Gilles Binchois

By: Niamh Russell

All about Binchois

Gilles Binchois was born in Mons, Belgium, around 1400. He was named Gilles de Bins at birth, but went by Gilles Binchois for most of his life. He spent most of his time in Belgium.

It is unknown who specifically trained Binchois, but many have theories as to how he grew into a talented composer. Some say it was from Italian or French influence, and others say it was from his years in the choir at the Hainaut Court. Mons was full of popular musicians, which greatly inspired Binchois. He first showed his individual talent in 1419, when he started playing the organ at church services.

Binchois was raised by his father, a businessman. Although not for certain, Binchois was said to be a chivalrous soldier, according to a song performed at his funeral, Ainsi que a la fois m'y souvient (And at the Same Time Remember Me). He was said to have possibly worked in the Earl Service, where he wrote his most famous song, De plus en plus (More and More), but left in the 1420’s to later strive in the music industry. From 1427-1453, Binchois worked for Philip the Good at the Burgundian court. As well as being a talented musician and a dedicated soldier, records show Binchois was also a skilled dentist. Many say his greatest collection was the rondeau, a poetic style of song, that differed from music of the time. He also varied his work from sacred to secular.

Binchois wrote many compositions, including (as meantioned before) De plus en plus (More and More), Nove cantum melodie (New Songs), and Je ne pouroye estre joyeux (I Cannot Be Joyous). More of peers than patrons, Dufay and Dunstaple were Binchois' fellow composers at the time.

More and More

De plus en plus, or More and More, is one of Bonchois' most renowned compositions. Although it was written around 1425, it is still copied and modernized today, as well as performed in orchestras. This piece was significant to its time because of its unique style. De plus en plus is filled with syllabic, interesting rhythms, that were new to the Renaissance. The piece starts with the cantus, joined by a tenor, and contratenor (types of singers). This piece is a love poem. Binchois uses distinctive rhythms and harmonies to show passion. It represents the culture and style of the Renaissance, but in a new way. This is why I find this piece interesting, because it opened doors for music to come, and stood out as a Renaissance piece.
Gilles de Binchois, De plus en plus

Connections

Gilles Binchois represented the essence of the Renaissance through his music. He represented the ideals of humanism and secularism. He displayed human interests and desire in his compositions, as well as straying from the "norm". Binchois chose a new path and often drifted from ideas such as religion, and instead into unexplored territory.

Works Cited

"Binchois: De plus En plus Se Renouvelle (ca. 1425): Rondeau: R.Chin."MUSC520 Musical

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Burkholder, J. Peter, Donald J. Grout, and Claude V. Palisca. ":: Welcome to

History of Western Music - 7th Edition ::." Welcome to A History of Western Music.

W.W.Norton, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.


Eyck, Jan Van. Gilles Bichois. 1432. Wikimedia, Bruges. Wikimedia. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.


"Gilles Binchois." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Vol. 35. Detroit: Gale, 2015.

Biography in Context. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.


Lapinot21. "Gilles De Binchois, De plus En plus." YouTube. YouTube, 1 Aug. 2009. Web. 03 Dec. 2015.