Music, School of


Date of this Version



Medieval England: An Encyclopedia, ed. Paul Szarmach, M. Teresa Tavormina, Joel T. Rosenthal, Catherine E. Karkov, Peter M. Lefferts, & Elizabeth Parker McLachlan (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998), pp. 12–13.


Copyright © 1998 Paul Szarmach, M. Teresa Tavormina, & Joel T. Rosenthal.


John Aleyn, a musician and administrator in royal service, was from 1363 to 1373 a canon of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, and from 1361 to 1373 a chaplain of the Royal Household Chapel of Edward III. The last decade of his career is well documented, and he enjoyed the frequent and lucrative patronage of Edward and Queen Philippa, holding numerous benefices. Upon his death he bequeathed a book of music to the chapel at Windsor. Though the surname is common, this individual is the strongest candidate for the J. Alanus who wrote the extraordinary musicians' motet Sub arturo plebs and possibly also the motet O amicus sponsi primus. It is likely that he is the Alanus or Magister Alanus four of whose songs are preserved in the Strassburg Manuscript. Further, it is not ruled out on the basis of musical style that he is the Aleyn (or in the second case, less probably, the W. [?] Aleyn) to whom a lively cantilena-style Gloria (no. 8) and a smooth discant setting of a Sanctus (no. 128) are attributed in the Old Hall Manuscript.

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