Philippus Wyckaert

(ca. 1621-1693)

A brief biography.


The biography of Philippus Wyckaert is closely linked to the history of the bell tower of Ghent, Belgium. This bell tower of 1313 was several times extended. 

In 1560 the city followed a strict Calvinistic regime that did away with the absolutist Catholic regime of Charles V. The Calvinists were convinced that music blocks the way to the Lord, even contrafacten (psouterliedekens).

The Pacification of Ghent (8.11.1576) of William of Orange made no alteration to the dictatorial regime of the Calvinists. Because of the separation of the Netherlands (1585), 30.000 inhabitants van Ghent, mainly Calvinists, emigrated to the Northern-Netherlands. The freedom was also audible in the repertoire of the carillons in Belgium.  The Belgian Dominican Philippus Wyckaert (ca. 1621-1693) played an important part via the carillon of the bell-tower of Ghent.


Wyckaert was born ca. 1621 and after due studies ordained a priest in 1645. He joined the  Dominicans in Bruges on 19 December 1647. In 1649 he was appointed parish priest of the Dominican church in Ghent and also as organist. In this church a beautiful organ was built with financial assistance of the municipality of Ghent. 

He was involved with the extension and maintenance of the carillon of the Belfort. On 8 March 1659 Pieter Hemony entered into a contract with the town council of Ghent to found 37 bells. In 1661 Wyckaert was appointed the carilloneur of the bell tower till 1693. At the official presentation of this extended carillon on 17 January 1661 Wyckaert surprised the public with three new compositions. He died in 1693. So a Dominican enriched the Christian heritage.

The compositions of Wyckaert are published in The Ghent Voorslag Carillon Book (1681). 





View of Ghent with the middle tower: the Belfort..

Belgium 1971 Mi 1647, Sc 810.






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