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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » A » Alamire, Pierre

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Pierre Alamire (1470 - 1536)

To describe Petrus Alamire as a composer would be misleading, since there never was such a person, and it is exceedingly doubtful that he ever personally contributed a work to the ornate books that he prepared. He led a colourful life, including that of a British spy, so there may have been good reason that he arrived in that part of the world that is now Belgium, using a pseudonym. He was German, probably called Petrus Imhoff, and he was skilled in music, in particular as a copyist, who produced the most beautiful books. He was soon in demand by Royalty who used these elaborate books as major gifts. They have, therefore, been well preserved. The origin of all the music is not known, and Alamire had probably collected it on his travels before he arrived in the Low Countries - as they were then know. Handed down is around 850 works in 48 choir books. Music is even discovered in bookbindings, obviously incorrectly copied and used for this purpose. We know that his fame spread throughout Europe, as he supplied famous houses with these fine documents.



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