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Published: 10 December 1998

392 Pages | 17 halftones & linecuts, 85 music examples

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195129052

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Bookseller Code (04)

Hearing the Motet

Essays on the Motet of the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Edited by Dolores Pesce

"This collection of essays by leading scholars explores sacred vocal polyphony from the 12th through the late 16th centuries. The emphasis is less on broad stylistic or historical trends than on the insights offered by particular compositions and on the tools of critical interpretation. For instance, Margaret Bent considers the ways in which informed 14th-century readers might have understood the several simultaneous Latin and musical 'texts' of a motet preserved in the Roman de Fauvel, and how their ways of understanding relate to the current practice of critical analysis of music. Rob Wegman's study of a motet by the 15th-century composer Antoine Busnois similarly juxtaposes modern and contemporaneous concerns, in this case as a means of exploring the rival assumptions of different communities of readers. Craig Monson artfully explores previously unnoticed sensibilities among William Byrd's motets and publications, and in so doing points out how modern assumptions about 'political' motets have tended to obscure the significance of other compositions. These essays are as different as the motets they consider, but all share a concern for the close reading of musical and verbal texts and an interest in exploring original and present intellectual, political, and artistic contexts."--Choice

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