Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Rothenberg, David J. “The Marian Symbolism of Spring, ca. 1200-ca. 1500: Two Case Studies.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 59 (Summer 2006): 319-98.

Throughout ca. 1200 to ca. 1500, the symbolic meaning of springtime was deeply linked to the Easter season and to the Virgin Mary in both sacred and secular music. One case study demonstrating this relationship is the diverse collection of thirteenth-century compositions based on the In seculum tenor, which is drawn from the Easter gradual Haec dies. Pastourelles based on the tenor, for instance L’autre jour par un matin/Au tens pascour/In seculum, are not explicitly religious, but they do draw on the springtime association of the Easter tenor. Courtly love songs such as Ja n’amerai autre que cele/In seculum similarly evoke Marian overtones with the In seculum tenor. Surprisingly, there are relatively few Latin motets based on the tenor. The springtime/Easter association of In seculum—paired with its malleable text (“in eternity”)—thematically link the disparate uses of the tenor in various genres. A second case study linking springtime and Easter comes from comparing two sixteenth-century paraphrase settings of Easter sequences: Henricus Isaac’s Laudes salvatori and Josquin des Prez’s Victimae paschali laudes. Isaac’s Laudes salvatori sets a paraphrase of the Easter Sunday chant of the same title and incorporates paraphrases of two other chants, Regina caeli and Victimae paschali laudes, as secondary cantus firmi. Together, these paraphrased chants link the Easter Resurrection to Marian imagery. Josquin’s Victimae paschali laudes paraphrases the chant melody throughout and also includes strict quotations of two secular chansons in the superius voice: Ockeghem’s D’ung aultre amer and Hayne van Ghizeghem’s De tous biens plaine. These selections also link Easter and Marian imagery, but the secular songs Josquin quotes work in a similar way to the thirteenth-century examples by evoking springtime imagery as well. Both case studies demonstrate the centuries-long association between springtime, Easter, and the Virgin Mary in music.

Works: Anonymous: L’autre jour par un matin/Au tens pascour/In seculum (329-336), Ja n’amerai autre que cele/In seculum (341-45), Li doz maus m’ocit/Trop ai lonc tens en folie/Ma Loiauté m’a nuisi/In seculum (345-350), O felix puerpera domina/[In seculum] (350-53), In seculum Artifex seculi/In seculum supra mulieres/[In seculum] (353-54); Henricus Isaac: Laudes salvatori (360-76); Josquin dez Prez: Victimae paschali laudes (377-86)

Sources: Anonymous: In seculum (from Haec dies) (329-54), Regina caeli (360-76), Victimae paschali laudes (360-76); Notker Balbulus: Laudes salvatori (360-76); Ockeghem: D’ung aultre amer (377-86); Hayne van Ghizeghem: De tous biens plaine (377-86)

Index Classifications: 1300s, 1400s

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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