Show Summary Details

Page of
<p>Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use&#160;(for details see Privacy Policy).</p><p>date: 16 June 2019</p>


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


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 (...

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Please subscribe to access the full content.

M. Brenet: Les concerts en France sous l'ancien régime (Paris, 1900/R)
Turin, Biblioteca Reale
R. Strohm: Music in Late Medieval Bruges (Oxford, 1985)
Revue belge de musicologie
Journal of the Royal Musical Association
London, Westminster Abbey Library
M. Benoit: Musiques de cour: chapelle, chambre, écurie, 1661-1733 (Paris, 1971)
Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft
Acta musicologica
Music & Letters
Verona, Accademia Filarmonica, Biblioteca e Archivio
K.G. Fellerer: Der Palestrinastil und seine Bedeutung in der vokalen Kirchenmusik des 18. Jahrhunderts (Augsburg, 1929/R)
R. Strohm: The Rise of European Music (Cambridge, 1993)
Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana
London, British Library
Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional
Hamburger Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft
Tijdschrift van de Vereniging voor Nederlandse muziekgeschiedenis [and earlier variants]
Early Music
Nuova rivista musicale italiana
Current Musicology
G. Adler, ed.: Handbuch der Musikgeschichte (Frankfurt, 1924, 2/1930/R)
Montpellier, Bibliothèque Inter-Universitaire, Section Médecine
Revue musicale
F.Ll. Harrison: Music in Medieval Britain (London, 1958, 4/1980)
Musica disciplina
Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Handschriftensammlung
Archiv für Musikforschung
Fontes artis musicae
Musical Quarterly
Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Dipartimento Musica
Archiv für Musikwissenschaft
J.R. Anthony: French Baroque Music from Beaujoyeulx to Rameau (London, 1973, 3/1997)
Recherches sur la musique française classique
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale Albert 1er/Koninlijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Section de la Musique
Miscellanea musicologica [Australia]
L. Lockwood: Music in Renaissance Ferrara (Oxford, 1984)
Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek
London, Royal College of Music, Library
Early Music History
Bologna, Biblioteca Universitaria, sezione Musicale
Gesellschaft für Musikforschung: Kongress-Bericht [1950-]
Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
Music Review
Journal of Musicology
Revue de musicologie
Aosta, Seminario Maggiore
Sammelbände der Internationalen Musik-Gesellschaft
Milan, Capitolo Metropolitano, Biblioteca e Archivio
Bologna, Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale
Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Papers of the American Musicological Society
Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association
Trent, Castello del Buonconsiglio: Monumenti e Collezioni Provinciali, Biblioteca
F. Blume: Die evangelische Kirchenmusik (Potsdam, 1931-4/R, enlarged 2/1965 as Geschichte der evangelischen Kirchenmusik; Eng. trans., enlarged, 1974, as Protestant Church Music: a History)
I. Fenlon: Music and Patronage in Sixteenth-Century Mantua (Cambridge, 1980-82)
Modena, Biblioteca Estense e Universitaria
Studien zur Musikwissenschaft
Oxford, Bodleian Library