Guillaume de Machaut

Guillaume de Machaut (French: [ɡijom də maʃo]; also Machau and Machault; c. 1300 – April 1377) was a French poet and composer of late medieval music who was the central figure of the ars nova style. Immensely influential, Machaut is regarded as the most important composer and poet of the 14th century and is the first significant composer whose name is known. Daniel Leech-Wilkinson called him "the last great poet who was also a composer",[page needed] and well into the 15th century Machaut's poetry was greatly admired and imitated by other poets, including Geoffrey Chaucer.

One of the earliest composers on whom considerable biographical information is available, his surviving works substantially outnumber those of his contemporaries. Machaut composed in a wide range of styles and forms and was crucial in developing the motet and secular song forms (particularly the lai and the formes fixes: rondeau, virelai and ballade). Among his only surviving sacred works, Messe de Nostre Dame, is earliest known complete setting of the Ordinary of the Mass attributable to a single composer. Some of his best-known works are the rondeaux "Ma fin est mon commencement" and "Rose, liz, printemps, verdure" as well as the virelai "Douce Dame Jolie".

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