The Full Wiki

More info on Franco-Flemish School

Franco-Flemish School: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

In music, the Franco-Flemish School refers, somewhat imprecisely, to the style of polyphonic vocal music composition in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, and to the composers who wrote it. See Renaissance music for a more detailed description of the musical style, and links to individual composers from this time.

The composers of this time and place, and the music they produced, are also known as the Dutch School. As the country borders in this period can not be compared with any national borders today, the term "Dutch" may be confusing. Few of the artists originated in what is now the Netherlandsmarker. Instead, the word "Dutch" refers to the Low Countries, roughly corresponding to modern Belgiummarker Flanders with for instance Adriaan Willaert and Jacob Obrecht or Walloniamarker with for instance Josquin des Prez and Orlande de Lassus,, northern Francemarker and the Netherlands. Most artists were born in Hainautmarker, Flanders and Brabant. During periods of political stability, this was a center of cultural activity for more than two hundred years, although the exact centers shifted location during this time, and by the end of the sixteenth century the focal point of the musical world shifted from this region to Italy.

While many of the composers were born in the region loosely known as the Netherlands, they were famous for working elsewhere. Dutchmen moved to Italymarker, to Spainmarker, to towns in Germany and France and other parts of Europe, carrying their styles with them. The diffusion of their technique, especially after the revolutionary development of printing, produced the first true international style since the unification of Gregorian chant in the 9th century.

Following are five groups, or generations, that are sometimes distinguished in the Franco-Flemish school. It should be noted that development of the musical style was continuous, and these generations only provide useful reference points.

  • The First generation (1420-1450), dominated by Dufay, Binchois and Antoine Busnois; this group of composers is most often known as the Burgundian School
  • The Second generation (1450-1485), with Ockeghem as its main exponent
  • The Third generation (1480-1520): Obrecht, Isaac, Brumel and Josquin
  • The Fourth generation (1520-1560): Gombert, Willaert and Clemens non Papa
  • The Fifth generation (1560-1600): Lassus. By this time, many of the composers of polyphonic music were native to Italy and other countries: the Netherlandish style had naturalized on foreign soil, and become a true European style.

Josquin des Prez, Petrus Opmeer's woodcut

The Franco-Flemish Motet

Composed between 1450 and 1500, these motets were typically written for four voices with all voices being equal. The low range was extended and the texture was thick and dark. Composers include Ockeghem, and Josquin. An example of a Franco-Flemish motet is De profundis clamavi ad te, composed by Josquin Des Prez between 1500 and 1521.



  • The New Harvard Dictionary of Music.
  • A History of Music and Musical Style, by Homer Ulrich & Paul Pisk (1963). New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanoich. ISBN 0-15-537720-5.

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address