Wednesday, January 16, 8380

Lionel Power (1380-1445)

Lionel [Leonel] Power (1370 to 1385 – June 5, 1445) was an English composer of the late Medieval and early Renaissance eras. Along with John Dunstable, he was one of the major figures in English music in the early 1400's.

A few details of his life are known with certainty, and some others are speculative. He was probably from Kent, and likely born between 1370 and 1385, based on stylistic evidence of his music as well as his probable age during his known appointments.

A suggestion that he was of Irish origin comes from W.H.G. Flood's 1905 A History of Irish Music, but this is usually discounted by modern scholars, since Flood is not known to have had any other sources on Power's life besides what is currently available.

Prior to 1421 he was employed by Thomas, Duke of Clarence, as a clerk and as the instructor to the choristers. In 1423 he joined Christ Church, Canterbury, as a lay member; he probably served as a choirmaster there, and later served in the chapel of the Duke of Bedford.

He died at Canterbury on 5 June 1445 and was buried on the next day; several notices of his death survive.

While Power's output was slightly less than Dunstable's (only 40 existent piece considered as his work without dispute), his influence was similar. He is the composer best-represented in the Old Hall Manuscript, one of the only undamaged sources of English music from the early 15th century (most manuscripts were destroyed by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries). He was the one of the first person who started to connect ordinary movements, in the Old Hall Manuscript, it has stylitically similar four ordinary movements. Moreover, mass Alma Redemptoris mater has clear unity between inner movements, as title suggest, every movement based on the same named antiphon.

[8393 Korea / 8380 Power / 8380 Dunstable]