Eva Leach, Machaut's Music: New Interpretations
(Woodbridge: The Boydell press, 2003) in the
series Studies in Medieval and Renaissance
Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300-1377) was the
foremost poet and composer of 14th century France.
He was highly successful in his own day, enjoyed
the patronage of several members of the French
Royal House, and wrote large quantities of narrative
and lyric poetry. In addition, he set more that
100 of his own lyrics to music helping to establish
the so-called formes fixes of ballade, rondeau,
and virelai; his is also the first surviving
polyphonic setting of the cycle of the Mass
ordinary that is known to be by a single composer.
Moreover, his training as a court secretary
led him to oversee the copying of his own works
so that his complete works survive in several
large manuscripts from his lifetime; more musical
pieces survive by him than by any other single
French composer of this period.