Jean Mouton Composer

Jean Mouton was born in Holluigue, near Samer in 1459. He spent most of his time in Northern France, specifically Nesle in his early life and St. Quentin in his later years. Little is known about his early life but his first job was as a singer and teacher at a church. Mouton was a very religious man who spent his whole life dedicated to the church, whether it be writing music for them or serving as a canon among other things. Mouton was a composer and he created motets, masses, magnificats, and chansons. Three pieces that he composed were "Ave Maria - virgo serena for five voices, in two parts", "Missa "l'Homme armé", and "Qui ne regrettroit le gentil Févin". Jean Mouton’s patrons were Queen Anne, Louis XII, and François I. He also wrote numerous works for the church and Pope Leo X. Mouton had many "-isms" in his music. Classicism was prominent because Mouton’s works are very elegant and “symmetrical”. His works are also about the church’s history. Idealism is also in his music because Mouton used simplicity and “true forms” in his music. Since he was writing for the church, his music was bringing order in a chaotic world. Naturalism is also used because his music was very natural. He uses tones and light, “airy” dynamics. Naturalism is found in Northern Europe, which is where Mouton spent his whole life.

A famous piece by Jean Mouton is "Nesciens mater". It was finished in 1555 and today it can be heard in churches and in classical choir concerts. It is significant because the structure is very impressive both then and now. The song is written for eight parts and the music stays within a certain range of notes. Even though the music has a limited range, Mouton creates smooth, beautiful sounding music which is extremely hard to do. The song is very simple sounding but yet has complex melodies and harmonies. The song is about the birth of Christ which gives the song a happy and holy sound. You can also hear all eight parts; each line is highlighted by voices. Naturalism is most closely linked to this piece because of the tones and subtlety in it. It is also very simple sounding. The complexity of the song impresses me so much. The sound is very relaxing and soothing. You can listen to it on YouTube at this address -

Costa, Lorenzo, and Alka Nooitmeer. Lorenzo Costa- Nativity. Digital image. Pinterest. Alka Nooitmeer, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2016.

"Jean [Jehan] Mouton." HOASM: Jean Mouton. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2016.

"Jean Mouton." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Schirmer, 2001. Biography in Context, Accessed 9 Dec. 2016.

Josquin Desprez: Missa De Beata Virgine; Jean Mouton: Motets. Digital image. All Music. All Music, n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.


Created with images by iClassicalCom - "Josquin Desprez Missa Of Beata Virgine. Jean Mouton Motets Paul Hillier And Theatre Of Voices Harmonia Mundi" • Rennett Stowe - "Madonna and Child" • irinaraquel - "Lorenzo Costa - Nativity"

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