Motet Development Essay

1678 Words Apr 21st, 2006 7 Pages
The motet was one of the most important forms of polyphonic music from 1250 to 1750. The Italian mottetto was originally a profane polyphonic species of music, the air, or melody, being in the Tenor clef, taking the then acknowledged place of the canto fermo or plainchant, theme. It originated in the 13th century resulting from the practice of Pérotin and his contemporaries in Paris. The term "motet" can be translated as "the word of movement". Sometimes two upper voices had different words. In the beginning, Latin texts involving topics of the Virgin Mary were used. Later, French secular pieces became common due to the fact that the motet terminated its connection with church and liturgy. Between the years 1390 and 1435, Dunstable …show more content…
His early motets all maintained the traditional styles, but his observations of the cantus firmus and canon techniques gave way to imitative counterpoint, with homophonic writing to provide variety and text illustration. Josquin was the greatest composer of the high Renaissance. He was very inventive and profound in expression. Much of his music cannot be dated, however, his first period is characterized by melismatic counterpoint in the manner of Ockeghem. The middle period saw the development and perfection of his technique. His style has been seen as a synthesis of two traditions: the northem polyphony of Dufay, Busnois and Ockeghem along with the more chordal, harmonically orientated practice of Italy. By Josquin's death in 1521, the official formation of the 16th-century motet was essentially formed. The Franco-Netherlands style, exemplified by Mouton, Gombert and Clemens, eventually took the lead musically in Italy and a synthesis became obvious in the motets of Orlande de Lassus, which borrow obvious characteristics from the madrigal, and the noticeably conservative works of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Motet composition in the Baroque period follows two independent lines. The Palestrina signature, maintained by the Vatican, predominated in Italy, Austria, south Germany and Iberia, later developed into a more harmonic formation. With a specific style of vocal melody,

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