Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Burstyn, Shai. "Dunstable and Forest: A Chapter in the History of Musical Borrowing." The Music Review 40 (November 1979): 245-56.

There are many musical similarities between Forest's Quam, Tota pulcra and Dunstable's Quam pulcra es. Assuming that the Dunstable motet was the model for the Forest motet, an investigation of borrowing procedures can ensue. Both motets are Marian antiphons that comprise texts from the Song of Songs; consequently there are many textual similarities between the two pieces. In terms of musical similarities, both pieces are English declamation motets, which feature homorhythmic textures. Harmonically, both pieces include a series of parallel first-inversion chords and similar dissonance treatment. The formal structure of Tota resembles that of Quam, and the motets feature similar mensural changes, yet melodic embellishments disguise some of the correspondences. Furthermore, both motets open with three voices in unison, which is unique among the fifteenth-century repertoire. Another striking textural similarity between the two pieces is the unvaried three-part texture, which is unlike the changing textures of many other fifteenth-century motets. Despite differences in tonalities, the pieces share similar harmonic and tonal movement in part. There are also a significant number of melodic parallelisms in the motets. These similarities point toward classifying the Forest motet as an early example of parody technique.

Works: Forest: Quam, Tota pulcra (245-56).

Sources: Dunstable: Quam pulcra es (245-56).

Index Classifications: 1400s

Contributed by: Victoria Malawey

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License