Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Planchart, Alejandro Enrique. “The Origins and Early History of L’homme armé.The Journal of Musicology 20 (Summer 2003): 305-57.

Nearly fifty extant masses and a few other pieces are based on the L’homme armé tune that probably dates from the first half of the fifteenth century. One of the earliest polyphonic settings of this tune, the combinative three-voice chanson Il sera par vous – L’homme armé located in the Mellon chansonnier, was most likely composed by Du Fay at Cambrai in Burgundy. Du Fay’s authorship of text and tune is consistent with his friendship with Symon le Breton (to whom the text refers in a jesting manner) as well as stylistic similarities with some of Du Fay’s other works. Shortly afterwards, Du Fay and Ockeghem each wrote masses based upon the L’homme armé tune, although it is unclear what relationship they have to Du Fay’s Il sera par vous – L’homme armé. These masses were probably written around the same time, as they borrow and pay tribute to the other through musical style or technical aspects. These three works, therefore, stand at the beginning of polyphonic composition based on the L’homme armé tune.

Works: Anonymous: Il sera par vous – L’homme armé (Mellon chansonnier) (314-18, 325-28); Busnois: Missa L’homme armé (326, 336, 351); Ockeghem: Missa L’homme armé (327-34); Du Fay: Missa L’homme armé (327-34).

Sources: Anonymous: L’homme armé (Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale, MS VI E 40) (307-9); Anonymous: Il sera par vous – L’homme armé (Mellon chansonnier) (314-18, 325-28).

Index Classifications: 1400s

Contributed by: Amanda Jensen

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