Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Meconi, Honey. “Sacred Tricinia and Basevi 2439.” I Tatti Studies 4 (1991): 151-99.

The manuscript Florence, Biblioteca del Conservatorio di Musica Luigi Cherubini, Basevi 2439 contains three sacred tricinia pieces, one by Ghiselin and two by Pierre de la Rue. They share multiple stylistic traits: considerable length, textless dissemination, foundation on a plainchant cantus firmus, and active superius and tenor voices that are often closely imitative and share short melodic motives. La Rue’s pieces are most interesting because of their interrelationship with other contemporary pieces. His Sancta Maria virgo uses a pre-existent melody and text that have not been identified. What is traceable is Nicolas Craen’s borrowing from La Rue’s Sancta Maria virgo, using the beginning, middle, and end of the secunda pars for the beginning, middle, and end of his Ecce video. Craen’s work is a straightforward parody but is an early example of this type of reworking, and the relationship is completely disguised through use of a different title. La Rue’s Si dormiero is part of a possible subset of the sacred tricinia genre: pieces of sacred origin with incipits that begin with the Latin conjunction “si” followed by the first person singular future perfect tense of a Latin verb. This interconnectedness is underscored in the final piece in Basevi, Ninot’s Si bibero, a secular Latin work that invokes multiple such “si” pieces through text and music fragments. By borrowing music from sacred pieces in his secular work, Ninot perverts their texts and adopts their musical style, fitting and flaunting the very genre of sacred tricinia.

Works: Johannes Ghiselin: O florens rosa (168-69); Pierre de la Rue: Sancta Maria virgo (169-73, 180-81), Si dormiero (173-93); Nicolas Craen: Ecce video (171-73); Ninot: Si bibero (176-96).

Sources: Anonymous: O florens rosa (168-69); Pierre de la Rue: Sancta Maria virgo (171-73), Si dormiero (173-92).

Index Classifications: 1400s

Contributed by: Amanda Jensen

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