The Rondeaux & Ballades of Guillaume de Machaut

Machaut, Guillaume de (c. 1300–1377), translated by Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

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Guillaume de Machaut, a prominent 14th-century French poet-composer, was instrumental in the ars nova musical wave and advanced the motet and secular forms such as rondel and ballade. He studied in Reims before serving John I of Luxembourg and later, Jean, Duc de Berry. By 1337, he took the role of a canon in Reims, focusing on writing and music composition. He created numerous prose, narrative poems, and a notable treatise on poetry. Christine de Pisan, Chaucer, and other musicians later drew inspiration from his works. This selection underscores his focus on courtly love conventions. The music for all but a few of the selected poems is extant, and available in many fine recordings. Rhyme schemes have been variously altered to achieve a workable verse translation, while hopefully not losing the flavour of the original.

Author Details

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Kline, A. S.

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