Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Fromson, Michèle. "A Conjunction of Rhetoric and Music: Structural Modelling in the Italian Counter-Reformation Motet." Journal of the Royal Musical Association 117 (1992): 208-46.

Following Howard Mayer Brown (1982), one can draw increasingly fruitful connections between the rhetorical technique of imitatio prescribed by fifteenth-century rhetoriticians and the compositional borrowing procedures espoused by the composers of the time. Defining formal divisions using Zarlino's five types of cadences (Istitutione harmoniche 1558), the musicologist can then compare settings of the same text for indications of "structural modelling." Five types include (1) imitation of the existing opening; (2) imitation of the existing closing; (3) imitation of the existing contrapuntal elisions and connecting passages; (4) borrowing the number of breves for the setting of each textual section; and (5) borrowing the number of breves for the setting of each textual section, with systematic, proportional expansion or diminution. The concealed, and fairly tenuous, fashion in which these connections often reveal themselves raises the question of the purpose of the borrowing. One possible answer lies in the schooling of the sixteenth-century composer, which would have included Latin rhetoric (taught usingimitatio ), thereby making tbe technique of modeling a natural part of a composer's intellectual background. They would draw on this training as a compositional resource, in addition to wishing simply to pay homage to a respected master.

Works: Croce: O Sacrum Convivium; Gabrieli: O Sacrum Convivium; Lassus: O Sacrum Convivium; Luzzaschi: O Sacrum Convivium; Marenzio: O Sacrum Convivium; Merulo: O Sacrum Convivium; Pallavicino: O Sacrum Convivium; Porta: O Sacrum Convivium; Victoria: O Sacrum Convivium; Wert: O Sacrum Convivium; Vecchi: Quem Vidis Pastores; Victoria: Quem Vidis Pastores; Marenzio: Veni Sponsa Christi; Palestrina: Veni Sponsa Christi.

Index Classifications: 1500s

Contributed by: Edward D. Latham

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