Biographical note

jacob Clemens non Papa [Jacques Clement]

b ca.1510-15 ;  d ca.1555/6
Once more: little is known about this Netherlandish or Flemish composer (Some suggest: Middelburg, Zeeland). The first reference to him is from the late 1530s, when Pierre Attaingnant published a collection of his chansons in Paris. In 1544 he was choirmaster at the Church or St. Donatian in Brugge (Bruges), Five years later Clemens turns up in the Cathedral at 's Hertogenbosch as a member ot the Fraternity of Our Lady. Sometime during his life he was active in Ieper (Ypres), according to the Flemish historian Gramaye, writing fifty years after the musician's death, Clemens died in 1555 and was· buried in Diksmuiden (Dixmude). He was a prolific composer: masses, motets, French chansons, and Dutch part-songs. Only three of his compositions are on religious texts of Clement Marot: a setting of Psalm 51 in Waelrant and Laet's third Jardin musical of 1556 and a setting of the two Marot graces(prandial prayers). The earliest source· for the two grace settings is Phalese's Septieme livre of 1570. It seems reasonable to assume that the two prayers were printed earlier in the Low Countries, probably in a chanson collection that has been lost. BTW: Clemens non papa is most widely known for other Psalm settings: The  3vv settings of (a large part of the Souterliedekens (Dutch Psalter) published in 1556-1557 by Susato in his Musyck Boexken ("Music Books"), IV-VII.  

P.S.: Why the epithet "non Papa" ?  Some say this was (jokingly) added to his name by his collaborator T. Susato, who printed most of his works.  The suffix might have been created in jest rather than for practical reasons ("Jacob Clemens, but not the Pope." ): Pope Clemens VII had died in 1534, i.e. before the composer appeared in print.
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