Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Leverett, Adelyn Peck. “Song Masses in the Trent Codices: The Austrian Connection.” Early Music History 14 (1995): 205-56.

Six masses from Trent 88, 89, and 91 take their pre-existent material not from the plainchant repertory, but from secular songs. Four of these masses—Missa Wünschlichen schön and Missa Deutsches Lied from Trent 89, and Missa Sig säld und heil and Missa Zersundert ist das junge Herz mein from Trent 91—draw their tenors from Tenorlieder, polyphonic arrangements of German-texted melodies found only in sources from south Germany and Silesia. These four masses treat their borrowed material in similar ways, of which the most distinctive is the use of “block quotations.” In all four masses, the original song discantus always appears with the borrowed tenor so as to preserve the two parts’ contrapuntal relationship in the model song. These block quotations unify these masses as cycles and give them their fundamental character: some reference to the discantus-tenor framework of the model setting takes place in almost every movement of each mass, with the strongest model statements consistently placed in the Kyrie and in the Agnus Dei. Two other masses, Touront’s Missa Monÿel and the anonymous Missa Gentil madonna mia contain songs of unknown origin that act as a cyclic basis. Like the Tenorlieder masses, these two masses are organized around the use of block quotations of the discantus and tenor voices from the model song and feature the striking restatement of the song in the Agnus Dei. These common elements suggest an “Austrian manner” of song mass composition, reflective of peculiarly Austrian forms and tastes that prevailed where the masses were created.

Works: Anonymous: Missa Wünschlichen schön (214-37); Anonymous: Missa Deutsches Lied (214-37); Anonymous: Missa Sig säld und heil (214-37); Anonymous: Missa Zersundert ist das junge Herz mein (214-37); Touront: Missa Monÿel (237-38); Anonymous: Missa Gentil madonna mia (237, 248-55).

Sources: Gregorian Chant: Kyrie Cunctipotens genitor (220-21), Credo IV (Credo Cardinale) (220-21); Anonymous: Sig säld und heil (221-22).

Index Classifications: 1400s

Contributed by: Amanda Jensen

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