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Flashcards in Composers Deck (16):

Guido of Arezzo

c991-c1033 C.E.

An Italian monk who invented the musical staff and note names as well as the solfege system. Also attributed with the invention of the Guidonian hand.


Hildegard of Bingen


A polymath who wrote books on many subjects. Musically, wrote nearly 80 chants preserved in her book Symphonia. The chants formed a full-length liturgical drama entitled Ordo virtutum, the earliest morality play to be set entirely to music.



most noted for 1160-1201

A composer at Notre Dame who wrote the Magnus liber organi which embellished the Gradual and Alleluia of the Proper.




The successor of Leoninus. He used the rhythmic inventions and created polyphonic works unprecedented length, complexity, and grandeur. He wrote more three and four voice organum than had previously been composed.


Francesco Landini


Influenced by the French ars nova.

Landini cadence: the sixth in the outer voices expands to an octave with a lower neighbor tone.


Guillaume de Machaut


First composer to have a 'complete works'. Popularized the French formes fixe

Most famous work is the Mass of Our Lady.


Guillaume Dufay


Frequent visitor of the courts of the dukes of Burgundy.

Late 1450's - Missa L'Homme arme, first known cantus firmus Mass.


Johannes Ockeghem

mid 15th century

Born in Burgundy, worked in the French royal chapel. Influenced many composers of the day.

First composer to attempt to structure compositions through imitation.

Composed the Missa Prolationum (mensuration canon).


Josquin des Prez


One of the best Renaissance composers. Became chapel master for the Duke Hercules.

Composed nearly 20 Masses and used many compositional techniques including soggetto cavato. Composed around 70 motets and is considered the master of text expression.




Born around Rome and worked in many churches including St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.

"Savior of Church Music".

Composed more than 700 sacred works, including 104 polyphonic Masses. All music was for voice alone.


Thomas Tallis


A composer of music for all faiths (Catholic, Anglican, and Puritan). Most well known for simple psalm settings.

Set music to the Parker Psalter with 8 settings for each psalm.

Most well-known for Psalm 2 - used later in orchestral music.


William Byrd


The successor to Thomas Tallis for Queen Elizabeth. Wrote some music for Catholic masses. Also composed motets for Anglican Church called anthems.


Carlo Gesualdo


Prolific composer of madrigals. Used advanced techniques including rapid ascents, wide ranges, and difficult leaps.


Claudio Monteverdi


Known as a composer of secular including nine books of madrigals and several important early operas.

Invented the seconda pratica, a text-driven approach of musical composition. (Prima practica follows rules of counterpoint regardless of the text). He used more unprepared dissonances, but was driven by meaning of the text.


Giovanni Gabrieli


First composer to indicate dynamic levels in the score. One of the first to use the term sonata.

Sacrae symphoniae, Sonata pian e forte.


Heinrich Schutz


Kapellmeister to the Elector at Dresden. Studied under Monteverdi.