Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Clark, Alice V. “Vernacular Dedicatory Motets in Fourteenth-century France.” Journal of Musicological Research 20 (2000): 41-69.

Similar to some occasional motets of the fourteenth century that celebrate specific historical figures, three motets from the same period draw on the liturgical context of their borrowed tenors to refer to identifiable women. The borrowed tenors of these motets are drawn from the chants for virgin martyrs, specifically Saint Agnes and Saint Lucy. This use of non-Marian Sanctorale material in motet tenors is common for works that honor a living individual, often the namesake of the chant’s textual subject and named in the text of the upper voices. Unlike other motets of this tradition where the upper voices are Latin-texted, these three motets combine French amatory texts with their tenors, creating a hybrid genre between Latin motet and French ballade. These texts (in the voice of a male) interact with the chant text (in the voice of a female) in a way that suggests that they were originally composed as occasional pieces intended to honor a living individual rather than a martyred saint. The geographical and historical evidence suggests that these motets honored Agnès de Navarre and Lucia Bernabò Visconti.

Works: Anonymous: Tant a souttille pointure/Bien pert qu’en moy n’a d’art point/Cuius pulcritudinem sol et luna mirantur (42, 50-56); Anonymous: Se päour d’umble astinance/Diex, tan desir estre amés de m’amour/Concupisco (42, 50-56); Anonymous: L’ardure qu’endure/Tres dous espoir/Ego rogavi Deum, ut ignis iste non dominetur michi/Contratenor (42, 56-59).

Sources: Anonymous: Cuius pulcritudinem sol et luna mirantur (51-53); Anonymous: Concupisco (51-53); Anonymous: Ego rogavi Deum, ut ignis iste non dominetur michi (56-57).

Index Classifications: 1300s

Contributed by: Daniel Rogers

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