Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Burkholder, J. Peter. "Johannes Martini and the Imitation Mass of the Late Fifteenth Century." Journal of the American Musicological Society 38 (Fall 1985): 470-523.

Masses of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries that are based on polyphonic models and that preserve cantus-firmus structure belong to a distinct genre of imitation mass, related to the fifteenth-century rhetorical concept of imitatio. Johannes Martini—with eleven surviving masses including at least six imitation masses—is particularly important to the history of the imitation mass and to the evolution of musical borrowing in masses in general. Martini’s masses fall into six categories according to the type of model used and (with one exception) the techniques used to elaborate on the borrowed material: plainchant, French chansons, a German lied, Italian songs, instrumental works, and the cuckoo call. Two of the masses based on French chansons (Missa Orsus orsus and Missa Se la sans plus) borrow the least from their models, while the masses on instrumental pieces (Missa Coda di Pavon and Missa La Martinella) borrow extensively from all four voices of their models. With an understanding of Martini’s compositional practices with regard to borrowed material, it is possible to construct hypothetical models that closely approximate the sources Martini must have used for Missa Io ne tengo quanto a te and Missa Dio te salvi Gotterello, neither of which have known surviving models. While the full extent of Martini’s influence is unclear, the available evidence suggests that he was connected with several contemporary composers who were also writing imitation masses, notably Vincenet and Guillaume Faugues. Josquin Desprez, Jacob Obrecht, and Heinrich Isaac, each of whom composed works that borrow from multiple voices of a polyphonic model, also have some potential—if sometimes circumstantial—connection to Martini, his masses, and the idea of musical imitatio. Still, Martini composed the first large body of masses to extensively incorporate several voices from a polyphonic model and his importance for the development of the parody mass was probably very great.

Works: Johannes Martini: Missa Dominicalis (481-82), Missa Ferialis (481-82), Missa Orsus orsus (482-84), Missa Se la sans plus (482-83), Missa In feuers hitz (485-86), Missa Coda di Pavon (486-87, 488-89), Missa La Martinella (486), Missa Ma bouche rit (487), Missa Io ne tengo quanto a te (490-505)

Sources: Plainchant: Domenicalis (481-82), Ferialis (481-82); Anonymous: Or sus, or sus par dessus tous les aultres (482-84), In feuers hitz (485-86); Collinet de Lannoy: Cela sans plus (482-83); Johannes Martini: La Martinella (486); Barbingant: Der Pfoben Swancz (486-87, 488-89); Ockeghem: Ma bouche rit (487)

Index Classifications: 1400s

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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