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DUFAY, Guillaume
b Cambrai, c1400
d Cambrai, 27 November 1474, aged c seventy-four

He had no formal musical training, but learned by working for and copying the music of older musicians and composers. It is thought he worked in Italy from before 1420 until 1426, then returned to Cambrai and held two benefices in the Laon diocese. From 1428 to 1433 he was a singer in the papal choir, and from then on became one of the most famous musicians in Europe, holding many posts, benefices and connections with several courts, though always keeping residence in Cambrai. During the 1450s he spent seven years in Savoy, his name occurs in the archives of Turin and Besancon. He was friend and host to some of the greatest musicians and churchmen of the day. He left a great quantity of church music and secular works, mostly undated.

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