Clement Janequin (c.1475 - c.1560)

French composer, primarily of secular songs. Janequin was one of the earliest Renaissance masters to concentrate on chansons, taking the genre to a new degree of vitality and inclusiveness by his use of such extra-musical elements as bird-song & "cries" of Paris. He was highly influential in the subsequent development of the song as a form of personal expression in France.

Janequin's most characteristic works express the vivacious or irreverent side.  Quite extraordinary and in a class by themselves, though, are his long descriptive chansons, for which he is best known today.  In the series of compositions that includes "La guerre," "La chasse,"  "Le chant des oisequx," "Les cris de Paris," "Lecaquet des femmes," and others, he took up themes -- the battle, the hunt, bird songs, street cries, and ladies' gossip--that allowed him to make a virtuoso display of the onomatopoeic possibilities.