The Fifteenth Century (II): Until 1477 Music in the Burgundian Lands (1)…
The Fifteenth Century (II): Until 1477 Music in the Burgundian Lands
1) Why is the Duchy of Burgundy a big deal for the music in the 15th century?
The New Musical : The Duchy of Burgundy (1363-1477)
Starting from late 1300, successive dukes acquired large territories.
Originally a feudal vassal of the king of France
Ruled over the whole as virtually sovereigns until 1477
With no fixed city of residence, sojourned in various places.
Lille, Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, etc.
Philip the Bold (1363-1404)
Philip the Good (1410-67)
Charles the Bold (1467-77)
As a result
Formation of a cosmopolitan style
Secular chansons with French texts
Magnificats (the canticle of the Virgin Mary in Luke 1:46-55)
Settings of the Mass Ordinary
Texture: mostly three voices
2) Prominent Musicians
Du Fay (1397-1474)
Leading composer of his time, traveled widely
Excelled in every genre.
Born near Brussels, trained in the cathedral school of Cambrai (northeastern France)
1414-8 southern Germany
1420-4 northern Italy
1435-7 Florence and Bologna
1433-5, 1437-9, Savoy (SE France)
Du Fay's Motet and Chant Settings
Fauxbourdon: a composing technique that became prominent among continental composers during the 2nd quarter of 15th century (1425-1450)
3) The New Trend after 1450: Polyphonic Mass Cycle
Polyphonic Mass Cycle
The practice to include all five main items of the Ordinary – Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei – in a coherent work.
Means to establish musical links in mass cycles:
plainsong mass: use existing chant for the corresponding text as primary linking device
motto mass: use a head motive as primary linking device
cantus firmus mass (tenor mass): construct each movement around the same cantus firmus placed in the tenor.
An extended practice is cantus-firmus/imitation mass: adopt more than one voice from the source.
A solution to accommodate the new sound ideal of the 15th century.
Missa Caput, a mass from the 1440s.
Add a 4th voice below the tenor