Pérotin


Pérotin

Pérotin ("fl. c." 1200), also called Perotin the Great, was a European composer, believed to be French, who lived around the end of the twelfth and beginning of the 13th century. He was the most famous member of the Notre Dame school of polyphony. He was one of very few composers of his day whose name has been preserved, and can be reliably attached to individual compositions; this is due to the testimony of an anonymous English student at Notre Dame known as Anonymous IV, who wrote about him and his predecessor Léonin. Anonymous IV called him "Perotin Magister", which means Pérotin the master or expert. The name Pérotin is itself derived from "Perotinus," the Latin diminutive of Petrus, the Latin version of the French name Pierre.

Musical forms and style

Pérotin composed organum, the earliest type of polyphonic music; previous European music, such as Gregorian and other types of chant, had been monophonic. He pioneered the styles of "organum triplum" and "organum quadruplum" (three and four-part polyphony); in fact his "Sederunt principes" and "Viderunt omnes" are among only a few "organa quadrupla" known.

A prominent feature of his compositional style was to take a simple, well-known melody and stretch it out in time, so each syllable was hundreds of seconds long, and then use each note of the melody (the tenor, Latin for "holder", or cantus firmus) as the basis for rhythmically complex, interweaving lines above it. The result was that one or more vocal parts sang free, quickly moving lines ("discants") over the chant below, which was extended to become a slowly shifting drone.

Works

Works attributed to Pérotin include the four-voice "Viderunt omnes" and "Sederunt principes"; the three-voice "Alleluia, Posui adiutorium", "Alleluia, Nativitas", and nine others attributed to him by contemporary scholars on stylistic grounds, all in the organum style; the two-voice "Dum sigillum summi Patris", and the monophonic "Beata viscera" in the conductus style. (The "conductus" sets a rhymed Latin poem called a sequence to a repeated melody, much like a contemporary hymn.)

Pérotin's works are preserved in the "Magnus Liber", the "Great Book" of early polyphonic church music, which was in the collection of the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. The "Magnus Liber" also contains the works of his slightly earlier contemporary Léonin. However, attempts by scholars to place Pérotin at Notre Dame have been inconclusive, all evidence being circumstantial, and very little is known of his life. His dates of activity can be approximately established from some late 12th century edicts of the Bishop of Paris, Odo of Sully, which mention "organum triplum" and "organum quadruplum", and his known collaboration with poet Philip the Chancellor, whose "Beata viscera" he could not have set before about 1220. The bishop's edicts are quite specific, and suggest that Pérotin's organum quadruplum "Viderunt omnes" was written for Christmas 1198, and his other organum quadruplum "Sederunt Principes" was composed for St. Stephen's Day (December 26), 1199, for the dedication of a new wing of the Notre Dame Cathedral. His music, as well as that of Léonin and their anonymous contemporaries, has been grouped together as the School of Notre Dame.

Contemporary critiques

With polyphony, musicians were able to achieve musical feats perceived by many as beautiful, and by others, distasteful. John of Salisbury (1120 – 1180) taught at the University of Paris during the years of Léonin and Pérotin. He attended many concerts at the Notre Dame Choir School. In "De nugis curialiam" he offers a first-hand description of what was happening to music in the high Middle Ages. This philosopher and Bishop of Chartres wrote:

Influence

Pérotin's music has influenced modern minimalist composers such as Steve Reich, particularly in Reich's work "Proverb". [http://www.wnyc.org/shows/newsounds/episodes/2004/06/08 WNYC - New Sounds: Program #2294 (June 08, 2004) ] ]

References and further reading

*Article "Pérotin", in "The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians", ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1561591742
*Richard H. Hoppin (1978). "Medieval Music". New York, W. W. Norton & Co. ISBN 0393090906
*Author: "Pérotin", Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed February 6, 2005), [http://www.grovemusic.com (subscription access)]
*Paul Hillier, program notes to "Perotin", CD ECM New 837-751-2.
*Hayburn, Robert F. Papal Legislation on Sacred Music 95 AD to 1977 AD Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1979.

Recordings

*"Messe de la Nativité de la Vierge". Ensemble Organum, Marcel Pérès. Harmonia Mundi 901538 (1995).
*"Perotin". The Hilliard Ensemble, CD ECM New Series, 837-751-2


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Perotín — Perotín, llamado en francés Pérotin le Grand (‘el grande’) o en latín Magister Perotinus Magnus (también Perotinus Magnus y Magister Perotinus) fue un compositor francés medieval, que nació en París entre 1155 y 1160 y murió hacia 1230.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Perotin — Pérotin Pour les articles homonymes, voir Pérotin (homonymie). Pérotin Naissance vers 1160 Pays d’origine Royaume de France Décès vers 12 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Perotin — Seite aus dem Alleluia nativitas Pérotin (Perotinus), auch als „Magister Perotinus“ oder „Perotinus magnus“ bekannt, (* zwischen 1150 und 1165; † zwischen 1200 und 1225) war Magister an der Klosterkirche und Kathedrale Notre Dame in Paris und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pérotin — Seite aus dem Alleluia nativitas Pérotin (Perotinus), auch als „Magister Perotinus“ oder „Perotinus magnus“ bekannt, (* zwischen 1150 und 1165; † zwischen 1200 und 1225) war Magister an der Klosterkirche und Kathedrale Notre Dame in Paris und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pérotin — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Pérotin (homonymie). Pérotin Naissance vers 1160 Pays d’origine Royaume de France Décès vers 1230 Royaum …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pérotin — ▪ French composer Latin  Perotinus   died 1238?, Paris?, France       French composer of sacred polyphonic music, who is believed to have introduced the composition of polyphony in four parts into Western music.       Nothing is known of Pérotin… …   Universalium

  • Pérotin — El compositor francés Pérotin, llamado le Grand (el grande) magister Pérotinus magnus , nació hacia 1160 y murió entorno a 1230. En el s.XIII revisó el Grand Livre d organum (magnus liber organi). Hacia 1200, compuso unas obras a tres o cuatro… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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