Rojélio de Los Altos

August 14, 2013

The blind 14C Italian composer Landini: The blind 14C Italian composer

Had I lived and been a composer in the 14th century people in the future might have referred to me as “Los Altos.” I bring this up as I was listening to music by Guillaume de Machaut this morning and after reading the useless notes on the Odyssey LP I realized I wanted to know more about Machaut.

Scholars originally thought Machaut was from a little town near Rheims, France called Machault. Nowadays scholars think he was most likely born in Rheims. So the composer today could very easily be known  as “Rheims” rather than Machaut or William from Machault.

Listening to this music, coupled on one side with five works each by Machaut and Landini I realized how engrained this music has been in my life but I had somehow forgotten. I listened to this LP many times as an undergraduate and haven’t listened to it since then. I know the music so well that I could notate all the 3 part compositions on that album by memory. I hear Machaut and Landini’s influence on my own counterpoint. I had no idea: I thought the influence was from Stravinsky.

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