Music 501: Medieval and Renaissance Music
Choose a Renaissance motet or mass based on a pre-existing original
song, or polyphony). Make sure you have a reliable scholarly edition that
indicates original pitch, clefs, note values and proportional signs, and
make sure you can find a copy of the chant or other melody upon which the
work is based. Include:
- Title, subtitle (e.g., a psalm-motet in three partes, for six voices),
composer, approximate date, original MS or printed source, modern editions,
- A brief essay introducing the work in its musical, liturgical, and
- Text: source, liturgical use, poetic form, other comments. Print out
the text as poetry or divided into prose verses (as psalms or other
- Melody: source, liturgical use, other comments. If appropriate, print
out the melody in chant (square neum) notation, otherwise mensural notation.
- Voice parts: names, clefs, range, abbreviations for chart below.
- Dispersion chart: Make a chart that shows each text-based segment of
the motet and provides for each the following information, based on your own
analysis (for masses, select a single movement for your dispersion chart):
- Text segment (or incipit)
- Measure numbers (or semibreves)
- Mensural sign (time signature, if it changes)
- Voices present (i.e. C5TB)
- Use of pre-existent material
(i.e. CF in bassus, paraphrased imitatively in CA, etc.)
- Imitation, with pitch and temporal interval
- Structural closes (main cadences, with pitch, voices involved)
- Secondary junctures (cadences or other closes, as above, also
explain mitigating factors)
- Other remarks.
Include a photocopy of the best edition of the work with your analysis.
The written work is due on December 1; you should be ready for
ten-minute oral presentations on December 1 and 3.