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Author Pacha, Danielle Joanne
Title The Veritatem family: Manipulation, modeling and meaning in the thirteenth-century motet
book jacket
Descript 332 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 63-09, Section: A, page: 3054
Chair: Dolores Pesce
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Washington University in St. Louis, 2002
Motet composers of the thirteenth century often based their compositions on preexistent chant segments, placing the chant in the lowest voice to serve as scaffolding for the upper lines. An examination of selected motets reveals that composers did not treat these chant segments as intractable foundations that inevitably dictated the direction of newly composed music, but rather viewed them as malleable materials that they could manipulate to achieve desired effects. A group of motets on the Veritatem tenor contains an especially sophisticated manipulation of the chant segment to achieve a large-scale tenor design; during each repetition of the tenor the composer slightly alters the original pitch content and even omits a portion of the chant. In addition, members of the Veritatem family are related by features shared among the upper voices as well as by the tenor design, suggesting that some composers may have engaged in conscious modeling as they created new motets. A detailed study of this family forms the main focus of my dissertation
My study of the Veritatem family includes an examination of texts as well as music, exploring the ways in which a thirteenth-century listener might experience these texts as they interact together in a polyphonic complex. When searching for meaning in motets, one often encounters an incongruous mixture of subjects, as multiple texts, both spiritual and profane, interact over a liturgical tenor. Although many motets do little to reconcile conflicting texts, others inspire a range of interpretations by manipulating the rhetorical conventions of medieval poetry and blurring poetic genres. In addition, some motet texts share intriguing similarities with contemporary saints lives and sermons, suggesting that they may have resonated with spiritual texts in the minds of medieval listeners. Two motets from the Veritatem family illustrate special treatments of texts; in EM 35, the composer creates a musical setting that highlights significant moments in a poem, letting them ring through an otherwise dense polyphonic texture. In EM 36, conflicting poems interact together to create multiple meanings, on the one hand serving as secular entertainment and on the other encouraging spiritual contemplation
School code: 0252
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 63-09A
Subject Music
History, Medieval
Alt Author Washington University in St. Louis
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