Jehan Titelouze

(1563/4 - 1633)

French composer of Netherlandish descent. Spent most of his career in Rouen, becoming organist at S. Jean in 1585 and at the cathedral from 1588; acquired French citizenship in 1604, and was knowledgeable on instrument-making and musical theory, corresponding with Mersenne and supervising the building of organs. He was an important, if conservative, composer of organ music, issuing volumes of organ hymns and fugues (1623) and organ Magnificats on the eight plainsong tones (1626). Though the hymns use a variation technique, and Titelouze's subtle dissonance treatment looks forward to the era of tonality, his art belongs in the realm of traditional polyphony, with its continuous part-writing and artful contrapuntal device.

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