Claudin De Sermisy

About Claudin De Sermisy

Who is it?: French composer
Birth Place: France, French Guianese
Died On: October 13, 1562

Claudin De Sermisy Net Worth

Claudin De Sermisy was born in France, French Guianese, is French composer. Claudin de Sermisy was a leading French composer of the Renaissance. In the early 16th century, apart from Clément Janequin, Sermisy was one of the most eminent composers of French chansons and of sacred music. His music was essentially inclined towards contemporary Italian styles. He was believed to be associated with the mid-13th-century Sainte-Chapelle, Louis IX’s magnificent palace chapel in 1508 and in 1510 he was selected as a singer in Queen Anne of Brittany’s private chapel. After she expired, Sermisy became a member of the chapel of Louis XII in 1515 and continued in royal service under Francis I. In 1533, he was eventually positioned as an assistant chapel master. Sermisy composed more than half the pieces published in Pierre Attaingnant’s popular compilation of chansons in 1529. He also authored about 200 chansons, more than 20 of which were text of poems written by his counterpart Clément Marot. His compositions were concise and characterized by fresh, rhythmic and oratorical style in which chords chase the accents of speech. Sermisy also published around 78 motets, 11 Magnificat settings and 13 masses, including music for the ‘Holy Week’.
Claudin De Sermisy is a member of Musicians

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Sermisy was most likely born either in Picardy, Burgundy, or Île-de-France, based on the similarity of his surname to place names there. Sometime in his early life he may have studied with Josquin des Prez, if Pierre Ronsard is to be believed, but many musicologists consider the claim unreliable; at any rate he absorbed some of the older composer's musical ideas either early, or later, as he became acquainted with his music. Josquin was possibly at the French court between 1501 and about 1503, though this has never been definitely established, so a master-pupil relationship would have been possible then; Sermisy's whereabouts before 1508 are not known, but presence at the Royal Chapel was certainly possible.


In 1508 the young Sermisy was appointed as a singer in the Royal Chapel of Louis XII, where he was also a cleric. His birthdate is inferred from the date he joined the royal chapel; 18 was about the right age for such an appointment. In 1515 he went to Italy with Francis I, and in 1520 he was part of the musical festivities arranged by Francis I and Henry VIII of England at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, directed by Jean Mouton, where he was almost certainly a singer. He may have been a Composer of some of the music there as well. In 1532 he also participated in the similar meeting between the kings at Boulogne, for which he wrote a ceremonial motet.


For a while in the early 1520s Sermisy was a canon at Notre-Dame-de-la-Rotonde in Rouen, but he left there in 1524 to take a similar position in Amiens. By 1532 he was music Director of the Royal Chapel, still under Francis I, who reigned until 1547. At this post he was expected to teach and care for the boys of the choir, as well as find talented Singers to recruit. In 1533, in addition to his post at the Royal Chapel, he became a canon of the Sainte-Chapelle, which would have required him to live in Paris. He acquired a large house there, large enough to shelter refugees from the church in St Quentin when the Spanish sacked their city in 1559. In 1554 he also was given a prebend at Ste Catherine in Troyes. Few biographical details are available about his last years, but he seems to have been active as a Composer up to the end of his life based on publication dates of works. He was buried in the Sainte-Chapelle.


Sermisy wrote two of the few polyphonic settings of the Passion found in French music of the period; the musical setting is simple, compared to his masses and motets, and he strove to make the words clearly understandable. The gospels chosen were those of St. Matthew and St. John. Sermisy's settings were published in the 10th volume of Motets published by Pierre Attaignant.