Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Long, Michael. "Symbol and Ritual in Josquin's Missa Di Dadi." Journal of the American Musicological Society 42 (Spring 1989): 1-22.

Josquin based his Missa Di Dadi on the tenor of Robert Morton's three-voice rondeau N'aray je jamais mieulx que j'ay. Not only this text but also the visual device of two dice indicating the degree of augmentation in the tenor are closely related to the fifteenth-century liturgical ritual of the Mass. The dice disappear at the beginning of the "Osanna," and it is at this same place that the chanson tenor is quoted beyond the first line ("N'aray je jamais mieulx que j'ay?"). Long interprets the sequence of dice arrangements as rolls of a popular French dice game, which ends after the "Sanctus" with the victory of the first player. The winning of the game corresponds to the "short-lived glimpse of the Redeemer" (a reward for the faithful) at the elevation of the host during the "Osanna." The first line of the chanson text, which is repeated seven times before the "Osanna," has a meaning that is both secular (relating to money) and sacred (relating to the search for salvation), and the answer is not given until that moment where the whole cantus firmus is quoted. The remainder of the article (p. 14-21) considers parallels between Josquin's Missa Di Dadi and the late Missa Pange lingua. The latter may have been in part a reworking of the former in order to eliminate the metaphor of the dice.

Works: Josquin: Stabat Mater (1-2), Missa Di Dadi (1-13, 20-21), Missa D'ung aultre amer (5); Pierre de la Rue: Missa de Sancta Anna (12-13); Josquin: Missa Pange lingua (14-21).

Index Classifications: 1500s

Contributed by: Andreas Giger

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