Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Litterick, Louise. "On Italian Instrumental Ensemble Music in the Late Fifteenth Century." In Music in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Patronage, Sources and Texts, ed. Iain Fenlon, 117-30. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981.

Three types of instrumental pieces became popular in the late fifteenth-century, all of which borrowed pre-existing musical material. The instrumental chanson was by far the most widespread and artistically important type. This form used one or more voices from the source forme-fixe chanson and added two or more repetitive and rhythmically dense parts as counterpoints against the source material; however, borrowed melodic lines were only used in part and never taken in entirety. This allowed for greater freedom and flexibility in instrumental chanson compositions. Phrase lengths varied more, since there were no textual considerations in instrumental music. Note values were often shortened to create more rhythmic uniformity among the parts. Sequential and repetitive devices were more common in the instrumental chansons in comparison to their vocal models, but such devices were commonly found in large sacred vocal works, where a more abstract relationship between the text and music invited the use of sequences and repetitive designs in the music. While instrumental music depends on a strong performance tradition, the most prominent pieces of instrumental music from the early sixteenth century were still composed by singer-composers who approached the instrumental medium from a vocal standpoint. Without true predecessors, instrumental works in the mid-sixteenth century either continued to borrow from vocal models or were newly invented.

Works: Josquin: Adieu mes amours (118), Basiés moy (118), Cela sans plus (118); Isaac: Helas que devera mon cuer (118); Ghiselin: La Alfonsa (118); Hayne van Ghizeghem: Mon souvenir (120); Martini: Des biens d'amours (120), De la bonne chiere (120-21); Josquin: La plus des plus (120-21), La Bernardina (120-22).

Sources: Anonymous: Adieu mes amours (118), Basies moy (118); Hayne van Ghizeghem: De tous biens plaine (118); Ockeghem: D'ung aultre amer (118); Hayne van Ghizeghem: Mon souvenir (120); Josquin: Vultum tuum deprecabuntur (123), Alma redemptoris mater (123).

Index Classifications: 1400s, 1500s

Contributed by: Jir Shin Boey, Victoria Malawey

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