Dunstable, John

Born early in the Fifteenth Century, according to most authorities. He was an English mathematician, astrologer and musician, and was born at Dunstable in Bedfordshire. Little is known of his biography, but it is believed that he died in 1453. He was   erroneously credited by Tinctor with the invention of counterpoint, but is generally believed to have been a composer of great ability and a musician of world-wide influence. He wrote many noteworthy compositions, which have almost entirely disappeared. Says Grove: "His fame was great, although short-lived." He was the author of De Mensurabilis Musica, a treatise on music. Until recent times it was not known that there existed anything but fragments of his works. A three-part song was discovered, in manuscript, in the Vatican in 1847 and another was found in a volume which formerly belonged to Henry VIII. Although only a few of his works have been deciphered and scored, enough has been learned to show him to have been a man of much talent. The British Museum has a collection of his works; and the most valuable collections were discovered at Trent, by Dr. Haberl, and are now the property of the Ministry for Religion and Education at Vienna, the Library at Modena, and the Liceo Musicale at Bologna.