The Misattributions of Josquin

In: Film and Music

Submitted By Asulli21
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The Misattributions of Josquin

Ashley Sullivan

There are many reasons to account for Josquin’s reputation as the finest composer of his time. He was one of the first composers to benefit from print culture. Printing gave Josquin the ability to achieve recognition that was previously denied from composers whose work was distributed only in manuscript, which was really expensive. In addition, Josquin’s unique style, which would have been considered arrogant in the era before his time, was instead praised due to the evolving movements of the Renaissance. These movements, including humanism and Protestantism both valued individualism which allowed Josquin to flourish with his distinctive and innovative style. Although he is so greatly admired, many of his works have been proven not to be authentic and misattributed. In the New Grove catalogue of Josquin’s works, out of 315 compositions 136 are thought to be misattributed to him. This has been a central problem in the authenticity and chronology of Josquin’s output and career.
In this paper, I will try to bring light to certain errors in the documentation of Josquin’s career that have been assumed to be a part of his life which have caused confusion not only in his biography but also in his career. In order to accomplish this I will 1) Discuss Josquin’s background of his life and career; 2) Examine why Josquin is so popular and widely revered and how that affected the documentation of his life; 3) Explore one of the compositions attributed to Josquin that is now thought to not be his to explain why it couldn’t have been written by Josquin but also consider how confusion could occur due to similar composing styles of his contemporaries. Josquin’s history continues to be revisited due to the inconsistency of his biography and career. My purpose is to give insight to not only the reader but myself as well…...

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