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Ernest H. Sanders, Leeman L. Perkins, Patrick Macey, Christoph Wolff, Jerome Roche, Graham Dixon, James R. Anthony and Malcolm Boyd

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Leeman L. Perkins and Patrick Macey

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Ernest H. Sanders, Leeman L. Perkins, Patrick Macey, Christoph Wolff, Jerome Roche, Graham Dixon, James R. Anthony and Malcolm Boyd

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Malcolm Boyd

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Kurt von Fischer, Gianluca D’Agostino, James Haar, Anthony Newcomb, Massimo Ossi, Nigel Fortune, Joseph Kerman and Jerome Roche

A poetic and musical form of 14th-century Italy; more importantly, a term in general use during the 16th century and much of the 17th for settings of various types and forms of secular verse. There is no connection between the 14th- and the 16th-century madrigal other than that of name; the former passed out of fashion a century before the term was revived. The later madrigal became the most popular form of secular polyphony in the second half of the 16th century, serving as a model for madrigals and madrigal-like compositions in languages other than Italian throughout Europe. It set the pace for stylistic developments that culminated in the Baroque period, particularly those involving the expressive relationship between text and music, and must be regarded as the most important genre of the late Renaissance.

Kurt von Fischer and Gianluca D’Agostino

The origin of the word ‘madrigal’, which appears in various forms in early sources (...

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Motet  

Ernest H. Sanders, Leeman L. Perkins, Patrick Macey, Christoph Wolff, Jerome Roche, Graham Dixon, James R. Anthony and Malcolm Boyd

revised by Peter M. Lefferts

One of the most important forms of polyphonic music from about 1220 to 1750. No single set of characteristics serves to define it generally, except in particular historical or regional contexts. It originated as a liturgical trope but soon developed into the pre-eminent form of secular art music during the late Middle Ages. The medieval motet was a polyphonic composition in which the fundamental voice (tenor) was usually arranged in a pattern of reiterated rhythmic configurations, while the upper voice or voices (up to three), nearly always with different Latin or French texts, generally moved at a faster rate. In the first half of the 15th century the motet's liturgical ties were restored, and it continued to evolve by adapting a number of forms and styles borrowed in part from the chanson, tenor mass and, later, the madrigal. In the 16th century the motet achieved its classical synthesis in the context of the Franco-Flemish style of Josquin and his successors. Important vernacular subspecies developed later, particularly in England (...