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Contents

Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century

“ENGLISH DESCANT”

Chapter:
CHAPTER 11 Island and Mainland
Source:
MUSIC FROM THE EARLIEST NOTATIONS TO THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

In any case, the composers of the “Worcester school” rang many attractive changes on their parallel-triad (or, to put it in less anachronistic terms, their parallel-imperfect-consonance) style. Where Flos regalis featured parallel motion at the third and fifth, producing strings of chords in what we would call the (or “close-spaced”) root position, a Marian conductus with a text that parodies the communion Beata viscera (“O blessed womb”) shadows its tenor more rigorously with imperfect consonances. Doubling at the third and sixth produces what we would call strings of “six-three” (or “first-inversion”) triads (Ex. 11-9). For reasons that will soon become apparent, Beata viscera has become the most famous individual item from the Worcester fragments. Its style exemplifies what is often called “English descant.”

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 11 Island and Mainland." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 19 Sep. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-011007.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 11 Island and Mainland. In Oxford University Press, Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 19 Sep. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-011007.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 11 Island and Mainland." In Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 19 Sep. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-011007.xml
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