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Author: Judd, Cristle Collins

Title: Aspects of Tonal Coherence in the Motets of Josquin

Institution: King's College, University of London

Completed: January 1993

Abstract:

This thesis presents analyses of motets attributed to Josquin des Prez and offers a model for exploring tonal coherence in sacred vocal polyphony from about 1500. Chapters 1 to 3 develop a modern theoretical framework which relies on principles articulated by Renaissance theorists. Theoretical statements, especially about "mode," sub-texts created by musical examples and citations, and compositional determinants of pitch structure are considered along with the practicalities of a musical tradition rooted in plainchant, hexachordal manipulation of the gamut, and counterpoint. The theory proposed here provides a designation for, and identifies the markers of three main tonal categories, described by hexachordal nomenclature as Ut, Re, and Mi tonalities. Each is defined by a distinct collection of "modal types," melodic-contrapuntal paradigms identifiable in a variety of structural guises. Chapters 4 to 6 explore Ut/Re/Mi tonalities in Josquin's motets in detail. Chapter 7 concentrates on the gospel motets and a tonal profile unique to this sub-genre suggestive of "chant-based" tonality. Chapter 8 treats psalms and other motets first appearing in late German sources, considering questions of authorship in this group of motets. The final chapter summarizes the most important observations about Ut/Re/Mi tonality and Josquin's motet style, and suggests directions for future research on the question of tonal coherence in music from about 1500.

Keywords: Josquin, motet, mode, Aron, tonal coherence

TOC:

1. Introduction
2. Mode in Polyphony: Theoretical Perspective
3. Toward a Theory of Tonal Coherence in Sacred Vocal Polyphony
4. Re Tonality
5. Ut Tonality
6. Mi Tonality
7. "Chant-based" Tonality: The Gospel Motets
8. Motets First Attributed to Josquin in Late German Sources
9. Summary and Conclusions


Contact:

Music Department, University of Pennsylvania, 201 S. 34th St.,
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6313. Tel: (215) 898-7544; fax: (215) 573-2106;
e-mail: cjudd@mail.sas.upenn.edu


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