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Jacob Clemens non Papa
Birth: 1515
Death: 1556

Composer. A major figure in 16th Century Renaissance music. His polyphonic vocal works are surprisingly free of Italian influence and rank among the purest examples of the Franco-Flemish style. Clemens's historical importance lies in his complete setting of the Psalms in Dutch, the "Souterliedekens", printed in four volumes from 1556 to 1557. Adapted to popular songs of the day, they were intended for domestic rather than church use and were particularly influential in the Protestant enclaves of Continental Europe. His Latin Masses and motets are far richer in expression. Outstanding among them is the "Missa Gaude lux Donatiane" (1544). Clemens was probably born in Ypres, Flanders (now Belgium). Nothing is known of his early years, except that he trained as a priest and spent some time in Paris, where his music was first published in 1536. The peculiar appendage to his name, "non Papa" ("not the Pope"), was probably a joke, facetiously intended to distinguish himself from either Pope Clement VII or a contemporary Flemish priest-poet who called himself Jacobus Papa. In 1544 he was appointed succentor (subcantor) of St. Donatian Cathedral in Bruges, and from 1545 to 1549 he was choirmaster for Philippe de Croy, Duke of Aerschot, an important general under Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. After 1550 he held no documented musical posts; he applied for a job at the court of Randolph II of Austria but was refused because of his reputation as "a great drunkard who leads a bad life". He seems to have wandered around the Low Countries, spending time in Hertogenbosch and Leiden before ending up at Diksmuide. In the text of a motet lamenting his death, Dutch composer Jacob Vaet stated that Clemens "met a violent fate", without providing further details. He produced a large body of work during his short life - 15 Masses (including a Requiem), 233 motets, 16 Magnificats, three Mass movements, and some 100 secular songs and instrumental pieces, in addition to the "Souterliedekens". The latter suggests he may have had Protestant sympathies, though there is no evidence he ever renounced Catholicism. The majority of his output was published by Tielman Sustato in Antwerp from 1556 to 1559. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
Church of St. Nicholas
Arrondissement Brussel-Hoofdstad
Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Sep 12, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21506975
Jacob Clemens non Papa
Added by: Anonymous
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