Goudimel, Claude

, one of the early and most celebrated composers of music to the metrical French translations of the psalms for the use of the protestants, was a native of Franche-Comte, who lost his life at Lyons, on the day of the massacre of Paris in 1572, for having set to music the psalms of Clement Marot. Goudimel has been much celebrated by the protestants in France for this music, which was never used in the church of Geneva, and by the catholics in Italy for instructing Palestrina in the art of composition, though it is doubtful whether this great harmonist and Goudimel had ever the least acquaintance or intercourse together. He set the “Chansons Spirituelles” of the celebrated Marc- Ant. De Muret, in four parts, which were printed at Paris, 1555. We may suppose Goudimel, at this time, to have been a catholic, as the learned Muret is never ranked among heretics by French biographers. Ten years after, when he set the psalms of Clement Marot r this version was still regarded with less horror by the catholics than in later times; for the music which Gpudimei had set to it was printed at Paris by Adrian Le Roy, and Robert Ballard, with a privilege, 1565. It was reprinted in Holland, in 1607, for the use of the protestants. His works are become so scarce, that his name and reputation are preserved by protestant historians, more in pity of his misfortunes, than by any knowledge of their excellence. The earliest mention of Goudimel, as a composer, is in a work entitled “Liber quartus Ecclesiasticarum Cantionum quatuor vocum vulgo Motetae vocant,” printed at Antwerp, by Susato, 1554-, eighteen years before his death. These motets resemble in gravity of style, simplicity in the subjects of fugue, and purity of harmony, the ecclesiastical compositions of our venerable countryman Bird. Some of his letters are printed among the poems of his intimate friend Melissus, published under the title of “Melissi Schediasmatum Reliquiae,1575, 8vo. 2


Gen. Dict. Dr, Burncy, ia Res’s Cyclopadia. Hawkins’s Hist, of Music,