History of Music Tour

The tour will be from the 25th July-1 Aug

What, Where, When

The tour will start the 25th of July and end August 1st. The music tour will be about renaissance composers. We will be visiting 6 places, each one will be related to one of the renaissance composers. We will visit some of the low countries during this tour and even Milan. The tour will start in Hainaut, now Belgium and it will end in Milan, Italy.

Hainaut (Now Belgium)

We will start our tour in Belgium, where Josquin was born. Josquin was born around 1450. During his childhood, both his parents died. His aunt and uncle adopted him. Josquin was a choirboy in a church. Josquin worked for the Sforza family from 1482-1484. Josquin de Prez composed secular music. Josquin managed to compose 18 Masses, 100 motets, 70 chansons and other secular works. Josquin was one of the first composers to write the words and music so that they sounded nice together, so that they would be in a nice relation with each other. From 1489 to 1495 Josquin was a member of the papal choir, first under Pope Innocent and later under the Borgia pope Alexander VI. In 1498 he re-entered the service of the Sforza family, but did not stay long because in 1499, Pope Louis XII captured captured Milan in his invasion of northern Italy and imprisoned Josquin's former employers. Around this time Josquin most likely returned to France, although documented details of his career around the turn of the 16th century are lacking. Prior to departing Italy he most likely wrote one of his most famous secular compositions, the frottola El grillo (the Cricket), as well as In te Domine speravi ("I have placed my hope in you, Lord"). Nobody knows exactly where Josquin died and when he died.

Saint Ghislain, Belgium

Our next stop will be also in Belgium. Saint Ghislain is where Ockeghem was born. Nobody knows when he was born but dates around 1410-1450 have been proposed. He grew up in Saint Ghislain. Like all the other composers, Ockeghem started out as a chorister. It has been suggested that he studied in Mons, where there were 2 competent music schools. Ockeghem was recognized for his expressie and technical prowess music. Ockeghem wrote motets, masses, and secular chansons. Some of his major works are 14 masses including Missa Quinti Toni, Missa l'homme armé, and Missa prolationum; 10 motets, 20 chansons, 1 canon and other ensemble pieces. Ockeghem was also a flemish singer/teacher. As chaplain and composer, Ockeghem served three French kings: Charles VII, Louis XI, and Charles VIII. Ockeghem died in 1497 in Tours, France.

Mons, Belgium

The next stop is in Mons, still in Belgium. Lassus was born in Mons but there haven't been any suggestions about when Lassus was born. There is not much information about Lassus' childhood, but we do know that he was kidnapped 3 times because of his beautiful singing voice. Lassus became a Flemish composer. At the age of 12, Lassus left the low countries and went to Mantua, Sicily with Ferrante Gonzaga. Later he went to Milan (1547-1549). Next he went to Naples during the early 1550's. During this time is when we have found his first works. Later, his next stop was Rome. In Rome he worked for Cosimo de Medici. In 1553, he became maestro di cappella there in the St. John Basilica Lateran. However, he only stayed in Rome for 1 year. After 1554, we don't know where he went anymore. There are some suggestions that he traveled to France and England. Later he returned to the low countries and had his early works published in Antwerp. After he settled in Munich. In 1558 he married Regina Wäckinger. Later he made a few visits to Italy where he found the newest trends and modern styles. Lassus died in 1594, Munich.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Cathedral, Antwerp

The first documented record of Ockenghem is from the time when he was in Antwerp. In Antwerp he was part of a choir in the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Cathedral. He was employed there in June, 1443. He was a left-hand choir singer (which means that he sang composed music, right-hand choir singers sang chant). He probably sang under the direction of Johannes Pullois.

Milan Cathedral, Italy

From 1480-1482, Josquin was in service of the Sforza family. While he was working for them, he made more than 1 trip to Rome. While he was in Milan, he made aquaintance with Franchinus Gaffurius who was maestro di cappella in Milan's Cathedral. He was again in Milan in 1489 after he had traveled a bit, but left again that year.

Basilica of St. John Lateran, Rome, Italy

In Rome, Lassus became maestro di cappella of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in 1553. However, he only stayed there 1 year. We don't know exactly what he did during 1554 but contemporary claims are that he traveled to France and England.