Imitative tools and processes in the Iberian motet circa 1500

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This paper is part of an ongoing research, which aims at describing how imitation works in Iberian motets from ca. 1500, and how it relates to the imitative processes occurring in motets from other European traditions. In a previous paper I compared Iberian motets to motets collected and printed by Petrucci in his five books issued between 1502 and 1508. The selection is generally considered as representative of the ‘European’ motet (although they do not contain a single piece by Iberian composers). I used the results provided by Julie Cumming and Peter Schubert in their systematic examination of pervasive imitation and stretto fuga in Petrucci’s books (2015). Despite some insightful results, the approach proved unsuitable for analysing Iberian motets, as pervasive imitation appears to have reached them at a slower pace. Moreover, Cumming and Schubert’s focus on how pervasive imitation developed to become a defining feature of European polyphony necessarily disregards Petrucci’s motets that do not share the style. In this paper I will propose a different approach to analysing imitation, by examining additional imitative tools beyond pervasive imitation in the Iberian repertory (including those raised by Wagstaff, 1993) and by selecting a sample of Petrucci’s motets through the consideration of text and function (Brown, 1990).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventThe Anatomy of Polyphonic Music around 1500 - Centro Cultural de Cascais, Cascais, Portugal
Duration: 27 Jun 201830 Jun 2018


ConferenceThe Anatomy of Polyphonic Music around 1500


  • 16th Century
  • Motets
  • European polyphony
  • Iberian motets


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