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The first full-length study of how motets were used and performed in the fifteenth century, this book dispels the mystery surrounding these outstanding works of vocal polyphony. It covers four areas of intense compositional activity: England, the Veneto, Bruges and Cambrai, with reference to the works of Dunstaple, Forest, Ciconia, Grenon and Du Fay. In every documented instance, motets functioned as ceremonial vehicles, whether voiced in procession through the streets of a city or the chapel of a king, at the guild chapel of a parish church or the high altar of a cathedral. The motet was an entirely vocal genre that changed radically during the period 1400 to 1475. Robert Nosow outlines the motet's social history, demonstrating how the incorporation of different texts, musical dialects, cantus firmus materials and melodic styles represents an important key to the evolution of the genre, and its adaptability to widely variant ritual circumstances.Read more
- Discusses a wide variety of ceremonial situations and audiences, providing a social context which has been missing from previous discussions of the motet
- The focus on four different geographic areas - England, the Veneto, Bruges and Cambrai - allows for comparative study and opens the way for new research
- Presents extensive documentation of motet performance, covering who, where, when, and under what circumstances, and also provides interpretive approaches that inform and build on the documentary findings
Reviews & endorsements
"Informative, thoroughly researched, and skillfully presented."
ChoiceSee more reviews
"… the study enlarges our understanding of music’s role in ritual and broadens our view of the individuals involved in every musical enterprise."
'This book is a wonderful contribution to musicological scholarship that has the potential to move the discourse on late medieval music forward in interesting and productive ways.' Elizabeth Randell Upton, The Medieval Review
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- Date Published: February 2017
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781316639559
- length: 292 pages
- dimensions: 245 x 170 x 15 mm
- weight: 0.52kg
- contains: 10 b/w illus. 12 tables 35 music examples
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Motets in the chronicles of Henry V
2. The motet as ritual
3. Processions in the Veneto
4. The motet as ritual embassy
5. Motets for the citizens of Bruges
7. The canons of Cambrai
8. The dialogic motet
Appendix A. Accounts of Santa Maria dei Battuti
Appendix B. Foundations and charters at Bruges
Appendix C. Foundations at Cambrai cathedral.
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