Matthaeus Pipelare

Matthaeus Pipelare

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Matthaeus Pipelare was a Flemish
Franco-Flemish School
In music, the Franco-Flemish School or more precisely the Netherlandish School refers, somewhat imprecisely, to the style of polyphonic vocal music composition in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, and to the composers who wrote it...

 composer, choir director, and possibly wind instrument
Wind instrument
A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator , in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into a mouthpiece set at the end of the resonator. The pitch of the vibration is determined by the length of the tube and by manual modifications of...

 player of the Renaissance
Renaissance music
Renaissance music is European music written during the Renaissance. Defining the beginning of the musical era is difficult, given that its defining characteristics were adopted only gradually; musicologists have placed its beginnings from as early as 1300 to as late as the 1470s.Literally meaning...


He was from Louvain
Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region, Belgium...

, and spent part of his early life in Antwerp. Unlike many of his contemporaries, many of whom traveled to Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 or elsewhere, he seems never to have left the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

. In spring 1498 he became the choir director at the Illustrious Confraternity of Our Lady at 's-Hertogenbosch, a position he held until 1500. From his name it is presumed that either he or perhaps his father was a wind player, for example a town piper.

Pipelare's style was wide-ranging; he wrote in almost all of the vocal forms current in his day: masses, motets, secular songs in all the local languages. No instrumental music has survived. In mood his music ranged from light secular songs to sombre motet
In classical music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions.-Etymology:The name comes either from the Latin movere, or a Latinized version of Old French mot, "word" or "verbal utterance." The Medieval Latin for "motet" is motectum, and the Italian...

s related to those of Pierre de La Rue
Pierre de La Rue
Pierre de la Rue , called Piersson, was a Franco-Flemish composer and singer of the Renaissance. A member of the same generation as Josquin des Prez, and a long associate of the Habsburg-Burgundian musical chapel, he ranks with Agricola, Brumel, Compère, Isaac, Obrecht, and Weerbeke as one of the...

, an almost exact contemporary.

He wrote 11 complete mass
Mass (music)
The Mass, a form of sacred musical composition, is a choral composition that sets the invariable portions of the Eucharistic liturgy to music...

es which have survived to modern times (although many of the manuscripts were destroyed in the Second World War), as well as 10 motet
In classical music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions.-Etymology:The name comes either from the Latin movere, or a Latinized version of Old French mot, "word" or "verbal utterance." The Medieval Latin for "motet" is motectum, and the Italian...

s, and 8 chanson
A chanson is in general any lyric-driven French song, usually polyphonic and secular. A singer specialising in chansons is known as a "chanteur" or "chanteuse" ; a collection of chansons, especially from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, is also known as a chansonnier.-Chanson de geste:The...

s; the chansons are both in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

. One of the masses is a four-voice cantus firmus
Cantus firmus
In music, a cantus firmus is a pre-existing melody forming the basis of a polyphonic composition.The plural of this Latin term is , though the corrupt form canti firmi is also attested...

 setting of L'homme armé
L'homme armé
L'homme armé was a French secular song from the time of the Renaissance. It was the most popular tune used for musical settings of the Ordinary of the Mass: over 40 separate compositions entitled Missa L'homme armé survive from the period....

, a style which was already old-fashioned by the time he was writing; the tune moves from voice to voice, but is usually in the tenor. His Missa Fors seulement is based on his own chanson
Fors seulement
Fors seulement is a French chanson, popular as a basis for variations and as a cantus firmus. An early version is attributed to Ockeghem - this is sometimes called Fors seulement l'attente to distinguish it from his similarly titled Fors seulement contre.Brumel wrote a polytextual version,...

, which he used as the cantus firmus. Memorare Mater Christi is a seven-part motet on the sorrows of the Virgin Mary; each of the seven voices represents a different dolor. The third of the seven voices even quotes the contemporary Spanish villancico
The villancico was a common poetic and musical form of the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America popular from the late 15th to 18th centuries. With the decline in popularity of the villancicos in the 20th century, the term became reduced to mean merely "Christmas carol"...

 "Nunca fué pena mayor" (never was there a greater pain) by Juan de Urrede
Juan de Urrede
Juan de Urrede or Juan de Urreda was a Flemish singer and composer active in Spain in the service of the Duke of Alba and King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. He was born Johannes de Wreede in Bruges....

. Sequential
Sequence (music)
In music, a sequence is the immediate restatement of a motif or longer melodic passage at a higher or lower pitch in the same voice. It is one of the most common and simple methods of elaborating a melody in eighteenth and nineteenth century classical music...

 writing and syncopated
In music, syncopation includes a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected in that they deviate from the strict succession of regularly spaced strong and weak but also powerful beats in a meter . These include a stress on a normally unstressed beat or a rest where one would normally be...

 rhythms are characteristic of his music.


  • Matthaeus Pipelare: Missa L'homme armé
    Missa L'homme armé
    Over 40 settings of the Ordinary of the Mass using the tune L'homme armé survive from the period between 1450 and the end of the 17th century, making the tune the most popular single source from the period on which to base an imitation mass....

    ; Chansons; Motets", Huelgas Ensemble
    Huelgas Ensemble
    The Huelgas Ensemble is a Belgian early music group formed by the Flemish conductor Paul Van Nevel in 1971. The group's performance and extensive discography focuses on renaissance polyphony...

     (Paul Van Nevel
    Paul Van Nevel
    Paul Van Nevel is a Belgian conductor, musicologist and art historian. In 1971 he founded the Huelgas Ensemble, a choir dedicated to polyphony from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Van Nevel is known for hunting out little known polyphonic medieval works to perform.He grew up in a musical...

    ), Sony

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