Aspects of style and design in the Missa L'homme Armé tradition c.1450-c.1500
This dissertation examines L'homme armé Masses written during c.1450-c.1500, focusing on two aspects, the use of phrases 3 and 4 of the melody and the choice of pitch for the deployment of the respective cantus firmi. Altogether 34 Masses are considered. Chapter 1 reviews current information about the 1'homme armé melody itself with evidence given for the different endings to phrases 3 and 4 in the sources Mellon and Casanatense. Part I examines the deployment of the two key phrases in six contexts, Chapter 2 showing how large-scale structures are erected on them, and the next revealing a consistent pattern for using phrase 4 imitatively. Sounding of the two phrases simultaneously (and at times one of the outer portions of the ternary melody against the central one) is explored in Chapter 4. The influence of the motivic make-up of the polyphony on the choice of phrase is investigated in Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 deals with their manipulation for a musical portrayal of the Mass text. Part I concludes by reviewing where cadential contexts and the desire for full sonorities governs the choice of either phrase 3 or 4. Part ii examines the question of the pitch levels upon which different Masses deliver the source melody, starting with the G Mixolydian mode of the original. Settings presenting the song on G (either Mixolydian or transposedD orian) are considered the norm and are not reviewed. The exceptions are the six Naples Masses -a case is presented as to why not one Mass is in this mode. Completely canonic L'homme armé Masses are scrutinised, showing how composers avoided a problem encountered in anonymous Naples VI, where the comes at the subdiapente dictated the mode of the Mass. Josquin's F Ionian setting is investigated, then Compere's and Obrecht's E Phrygian readings and finally the D Dorian deliveries of Regis, Pipelare and La Rue.