Motet Research Paper

1646 Words7 Pages
Junwen Jia Dr. Jacqueline Avila Musicology Paper I 9/27/2016 From Medieval to Renaissance: The Motet in Transition During the Medieval and Renaissance Periods, the Motet became the most well-developed form of polyphonic vocal music. The motet was created based on the Magnus liber organi (Great Book of Organum) of French composer Leonin (fl. 1169-1201). In organum, a second voice part (the discant clausula) was added above existing Latin chant texts. This later came to be known as “motet,” from the French “mot” (“word”) and the Latin “motetus.” The second voice of the motet was known as the “duplum.” During the transition period between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, societal changing became a factor in musical composition. The emergence of secular culture had been embraced by philosophers and artists for life, ideas, and art. The new…show more content…
Motets functioned three ways: liturgical, devotional, and occasional. Liturgically, motets functioned in the Mass Proper (less so in the Office) and were limited by the Offertory texts. In the devotional sense, memorial services for the deceased were one of the important occasions for using motets, and gatherings outside the liturgy also become popular places for singing them. In occasional use, motets were used for specific events, such as the Du Fay’s motets for the dedication of the Cathedral of Florence. The Renaissance period saw major changes in the function of motets. Because the composers abandoned polytextual writing and strict isorhythm in order to make the texts clearer, the language of motet had reverted to Latin, the sacred text, and to more liturgical subjects, as it had been in the beginning. This development process moved the motet from simple to more complicated, and finally back to simple. This shift also occurred because of the spirit of Renaissance, which aimed to go back to classical values and
Open Document