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Who Was “Prioris”? A Royal Composer Recovered

Abstract Research into the musical establishments of the French royal court during the reign of Louis XII (1498–1515) must contend with a severe lack of basic documentation from the musical chapels of Louis and Queen Anne of Brittany. A hitherto unexplored resource helping to fill this lacuna is offered by the archives of Blois, the principal urban base of the peripatetic royal households in the early sixteenth century. New archival records shed light on the activities of leading singers and composers of the court, among them the enigmatic royal chapelmaster “Prioris,” occasioning a complete revision of the composer's biography. A new story emerges: Prioris turns out to be not the “Johannes Prioris” known from the secondary literature—who likely never existed—but the Blois canon Denis Prieur (Dionisius Prioris), who had already served Louis XII for many years before his accession. The new outline of Prioris's biography reveals a career and life rooted in the Loire Valley, a localized and institutionalized view supported by a reexamination of the musician's compositional output and significant new musical evidence. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the American Musicological Society University of California Press
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