Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Chew, Geoffrey. "The Early Cyclic Mass as an Expression of Royal and Papal Supremacy." Music and Letters 53 (July 1972): 254-69.

In considering the origins of the cyclic mass, scholars have suggested both liturgical and aesthetic considerations, although evidence suggests that the mass was liturgically unified before any attempts at musical unification took place. The growth in the popularity of the cantus firmus mass occurred as the popularity of tropes was decreasing, and it possible that the early cantus firmus served as a substitute for a trope, carrying with it a certain degree of meaning or symbolism similar to that of an added trope. Given the choice of cantus firmus in many early English cyclic masses, it appears that many were intended to be associated with the king and certain royal rituals. Following decades of problems plaguing the Papacy, a number of cantus firmus masses written in the mid-fifteenth century, including those with references to military symbolism, were likely written in support of recovering Papal power. With these allusions to current political and religious concerns, it is unlikely that these cyclic masses served purely liturgical purposes.

Works: Dunstable: Missa Rex saeculorum (256); Frye: Missa Flos regalis (256); Driffelde: Missa Eructavit cor meum (256); Anonymous: Missa Veterem hominem (256); Anonymous: Missa caput (256); Dufay: Gloria ad modum tubae (259), Missa Caput (259); Anonymous: Patrem tubula (261, 263, 264); Regis: Missa L'homme armé (262); Tapissier: Eia dulcis/Vale placens (264-5); Dufay: Missa L'homme armé (265), Missa Se la face ay pale (265).

Index Classifications: 1400s

Contributed by: Sherri Winks

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