The epistolary text "De formando studio" of the humanist Rudolf Agricola was addressed to Barbireau. This, it is thought, indicates Barbireu's interest in teaching though it can not be ascertained as to whether Jacques had any students.
He was definitely the "maitre de chapelle" at Notre Dame in Antwerp. Under his direction the choir increased its members but much of the music he is thought to have composed was destroyed with the Cathedral's library. Known compositions include "Missa Virgo parens Christi" and a song for three voices "Een vroylic wesen" which gathered international acclaim. Barbireau's music was texturally strong and harmonically tempered. ~ Keith Johnson, Rovi