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31/10/2015

JohnDunstapleWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

JohnDunstaple
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

JohnDunstaple(orDunstable,c.139024December1453)wasanEnglishcomposerofpolyphonic
musicofthelatemedievaleraandearlyRenaissanceperiods.Hewasoneofthemostfamouscomposers
activeintheearly15thcentury,anearcontemporaryofLeonelPower,andwaswidelyinfluential,not
onlyinEnglandbutonthecontinent,especiallyinthedevelopingstyleoftheBurgundianSchool.
Thespelling"Dunstaple"ispreferredbyMargaretBent,sinceitoccursinmorethantwiceasmany
musicalattributionsasthatof"Dunstable".ThefewEnglishmusicalsourcesareequallydivided
between"b"and"p"however,thecontemporarynonmusicalsources,includingthosewithaclaimtoa
directassociationwiththecomposer,spellhisnamewitha"p."Bothspellingsremainincommonusage.

Contents
1Life
2Influence
3Compositions
4Notes
5Referencesandfurtherreading
6Recording
7Externallinks

Life
DunstaplewasprobablyborninDunstable,Bedfordshire.Hisbirthdateisaconjecturebasedonhis
earliestsurvivingworks(fromaround14101420)whichimplyabirthdateofaround1390.Manyofthe
detailsofhislifeareconjectural.Nothingisknownofhismusicaltrainingandbackground.Hewas
clearlyahighlyeducatedman,thoughthereisnorecordofanassociationwitheitherOxfordor
Cambridgeuniversities.HeiswidelyheldtohavebeenintheroyalserviceofJohnofLancaster,1st
DukeofBedford,thefourthsonofHenryIVandbrotherofHenryV.Assuchhemayhavestayedin
Franceforsometime,sincethedukewasRegentofFrancefrom1423to1429,andthenGovernorof
Normandyfrom1429tohisdeathin1435.HeownedpropertyinNormandy,andalsoin
Cambridgeshire,EssexandLondon,accordingtotaxrecordsof1436.Afterthedeathin1437ofanother
patron,theDowagerQueenJoan,heevidentlywasintheserviceofHumphrey,DukeofGloucester,the
fifthsonofHenryIV.
Unlikemanycomposersofthetime,hewasprobablynotacleric,thoughtherearelinkswithStAlbans
Abbey(seebelow)hewasprobablymarried,basedontherecordofwomensharinghisnameinhis
parish,andhealsoownedamanorinHertfordshire.
Inadditiontohisworkasacomposer,hehadacontemporaryreputationasanastronomer,astrologer,
andmathematician(forexample,avolumeintheBodleianLibrary,largelyinthehandofWilliam
Worcester,acknowledgesthatcertaininformationwithinithadbeencopiedfromDunstaple'swritings).
Someofhisastrologicalworkshavesurvivedinmanuscript,possiblyinhisownhand.
Dunstaple'sconnectionswithStAlbansAbbeyareatleasttwofold:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dunstaple

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theabbotJohnWhethamstedeisassociatedwiththeDukeofGloucester(whowasburiedatSt
Albansfollowinghisdeathin1447),andDunstaple'sisorhythmicmotetAlbanusroseorutilat,
possiblywithsomeoftheLatinwordsadaptedbyWhethamstedefromanolderpoem,wasclearly
writtenforStAlbans,possiblyforavisittotheabbeybytheDukeofBedfordin1426.
Whethamstede'splanforamagnificentlibraryfortheabbeyin14523includedasetoftwelve
stainedglasswindowsdevotedtothevariousbranchesoflearning.Dunstapleisclearly,if
indirectly,referredtoinsomeoftheversestheabbotcomposedforeachwindow,notonlymusic
butalsoastronomy,medicine,andastrology.
HediedonChristmasEve1453,asrecordedinhisepitaph,whichwasinthechurchofStStephen
WalbrookinLondon(untilitwasdestroyedintheGreatFireof1666).Thiswasalsohisburialplace.
Theepitaphstatingthathehad"secretknowledgeofthestars"hadbeenrecordedintheearly17th
century,andwasreinstatedinthechurchin1904.

Influence
Dunstaple'sinfluenceonthecontinent'smusicalvocabularywasenormous,particularlyconsideringthe
relativepaucityofhis(attributable)works.Hewasrecognizedforpossessingsomethingneverheard
beforeinmusicoftheBurgundianSchool:lacontenanceangloise("theEnglishcountenance"),aterm
usedbythepoetMartinleFrancinhisLeChampiondesDames.LeFrancaddedthatthestyle
influencedDufayandBinchoishighpraiseindeed.
Writingafewdecadeslaterinabout1476,theFlemishcomposerandmusictheoristTinctorisreaffirmed
thepowerfulinfluenceDunstaplehad,stressingthe"newart"thatDunstaplehadinspired.Tinctoris
hailedDunstapleasthefonsetorigoofthestyle,its"wellspringandorigin."
Thecontenanceangloise,whilenotdefinedbyMartinleFranc,wasprobablyareferencetoDunstaple's
stylistictraitofusingfulltriadicharmony,alongwithalikingfortheintervalofthethird.Assumingthat
hehadbeenonthecontinentwiththeDukeofBedford,Dunstaplewouldhavebeenintroducedto
Frenchfauxbourdonborrowingsomeofthesonorities,hecreatedelegantharmoniesinhisownmusic
usingthirdsandsixths.Takentogether,theseareseenasdefiningcharacteristicsofearlyRenaissance
music,andbothLeFranc'sandTinctoris'scommentssuggestthatmanyofthesetraitsmayhave
originatedinEngland,takingrootintheBurgundianSchoolaroundthemiddleofthecentury.

Compositions
ThemusicaloutputofmedievalEnglandwasprodigious,yetalmostallmusicmanuscriptswere
destroyedduringtheEnglishReformation,particularlyasaresultoftheDissolutionoftheMonasteries
in15361540.[1]Asaresult,mostofDunstaplesworkhashadtoberecoveredfromcontinentalsources
(predominantlythosefromnorthernItalyandthesouthernAlps).
BecausenumerouscopiesofhisworkshavebeenfoundinItalianandGermanmanuscripts,hisfame
musthavebeenwidespread.Twoproblemsfacemusicologistsofthe15thcentury:first,determining
whichofthemanysurvivinganonymousworkswerewrittenbywhichcomposersand,second,
unravelingconflictingattributions.ThisismadeevenmoredifficultforEnglishcomposerssuchas
Dunstaple:scribesinEnglandfrequentlycopiedmusicwithoutanyascription,renderingitimmediately
anonymousand,whilecontinentalscribesweremoreassiduousinthisregard,manyworkspublishedin
Dunstaple'snamehaveother,potentiallyequallyvalid,attributionsindifferentsourcestoother
composers,includingGillesBinchois,JohnForestand,LeonelPower.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dunstaple

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Oftheworksattributedtohimonlyaboutfiftysurvive,amongwhicharetwocompletemasses,three
setsofconnectedmasssections,fourteenindividualmasssections,twelvecompleteisorhythmicmotets
(includingthefamousonewhichcombinesthehymnVenicreatorspiritusandthesequenceVenisancte
spiritus,andthelesswellknownAlbanusroseorutilatmentionedabove),aswellastwentyseven
separatesettingsofvariousliturgicaltexts,includingthreeMagnificatsandsevensettingsofMarian
antiphons,suchasAlmaredemptorisMaterandSalveRegina,Matermisericordiae.Dunstaplewasone
ofthefirsttocomposemassesusingasinglemelodyascantusfirmus.Agoodexampleofthistechnique
ishisMissaRexseculorum.
Heisbelievedtohavewrittensecularmusic,butnosongsinthevernacularcanbeattributedtohimwith
anydegreeofcertainty:althoughtheFrenchtextedrondeauPuisquemamourisattributedtoDunstaple
intwosourcesandthereisnoreasontodoubthisauthorship,theballaderemainedthemorefavoured
formforEnglishsecularsongatthistimeandthereislimitedopportunityforcomparisonwiththerestof
hisoutput.ThepopularmelodyORosaBella,oncethoughttobebyDunstaple,isnowattributedtoJohn
Bedyngham(orBedingham).Yet,becausesomuchofthesurviving15thcenturyrepertoryofEnglish
carolsisanonymous,andDunstapleisknowntohavewrittenmany,mostscholarsconsiderithighly
likelyforstylisticaswellasstatisticalreasonsthatsomeoftheanonymouscarolsfromthistime
areactuallybyDunstaple.

Notes
1. Sources,MayHoffman,LatinMusicinBritishSources,c1485c1610,TheBritishAcademy,1987,cited
inMS,IX,19:Groveonline

Referencesandfurtherreading
MargaretBent:"JohnDunstaple",GroveMusicOnline,ed.L.Macy(AccessedJanuary19,2006),
(subscriptionaccess)(http://www.grovemusic.com)
StanleyBoorman,etal."Sources,MS."InGroveMusicOnline.OxfordMusicOnline,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/50158pg28(accessed
December29,2008).
MargaretBent:"Dunstaple",OxfordStudiesofComposers.London,OxfordUniversityPress,
1981ISBN0193152258
MargaretBent:"Dunstaple[Dunstable],John(d.1453),composer",OxfordDictionaryofNational
Biography(subscriptionaccess)(http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/8286)
GustaveReese,MusicintheRenaissance.NewYork,W.W.Norton&Co.,1954ISBN0393
095304

Recording
1996Dunstaple:SacredWorks,OrlandoConsort.MetronomeMETCD1009.
2003CanticumCanticorum.InPraiseofLove:TheSongofSongsintheRenaissance.Capilla
Flamenca.Eufoda1359.ContainsarecordingofQuampulchraesbyJohnDunstable
2012Orosabella(http://vimeo.com/26356686),AvemarisstellaandQuampulchraesbyJohn
DunstaplehavebeenrecordedbytheLuminaVocalEnsemble

Externallinks
JohnDunstapleWebPresentation
(http://www.vanderbilt.edu/Blair/Courses/MUSL242/marjdgpg.htm)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dunstaple

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Dunstaplebiographyonhoasm.org(http://www.hoasm.org/IIIC/Dunstable.html)
Anincompletediscography(http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/composers/dunstaple.html)
About.comprofileofJohnDunstable
(http://musiced.about.com/od/thegreatmusicians/p/dunstable.htm)
FreescoresbyJohnDunstapleintheChoralPublicDomainLibrary(ChoralWiki)
FreescoresbyJohnDunstapleattheInternationalMusicScoreLibraryProject
Retrievedfrom"https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=John_Dunstaple&oldid=677592400"
Categories: PeoplefromDunstable Englishclassicalcomposers Renaissancecomposers
15thcenturyEnglishpeople 1390births 1453deaths Englishmaleclassicalcomposers
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