Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Lockwood, Lewis. "Aspects of the 'L'Homme armé' Tradition." Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association 100 (1973-74): 97-122.

Despite the recognition of the importance of "L'Homme armé," two questions still remain outstanding: (1) what are the origins of the melody and its text, and (2) how may the earliest polyphonic elaborations of the tune be identified, grouped, and ordered? Details of the tune's structure and modality suggest that it was composed rather than arising spontaneously from folk tradition. Its traditional use as a tenor part supports the idea that the tune was once the tenor of a three-part chanson. The text can be read in light of several social and military innovations in 1440s France. Dufay appears to be the first to elaborate the melody in a mass cycle; the tradition spread to other regions of France and returned to Burgundy before spreading into Italy. There are marked stylistic differences in the oldest masses using the tune. Dufay, Josquin, Palestrina, and others used a countermelody resembling Kyrie VIII ("Kyrie de angelis") in "L'Homme armé" masses. This same countermelody appears in the "In nomine" section of John Taverner's Mass "Gloria tibi trinitas," thus suggesting a link between the "L'Homme armé" and "In nomine" traditions.

Works: Guillaume Dufay: Missa L'Homme armé (112-15, 116); Johannes Ockeghem: Missa L'Homme armé (113-15); Josquin des Prez: Missa L'Homme armé super voces musicales (116-17), Missa L'Homme armé sexti toni (117); Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Missa L'Homme armé (117); Johannes Prioris: Missa de Angelis (118-19); John Taverner: Missa Gloria tibi trinitas (120-21).

Sources: L'Homme armé; O rosa bella (101-02); Kyrie VIII ("Kyrie de Angelis") (116-21).

Index Classifications: 1400s, 1500s

Contributed by: Felix Cox

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