Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music


Alice V. Clark, Concordare cum Materia: The Tenor in the Fourteenth-century Motet (PhD, Princeton University, 1996)

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This study takes as its starting point the description of motet composition by
Egidius de Murino, who says that the tenor should “concord with the matter” of
the motet to be written. The repertory under consideration at this stage is the
French tradition of the mid-fourteenth century, mostly transmitted in the
complete-work manuscripts of Guillaume de Machaut (Paris, Bibliotheque
Nationale, MSS fonds francais 1584, 1585, 1586, 9221 and 22545-22546, and New
York, Wildenstein Galleries) and in the Ivrea codex (Ivrea, Biblioteca
Capitolare, MS 115); this group is further limited to those motets for which a
liturgical source has been identified for the tenor. After an introductory
chapter that traces modern scholarly interest in the tenor’s role in the motet,
chapter 2 examines the evidence for compositional manipulation of borrowed
melodic material. The loss of liturgical propriety as a functional criterion
allows the tenor to serve as more than a source of melodic and harmonic
materials, and the possibility of alteration of a chant-based melody suggests
the existence of other reasons for the use of a liturgical source. One of these,
the use of liturgical function as a symbolic device, is explored in chapter 3,
with special focus on a group of French-texted amatory motets that use tenors
from Lent and Holy Week chants, a process that encourages an explicit comparison
between the lover’s sufferings and the passio of Christ. Chapter 4 examines
another group of motets, also in French on the subject of love, that appear to
name historical women by the liturgical context of their tenors; these motets
are probably connected with the marriage or betrothal of the women named.
Chapter 5 considers three new tenor sources discovered during the course of this
study and suggests avenues for future work.

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • Note on the Citation of Motets
  • Acknowledgements
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: The Tenor Melody and its Chant Source
    • General Characteristics
    • Exact Matches
    • Melodic Alteration
    • Machaut
    • Ivrea


  • Chapter 3: Liturgical Symbolism
    • Machaut
    • Ivrea
    • Expanding the Range: The Chantilly Codex
    • A Backward Look: The Roman de Fauvel


  • Chapter 4: The Vernacular Dedicatory Motet
    • Agnes
    • Lucy


  • Chapter 5: New Tenor Sources
    • Displicebat ei etc.
    • Non est inventus similes illi
    • Magister invidie / Magister meus Christus?


  • Appendix 1: Melodic Comparisons
  • Appendix 2: Chant and Biblical Sources
  • Manuscripts Cited
  • Works Cited