Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Brett, Philip. "Homage to Taverner in Byrd's Masses." Early Music 9 (April 1981): 169-76.

In his Four-Part Mass, William Byrd pays homage to John Taverner by using the basic structure of Taverner's "Meane" Mass. Structural connections between the Masses include similar voice distribution, section breaks and cadential points in corresponding passages. However, Byrd eschews his model's thematic links, except for the use of a head motive to unify only the Gloria and Agnus Dei. Byrd's Sanctus movement does not feature any thematic link to the other Mass movements; however he reveals homage to Taverner overtly at the beginning of this movement. Here Byrd transforms the "Meane" Mass's head motive using melodic expansion and contrapuntal techniques, and thus refers directly to the model's thematic material for the first time. From this study, it is likely that the Sanctus movements of Byrd's other two masses share similar features with Taverner's "Meane" Mass.

Works: William Byrd: Four-Part Mass (170-74), Five-Part Mass (174), Three-Part Mass (174-75).

Sources: John Taverner: "Meane" Mass (170-76).

Index Classifications: 1500s

Contributed by: Victoria Malawey

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