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Jacobus Clemens non Papa


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Jacobus Clemens non Papa (also Jacques Clément or Jacob Clemens non Papa) (c. 1510 to 1515 – 1555 or 1556) was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance. He was a prolific composer in many of the current styles, and was especially famous for his polyphonic settings of the psalms in Dutch known as the Souterliedekens.

Nothing is known of his early life, and even the details of the years of his artistic maturity are sketchy. He may have been born in Middelburg, Zeeland, though the evidence is contradictory; certainly he was from somewhere in modern Belgium or the Netherlands. The first unambiguous reference to him is from the late 1530s, when Pierre Attaingnant published a collection of his chansons in Paris. Between March 1544 and June 1545 he worked at the Bruges cathedral, and shortly thereafter he began a business relationship with Tielman Susato, the publisher in Antwerp, which was to last for the rest of his life. From 1545 until 1549 he was probably choirmaster at the court of Charles V, where he preceded Nicolas Gombert. In 1550 he was employed by the Marian Brotherhood in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Other towns in which he may have lived and worked include Ieper, Dordrecht, and Leiden.

His nickname “non Papa” was jokingly added to distinguish him either from the contemporaneous Pope Clement VII — “Jacob Clemens — but not the Pope” — or from the poet Jacobus Papa, also from Ieper. It is possible also that the name reflected Protestant sympathies on Clemens’ part.


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  • bruno__________

    the picture is from Clemens IX *THE POPE*, not from J. Clemens non Papa. And the same error is repeated all over the internet.

    3 Oct 2012 Reply
  • rhythmnerd

    Gorgeous! So much current church music is so bland and uninteresting. This is almost worth trying to build a time machine.

    27 Jan 2010 Reply
  • cuddyx3valium

    Ego flos campi is my favorite out of all his works. & yes his name is pretty cool ,haha.

    5 Dec 2008 Reply
  • Eclectic-G

    Jacobus Clemens non Papa is one cool name!

    2 May 2008 Reply

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