French composer; born about 1460 near Chartres; died about 1515.
Brumel was a very prominent Franco-Flemish composer of the late Burgundian School, perhaps one of the few actually born in France. Brumel was a contemporary of Josquin, perhaps even studying under him for a time. Brumel is thought to have composed mostly sacred choral works, primarily masses (these are the works that Brumel is known for). However, a few secular songs and instrumental compositions survive today.
Brumel's style, while polyphonic, was more chordal and less encumbered with the contrapuntal intricacies than the choral music of his peers. In addition, Brumel's style is influenced by his travels and appointments in Italy. Consequently, Brumel's better-known compositions resemble more the later style of the Renaissance composers such as Palestrina than they do the style of his contemporaries such as Ockeghem. The best known of these chord-rich works is the mass for twelve voices, the Missa Et ecce terrae motus ("Earthquake Mass").
Not much is known with certainty of Brumel's career. He appears to have been well-traveled and perhaps hard to work with. He started out as a singer at Notre Dame Cathedral in Chartres, in 1483. He then served as "Master of Innocents" at St. Peter's in Geneva, from 1486-1492. Also during this same time, records show that Brumel spent time in 1489-1490, in the service of the court of the Duke of Savoy in Chambéry. Brumel's departure from his position at Notre Dame Chartres was under mysterious circumstances, and a gap of about five years exists, where his whereabouts are unknown. Brumel became a priest in 1497, and held a position at Laon. Then, from 1500-1501, Brumel was choirmaster over the choirboys at Notre Dame in Paris. However, he left in a dispute over the appointment of a new choirboy. Another stint as a singer in Chambéry from 1501 to 1502 was followed by an appointment as Choirmaster to Alfonso I d'Este at Ferrara, 1506-10.
In the annals of early 16th century composers, Brumel is second only to Josquin in influence and importance.
- Musicologie.org (Google-translated version of http://musicologie.free.fr/Biographies/brumel_antoine.html)
- Classical Net (www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/brumel.html)
- xrefer (http://www.xrefer.com/entry/237472)
- Medieval.org (http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/composers/brumel.html)