Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Everist, Mark. French Motets in the Thirteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

The history of the motet is in itself a history of musical borrowing. Many more implications surround this borrowing that go beyond simply comparing the motet with its source. Two of these are historical and musical considerations. In the early twelfth century, clausulae developed into motets in varied manners. With the addition of words, the rhythm, and sometimes the melody, underwent transformations. As poems were inserted into these melodies, words and even entire phrases were altered, as in the motet Doceas hac die/Docebit. Poetic and musical forms did not always share the same form. One form of the motet that utilized a very specific kind of borrowing is the refrain cento. Since the end of the nineteenth century, musicologists studying the thirteenth-century French motet have arrived at widely disparate definitions of the term refrain cento. Some view this procedure as an entire genre while others see it only as a technique within the broader genre of the motet. Examining motets that have been studied by musicologists since the late 1800s reveals the way in which the definition of this term has changed. Upon reevaluation, some pieces recently have been deemed not to embody the characteristics of a refrain cento, while others have been determined to indeed exhibit these traits. The term refrain cento has gone from denoting a genre in which pieces use at least one refrain from an outside source in conjunction with other text and music, to a technique within the genre of the motet which utilizes various refrains from many different sources. In the latter definition, the musical and poetic characteristics contained within the refrain cento are so disparate that they can only constitute a technique, and not a genre.

Works: Motets: Doceas hac die/Docebit (20-24), Nostrum est impletum/Nostrum (28), Salve salus hominum (35-38), Ypocrite pseudopontifices/Velut stella/Et gaudebit (39-40), Veni doctor previe/Veni sancta spiritus (41), Quant revient et fuelle/L'autrier joer/Flos filius eius (43-47), Navrés sui au cuer/Navrés sui pres du cuer/Veritatem (79-81), Méliacin or Le Conte du Cheval de Fust (82), J'ai les biens d'amours/Que ferni, biau sire Dieus?/In speculum (105), Li jalous par tout sunt fustat/Tuit cil qui sunt enamourat/Veritatem (106), Ci mi tient li maus d'amer/Haro! Je n'í puis durer/Omnes (106-7), Mout me fu grief/Robin m'aime/Portare (107), Ne m'oubliez mie/Domino (108), Ne puet faillir (111-12), Brunete, a cui j'ai mon cuer done (111-12), Hé! monnier (114), Je l'avrai ou j'i morrai (114), Endurez, endurez (114), Renvoisiement i vois a mon ami (114), Tout leis enmi (115-16), La bele mócit, Dieus! (120-22), Cele m'a s'amour donée (120-22), Cis a cui je (120-22), Nus ne sait mes maus (124).

Sources: Clausula: Nostrum (28); Tenor: Flos filius eius (43-47); Refrain: C'est la fin, la fin, que que nus die, j'amerai (66-68), Se j'ai servi longuement/Trop longuement/Pro patribus (68); Motet: En mai, que neist/Domine (68), Ne m'oubliez mie/Domino (69), C'est la jus en la roi/Pro patribus (101), Cele m'a s'amour donée/Qui mon cue, et mon cors a (101-104).

Index Classifications: Polyphony to 1300

Contributed by: Rebecca Dowsley

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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