Jehan de Lescurel

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Jehan de Lescurel (also Jehannot de l'Escurel; fl. early 14th century) was a medieval poet and composer.

Nothing is known of his life other than that he was the son of a merchant in Paris, and he probably received his musical training at the Notre Dame cathedral. For many years, it has been presumed he was hanged on May 23, 1304, along with three other young clerics of Notre Dame, including Oudinet Pisdoé, for "debauchery" and "crimes against women" ( Hoppin 1978 , p. 368). Recent research has shown that "Jehan de Lescurel" was a rather common name in early fourteenth-century Paris, and no link is found between Jehan de Lescurel, the composer and some Jehan de Lescurel who was hanged ( Rouse and Rouse 1998 ).

He was a transitional figure from the trouvère period to the ars nova. His lyrical style unites him with the composers of the later period. The sole source for his music is the same manuscript (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS français 146) which preserves the interpolated version of the Roman de Fauvel .

Most of his works are monophonic songs, in the style of the trouvères; only one of his 34 works is polyphonic, although he wrote other works which have not survived. The songs are virelais, ballades, rondeaux and diz entés; they include word painting more in the style of the later 14th-century composers than those of the 13th century; they are simple, charming, and debauchery is not a prominent theme.

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Further reading