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Author Zayaruznaya, Anna Anatolievna
Title Form and idea in the ars nova motet
book jacket
Descript 413 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 72-01, Section: A, page:
Adviser: Sean Gallagher
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Harvard University, 2010
Although ars nova motets have traditionally been viewed as "purely mathematical" due to their highly structured forms, recent studies by Margaret Bent, Jacques Boogaart and others have challenged this notion, arguing that text and music are sometimes intricately linked. Building upon these analyses of individual works, the present study aims at a broader evaluation of text-music relations within the repertory
Part One is dedicated to identifying the units and mechanisms of text-music relations. This involves exploring the reception of motet texts, on the one hand, and the variety of their musical forms, on the other. I find that motet reception, as revealed by citation practices, manuscript transmission, and literary engagement favors the upper voices, which in turn influence the structures of motets in ways often audible to audiences. Such emphasis seems in conflict with the commonly held view that polytextuality masks texts in performance. However, cognitive science and historical evidence can both show that the supposed limitations of polytextuality need not hinder understanding. The idea that upper-voice texts may generate musical forms also grates against the notion that motets are structured from their tenors upwards, but a closer look at upper-voice rhythmic organization reveals that a significant number of motets in the repertory have upper-voice structures that supersede those of the tenor
Part Two consists of a series of case-studies focusing on a group of motets whose main ideas are disjunct or hybrid: the goddess Fortune, a chimera, a piecemeal statue. In these works, the musical settings turn out to be as fragmented as the creatures with which they are paired, showing segmentation on textural and isorhythmic levels. These hybrid ideas and their far-reaching effects on musical forms inflect our understanding of late-medieval modes of musical depiction. More than this, when viewed as a group these motets have the potential to radically alter our understanding of ars nova aesthetics, suggesting that disjunction, rather than unity, may sometimes have been the highest aim of composition
School code: 0084
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 72-01A
Subject History, European
History, Medieval
Alt Author Harvard University
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