Until the fourteenth century polyphonic settings of the Mass Ordinary, or any part of it, were uncommon. In eleventh- and twelfth-century Aquitaine, as we know, one could find occasional polyphonic settings of the Kyrie. But these were fully “prosulated” Kyries, with syllabic verses that were “proper” to specific occasions or the places where they were sung, not “ordinary” (in the sense of all-purpose). At Notre Dame de Paris, as we know, only the responsorial chants of the Mass Proper and the Office were set, and of these only the soloist’s portion. The Ordinary was sung by the musically unlettered choir, and for that reason alone might well have been thought off-limits to polyphonic treatment. Therefore, before the fourteenth century one simply does not find settings of melismatic (“untroped”) Kyries, to say nothing of the remaining motley assortment of Ordinary chants—the Gloria (an acclamation), the Credo (a contract), the Sanctus (an invocation of the heavenly choir), the Agnus Dei (a litany), or the “Deo Gratias” response to the Ite (dismissal formula).
- 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. 23 Nov. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-009009.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 23 Nov. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-009009.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 23 Nov. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-009009.xml