Four Musicians

Four Musicians
Guy Marchand, Musicians
śLe premier menestrel

Venez dames et damoiselles
Du siecle & de religion
Vefues: mariees & pucelles
Et autres sans exception
De quelconque condicion
Toutes: danser a ceste danse
Vous y venrez vueilles ou non
Qui saige est souuent y pense

śLe second.

Quelz sont voz corps: ie vous demande
Femmes iolies tant bien paree
Ilz sont pour certain la viande
Quun iour sera aux vers donnee
Des vers sera donc deuoree
Vostre chair: qui est fresche & tendre
Ia il nen demourra goulee
Voz vers apres deuiendront cendre

śLe tiers.

Compaignon bonne est ta raison
De ses femmes oultrecuidee
Que leurs corps sera venaison
De vers puans vng iour mengee
En pourroyent elles estre gardee
Pour or: argent ne rien qui soit
Nenny. bien sont doncques abusees
Qui ne samende il se decoit

śLe quart.

O femmes mirez vous en vng tas
Dossemens de gens trespassez
Lesquelz ont en diuers estas
Au monde este leurs temps passez
Et maintenant sont entassez
Lun sur lautre gros et menus
Ainsi serez. or y pensez
La chair pourrie les os tous nus

Men's musicians, 1486
Guy Marchant, Musicians

The women's danse macabre is known from a number of old manuscripts, like for instance MS 25434. Thus Marchant didn't invent the women's dance, and neither did he invent the authority in the beginning.

In contrast it is very possible that he was the inventor of the four musicians — both the ones leading the men's dance and those leading the women's.

When Guy Marchant published the women's dance for the first time in 1486, he used the woodcut above, and it is obviously the same woodcut as the one that introduced the men's dance (picture to the right).

Female musicians, 1491 and later.
Musicians

For the special edition of the women's dance of death in 1491, Guy Marchant produced a new version of the four musicians (picture to the right). These cadavers have long spiky hair, just like the cadavers have in the rest of the women's dance.

Variants

Various Artists

(1491)
 1491: Musicians
Guy Marchand (1499)
Guy Marchand 1499: Musicians
Nicolas Oudot (1641)
Nicolas Oudot 1641: Four musicians
Baillieu (1862)
Baillieu 1862: Musicians

Up to the Danse macabre des Femmes