MACHAUT’S MASS AND ITS BACKGROUND
By a curious twist of fate, Guillaume de Machaut—best known in his day as a poet and, secondarily, as a composer of courtly songs—is best known today for what seems an entirely uncharacteristic work: a complete polyphonic setting of the Ordinary of the Mass. Machaut’s Messe de Nostre Dame (“Mass of Our Lady”) is in fact the earliest such setting to survive from the hand of a single known author. What might otherwise seem a liturgical anomaly in an otherwise basically secular career has instead loomed disproportionately large both within Machaut’s output and in music historiography itself, because the “cyclic Mass Ordinary” (that is, a setting of the mostly nonconsecutive items of the Ordinary liturgy as a musical unit) became the dominant musical genre of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and Machaut seems willy-nilly its prophetic harbinger.
- Citation (MLA):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 9 Machaut and His Progeny." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-009008.xml>.
- Citation (APA):
- Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 9 Machaut and His Progeny. In Oxford University Press, Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 16 Apr. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-009008.xml
- Citation (Chicago):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 9 Machaut and His Progeny." In Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 16 Apr. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-009008.xml