Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Weaver, Andrew H. "Aspects of Musical Borrowing in the Polyphonic Missa de feria of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries." In Early Musical Borrowing, ed. Honey Meconi, 125-48. New York: Routledge, 2004.

Placing ferial masses within their cultural contexts illuminate particular instances of musical borrowing and appropriation. Two distinct "families" of ferial masses arose in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries—one in the courts of northern Europe and another at the papal chapel in Rome. In the northern courts, Pierre de la Rue's and Antoine de Févin's five-voice masses contain a canon in each movement. La Rue carefully structures the canon within the tenor voices, while Févin treats the motive freely, suggesting that he borrowed La Rue's original concept. La Rue and Févin may also have borrowed from Matthaeus Pipelare's Missa de feria, which contains canon-like writing in several sections. A separate family of four masses originated in Italy. The earliest mass is Johannes Martini's Missa ferialis, followed by three masses written for the papal chapel by Andreas Michot, Johannes Beauserron, and Palestrina. In the Kyrie movement, all four masses open with a point of imitation based on a decorated version of the Kyrie chant Melnicki 7. Palestrina also borrowed Beauserron's opening motive and took material from Michot in the remaining sections of the mass. VatS 35, the source that contains Martini's mass, is the earliest known choirbook compiled by the singers for their use. Because these pieces were sung repeatedly within the repertory, it is probable that Michot, Beauserron, and Palestrina drew ideas from the papal choir's performances. The different circumstances of the two Missa de feria "families," reflecting different historical, social, and liturgical contexts for masses, provide a tool for understanding the various instances of musical borrowing.

Works: Pierre de la Rue: Missa de feria (130-37); Antoine de Févin: Missa de feria (130-37); Andreas Michot: Missa de feria (137-40); Johannes Beauserron: Missa de feria (137-40); Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Missa de feria (137-140).

Sources: Pierre de la Rue: Missa de feria (130-37); Matthaeus Pipelare: Missa de feria (136-37); Johannes Martini: Missa ferialis (137-40).

Index Classifications: 1400s, 1500s

Contributed by: Mary Ellen Ryan

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