Originated at the School of Notre-Dame de Paris approx. In medieval polyphony, tenor was the name given to the voice that had the cantus firmus, a preexisting melody, often a fragment of plainsong, to which other voices in counterpoint were added. The Tenor usually contained a repeating rhythmic pattern called an ordo.
Motets played a leading role as vehicles for compositional innovation and virtuosic display throughout the 14th—16th centuries. In the 17th and 18th centuries, national styles fractured established compositional norms and multiplied the terms used to designate equivalent musical genres.
Since the 19th century, composers have often looked to early models, emulating specific qualities, particularly those of the 14th—16th centuries, such as isorhythm, rhythmic idioms, cantus firmus, voicings, textures, cadential formulas, texts or text types, harmonies, and melodic styles from earlier periods.
Because the style, function, and terminology associated with the motet vary from the time of its origin in the 13th century, no description can encompass all motets. Some hallmarks apply in most periods, though works in every time and place may diverge from the common traits, often as a result of their intended function.
The motet often combines a text of high quality with music intended to be sung by skilled singers and heard by sophisticated listeners, as asserted by Johannes de Grocheio for its earliest period: Seay, Colorodo Springs,p.
Texts may be in Latin or in any vernacular language; or they may be either religious or secular, drawn from scripture, liturgy, poetry, or freely composed.
Musically and textually, the motet interacts with the culture around it, representing in each period the current tastes and concerns of compositional technique and cultural topical interest, and this quality precludes a single definition or description. The audience, function, and performance context of the motet varies over time and is sometimes unknown, or known only in a general sense.
Much of the literature addresses the continuously changing nature of the motet. Reference Works The motet has rarely been treated in comprehensive studies by a single author, and never in English.
MGG and Grove include significant articles on the motet as well as articles containing biographical information and lists of compositions for most of the major composers of motets and for the vast majority of those who are less well known. Some individual works are mentioned within articles on composers.
Many musical sources containing motets are mentioned and briefly described in Boorman, et al. In addition, Grove Music Online can be searched for individual motet texts in works lists, though this search is far from comprehensive, as not all composer articles include complete works lists.
Owens provides a succinct, reliable overview. Each of the sources listed provides further bibliography on the motet. Boorman, Stanley, Ernest M. Edited by Deane Root. Edited by Friedrich Blume, — Chronological divisions occur at stylistic junctures in the development of the motet: Included are musical examples and an extensive bibliography subdivided by topic.
Edited by Don Michael Randall, — Each section provides detailed descriptions, mentioning composers, compositional techniques, and specific works. Also has a bibliography. Anthony, and Malcom Boyd.
Organized by time period: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, afterand 20th century, plus further subdivisions by geographic region. Includes a detailed explanation of isorhythm and some discussion of specific works and composers. Features musical examples, facsimile examples, and extensive bibliography subdivided by topic.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login. How to Subscribe Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.Europe in the 14th Century and the Renaissance The 14th century was anything but pleasant for the people living in Europe at the time.
There were so many factors and conditions that ultimately helped pave the way for the Renaissance. I will focus on the key influences during this period that contributed to the development of this “rebirth”.
A major source for 13th-century motets is the Montpellier Codex, which was compiled around the year and in its organisation illustrates the evolution of the form.
The earliest motets arose in 13th century from organum. Later in the 13th century there were secular motets too, written in the vernacular language.
Motet's history can be divided into three periods. 1 Medieval Motet ( ), 2 Renaissance Motet ( ), 3 Baroque Motet ( ). The earliest motets arose in the 13th century from the organum tradition exemplified in the Notre Dame school of Léonin and Pérotin.
The motet probably arose from clausula sections, Increasingly in the 14th and 15th centuries, motets tended to be panisorhythmic;. The motet began in the early 13th century as an application of a new text (i.e., “word”) to older music. Specifically, In the 14th century secular motets were largely serious in content (e.g., on historical topics) and were used for ceremonial occasions.
Both sacred and secular motets often used the technique of isorhythm: the. As a means of recording the passage of time, the 14th century was the century lasting from January 1, , to December 31, Political and natural disasters ravaged both Europe and the four khanates of the Mongol Empire.