Songs without words: the motet as solo instrumental music after Trent

John Anthony Griffiths

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Motet intabulations for organ and lute printed during the second half of the sixteenth century are a barometer of their longevity. More than simply exemplifying instrumental performance practice, they attest to musical fashion and the life of liturgical works beyond their strictly ecclesiastical context. The study shows a continued veneration of older motets from the first half of the century as as models of refined polyphonic elegance completely independent of their liturgical function. Whether embellished for virtuosic display or kept unadorned, older motets proliferated alongside works by Lasso and his contemporaries seemingly impervious to the liturgical reforms of the times.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMapping the Motet in the Post-Tridentine Era
EditorsDaniele Filippi, Esperanza Rodríguez-García
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781315463094
ISBN (Print)9781138207103
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Church music
  • Lute
  • Organ
  • Renaissance
  • Tablature

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