Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Reynolds, Christopher A. "The Counterpoint of Allusion in Fifteenth-Century Masses." Journal of the American Musicological Society 45 (Summer 1992): 228-60.

It is well known that fifteenth-century composers typically used a chanson melody as a cantus firmus when writing masses. There is evidence to suggest that the added contrapuntal voices often quoted or alluded to chansons independent of the melody used in the tenor. Several cases of this appear in works by Dufay, Ockeghem, Caron, Faugues, and others. This technique allowed these composers to make multiple allusions to secular texts within a single passage, enriching the sung mass text with new layers of meaning. Since a central concern of the Italian humanists was to offer modern interpretations on religious themes by way of popular allusions, it seems that in this respect the ideals of the northern composers resonated strongly with humanism, challenging the notion that their music was purely "scholastic."

Works: Busnois: J'ay mains de biens (228-29); Anonymous: Fortune, n'as-tu point pitié (230-31, 241); Agricola: Je n'ay dueil que de vos viegna (230-31, 245); Faugues: Missa Pour l'amour d'une (233, 247); Cornago: Missa Ayo vista lo mappamundo (234, 237, 247-48); Seraphinus: Credo (234-36); Faugues: Missa Je suis en la mer (234-36); Dufay: Gloria (236-37); Faugues: Missa Le serviteur (237-38); Caron: Missa Clemens et benigna (237-39); Anonymous: Missa L'homme armé (240); Ockeghem: Missa Caput (240-41); Compère: Le renvoy d'ung cueur esgaré (240-41); Caron: Missa Sanguis sanctorum (241-43); Dufay: Missa Se la face ay pale (243-44); Ockeghem: Missa (245-46).

Index Classifications: 1400s

Contributed by: Mark S. Spicer

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