Nothing is known about Gilles until 1419, when he became organist at the church of Ste. Waudru in Mons. In 1423 went to live in Lille. Around this time he may have been a soldier in the service of the Burgundians, or perhaps the English Earl of Suffolk, as indicated by a line in the memorial motet written on his death by Ockeghem. Sometime near the end of the 1420s he joined the court chapel of Burgundy, and by the time of his motet Nove cantum melodie (1431) he was evidently a singer there, since the text of the motet itself lists all 19 singers. He retired to Soignes, evidently with a substantial pension for his long years of excellent service to the Burgundian court. Music and influence Binchois is often considered to be the finest melodist of the 15th century, writing carefully shaped lines which are easy to sing, and utterly memorable; his tunes continued to appear in copies decades later, and were often used as sources for mass composition by later composers.
Most of his music, even his sacred music, is simple and clear in outline, sometimes even ascetic; a greater contrast between Binchois and the extreme complexity of the ars subtilior of the previous century would be hard to imagine. Most of his secular songs are rondeaux, which had become the commonest song form of the century; but Binchois rarely writes simple strophic form, instead shaping his melody almost independent of the rhyme scheme of the verse. Binchois wrote music for the court, secular songs of love and chivalry, music that was expected by the Dukes of Burgundy and that was evidently loved by them. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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