France was. At the same time he was probably in the service of Queen Joan of Navarre from 1427 to 1436 , and then of Duke Humphrey of Gloucester (around 1438).

Dunstable's grave inscription describes him as a prince of music, a mathematician and an astronomer . The majority of his work is church music , set for three to four votes, and includes motets , mass compositions and the two (presumably earliest cyclical ) Measure "Rex seculorum" and "Since gaudiorum premia". Through the many trips that Dunstable made with his respective employers, he was familiar with French and Italian music . The medieval technique of isorhythm , i.e. the overlapping of rhythmic and melodic structure, and the use of liturgical chant are the basic structures in his work.

The novelty in Dunstable's work was described by Martin Le Franc as "contenance angloise". This style, found in many of the Old Hall's ancient manuscripts , is the primary source of Dunstable's work. It is also characterized by the emphasis on parallel movement in the thirds and sixths ( Fauxbourdon ), triadic melodies and consonant harmonies, developed from the organum . Dunstable's work gained international recognition and had a profound influence on early Renaissance composers such as Guillaume Dufay and Gilles Binchois .

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