Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Irving, John. "John Blitheman's Keyboard Plainsongs: Another Kind of Composition?" Plainsong and Medieval Music 3 (October 1994): 185-93.

Although John Blitheman is best known for his virtuosic keyboard compositions and as the teacher of John Bull, close inspection of his plainsong variations show that he was highly innovative in terms of thematic integration and development. His four verses, or variations, on the hymn Eterne rerum each present a unique setting of the plainsong. Blitheman's cadences are usually derived from the phrases of the original chant, and melodic motives, taken from the openings of each variation, are treated with intervallic and rhythmic flexibility. In the fourth variation, three distinct motives are developed using retrograde motion and inversion. In Eterne rerum, as well as his setting of the Compline hymn Christe qui lux es, Blitheman integrates the cantus firmus into the imitative motives of the surrounding polyphony.

Works: John Blitheman: Eterne rerum (186-88), Christe qui lux es (188).

Sources: Hymn: Eterne rerum (186-88); Compline Hymn: Christe qui lux es (188).

Index Classifications: 1500s

Contributed by: Randy Goldberg

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