RECENT: Find out about composers from unusual places, including Gerard Schurmann, Giya Kancheli, Nazib Zhiganov and Nodar Gabunia, about singing in cars, and meet Jim Hutton from the RLPO and some of our regular contributors in this eighty-minute February 2021 video.
Born probably in the Pas de Calais in about 1430, Antoine Busnois was a French composer and poet with a very high reputation during his lifetime. He was associated with the French royal court and became a leading figure in the Burgundian school after Guillaume Dufay had died.
He may have been composer of the tune L'homme armé. His mass based on this tune was the most influential. He also wrote chansons, mostly based on his own texts.
He worked at Tours (where he was one of a group of people who beat up a priest) and at Poitiers, and also for the music-loving 'Charles the Bold' at the court of Burgundy, whom he accompanied on military campaigns. He died in Bruges (where he had been working at the Church of St Sauveur) on 6 November 1492, but his reputation lived on, with some of his tunes still being used as source material for cantus firmus mass composition over a generation later.