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motet

(mōtĕt`), name for the outstanding type of musical composition of the 13th cent. and for a different type that originated in the Renaissance. The 13th-century motet, a creation (c.1200) of the school of Notre-Dame de Paris, was a polyphonic composition based on a tenortenor,
highest natural male voice. 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.
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 that was a fragment of plainsong (or, later, of any type of melody, sacred or secular) arranged in a brief, reiterated rhythmic pattern called an ordo. It existed side by side but was distinct from the conductus, an earlier development of choral composition, which was not based on preexisting liturgical chants and which employed several voice parts in a type of harmony. The motet's original text, sometimes only a word or two, was kept, but the tenor may have been played on instruments. The second part, called motetus [Fr. mot=word], had its own text, usually sacred and in Latin but by the second half of the century sometimes secular and in French. The third voice, the triplum, had still another text, and very often the motet combined a triplum that was a French love song and a motetus that was a Latin hymn to the Virgin Mary. The outgrowth of this early motet was the isorhythmic motet of the late 13th and the 14th cent. It employed a recurring rhythmic pattern called a talea, longer than an ordo and not restricted to the tenor part. Of the 23 extant motets of Guillaume de MachautMachaut, Guillaume de
, c.1300–1377, French poet and composer. Variants of his name include Machault, de Machaudio, and de Mascaudio. He studied theology and took holy orders. In the service of King John of Bohemia he traveled through Europe on chivalric expeditions.
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 (c.1300–c.1377), an outstanding 14th-century composer, 20 are isorhythmic. Isorhythmic technique was not confined to the motet and persisted into the mid-15th cent. The Renaissance motet had but one text, in Latin, and was a polyphonic, unaccompanied composition. It had usually from four to six voices and was free from the 13th-century rhythmic rigidity. Cultivated by composers of the Flemish school, it had spread throughout Europe by the middle of the 15th cent. Outstanding composers are Josquin Desprez and Orlando di Lasso of the Flemish school; the Italians Andrea Gabrieli, Giovanni Gabrieli, and Palestrina; the Spaniard Tomás Luis de Victoria; and the Englishmen Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. In the baroque era the greatest motets were written in Germany to German texts. The Symphoniae Sacrae of Heinrich Schütz include many motets in various styles, with the addition of solo voices and instrumental accompaniment. The peak is reached in the six motets of Bach, which are thought to have had some continuo accompaniment. Since Bach's time the term motet has been applied to almost any kind of sacred choral polyphony but usually refers to unaccompanied Latin motets for use in Roman Catholic services. Many anthems in English, however, have been designated motets by their composers.

Bibliography

See F. Matthiassen, The Style of the Early Motet (1966).

Motet

 

a genre of polyphonic vocal music that originated in 12th-century France. Originally, the motet was a musical composition for two voices, consisting of a new voice added to a voice based on refrains in the Catholic service (Gregorian chants). The new voice was called the motet. Subsequently, the term was applied to the entire composition. Later, motets were written for three or four voices.

The voices that were added to the main voice were melodically richer. Their texts—originally variations on the text for the main voice—became more and more independent. Some motets combined religious texts and humorous secular texts, nonsense texts, and texts in different languages. The main voice was often as signed to an instrumentalist. Later, the fugue and counterpoint were used in motets.

From the 15th century any vocal composition more developed and more ceremonial than a song was called a motet. A purely vocal (noninstrumental) style of choral polyphony was developed in the motets of O. Lassus, G. Gabrieli, and Palestrina in the 16th century. Choral settings prevail in the 16th-century French motet. A solo motet with a figured bass originated in 17th-century Italy. The motet reached its peak in the works of J. S. Bach, who made the choral motet a more profound musical form similar to the cantata.

In the 19th century the motet was developed as a choral composition based on a serious text and sometimes including religious motifs. Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bruckner, M. Reger, and Gounod were among the 19th-century composers who favored the form.

REFERENCE

Leichtentritt, H. Geschichte der Motette, 2nd ed. Hildesheim, 1966.

motet

a polyphonic choral composition used as an anthem in the Roman Catholic service
References in periodicals archive ?
More than that, unlike a given building or other work of the visual arts, which we can experience directly or through reproduction, unless we are a musician or musicologist we cannot meaningfully experience a motet through reading a score: we need to hear it performed, in this case preferably in the space that it was meant to be -- only once -- performed.
Scott also makes the important point that "the motets of the Sontagliche Evangelien reveal a structural concern for communicating the message of the text" (p.
In volumes 6 and 11 the editors discuss briefly the problem of motets with ascriptions to more than one composer (no fewer than 16 five-voice and 18 four-voice motets), and attempt a reliable attribution.
In addition to motets, the concert will feature soloists Laura Beckel Thoreson and Arwen Myers on arias from two Bach cantatas, and a cello sonata performed by Katherine Schultz and Chris Lynch.
The fourteen works fall into two sets offered in chronological order: first are two early motets for two choirs (i.
The Monstrous New Art: Divided Forms in the Late Medieval Motet.
Giovanni Croce was a major composer of motets in Renaissance Venice, unjustly neglected today and largely eclipsed by the fame of Monteverdi.
Motets was recorded at All Hallows Church Hampstead, Motets was recorded at All Hallows Church Hampstead, London, in January and the wonderful choir was PolyphoLondon, in January and the wonderful choir was PolyphoPolyphony, conducted by Stephen Layton.
Here are collected motets by Maestro Francisco Guerrero are collected
SOLO MOTET FOR BASS VOICE AND CONTINUO, WITH TWO VIOLINS.
Grand motets were heard during the king's daily Mass in the royal chapel.
How this approach works in practice is the stuff of Chapter 1 in which a range of text-critical approaches is brought to bear on a genre of prime interest to Dillon, and an aspect of it that has long puzzled musicologists, namely: In what sense do polytextual motets make sense?