In 1449, the records of the church of Our Lady at Antwerp mention a new singer, Petrus de Domaro (see Figure 1). He does not reappear in the accounts of 1450, and those of the subsequent years are all lost. Musical sources and treatises from the 1460s to 80s call him, with remarkable consistency, P[etrus] de Domarto, and reveal that he was an internationally famous composer in the third quarter of the fifteenth century.
1 First published in van den Nieuwenhuizen, J., ‘De koralen, de zangers en de zangmeesters van de Antwerpse O. L.-Vrouwekerk tijdens de 15e eeuw’, Gouden jubileum gedenkboek van de viering van 50 jaar heropgericht knapenkoor van de Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekatedraal le Antwerpen (Antwerp, 1978), p. 38. Domarto served as a vicar-singer in the left choir of the church; he received a signum or loot for every service in which he participated. The loten were marked ‘J’, 'Sp’ and ‘M’, and differed in value according to the type of service: 2¼ Brabant groats for ‘M’ (Matins), l groat for ‘J’ (unknown) and 5 miten [=5/24 groat] for 'Sp’ (Lesser Hours). Altogether 49 loten are recorded for Domarto between 24 June and 24 December 1449, equivalent to a total sum of nearly 33 Brabant groats. The payments survive in Antwerp, Cathedral Archive, Rekeningen van de kapelanen 1430–1450 (register 142):
‘petrus de domaro xxj signa [J] valent xxj groten’ (fol. 205v);
‘petrus de domaro xxv signa [Sp] valent v groten v miten’ (fol. 208v);
‘petrus de domaro iij signa [M] valent vj groten xviij miten’ (fol. 210r; see Figure 1).
The maximum number of loten that could be accumulated between 24 June and 24 December was approximately 190. A total of 33 loten suggests a stay of at least three or four weeks. Reinhard Strohm has suggested that Domarto worked at Antwerp as a ‘visiterer’, i.e., a visiting priest who sang in the choirstalls – a common arrangement in musical centres in the Low Countries (private communication, 20 February 1990).
2 Reinhard Strohm has tentatively identified Domarto with Pierre Maillart dict Petrus, who had been a choirboy at Notre Dame in Paris in 1405, was a chaplain of Philip the Good in 1436–51, and died in 1477. See: Strohm, R., Music in Late Medieval Bruges (Oxford, 1985), pp. 25 and 124; more on Maillart in Haggh, B. H., ‘Music, Liturgy, and Ceremony in Brussels, 1350–1500’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 1988), p. 626.
The surname ‘[de] Domarto’ is exceedingly rare. I have come across only three other occurrences of the name in the fifteenth century. The earliest is in a document of the Court of Hainaut, dating 1417, which mentions a Josse de Dommart, merchant in Paris; see Devillers, L., ed., Cartulaire des comtes de Hainaut, vi/1 (Brussels, 1896), p. 36. A Reginaldus de Dom(m)arto worked as master of the choirboys in Lille, 1457–8 (see below). And a Michiel Domart was clerk of the Audit Chamber at Mechlin in 1476; see de Smidt, J. T. and Strubbe, E. I., Chronologische lijsten van de geëxtendeerde sententië en procesbundels berustende in het archief van de Grote Raad van Mechelen (n.p., 1966), p. 113. Gérard de la Garde (d. 1345), cardinal and professor of theology at Paris, was variously styled G. de Gerria/Guardia and G. Domarus/de Daumaro/Damarus; see Franklin, A., Dictionnaire des noms, surnoms et pseudonymes latins de l'histoire littéraire du moyen âge [1100 à 1500] (Hildesheim, 1966), pp. 281–2.
Reinhard Strohm suggests that Petrus de Domarto may have come from the little town Domart-en-Ponthieu, near Doullens, in the diocese of Amiens (Music in Late Medieval Bruges, p. 124). This assumption is strengthened by the presence, in 1457–8, of a Reginaldus de Dom(m)arto as master of the choirboys at the church of St Pierre at Lille, 90 km north-east of Domart-en-Ponthieu (Strohm, R., ‘Insular Music on a Continental Island’, paper read at the February Meeting of the Royal Musical Association,London,4 February 1989).
3 Christopher Reynolds has argued that the scribe of VatSP B80, Nicholas Ausquier, copied Domarto's Missa quinti toni irregularis from a lost source dating from 1458 (Reynolds, C., ‘The Origins of San Pietro B80 and the Development of a Roman Sacred Repertory‘, Early Music History, 1 (1981), pp. 257–304). The title of the mass (which is in Bb Lydian) comes from Tinctoris's Liber imperfectionum notarum; see Seay, A., ed., Johannis Tinctoris opera theoretica, Corpus Scriptorum de Musica 22/i (n.p., 1975), p. 154. Ausquier's copy of the mass lacked the Kyrie; a later scribe added a Kyrie ascribed to Egidius Cervelli. The Sanctus also appears in TrentC 89, fols. 57v–58r.
4 TrentC 88, fols. 401v–410r; LucAS 238, fols. 11v–17r; VatS 14, fols. 38v–47r; ModE M.1.13, fols. 117v–129r; and PozU 7022, fols. II/8r–9v and II/11r–12v. For the date of TrentC 88, see Saunders, S. E., ‘The Dating of the Trent Codices from their Watermarks, with a Study of the Local Liturgy of Trent in the Fifteenth Century’ (Ph.D. dissertation, King's College, University of London, 1983), pp. 87–91. The layer of LucAS 238 containing the Spiritus almus cycle was copied in Bruges presumably in 1467–9 (Strohm, , Music in Late Medieval Bruges, pp. 120–3 and 193). PozU 7022 is discussed in Perz, M., ‘The Lvov Fragments: A Source for Works by Dufay, Josquin, Petrus de Domarto, and Petrus de Grudencz in 15th-Century Poland’, Tijdschrift van de Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis, 36 (1986), pp. 26–51. Domarto's mass is found in the second gathering, which dates from the third quarter of the fifteenth century. Adalbert Roth has proposed a date of c. 1474 for VatS 14; see Roth, A., ‘Studien zum frühen Repertoire der Päpstlichen Kapelle unter dem Pontifikat Sixtus' iv. (1471–1484): Die Chorbücher 14 und 51 des Fondo Cappella Sistina der Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Frankfurt am Main, 1982), pp. 237–40. ModE M.1.13 was copied in Ferrara in 1481; see Lockwood, L., Music in Renaissance Ferrara 1400–1505 (Oxford, 1984), pp. 222–4. Three of the five sources (TrentC 88, VatS 14 and ModE M.1.13) transmit the full cycle. PozU 7022 contains two trimmed leaves with portions of the Credo and Sanctus, and a few snippets with music for the Kyrie and Gloria. LucAS 238 contains portions of the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus.
5 Taruskin, R., ‘Antoine Busnoys and the L'homme armé Tradition’, Journal of the American Musiological Society, 39 (1986), p. 284.
6 Seay, ed., Johannis Tinctoris opera theoretica, ii (n.p., 1978), pp. 48–9, 55 and 56. Some of Tinctoris's comments were echoed by Franchinus Gaffurius in his Tractatus practicabilium proportionum of c. 1481−3 (unpublished; the treatise survives in Bologna, Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale, MS A 69; see Miller, C. A., ‘Early Gaffuriana: New Answers to Old Questions’, The Musical Quarterly, 56 (1970), pp. 373–83). The relevant passages are: ‘don Marto [sic] in Missa spiritus almus proportionam duplam unica binarij scilicet numeri ziphra pluries inconuenienter signauit’ (fol. 5r), and the list of composers committing the ‘inexcusable error’ of prolatio maior augmentation: ‘Busnoÿs in Missa Lome arme et Bernardus ycart in Missa de Amor tu dormi et don Marto in missa spiritus almus atque Gaspar in Missa Venusbant‘ (fol. 12v). Gaffurius's comments have little independent value; his treatise is strongly influenced by the views of Tinctoris, with whom the young man had discussed matters of music theory during his stay at Naples in 1478−80 (cf. Atlas, A., Music at the Aragonese Court of Naples (Cambridge, 1985), pp. 80–2, and Miller, op. cit., pp. 377–8).
7 Opera theoretica, iia, pp. 45–6.
8 Seay, , ed., Johannis Tinctoris opera theoretica, ii (n.p., 1975), p. 139.
9 Tinctoris objected to this also in Barbingant's song L'homme bany; cf. Opera theoretica, i, pp. 153–4.
10 I have argued elsewhere that the years 1455–75 saw profound changes in the style, scope and production of polyphonic masses (Wegman, R. C., ‘The Anonymous Mass D'ung aultre amer. A Late Fifteenth-Century Experiment’, The Musical Quarterly, 74 (1990), pp. 566–94). By the mid-1470s, Domarto's Missa Spiritus almus must have sounded noticeably antiquated (see below).
11 This was noted earlier by Strohm, , Music in Late Medieval Bruges, p. 124.
12 Opera theoretica, iia, p. 56.
13 In the eighteenth century, Domarto was among the first fifteenth-century composers to regain his former fame. In his letter to Eugenio de Ligniville of 3 March 1767, Padre Martini mentioned ‘Firmino Caron, Gio[vanni] Regis, Antonio Busnois, Pietro de Domart, Enrico Isaac, Giacomo Obrect, Giovanni Okenheim, Jusquin del Prato, etc’ as especially proficient in the art of canonic writing (see Schnoebelen, A., ed., Padre Martini's Collection of Letters in the Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale in Bologna (New York, 1979), pp. 331–2). The source of Padre Martini's information is unclear; it cannot be Tinctoris, since the latter never made a statement to this effect. Martini did have access to his treatises, though; see Tinctoris opera theoretica, i, p. 10.
14 ‘R. Stirps Jesse virgam produxit, virgaque florem:* et super hunc florem requiescit spiritus almus. V Virga dei genitrix virgo est, flos filius eius’ (after Isaiah 11:1). The cantus firmus was identified by Strohm, , Music in Late Medieval Bruges, p. 124. The responsory Stirps Jesse is printed in the Processionale monasticum (Solesmes, 1893), p. 186. A responsory which is musically identical with Stirps Jesse is Comedetis carnes, for Corpus Christi; see Liber usualis (Tournai, 1962), p. 927.
The head-motif of the mass seems to quote the trope Spiritus alme adest for the Introit of the Mass of the Holy Ghost, Spiritus domini (Strohm, , Music in Late Medieval Bruges, p. 124). In this context it is worth pointing out that Domarto's head-motif is itself quoted at the beginning of the anonymous motet Salve mundi gloria, a setting of a Salve regina trope (MunBS 3154, fols. 67v–69r; edition in Noblitt, T., ed., Der Kodex des Magister Nicolaus Leopold, Das Erbe deutscher Musik 80 (Kassel, 1987), pp. 230–7). This motet was copied in a layer whose paper has been dated 1476 (Noblitt, T., ‘Die Datierung der Handschrift Mus. ms. 3154 der Staatsbibliothek München’, Die Musikforschung, 27 (1974), p. 41). In several ways this interesting piece seems to be a musical reflection of Domarto's mass (cf. the descriptive analysis of the cycle below): it is in D Dorian, with generally low ranges, unusual ficta, slow harmonic movement, and little imitation in the full passages. Beyond the head-motif, however, the motet shares little with the Missa Spiritus almus in terms of melodic content. So long as the cantus firmus (in the lowest voice) has not been identified, and the Salve regina trope located, it is difficult to assess the significance of the apparent relationship.
15 The cantus firmi of these masses were identified by Bukofzer, Manfred (Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music (New York, 1950), pp. 229–30 and 308–9) and Reinhard Strohm (see Reynolds, op. cit., p. 285).
16 See Strohm, , Music in Late Medieval Bruges, p. 124, with implicit cross-reference to p. 71. Barbara Haggh informed me that high solemn Masses of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary were common at important funerals (private communication, 16 January 1990; cf. Haggh, op. cit., p. 351). This combination could perhaps explain Domarto's choice of cantus firmus and suggest that the Missa Spiritus almus was written for a funerary context.
17 Edition in Smijers, A., ed., Van Ockeghem tot Sweelinck, i (2nd, revised edn, Amsterdam, 1952), pp. 22–6.
18 Busnoys's Anima mea liquefacta est appears as an anonymous composition in VatS 15, fols. 239v–242r. In BrusBR 5557 the motet was copied presumably under the composer's supervision, on paper datable to 1476−80. See Warmington, F., ‘“A Very Fine Troop of Bastards?”: Provenance, Date, and Busnois's Role in Brussels 5557’, paper read at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society,Philadelphia,1984; for the date see Wegman, R. C., ‘New Data Concerning the Origins and Chronology of Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Manuscript 5557’, Tijdschrift van de Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis, 36 (1986), p. 14.
19 The following description is based on Wegman, R. C., ‘Another Mass by Busnoys?’, Music & Letters, 71 (1990), p. 5.
20 This term was coined by Strohm, Reinhard in his paper ‘The Music of the 1450s'’, Fifteenth Annual Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Music,Southampton,1987.
21 The breve rests are not indicated in the example; they always precede sections A and B.
22 See Wegman, ‘Another Mass by Busnoys?’, p. 6, n. 18.
23 Although prolatio maior notation implied 2:1 augmentation, the length ratio found here is roughly 3:1 since the basis for comparison is the semibreve: one semibreve in major prolation is equivalent to three semibreves in minor prolation. Had the basis of comparison been the minim, then the length ratio would have been 2:1, since one minim in major prolation equals two in minor prolation.
24 Among the few exceptions are the tenors of the songs N'aray-je jamais by Robert Morton and De tous biens plaine by Hayne van Ghizeghem. These tenors are mensurally transformed in the masses N'aray-je jamais by Jacob Obrecht and Johannes Ghiselin-Verbonnet, the Missa De tous biens plaine by Obrecht, and the motet Omnium bonorum plena by Compère. However, the procedure is not applied systematically in these pieces.
25 A minor exception could perhaps be the anonymous, and presumably early, Missa Te Deum in TrentC 89,. fols. 71r–80v, based on the opening phrase ‘Te Deum, laudamus: te Dominum confitemur’ of the hymn Te Deum, transposed up a fourth. The chant is rhythmicised in a highly schematic fashion: it is split up, by two groups of nine breve rests each, into three sections, each of which has a total duration of nine breves. The entry of the cantus firmus is invariably preceded by eighteen breve rests, so that the total durational layout of the tenor is 18:9:9:9:9:9 (counted in breves; cantus firmus statements in bold type). The tenor appears in three different mensurations, (¢, O and O2 the latter indicated by the uncommon signature ⊕). However, the changes of mensuration hardly affect the rhythmic shape of the tenor, since it is written almost entirely in maximas, longs and breves. There are only two (consecutive) semibreves on the same pitch (d′) whose rhythmic interpretation varies according to the mensuration signs, but in each case they still add up to one breve. Contrary to Domarto, who clearly tried to exploit the inherent possibilities of mensural transformation, the anonymous composer of Te Deum seems to have introduced the changes of mensuration only to create large-scale proportional structures. The durational proportions within the movements are either 1:1:1 (Kyrie and Agnus Dei) or 3:1:3 (Gloria, Credo and Sanctus). The overall durational relationships in the mass are 3:7:7:7:3. This mass is the exception that proves the rule: the mensural transformation in Domarto's mass betrays a unique attitude.
26 The following paragraphs are strongly indebted to the work of Margaret Bent, who has kindly shared with me her thoughts on mensural transformation in the Ars Nova motet (private communication, 4 March 1990). In a forthcoming publication Professor Bent questions the twentieth-century concept of ‘isorhythm’ and proposes a definition based on sameness of notation rather than sameness of results: ‘The starting point is an isomorphically notated tenor, subjected to one or more kinds of manipulation’ (‘The Late-Medieval Motet’, The Everyman Companion to Medieval and Renaissance Music, ed. D. Fallows and T. Knighton). Bent's removal of the restrictions imposed by the concept of isorhythm clears the way for a better understanding of Domarto's compositional backgrounds.
27 See Todd, R. L., ‘Retrograde, Inversion, Retrograde-Inversion, and Related Techniques in the Masses of Obrecht’, The Musical Quarterly, 64 (1978), pp. 52–4
28 A good example is Portia nature / Ida capillorum / Ante thronum, composed before 1376. The talea of this motet consists of repeated B-B-L patterns. During the first color statement the minor modus is perfect, and thus the second note of each pattern is altered. However, a verbal canon specifies that the subsequent color statements are to be performed in imperfect minor modus, so that alteration ceases. See the edition in Günther, U., ed., The Motets of the Manuscripts Chantilly, Musée Condé, 564 (olim 1047) and Modena, Biblioteca estense, a.M.5, 24 (olim lat. 568), Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 39 (n.p., 1965), pp. 57–65. For the date of the motet, see ibid., pp. lvii–lviii.
29 Edition in Günther, op. cit., pp. 66–70; for the date, see ibid., pp. lxii–lxiii. I am grateful to Margaret Bent for pointing out this motet to me.
30 The system is fully explained in Tinctoris's Tractatus de regulari valore notarum of c. 1474–5 (Opera theoretica, i, pp. 121–38). For an important discussion of the mensural relationships and species see Blackburn, B. J., ‘A Lost Guide to Tinctoris's Teachings Recovered’, Early Music History, 1 (1981), pp. 29–116. The species are described in the present article according to the system of designation introduced by Apel, W., The Notation of Polyphonic Music, 900–1600 (Cambridge, MA, 1953), pp. 97–100. In Apel's system, mensural relationships are indicated in square brackets as follows: major modus by Roman numerals ii or iii in italics; minor modus by Roman numerals in Roman type; tempus by Arabic numerals 2 or 3; prolation by Arabic numerals in italics. For instance, imperfect time in perfect minor modus (species 15) can be indicated as C [II, iii, 2,2] or abbreviated to C [iii] on the principle that divisions are binary unless otherwise indicated.
31 See Günther, op. cit., p. lxiv. The canon defines the various mensural relationships in abbreviated manner, and does not match the transcription in tenor statements 3, 5, 7 and 8.
32 ‘cludendo pausam ut modus sit perfectus’ (Günther, op. cit., p. lxiv). Güinther states that this applies only to major modus, but her transcription shows that not to be the case. In statements 2 and 6 not the major modus but the minor modus is perfect; the dissonant clashes between the tenor and the other voices in bars 37−8 and 83−4 confirm that the tenor is to be silent here.
33 The role and nature of the tenor could be compared to that of bass grounds like the passacaglia or romanesca (cf. Günther, op. cit., p. lxiv). Although texted ‘admirabile est nomen tuum’ (Psalm 8:1), the voice was probably freely Composed (ibid.).
34 Unique source: VatS 14, fols. 56v–65r; no modern edition. Eloy's mass existed by 1472−3, since Tinctoris mentioned it in his Proportionale (Opera theoretica, iia, pp. 55–6); it is unlikely that the cycle was much older than about 1470, since it contains many imitations for three and four voices, which often assume the character of points of imitation.
35 VatS 14, fol. 56v: ‘Canon tenoris pro tota missa: non faciens pausas sed signis capiens has tempora priraa tria prime semper bene pausa sexdecies currens cunctaque signa videns’ (‘You must always pause well during the first three tempora, and not execute the rests [before the mensuration sign] but interpret them as signatures [see below], [thus] running sixteen times, and observing all signs’).
36 The mass was studied and discussed by Italian theorists as late as 1539. See Blackburn (op. cit., pp. 29–30 and 90–1), who provides a theoretical context for the mass and discusses similar didactic compositions by Hothby and Tinctoris.
37 Blackburn, op. cit., pp. 90–1.
38 Opera theoretica, iia, pp. 48–9.
39 ‘In quoquidem signo, quoniam isti tres famosissimi compositores dissentiant, Dufay potius quam aliis crede, quorum primus omnium proportionantium arrogantissimus, nam Anglorum errore labefactus nullas proportiones sciens, omnes praecipit. Secundus autem simplicissimus est’ (after Seay, , Tinctoris opera theoretica, iia, pp. 47–8). The translation given here is from Woodley, R., ‘The Proportionate musices of Iohannes Tinctoris: A Critical Edition, Translation and Study’ (D.Phil, dissertation, University of Oxford, 1982), p. 361.
40 As is illustrated by the precision and method of Tinctoris's definitions in his Terminorum musicae diffinitorium (Treviso, 1494; facs. New York, 1966), a compilation of statements made in his treatises. This is an indispensable reference book to anyone writing on the fundamentals of fifteenth-century music as perceived by those who had fully mastered the art. The notion that Tinctoris was a rigid conservative is contradicted by the enthusiasm with which he welcomed new stylistic trends, and his quickness to acknowledge the talents of young composers.
41 This is true in any case of tenors, although there is one exception: if major prolation signs are used in all voices, augmentation is probably not implied. See for this Taruskin, , ‘Busnoys and the L'homme armé Tradition’, p. 261, n. 15; Wegman, R. C., Communication, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 42 (1989), p. 438. Nor was it implied when voices other than the tenor made brief excursions to major prolation mensurations.
42 Opera theoretica, iia, p. 56; translation from Woodley, , ‘ The Proportionale musices’, p. 371.
43 This is the very point Tinctoris makes in book 3, chapter 5, of his Proportionale, where he criticises Domarto's use of C3: when a composer introduces a proportion in the course of a musical composition, he must always observe the nature of the modus, tempus and prolation that are in force, for ‘[proportions] cannot alter the essential nature of the mensurations in which they occur’ (Opera theoretica, iia, pp. 53–6; Woodley, op. cit., p. 368).
44 Triple division of the breve under C3 was by far the most common practice in the fifteenth century. Tinctoris objected to this practice as well, citing as an example the lost Missa Nigra sum by Jean Escatefer dit Cousin (Opera theoretica, iia, p. 56). Other examples are cited in Wegman, , Communication (JAMS), p. 439.
45 This confirms Leeman Perkins's assumption that in Robert Morton's [?] song Il sera pour vous/L'homme armé, in which all parts are cast in C3, ‘ the implicit proportion is probably sesquialteral, indicating that three minims are to be sung to the same time as two under the integral mensuration of imperfect tempus’ (Perkins, L. and Garey, H., eds., The Mellon Chansonnier (New Haven, 1979), ii, p. 331), Perkins's assumption was questioned by Richard Taruskin, who argued that the setting was originally written in (‘Busnoys and the L'homme armé Tradition’, pp. 290−2; other objections that could be raised against Taruskin's hypothesis are given in note 52 below).
46 Tinctoris, , Opera theoretica, iia, p. 55; translation from Woodley, , ‘The Proportionale musices’, pp. 370–1. See also Wegman, ‘Another Mass by Busnoys?’, pp. 2–3.
47 Curiously, Johannes Regis's surviving Missa L'homme armé employs neither O2 nor perfect minor modus in any other mensuration. Regis was not unfamiliar with the sign, though: he used it in his motet O admirabilt commercium. Possibly he composed two L'homme armé masses.
48 Opera theoretica, iia, p. 55.
49 See Wegman, ‘Another Mass by Busnoys?’, p. 3; and note 60 below.
50 Opera theoretica, iia, pp. 45–6.
51 Tenor augmentation by means of juxtaposition of C and ¢ is extremely rare, but it is also found in the Qui tollis and Crucifixus of the anonymous Missa Rex dabit mercedem (VerBC 755, fols. 54r–63r), and in three other masses to be discussed below.
52 The use of with implied augmentation had been a regular practice in England from at least the second decade of the fifteenth century onwards. The practice seems to have been adopted on the Continent in the 1440s.
C3 with triple division of the semibreve was a uniquely Continental manifestation. Among the first sacred works to use the sign in this sense are the anonymous Gloria in TrentC 92, fols. 116v–118r and 147r–149r, and Johannes Pullois's Victimae paschali laudes in TrentC 90, fols. 286v–287r (see Bank, J. A., Tactus, Tempo and Notation in Mensural Music from the 13th to the 17th Century (Amsterdam, 1972), pp. 136 and 145). Significantly, Pullois was active at the church of Our Lady at Antwerp until 1447, that is, two years before Domarto came to work there.
The mensuration is also used prominently in several French combinative songs from the 1450s and 60s, e.g. O rosa bellal Hé Robinet, Je soloiel Héz bergeres, L'aire bien friquel J'ayme/ Galoise, Je vous pri/Tant que/Ma très douce; see the recent edition by Maniates, M. R., The Combinative Chanson, Recent Researches in the Music of the Renaissance 77 (Madison, 1989). These chansons provide a context for the best-known combinative song that employs the mensuration, Robert Morton's [?] Il sera pour vous/L'homme armè. The vertical juxtapositions with other mensurations in O rosa bella/Hè Robinet and Je vous pri/Tant que/Ma très douce are in agreement with those in Domarto's Missa Spiritus almus, and confirm that Richard Taruskin's interpretation of the sign C3, on which his tentative ascription to Busnoys hinges, is incorrect (‘Busnoys and the L'homme armè Traditionrsquo;, pp. 290−2; see also note 45 above).
Among the few sacred works after the Spiritus almus Mass to employ C3 are Busnoys's Missa L'homme armé, and the Naples L'homme armè Mass iii (see Taruskin, , ‘Busnoys and the L'homme armè Tradition’, pp. 286–9; Wegman, , Communication (JAMS), pp. 441–2; Taruskin, R., Communication, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 42 (1989), pp. 450–1).
The use of O2 meaning perfect minor modus in imperfect cut-time occurs in Dufay's proper cycles in TrentC 88, which must date from the late 1440s (see Planchart, A. E., ‘Guillaume Du Fay's Benefices and his Relationship to the Court of Burgundy’, Early Music History, 8 (1988), pp. 117–71).
53 TrentC 89, fols. 26v–41r. For the date of this source, see Saunders, ‘The Dating of the Trent Codices’, pp. 87–91. The mass is discussed in Gottlieb, L. E., ‘The Cyclic Masses of Trent Codex 89’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles, 1958), Schmalz, R., ‘Selected Fifteenth-Century Polyphonic Mass Ordinaries Based upon Preexistent German Material’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 1971), and Strohm, R., ‘Meβzyklen üiber deutsche Lieder in den Trienter Codices’, Liedstudien Wolfgang Osthqff zum 60 Geburtstag. ed. Just, M. and Wiesend, R. (Tutzing, 1989), pp. 77–106.
54 Some doubts could be raised as to whether this lied has always carried the text Gross senen ich im herczen trag. Although the tenor incipit occurs with this same text in a quodlibet in the Glogauer Liederbuch (I thank David Fallows for pointing this out to me) and the poem fits the music convincingly (as shown by Strohm, ‘Meßzyklen über deutsche Lieder’, p. 91), there is a marked disparity between the quality of transmission of the text and that of the music in the Schedelsches Liederbuch. The musical text is extremely corrupt: as so often happens in Schedel, there are no mensuration signs and accidentals, the clefs in the superius and tenor are incorrect, and the contratenor is incomplete. Moreover, numerous errors and missing notes and rests render performance from the source virtually impossible. In contrast with this, the five stanzas of the text appear to be quite accurate. And, significantly, there is no attempt at text underlay: the stanzas are just crammed in the space between the staves, with complete disregard for the music. Moreover, some arrangements of the anonymous rondeau J'ay pris amours have also been underlaid with the Gross senen poem in German sources. That the Gross senen lied in the Schedelsches Liederbuch is a contrafact of a Franco-Flemish song seems unlikely, however, on both formal and stylistic grounds. Whatever its original text may have been, Gross senen was very probably a German lied.
55 Something similar seems to have happened in the anonymous Missa L'ardant desir (see below) and Jacob Obrecht's Missa Petrus apostolus. In these two cases, only the scribal resolutions of the tenors have survived; the archetypes themselves are lost (see Wegman, ‘Another Mass by Busnoys?’, p. 7).
56 The Missa Quant ce viendra applies proportional cantus firmus transformation, like Dufay's Missa Se la face ay pale and the anonymous Missa Gentil madona mia (TrentC 91, fols. 247v–256v). It was attributed to Antoine Busnoys by Richard Taruskin (cf. Taruskin, , ’Busnoys and the L'homme armé Tradition’, pp. 292–3).
57 The anonymous composer introduces sesquialtera proportion at the end of the first Agnus Dei (which is in C|), but the passage in which this happens is too short to determine whether the composer intended triple division of the semibreve or the breve.
58 Cf. Taruskin, , ‘Busnoys and the L'homme armé Tradition’, pp. 284–5, who credits Busnoys with this innovation.
59 Edition in Shipley, D. W., ed., Antoine Busnois: Missa O crux lignum triumphale, Das Chorwerk 123 (Wolfenbüttel, 1978); cantus firmus treatment discussed in Sparks, E. H., Cantus Firmus in Mass and Motet 1420–1520 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1963), pp. 172 and 458–9, and Wegman, ‘Another Mass by Busnoys?’, pp. 5–6.
60 The mensural usage in Busnoys's sacred music is a vast and complex subject, which fully deserves detailed study. It would therefore seem unwise to restrict the comparison with Domarto's Missa Spiritus almus to O crux lignum, and to pass over the evidence that is provided by Busnoys's other sacred compositions. Table 4 presents an inventory of Busnoys's mensural usage and provides a context for the relationship between the two composers. In this inventory, the mensural divisions are indicated, where necessary, as in Apel, The Notation of Polyphonic Music (see note 30 above). Of the eighteen mensurations employed by Busnoys, nine are found in Domarto's Missa Spiritus almus (i.e. 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14). Two others, 7 and 9, are found in Domarto's three-voice Missa quinti toni irregularis.
61 Higgins, P., ‘In hydraulis Revisited: New Light on the Career of Antoine Busnois’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 39 (1986), pp. 69–75.
62 Roth, , op. cit., pp. 237–40.
63 Strohm, , Music in Late Medieval Bruges, pp. 145 and 177.
64 Edition in Smijers, A., ed., Jacob Obrecht opera omnia editio altera, ii/1 (Amsterdam, 1956), pp. 17–35.
65 This is all the more significant since, as Donald W. Shipley has pointed out, the third line of ‘O crux lignum’ in Busnoys's mass (and Obrecht's motet) is completely different from that line in the original sequence by de Saint-Victor, Adam (Missa O crux lignum triumphale, p. iii).
66 Strohm, , Music in Late Medieval Bruges, pp. 38–41, 54–5 and 145.
67 Discussed in Strohm, ibid., pp. 120–44.
68 On the other hand, Busnoys was not permanently associated with the chapel until 1470; before that date, his services were on a freelance basis (Higgins, op. cit., pp. 41–53). During the irregular periods of Busnoys's activity in 1467–70, Charles the Bold was mostly in Flanders and Brabant; this may suggest that the composer was living somewhere in this area. From 1471 onwards, he is found travelling in the retinue of the duke through the entire Burgundian state (ibid., pp. 53–61). If Domarto and Busnoys ever met, it was most probably in the period 1465–70.
69 Some typical central French tendencies that occur in Busnoys's secular motet In hydraulis of 1465–7 are discussed in Wegman, R. C., ‘Guillaume Faugues and the Anonymous Masses Au chant de l'alouete and Vinnus vina’, Tijdschrift van de Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis, 41 (1991), pp. 27–64.
70 See Wegman, , ‘Another Mass by Busnoys?’, and Wegman, Communication, Music & Letters, 71 (1990), pp. 633–5.
71 See Fallows, D., ‘Busnoys and the Early Fifteenth Century: A Note on “L'ardant desir” and “Faictes de moy”’, Music & Letters, 71 (1990), pp. 20–4.
72 The Missa L'ardant desir shares fewer signs with Domarto's Missa Spiritus almus than do the anonymous Missa Gross senen and Busnoys's Missa O crux lignum. A direct context for L'ardant desir's mensural usage is provided by the sacred works of Busnoys (see note 60 above): the mass employs all but four of the mensurations listed in Table 4 above (i.e. mensurations 1–2, 5–13, 15 and 17–18). Other correspondences with Busnoys's mensural usage are discussed in Wegman, ‘Another Mass by Busnoys?’, pp. 2–5.
73 Caldwell, J., Editing Early Music, Early Music Series 5 (Oxford, 1985), p. 28.
74 Bukofzer, op. cit., pp. 266–7.
75 Ibid., p. 267.
76 Wegman, R. C., ‘Another“Imitation” of Busnoys's Missa L'homme armé – and Some Observations on Imitatio in Renaissance Music’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 114 (1989), pp. 189–202.
77 Sparks, op. cit., pp. 266–7.
78 The mass that comes closest to Domarto's mensural usage is Ave regina celorum, which contains, like Spiritus almus, the vertical juxtapositions O2/O, C/¢, and /O. It may be significant that there are some elements of mensural transformation in this mass, but the procedure is not applied systematically. Reinhard Strohm has argued that Obrecht's Missa Ave regina celorum was composed in Bruges, , c. 1485–1490 (Music in Late Medieval Bruges, p. 147).
79 According to Strohm, ‘affiliation of the … sources based on the variant readings suggests that [VatS 14] itself depends directly or indirectly on [LucAS 238]’ (Music in Late Medieval Bruges, p. 142). I have found no conclusive evidence to support this suggestion, and the common ancestry of TrentC 88 and VatS 14 seems to me to contradict it.
80 Cf. Perz, op. cit., p. 34.
81 The same conclusion is reached in Planchart, A. E., ‘Parts With Words and Without Words: The Evidence for Multiple Texts in Fifteenth-Century Masses’, Studies in the Performance of Late Mediaeval Music, ed. Boorman, S. (Cambridge, 1983), pp. 227–51.
82 Precedent for the use of C in all voices with implied 2:1 proportion between tenor and contrapuntal voices is found in Leonel Power's Missa Alma redemptoris mater.
83 See Wegman, R. C., ‘Concerning Tempo in the English Polyphonic Mass, C. 1420–70’, Acta Musicologica, 61 (1989), pp. 47–8.
84 See notes 45, 52 and 60 above.
85 The addition of the dot could perhaps be attributed to the theorist John Hothby, who was choirmaster and chaplain of Lucca Cathedral from 1467 to 1486. He had access to LucAS 238 by 1472, when the manuscript had been donated to the cathedral by Giovanni Arnolfini (Strohm, , Music in Late Medieval Bruges, p. 122; suggestion made to me by Reinhard Strohm in a private communication, 20 February 1990). A similar addition of a dot to the signature C3 is found in ParisBNN 4379, fol. 11v, in the top voice of Hé Robinet / Trigalore / Par ung vert pré (the other two voices remain undotted). This is another combinative chanson to use the signature C3 (cf. note 52 above).
86 Four-part writing was, of course, hardly a novelty in the fifteenth century, but the four-part texture with low contratenor must have been a late invention (presumably in the 1440s). The significance of this invention is explored below.
87 If the anonymous four-voice Missa Thomas cesus in the ‘1458’ layer of VatSP B80 is Continental (despite the English origin of its tenor, see Reynolds, op. cit., p. 285), it would push back the terminus ante quem for four-part mass writing on the Continent to 1458. Apart from this possible exception, the earliest copies of Continental four-voice masses are found in TrentC 88, TrentC 89, and the second layer of VatSP B80, all of which must date from the early 1460s.
88 The earliest surviving copy of an English four-voice mass dates from c. 1451–2 (Missa Caput, in TrentM 93; for the date, see Saunders, S. E., ‘The Dating of Trent 93 and Trent 90’, I codici musicali Trentini a cento anni dalla loro riscoperta, ed. Pirrotta, N. and Curti, D. (Trent, 1986), pp. 60–83). The anonymous Missa Salve sancta parens, in the same source, also has four voices but does not include a low contratenor (see below); Margaret Bent has argued that the fourth voice may have been a later addition (Bent, M., ed., Four Anonymous Masses, Early English Church Music 22 (London, 1979), p. 181).
89 See Wegman, ‘The Anonymous Mass D'ung aultre amer’.
90 For the dates, see Saunders, ‘The Dating of the Trent Codices’, pp. 87–91, and ‘The Dating of Trent 93 and Trent 90’.
91 A brief but important description of the style of the Missa Gross senen is in Strohm, ‘Meßzyklen über deutsche Lieder’, pp. 92–3. Strohm concludes: ‘Der Komponist der Missa Gross senen ist ein Pionier der franko-niederländischen Messenkunst in der unmittelbaren Nachfolge Dufays … Seine Identität oder wenigstens sein Tätigkeitsbereich wären der Erforschung wert!’ (p. 93).
92 See Wegman, ‘The Anonymous Mass D'ung aultre amer’.
93 The best illustration of these trends is provided by Ockeghem's Missa L'homme armé, which must have existed by 1467–8 (Strohm, , Music in Late Medieval Bruges, p. 30; all following references to Plamenac, D., ed., Johannes Ockeghem: Collected Works, i (2nd, corrected edn, American Musicological Society: Studies and Documents 3 (n.p., 1959), pp. 99–116). This mass is a virtual study in musical contrast. Particularly striking are the contrasts in rhythmic density. Most sections open in breve-semibreve movement, and end in minim-semiminim movement; Ockeghem alternates the two types of movement in between (compare, for instance, Et in terra bars 1–6 and 15–19 with bars 10–13 and 42–5). The maximum feasible speed depends on the rhythmic movement in the closing bars: if a section starts too fast, the music will sound increasingly huddled towards the end. On empirical grounds, the optimum tempo for the semibreve in O is unlikely to be much in excess of 60 M.M. At that speed, which seems right for the rhythmically most active passages, the opening bars sound extraordinarily 'slow’: Ockeghem seems to have consciously ‘written out’ majestic, chordal openings. These contrast sharply with the fioridity displayed elsewhere, especially in the tenorless sections (see particularly the Benedictus and Agnus Dei ii).
Other contrasts exploited by Ockeghem are those of scoring and tone colour. These occur first of all on a structural level. In the Agnus Dei the cantus frmus is transposed down an octave, and the voice ranges in this movement are approximately a fourth lower than in the remainder of the mass. There is thus a clear shift to a darker and denser sound – the sound we know so well from Ockeghem's later ‘low’ works (see particularly the Agnus Dei, bars 85–103). The suspicion that the composer was concerned to create a special effect at the end of his mass is confirmed by the expressive Agnus Dei iii, which opens with remarkable (and unprecedented) 'soloistic’ fiourishes above the drawn-out notes of the cantus firmus. In the Credo, the cantus firmus has been transposed, too, from G down to C. This time, however, the transposition hardly affects the overall ranges, although it does affect the modality (this procedure was to be repeated in the Credo of Ockeghem's Missa Ecce ancilla Domini).
Ockeghem employs several means to heighten the variety of tone colour in his mass, the most simple being that of scoring. In the Gloria and Credo, full scoring is employed with considerable restraint: most of the time, either two or three voices are sounding. The ways in which these are combined, and in which the various voice groupings flow into one another, are so irregular that this gives the style an almost impressionistic quality. In all sections, the combined range of the voices continuously contracts and expands, from as little as a fifth to two octaves plus third (compare Credo bar 39 with 43, bar 83 with 93, and Sanctus bar 22 with 24). If the combined range is contracted, all voices can together easily remain below or above c′ (compare Gloria bars 17–19 with Credo bars 122–3). Such collective shifts to either side of c′ occur frequently in Ockeghem's mass and constitute one of its most distinctive features.
Other noteworthy special effects in Ockeghem's L'homme armé Mass are: the entry of a cantus firmus phrase on a musical culmination point (Credo bars 13–14; the entry is accidentally misplaced by one bar in Plamenac's edition, p. 104); the dazzling melodic rise in the top voice and bass in Credo bars 110–13; the introduction of ficta in Credo bars 122 and 176–7; and the opening of the third Agnus Dei, mentioned above.
94 For the approximate date of Ockeghem's Caput, see below. Dufay's Missa Se la face ay pale was copied in TrentC 88 before c. 1462. The internal evidence of this mass is difficult to evaluate. Close parallels to its cantus firmus treatment are found in the (presumably later) anonymous Masses Quant ce viendra and Gentil madona (see note 56 above). As regards mensural usage, the Mass alternates O [iii] and C [iii]; this seems to relate it to the masses of Busnoys (cf. Wegman, ‘Another Mass by Busnoys?’, pp. 2–5). Since Se la face ay pale is written entirely in perfect minor modus, it is not a notational twin of the anonymous English Missa Caput, as claimed by Hamm, Charles (A Chronology of the Works of Guillaume Dufay Based on a Study of Mensural Practice (Princeton, 1964), p. 129). The Missa Se la face ay pale is stylistically far removed from Domarto's Missa Spiritus almus; direct comparisons reveal little about the historical position of either cycle. Although the two masses could well have been composed around the same time, they seem to belong to different compositional traditions. After this article had gone to press I found a third source for Dufay's Missa Se la face ay pale: Siena, Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati, MSK.i.2, fols. 222r–223v (portions of Credo and Sanctus).
95 Bukofzer, op. cit., pp. 278–92.
96 Wegman, ‘The Anonymous Mass D'ung aulire amer’.
97 Bukofzer, op. cit., p. 291.
98 Ibid., p. 284.
99 See Wegman, ‘Concerning Tempo in the English Polyphonic Mass’.
100 See, for example, the tables in Wegman, ‘Concerning Tempo in the English Polyphonic Mass’, pp. 49 and 55.
101 Ibid., pp. 54–8.
102 Bukofzer, op. cit., pp. 281–2.
103 All references to Plamenac, , ed., Johannes Ockeghem: Collected Works, ii (2nd, corrected edn), American Musicological Society: Studies and Documents 1 (n.p., 1966), pp. 37–58.
104 Bukofzer, op. cit., pp. 279–89.
105 Ibid., pp. 283–6.
106 For Ockeghem's activity at Antwerp, see the transcriptions of the relevant documents in Bovyn, M., ‘(Van) Ockeghem's te Dendermonde’, Johannes Ockeghem en zijn tijd [exhibition catalogue] (Dendermonde, 1970), p. 58. Ockeghem earned 145 loten between 24 June and 24 December 1443; these would have covered at least twenty weeks (cf. note 1 above). Between 25 December 1443 and 23 June 1444 he earned 67 loten, which would have covered at least nine weeks.
107 It should be pointed out, however, that the later careers of some of the musicians employed at the church of Our Lady in the 1440s (cf. Van den Nieuwenhuizen, op. cit., pp. 38–40) suggest that it was one of the major musical centres in the Low Countries. Johannes Pullois was not the only Antwerp singer to move to the Papal Chapel. Heer Lucas Wernerii (1430–1434) is almost certainly the Lucas Warner / Varnery who has been traced in the Papal Chapel in – (Haberl, F. X., ‘Die romische “schola cantorum” und die papstlichen Kapellsanger bis zur Mitte des 16. Jahrhunderts’, Vierteljahrsschrift fur Musikwissenschaft, 3 (1887), pp. 223–5). Heer Jan Philiberti (1441−2) worked at the Ducal Chapel in Ferrara in 1445–50 and from 1450 to 1482 at the Papal Chapel (Lockwood, op. cit., pp. 48–52 and 316–17; Haberl, op. cit., pp. 226–31). Heer Claus Philippi(1441−2) is presumably identical with the Ferrarese singer Niccolò Philippo di Olanda, who worked in the Ducal Chapel in 1446–81 (Lockwood, op. cit., pp. 47–50 and 316–22). Leonard Bruynbaert (1444–46) has been traced at Ste Gudule, Brussels, in 1464–65 (Haggh, op. cit., p. 561). Jan Kijc (1441–43) worked at 's-Hertogenbosch from 1443 until his death in 1467–8 (Smijers, A., De Illustre Lieve Vrouwe Broederschap te 's-Hertogenbosch (Amsterdam, 1932), pp. 87–133). Pieter Laurentii (1449; cf. Figure 1) also worked at's– Hertogenbosch, in 1469–71 (Smijers, , De Illustre Lieve Vrouwe Broederschap, pp. 142–4).
108 See Wegman, ‘Another “Imitation” of Busnoys's Missa L'homme armé.
109 Bukofzer, op. cit., pp. 270–1.
110 For Ockeghem's appointment in 1451, see Perkins, L., ‘Musical Patronage at the Royal Court of France under Charles vii and Louis xi (1422–83)’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 37 (1984), p. 522.
111 The early development of this voice in three-part music is described in Besseler, H., Bourdon und Fauxbourdon: Studien zum Ursprung der niederländischen Musik (2nd edn, Leipzig, 1972), pp. 45–65.
112 Fallows, D., Dufay (paperback edn, with revisions, London, 1987), pp. 60–1 and 309.
113 Wegman, , ‘Another ‘Imitation” of Busnoys's Missa L'homme armê’, pp. 189–90.
114 The reason for this, of course, is that the tenor of the anonymous English Missa Caput was not written in major prolation in the first place.
115 For the date, see Saunders, ‘The Dating of the Trent Codices’, p. 91.
116 Strohm, R., ‘Quellenkritische Untersuchungen an der Missa ‘Caput”’, Quellenstudien zur Musik der Renaissance, ii: Datierung und Filiation von Musikhandschriften der Josquin-Zeit, ed. Finscher, L., Wolfenbütteler Forschungen 26 (Wiesbaden, 1983), pp. 155–65.
117 Ibid., pp. 165–9.
118 For this and what follows, see in particular: Bent, M., ‘Trent 93 and Trent 90: Johannes Wiser at Work’, I codici musicali Trentini, ed. Pirrotta, and Curti, , pp. 84–111, and Strohm, R., ‘Zur Rezeption der frühen Cantus-firmus-Messe im deutschsprachigen Bereich’, Deutsch-englische Musikbeziehungen: Referate des wissenschaftlkhen Symposiums im Rahmen der Intemationalen Orgelwoche 1980 ‘Musica Britannica’, ed. Konold, W. (Munich and Salzburg, 1985), pp. 9–38.
119 Saunders, ‘The Dating of Trent 93 and Trent 90’, pp. 69–70.
120 Bent, ‘Trent 93 and Trent 90: Johannes Wiser at Work’, pp. 92–7.
121 Ibid., pp. 85–8.
122 Wright, C., ‘Dufay at Cambrai: Discoveries and Revisions’, Journal of the American Musi cologkal Society, 28 (1975), pp. 225–6.
123 They were copied in TrentC 88; see Planchart, ‘Guillaume Du Fay's Benefices’, pp 140–69.
124 Curtis, G. R. K., ‘Jean Pullois and the Cyclic Mass – or a Case of Mistaken Identity?’, Music & Letters, 62 (1981), pp. 41–59.
125 See Hamm, C., ‘A Catalogue of Anonymous English Music in Fifteenth-Century Continental Manuscripts’, Muska Disciplina, 22 (1968), p. 72. Reinhard Strohm has identified Simon ‘de Insula’ with Simon de Vromont, who was master of the children at St Pierre, Lille, in 1450−1 and 1460−1 (Strohm, ‘Insular Music on a Continental Island’).
* I should like to thank Margaret Bent, Jaap van Benthem, Julie Bray, Barbara Haggh, David Fallows, David Kidger, Andrew Kirkman, Chris Maas, Adelyn Peck and Ronald Woodley for reading the first draft of this article and offering valuable suggestions. I owe a special debt to Reinhard Strohm (the first to recognise the historical significance of Domarto's Missa Spiritus almus) for generously sharing with me his many perceptive observations.
The manuscript sigla used here are as follows. AostaS D19: Aosta, Biblioteca del Seminario Maggiore, MS A1D19; BrusBR 5557: Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, MS 5557; LucAS 238: Lucca, Archivio di Stato, MS 238; ModE M.1.13: Modena, Biblioteca Estense, MS α.M.1.13 (olim lat. 456); MunBS 3154: Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Mus. ms. 3154; MunBS Germ. 810: Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, MS Germ. 810 (‘schedelsches Liederbuch’); NapBN 40: Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale, MS vi E 40; ParisBNN 4379: Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, nouvelles acquisitions françaises, MS 4379; PozU 7022: Poznań, University Library, MS 7022; TrentC 87–92: Trent, Castello del Buon Consiglio, MSS 87–92; TrentM 93: Trent, Museo Diocesano, MS BL (‘Trent 93’); VatS 14, 15, 51: Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Cappella Sistina, MSS 14, 15 and 51; VatSP B80: Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS San Pietro B80; VerBC 755: Verona, Biblioteca Capitolare, MS dcclv.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.
Usage data cannot currently be displayed