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Music 1711F/G Lecture Notes - Organum, Discant, Conductus

Course Code
Music 1711F/G
Kate Helsen

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Jan 30 – Polyphony to 1300: Clausulae, Motets, Conducti and
Mensural Notation
Clausulae and Motets
Franco of Cologne: mid-13th century - Mensural Notation
Further Developments from Organum
Three types of medieval genres formed
1. Claudula (pl. Clausulae)
Sections of organum pieces recomposed in the same style and substituted
in for the original section. Substitute for discant organum style; put into the
polyphonic chant.
Composed in discant organum style
Some pieces have many different palces where clausulae can be used, and
have many different clausulae composed for one passage eg. Word or
several words
2. Motet
The result of taking a longer clausula on its own and setting a new text to
the duplum voice.
Not the same text – new text on the upper voice
Their own thing coming from organum
First secular polyphony
Popular in late 12th and early 13th centuries
comes from “mot” - “word” b/c text set in the duplum were often French
instead of Latin (or another vernacular)
Term “motetus” is now used to talk about the duplum voice that has this
new text.
Since the motet is not liturgical music, composers can have more
Modify the tenor (eg. Riffs off of its plainchant origins) and then compose
new ones altogether.
Polytextual motet: when you have two texts going at the same time in
different voices
Polylingual motet: when those different texts are in different languages
(such as Latin and French).
Difference b/w clausula and motet
Cl is recomposing a part of organum within a piece, motet – its own part
Motets were a quite exclusive art form appreciated by educated classes
Sometimes the tenor is left without text. Instruments may have played
these lines too.
3. Conductus (pl. Conducti)
Further free compositional landscape
Pieces which set metric poetry for 1 – 4 voices
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