Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Planchart, Alejandro Enrique. "Fifteenth-century Masses: Notes on Performance and Chronology." Studi musicali 10 (1981): 376-83.

Although Craig Wright, Frank D'Accone, and Albert Seay have recently hypothesized an a cappella performance practice of liturgical and ceremonial music in the fifteenth century, borrowed tenors often pose problems for the application of this practice. In the final Kyrie of Dufay's Missa Se la face ay pale, one source has the incipit "tant je me deduis," a phrase that does not occur in the ballade and would probably not have been sung during the performance. In the tenor of Dufay's Missa L'homme armé, the canonic and retrograde version of the cantus firmus in the Agnus Dei makes it much more probable that the part was played by the organ or trumpet or vocalized without any text. Ockeghem's Missa L'homme armé also presents a problem because of his transposition of the cantus firmus by means of canons, creating a range of two octaves and a second throughout the Mass. Likewise, Obrecht's Missa Caput uses shifts in the pitch level of the cantus firmus. In these situations, an organ would have been the only instrument able to accommodate such a wide range. Another group of masses indicate the borrowed text in the tenor while the Mass text is present in the other voices, for example Dufay's Missa Ecce ancilla domini and Missa Ave regina caelorum, and Regis's Missa L'homme armé, Missa Haec dies quam fecit dominus, and Missa Pax vobis ego sum. Finally, English scribal traditions suggest the performance of the tenor either by the organ or by the voice singing the mass text.

Works: Dufay: Missa Se la face ay pale (5-8), Missa L'homme armé (5-8), Missa Ecce ancilla domini (18-19), Missa Ave regina caelorum (18-19); Ockeghem: Missa L'homme armé (9-12), Missa Caput (20); Obrecht: Missa Caput (13-17); Regis: Missa L'homme armé (19), Missa Haec dies quam fecit dominus (19), Missa Pax vobis (19); Anonymous: Missa Caput (20-23).

Index Classifications: 1400s

Contributed by: Mary Ellen Ryan

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License