Wednesday, December 23, 2009

15th Century Motet

Originating in the 1200's as a pairing of earlier music with new text, the motet was often sung at Vespers in the divine office or between the Credo and Sanctus sections of the Mass. Oftentimes composed for a specific holy day, a motet has primarily been present in the church, but can also serve as a secular song for one or more soloists with instrumental accompaniment no matter if a choir is present. Having flowed throughout Europe by the mid 1400's, this form of music was reared by composers from the Flemish school. Consisting of anywhere between four and six voices, the motet in the 15th century Renaissance moved out of the harsh rhythmic structure present in the 13th century.

Much contrapuntal texture was found in this form of music and the tenor voice carried the melodies which were usually picked from plainchant. upper voices of a descant clausulae were assigned to the lyrics. Rhythmic modes, i.e. brief, repeated patterns of rhythm, were found in each voice part of this type of descant. In the mass or vespers, plainchants correlating with the texts often served as the foundations of these motets. A certain motet's musical themes might have been present in the music of a mass whether or not a separated part of plainchant functioned as a base for the music. This unique unifying factor that molded the whole mass and motet together was not present in Johann Sebastian Bach's music, or, for that matter, any church music following this time period.

No comments:

Post a Comment