John Dunstable – Sancta Maria, non est tibi similis

This is day four of the A-toZ Challenge in which I attempt to blog every day (excepting Sundays) during the month of April.  During this month, I am curating a collection of  “classical” music pieces, which are lesser known or by lesser known composers.

Today’s letter is D which stands for John Dunstable (alternate spelling Dunstaple).

Dunstable was born sometime in the 1390s in the town of Dunstable, Bedforshire.  There are no records of his musical education, but he was probably one of the most influential composers of the time both in England and the Continent as see seems to have developed harmony.  Until his era, choral music was plainsong, which means that everybody sang the same note.  He was fond of creating harmonies with voiced in the 3rd and 6th tones as well.  This was basically the start of Renaissance music.

In addition to being  a composer, he wrote about and studied astronomy, astrology and mathematics.  Wikipedia tells us that he was in the “royal service of John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, the fourth son of Henry IV and brother of Henry V.”  He must have made out like a bandit as well as he owned houses in Cambridgeshire, Essex, and even Normandy.

Here are the words to Sancta Maria, non set tibia similes, which is a Christmas hymn to the Virgin Mary.

Sancta Maria, non est tibi similis
orta in mundo in mulieribus
Florens ut rosa, flagrans sicut lilium,
ora pronobis, sancta Dei genitrix


Holy Mary, among all the women of the world
no one has been born like to you.
Blooming as the rose, fragrant as the lily,
pray for us, Holy Mother of God.


About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

One Response to John Dunstable – Sancta Maria, non est tibi similis

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