Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Wegman, Rob C. "Another 'Imitation' of Busnoys' Missa L'homme armé--and Some Observations on Imitatio in Renaissance Music." Journal of the Royal Musical Association 114 (1989): 189-202.

Antoine Busnoys's Missa L'Homme armé served as a model not only for Obrecht's Missa L'Homme armé but also for an anonymous Missa de Sancto Johanne Baptista (ca. 1480s or 1490s), which is also closely related to Obrecht's Mass. The anonymous Mass cycle raises many questions surrounding its creation. Musical imitatio would at first seem most relevant to this case. The concept of imitatio, as defined by Renaissance rhetorical theory, is scarcely applicable to Renaissance music, however, and should therefore be used only with circumspection. In considering the musical practices of borrowing, quotation, and imitation as counterparts of rhetorical imitatio, problems of semantic ambiguity and historiographical distortion are certain. Willem Elders's approach of considering these compositional practices as creating a symbolic connection to pre-existent material eliminates these problems, but it is concerned only with symbolism. The term "intertextuality," borrowed from literary criticism, is most appropriate here.

Index Classifications: 1400s

Contributed by: David Oliver

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