The Motets of Pedro de Escobar Revisited

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Pedro de Escobar, who has a significant acknowledged output consisting of twenty-four sacred pieces (including a pioneering setting of the requiem mass) and eighteen secular songs, besides one doubtful and at least another one conjecturally attributed work, was supposed to have a well-documented biography. However, recent research has reduced his known existence to no more than seven years in Seville, between 1507 and 1514. Moreover, his nationality remains uncertain. Although some of the motets by Escobar are amongst the most widespread pieces in the Iberian Peninsula and the New World, they are, however, understudied, the only attempt at an overall consideration being Peter Alexander’s master’s thesis of 1976. This paper will address critical issues in the assessment of Escobar’s output, namely the tracing of the transmission history of his best-known motet, “Clamabat autem mulier,” which survives in ten Spanish, Portuguese, and Guatemalan sources, and the disentangling of the conflicting attribution of “Memorare piissima,” that two of its seven sources give to Peñalosa. Within this context, a summarised characterisation of Escobar’s approach to the motet genre will also be essayed by comparing aspects of his production with that of his contemporaries, particularly Francisco de Peñalosa (d. 1528), and anonymous local composers, putting it in the wider European background of a changing style in motet composition around 1500.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2022
EventIMS2022 21st Quinquennial Congress of the International Musicological Society: Music across Borders - Faculty of Phylosophy, Athens, Greece
Duration: 22 Aug 202226 Aug 2022


ConferenceIMS2022 21st Quinquennial Congress of the International Musicological Society
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