Imitation in Iberian Motets around 1500

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In their illuminating examination of the development of ‘pervasive imitation’ (2015) in polyphonic music, Julie Cumming and Peter Schubert dissect how this technique developed to become a defining feature of the whole European music language in the 16th century. By analysing the pieces contained in the first five books of motets ever printed (issued by Petrucci in the first decade of the 16th century) the authors aim at undertaking a comprehensive examination of the European music style of the time. Their claim at completeness, however, is marred by the fact that there is 85
not a single Iberian motet among the pieces analysed. This surely unintended exclusion is easily explained: there are no Iberian motets in Petrucci’s books because virtually all Iberian motets of this age were transmitted in manuscript.
This paper will look at a substantial selection of Iberian motets, compiled in the manuscript 2/3 of Tarazona Cathedral, one of the largest repositories of Iberian music from the first decades of the 16th century. It will examine the different types of imitative patterns and how they work within the whole contrapuntal weaving, comparing them to the techniques employed in coeval repertories, as described by Cumming and Schubert.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventVII Encontro Nacional de Investigação em Música ENIM 2017 - Universidade do Minho, SPIM, Braga, Portugal
Duration: 9 Nov 201711 Nov 2017


ConferenceVII Encontro Nacional de Investigação em Música ENIM 2017
Abbreviated titleENIM 2017


  • Iberian Motet
  • 1500
  • manuscript 2/3
  • Tarazona Cathedral


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