Pes (Lat.: ‘foot’, ‘fundament’, ‘ground’)(i)
- Ernest H. Sanders
In some English sources of polyphony dating from the second half of the 13th century (mostly the so-called Worcester Fragments, now in the Bodleian Library and Worcester Cathedral: see Worcester polyphony ) pes is the usual designation for the untexted non-Gregorian tenor of certain motets; it was freely invented or, more rarely, borrowed from a song or a dance-tune. The term generally denotes a strict or varied melodic ostinato, in contrast to the purely rhythmic ostinatos into which continental motet composers fashioned their cantus firmi. While the cantus firmus motets written in England follow continental precepts, the ...