Composer: Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377)

Piece: Puis qu’en oubli (Since I am forgotten)

Date: 1355

Form: Chanson

Texture: Polyphonic

Context: Courtly love song

Text: Poem in rondeau form with two-line refrain

Machaut’s music is rich in affective harmonies, syncopated rhythms, and interplay between double and triple meters. He was one of the last great composer-poets of the Middle Ages and was the most famous and historically significant representative of the musical movement known as the Ars Nova. His chansons were generally set to courtly love poems.

The rondeau is one of several fixed text forms common during the French Ars Nova. Others include the ballade and the virelai. These were the three verse forms most commonly set to music between the late 13th and 15th centuries. By the time Machaut came to use the rondeau form, his skills in composing polyphonic song were very highly developed and his works in this form are some of the finest and most forward-looking of his music.