Josquin Des Prez

3848 WordsJan 20, 201316 Pages
Josquin des Prez: A Master of Sixteenth Century Counterpoint Analysis of Josquin’s Miserere [pic] (only known surviving picture of Josquin des Prez)[1] Josquin des Prez: A Master of Sixteenth Century Counterpoint In the following paper, I will prove that Josquin’s Miserere is that of “typical” sixteenth century piece. While the Miserere has been noted as anything but typical, for use in this paper “typical” will be defined as “possessing all the qualities” of a sixteenth century five-voiced motet. I will demonstrate that Josquin adhered to the “typical” counterpoint rules in the sixteenth century. Josquin’s life For all of his musical fame, Josquin des Prez still remains a “surprisingly…show more content…
Common: E, A, or G b. Infrequent: D or C c. Rare: F 3. Change of harmonic center which might point to modulation B. Intervals and Skips 1. Frequently used a. Major second and minor second (M2 and m2) ascending and descending b. Major third and minor third (M3 and m3) ascending and descending c. Perfect fourth and Perfect fifth (P4 and P5) ascending and descending 2. Less frequently used a. minor sixth (m6) ascending b. Perfect Octave (PO) ascending and descending 3. Rare a. Major sixth (M6) ascending[14] *It should be noted here that all other intervals not mentioned were generally considered dissonant or undesirable to the composer and listener (ex. tritone) and not practically used. The tritone was corrected through musica ficta, most commonly Bb, F#, C#, G#, and sometimes Eb. Chromaticism was very limited. Analysis of Miserere, mei deus It is known that Miserere, mei deus was “one of the most famous works of the sixteenth century”[15] and is written in the Phrygian mode (mode III). The text, taken from Psalm 50, cries to the lord to please have mercy upon me. For this dramatic cry, Miserere incorporates a repeated text refrain derived from the first few words of the psalm. Each instance of the refrain occurs after a verse and two are
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