Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Taruskin, Richard. "Antoine Busnoys and the L'Homme armé Tradition." Journal of the American Musicological Society 39 (Summer 1986): 255-93.

The use of prolation signatures in the L'Homme armé Mass by Busnoys (Busnois) suggests that he was the first to base a Mass on this tune. His use of a major-prolation signature in the tenor part is a device that looks backward to English composers of the Old Hall generation and to the isorhythmic motet. The transmission of mensuration signatures in various sources also establishes the Chigi Codex (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Chigiana C.VIII.234) as the most authentic reading. Busnois's mass is unified by an elaborate Pythagorean structure of durational ratios, figured by counting the total number of tempora. Throughout the Mass, it is the tactus rather than the tempus that is consistent, explaining certain notational eccentricities in the Tu Solus and Confiteor sections. At the Et incarnatus, the central point of the Mass, there are 31 tempora. There were 31 chevaliers in the Order of the Golden Fleece at its founding by Philip the Good of Burgundy in 1430. This detail, along with proportional structuring and the use of multiples of 31 found in the six anonymous masses of Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale, MS VI E 40 suggest that they were composed by Busnois. The association of Busnois with augmentational notation in tenor parts, as well as certain problems with attributions in manuscript sources, do not exclude him as the composer of "Il sera pour vous" (attributed to Robert Morton), a chanson from which the L'Homme armé tradition is thought to have sprung.

Works: Antoine Busnoys (Busnois): Missa L'Homme armé (passim); Guillaume Faugues: Missa L'Homme armé (262-63, 274); Guillaume Dufay: Missa L'Homme armé (263, 265, 267); Philippe Basiron: Missa L'Homme armé (263-64); Anonymous: Six Masses on L'Homme armé (Naples) (275-83). Related Works: Johannes Pullois: Victimae paschali (287-89).

Sources: Antoine Busnois (Busnois): Missa L'Homme armé (262-64); Robert Morton [attrib.]: Il sera pour vous conbatu (265, 273, 288-92).

Index Classifications: 1400s

Contributed by: Felix Cox

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