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Claude Goudimel

c.1510-1572. French composer. Little is known of his early life, and much misinformation is found in older accounts. He was apparently converted to the Huguenot faith before 1565, but had already shown great interest in the metrical psalms and their tunes being compiled under Calvin's influence at Geneva. Starting in 1551, he published at intervals eight books, each containing a selection of eight of these Genevan psalms in extended motet settings. As part-singing was not permitted in church by Calvin, these ambitious works must be regarded as Huguenot madrigals. Many other composers, Catholic as well as Protestant, published arrangements of these evidently popular psalms, until Catholic reaction forbade them. Goudimel published also the 150 Genevan psalms in 1564 in very simple four- part settings, and again in more elaborate versions in 1568. These had a wide circulation in the Netherlands and Germany as well as in France and Switzerland. Goudimel was also the composer of Masses and secular chansons in his earlier days. He perished in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in Lyons.