Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Snow, Robert. "The Mass-Motet Cycle: A Mid-Fifteenth Century Experiment." In Essays in Musicology in Honor of Dragan Plamenac on His 70th Birthday, ed. Gustave Reese and Robert J. Snow, 301-20. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1969.

A number of surviving manuscripts contain masses with a motet based on the same musical material included at the end of the cycle. While it is easy to assume that these masses are merely parody masses based on the accompanying motet, it appears instead that these are examples of masses and motets conceived simultaneously. Unity is achieved primarily through the use of a common tenor and/or head motive that occurs throughout, with similarities in remaining voices varying greatly from one example to another. The six positively identified examples of the mass-motet cycle all exist in manuscripts located in southern Germany, and many of the compositional traits in each mass suggest the influence of the continental English composers working in Germany in the first half of the fifteenth century. Given the few extant examples of the mass-motet cycle, it is likely that its popularity was limited due to the lack of liturgical function associated with the motet.

Works: Anonymous: Missa O rosa bella, O pater eterne (303-5); Philipus: Missa Hilf und gib rat, O gloriosa mater cristi maria (305-6); Anonymous: Missa Esclave puist yl, Gaude maria virgo (307-8); de Rouge: Missa Soyez aprantiz (309-10); Anonymous: Stella coeli extirpavit (309-10); Anonymous: Missa Meditatio cordis, Gaude maria virgo (309); Frye: Missa Summe trinitati (310); Anonymous: Salve virgo mater pia (310).

Sources: Dunstable: O rosa bella (303); Binchois: Esclave puist yl (307); Frye: So ys emprentid (309); Gregorian Chant: Meditatio cordis (309), Summae trinitati (310).

Index Classifications: 1400s

Contributed by: Sherri Winks

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