Reference Entry

Menehou, Michel de

Frank Dobbins

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print January 2001 |
Published online January 2001 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI:

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(fl Paris, 1557–68). French theorist and composer. In 1558 he was maître de chapelle at the abbey church of Saint Maur-des-Fossés and enjoyed the patronage of Cardinal Guillaume Du Bellay, the dedicatee of his Nouvelle instruction familière, en laquelle sont contenues les difficultés de la musique. According to Du Verdier and La Croix du Maine, and Draudius, the treatise was reissued in 1571 under the title Nouvelle instruction contenant en brief les preceptes ou fondemens de musique tant pleine que figurée; an edition with this title was published at Paris in 1582. The book responded to contemporary demand for vernacular treatises on music, but it differs from similar works by Loys Bourgeois, Maximilien Guilliaud, Philibert Jambe de Fer and Claude Martin in devoting much space to elementary harmony; the full title referred to ‘concordances et accords’ (concordances and intervals) and their use in two- to five-part writing, while Menehou's prologue mentioned young people's desire to learn ‘how to practise chords in order to set something down in writing’. He accordingly included chapters on three-, four- and five-part harmonization, counterpoint, canons and cadences, as well as the usual ones on rudiments (mode, mutation, time, prolation and proportion) which quote from earlier theorists, notably Gaffurius, Frosch, Lampadius and Glarean. The treatise ends with a four-voice chanson, ...

Reference Entry.  397 words. 

Subjects: High Renaissance Music (1500-1600)

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