The motets of Douce 308: evidence for a more extensive monophonic tradition?

Elizabeth Eva Leach (University of Oxford)
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17:00 - 19:00
All Souls College
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Wharton Room

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Lectures and seminars
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Abstract: This paper, which is work-in-progress, considers the 63 motets collected in Oxford Bodleian Library, Douce 308. Most have refrains, often split between the opening and closing lines of the motet text, and all are presented without musical notation or any indication of tenors. Where concordances exist, the texts of D308 are invariably in motetus parts, but the concordances also make Douce 308 a unique witness to a mixture of material from the mainstream polyphonic motet tradition and the otherwise unique monophonic 'motets entés' of Trouvère MS N. This paper will propose that more motets known today only in polyphonic version may have had origins as monophonic motets. It will consider what the lost monophonic motet repertoire might have looked like and ask how the motet repertory might have come to be so largely polyphonic given this possible origin in monophonic, refrain-related, material.