Jacob Senleches (fl. 1382/1383 – 1395) (also Jacob de Senlechos [i.e. Senleches] and Jacopinus Senlesses) was a Franco-Flemish composer and harpist of the late Middle Ages. He composed in a style commonly known as the ars subtilior.
It has been suggested that Jacob Senleches has been born in St. Luc near Evreux, France (U. Günther) or in Senleches (or Sanlesches) in Cambrai, today France (A. Tomasello). In 1382 Senleches seems to have been present at the court of Eleanor of Aragon, Queen of Castile (d. September 1382), possibly in her service. In Fuions de ci he laments Eleanor's death and resolves to seek his fortune either "en Aragon, en France ou en Bretaingne".
Afterwards he is found in service of Pedro de Luna, Cardinal of Aragon (later Antipope Benedict XIII, 1394–1423), as a harpist. There is a treasury document assigning payments to one "Jaquemin de Sanleches, juglar de harpe" from the royal household in Navarra dated August 21, 1383. The payment is made so that Jacquemin may return to "his master", Pedro de Luna.
Despite the small number of transmitted compositions Jacob de Senleches is counted among the central personalities of Ars subtilior. He developed many rhythmic and notational innovations.
The texts deal mainly with himself and his career.
- En attendant esperance
- Fuions de ci
- Je me merveil/ J'ay pluseurs fois
- En ce gracieux tamps
- La harpe de melodie
- Tel me voit
Corpus mensurabilis musicae Vol. 53 - French Secular Compositions I, Ascribed Compositions (1970)
- U. Günther - Jacob de Senleches; in: New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Ed. Stanley Sadie, London, New York, Hong Kong, 1980.
- Jacob de Senleches; in: Die Musik in Gegenwart und Geschichte, Personenteil, Ed. L. Finscher, Kassel, London, 2003/2.