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Examining two different takes on Missa Fortuna desperata and their role in

the development of the cantus firmus mass

Aaron Hynds

April 27th, 2012


1

As the 15th century came to a close, composers increasingly felt the pressure to create

new styles of music and expand on the genres already established throughout Western Europe.

Fueled by the artistic demands of powerful, wealthy patrons, composers such as Heinrich Isaac,

Pierre de La Rue, Josquin des Prez and Jacob Obrecht wrote works that satisfied the demands of

their employers and allowed them to put forth their own unique take on established styles.

Josquin and Obrecht even used much of the same source material, including the polyphonic

songs Malheur me bat and Fortuna desperata (both used as the basis of separate cantus firmus

masses).1 Such artistic overlap was not uncommon, and by comparing masses based on similar

sources one can get a better idea of the compositional practices of composers working in the

same time period. The two different versions of Missa Fortuna desperata written by Josquin and

Obrecht provide just this type of perspective; both masses are based on the same polyphonic

song, and it is possible that the two composers wrote the works in Ferrara, within two decades of

each other.2 Obrecht even referenced Josquins work directly, quoting almost verbatim the first

seven measures of Josquins Agnus II at the beginning of his own Osanna.3 As such, these two

masses provide a snapshot of the creative practice of two influential composers, while also

demonstrating the ways in which their works contributed to the ever-expanding musical rhetoric

of the late Renaissance.

1
M. Jennifer Bloxam, Cantus firmus, In Grove Music Online,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/04795, (accessed April 13, 2012).
2
The dating for either mass is tenuous, but there is a general belief that both works were at least conceived of in
Italy, if not composed there. Edward Lowinsky proposes that Josquin wrote the work c. 1480-2 while under the
patronage of Ascanio Sforza, while Bloxam suggests that Josquin wrote the work for the ventura festival instituted
by Duke Ercole dEste during the Epiphany feast in 1473 (M. Jennifer Bloxam, Masses on Polyphonic Songs, In
The Josquin Companion, ed. Richard Sherr, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 171-2 & note 56). Barton
Hudson makes the case that Obrecht might have written his mass during his first visit to Ferrara in 1487-88, due to
the perceived inability of the song Fortuna desperata to have travelled north to Bergen op Zoom during his service
there (Hudson, Two Ferrarese Masses by Jacob Obrecht, In The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Summer,
1985-Summer, 1986): 298.) In addition, Hudson also points out that Obrechts mass appears in a fascicle of
[manuscript] Berlin 40021, arguing that its appearance in the source provides evidence pointing toward the works
supposed Italian provenance (Hudson 294-297).
3
Barton Hudson, Two Ferrarese Masses by Jacob Obrecht, In The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Summer,
1985-Summer, 1986): 298.
2

The goal of this paper is to analyze the two different versions of Missa Fortuna desperata

described above and use that information to discuss the development of the cantus firmus mass at

the end of the 15th century. Before doing so, it will be helpful to briefly discuss the history of the

canzonetta Fortuna desperata, especially in regards to the settings used by Josquin and Obrecht.

With that information in hand, I will offer competing analyses of the two masses, with an

emphasis on the compositional techniques used by each composer. The focus of the analysis will

be on the first three movements of each mass (Kyrie, Gloria and Credo), as these movements

offer the most vivid examples of the key stylistic differences between the two composers. In

looking at these masses, it is my goal to show that both works offer a glimpse of the

compositional techniques that would play a major role in each composers later output, as well as

in the work of other composers active in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

The musical basis of Josquin and Obrechts separate versions of Missa Fortuna desperata

is the eponymous strophic song, Fortuna desperata. (Example 1) Shortly after its composition,

this work became one of the most popular Italian songs of the fifteenth century.4 A number of

researchers have argued that the majority of the available evidence points towards an Italian

origin for the song, with claims ranging from the idea that songs written with an Italian text

during this time period (the late 15th century) were most likely composed in Italy itself5, to the

proposal that the most complete settings of the text (found in the Italian-leaning sources Perugia

431 and Paris 676) point towards an origin in Italy.6 Regardless of its place of origin, this work

4
Honey Meconi, Poliziano, Primavera, and Perugia 431: New Light on Fortuna desperata, In Antoine Busnoys:
Method, Meaning, and Context in Late Medieval Music, ed. Paula Higgins, (New York: Oxford University Press,
1999), 465.
5
Barton Hudson, Two Ferrarese Masses by Jacob Obrecht, In The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Summer,
1985-Summer, 1986): 290-92.
6
Honey Meconi, Poliziano, Primavera, and Perugia 431: New Light on Fortuna desperata, In Antoine Busnoys:
Method, Meaning, and Context in Late Medieval Music, ed. Paula Higgins, (New York: Oxford University Press,
1999), 466-478. Meconi states that It is virtually certain that the song was composed in Florence, basing this claim
3

was used as the basis for a wide variety of different compositions, and its reputation eventually

spread throughout Italy and into Germanic territory.7 Despite the popularity of Fortuna

desperata, the composer of the song has never definitively been named. Various suggestions

have been put forth concerning possible composers, with the most widespread theory claiming

that the work was written by French composer Antoine Busnoys. This theory rests on a single

attribution found in the Segovia Cathedral manuscript, discovered and popularized by Higini

Angls in 1922.8 This claim has come under fire from several quarters, with the most persistent

argument showing that the majority of manuscripts containing the work in some form or setting

have definitive origins in Italy.9 This would seem suggest that a northern-based composer like

Busnoys is unlikely to have written a work with such strongly-leaning Italian qualities, (although

Barton Hudson is quick to point out that the evidence does not definitively disprove the theory of

Busnoys authorship, but merely casts some severe doubts as to that being true).10

Like many other works from this time period, Fortuna desperata survives in a number of

different settings and throughout multiple sources. There are thirty-six ensemble settings of the

song, along with two keyboard works and six masses (the two by Josquin and Obrecht, along

with two anonymous masses, a smaller mass by Appenzeller and a mass attributed to the

unidentified composer Periquin).11 Along with the masses by Josquin and Obrecht, the song

was widely circulated both in its original form and in a version with an added si placet voice

on the evidence provided by the connections between various settings believed to have originated there (Honey
Meconi, Fortuna desperata: thirty-six settings of an Italian song, (Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2001), xi.).
7
Honey Meconi, Fortuna desperata: thirty-six settings of an Italian song, (Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2001), xii.
8
Honey Meconi, Poliziano, Primavera, and Perugia 431: New Light on Fortuna desperata, In Antoine Busnoys:
Method, Meaning, and Context in Late Medieval Music, ed. Paula Higgins, (New York: Oxford University Press,
1999), 484.
9
Barton Hudson, Two Ferrarese Masses by Jacob Obrecht, In The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Summer,
1985-Summer, 1986): 294.
10
Ibid., 295-96.
11
Honey Meconi, Fortuna desperata: thirty-six settings of an Italian song, (Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2001), ix.
4

(both found in the source Paris 4379).12 At least one source contains both of the masses by

Josquin and Obrecht, along with other, unrelated works.13 In both versions of the Missa Fortuna

desperata, cantus firmus material is primarily drawn from the three-voice setting found in the

earliest extant source for the song, Paris 4379. There is a multitude of evidence to show that

neither composer exclusively used one setting of the song, but rather that they both drew material

from multiple settings.14 Besides Paris 4379, there are possible connections between the masses

and settings found in the sources Casanatense 2856, Florence 121, Liepzig 1494 and Segovia.15

There is one extant setting of the song with a tenuous attribution to Josquin, also found in the

Segovia manuscript; curiously, Josquins mass appears to draw little to no material from this

setting.16 Despite the large number of extant settings of Fortuna desperata, Josquin and Obrecht

both used a similar version of the song, and it is this quality among others that allows for such a

vivid musical connection between the two works.

Although separated by 20 years at the outside, the two different versions of Missa

Fortuna desperata written by Josquin and Obrecht exhibit a remarkable number of forward-

looking compositional techniques. This is evident from the first page of each mass, as the two

composers begin their works in an idiosyncratic fashion. Obrecht starts his Kyrie with an 8-bar

phrase consisting of alternating duets. (Example 2) The first duet is sung by the bassus and the

altus, and the second duet starts in bar 5 between the superius (singing the same material found

in the altus first four bars) and altus, (who is likewise singing the melody from the first four bars

of the bassus). The introductory melody first stated by the altus and then repeated by the superius

12
Honey Meconi, Fortuna desperata: thirty-six settings of an Italian song, (Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2001), xi.
13
The two masses are paired in the source Modena .M.1.2, which was produced in 1505 for Duke Alfonso I dEste
(M. Jennifer Bloxam, Masses on Polyphonic Songs, In The Josquin Companion, ed. Richard Sherr, (New York:
Oxford University Press, 2000), 166.).
14
Honey Meconi, Fortuna desperata: thirty-six settings of an Italian song, (Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2001),
xxiii.
15
Ibid., xiii.
16
Ibid., xxv.
5

is a paraphrase of the first five bars of the tenor from Fortuna desperata, foreshadowing the

impending entry of the tenor cantus firmus. It is only in the 13th bar that Obrecht begins to use

the tenor from Fortuna desperata as a full cantus firmus, well after the initial section of imitative

polyphony has moved on to a freer type of three-voice counterpoint. Josquin takes a different

approach, with the first few bars of his Kyrie paraphrasing all three voices of the original song,

Fortuna desperata. The tenor of Fortuna desperata is first used as a true cantus firmus in the

third bar of Josquins Kyrie, its entrance seeming abrupt in comparison to the delayed entrance

found in Obrechts Kyrie. (Example 3) This use of quasi-parody techniques will be a recurring

feature of Josquins mass, solidifying the placement of Josquins work within the context of the

greater cantus firmus mass style at the end of the 15th century.

Moving on from the first few bars of each mass, the differences in musical style continue

to pile up. While Josquins mass continues with a series of non-imitative lines woven around a

slow-moving tenor cantus firmus,17 Obrechts Kyrie I displays an unorthodox use of the tenor

cantus firmus. Josquin splits the tenor cantus firmus into three roughly-equal sections spread

across the entire Kyrie I-Christe-Kyrie II structure in his mass, while Obrecht instead only uses

the first 17 bars of the tenor in his Kyrie I, finishing the remainder of the section with a series of

imitative gestures free from the constraints of a cantus firmus. As Rob Wegman describes it, the

section of music from the end of the partial statement of the tenor cantus firmus to the beginning

of the Christe (bars 31-49) is a kind of [compositional] afterthought, a bridge between two

different parts of the same movement.18 The subsequent Christe is written as a trio between the

superius, altus and tenor, with a series of imitative entrances moving from voice to voice. Unlike

17
M. Jennifer Bloxam, Masses on Polyphonic Songs, In The Josquin Companion, ed. Richard Sherr, (New York:
Oxford University Press, 2000), 168.
18
Rob C. Wegman, Born for the Muses: The Life and Masses of Jacob Obrecht, (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1994), 224-25.
6

the two surrounding sections of music, the Christe does not make use of any musical material

from Fortuna desperata. Obrecht heightens the return of the cantus firmus in Kyrie II by moving

the c.f. from the tenor voice of the mass to the altus (a technique which is also evident in

Josquins mass, where all four voices carry the cantus firmus at one point or another).19 Obrecht

also quotes the cantus firmus in its entirety, in direct contrast with the truncated version of the

tenor c.f. used in Kyrie I. Obrechts manipulations of the cantus firmus show his affinity for

making source material conform to the structure of the work being written, as opposed to

compromising the form of a composition in order to accommodate the cantus firmus.20 Thus,

instead of writing his Kyrie I around an orderly use of the cantus firmus, Obrecht chose to break

off the statement of the c.f. and write several bars of free four-voice polyphony, ending the

section on his own terms. In summary, one can say that both Josquin and Obrecht used their

respective versions of Missa Fortuna desperata as vehicles for a variety of novel and, at the time,

forward-looking compositional techniques.

The unique and occasionally bizarre stylistic aspects of the two masses discussed here

extend beyond each respective Kyrie, informing the composition of the subsequent mass

movements to an even greater degree. The trend of segmenting and obfuscating the tenor cantus

firmus continues in Obrechts Gloria, while Josquin likewise continues to draw on quasi-parody

techniques to start his own respective Gloria. (Examples 4 and 5) As Richard Staines points out,

Obrecht splits the original tenor cantus firmus into two halves for the Gloria, and plays the first

half of the tenor (from bars 1-31) in retrograde motion. He then writes the second half (bars 31-

57) of the tenor in direct motion, after which the entire two-part structure is repeated; in essence,

19
M. Jennifer Bloxam, Masses on Polyphonic Songs, In The Josquin Companion, ed. Richard Sherr, (New York:
Oxford University Press, 2000), 166-67.
20
Ibid., 225.
7

Obrecht turns the c.f. into a mirror of itself.21 Such procedures are not unique to this particular

mass, either; a similar procedure occurs in Obrechts Missa Grecorum.22 Each of the four

segments of the mirrored tenor c.f. begins with long held Fs in the voice carrying the cantus

firmus, (in this case, the altus). This particular F is drawn from bar 31 of Fortuna desperatas

tenor voice, and Obrecht uses that bar as a pivot point in the recitation of the cantus firmus.

Besides being a crucial component of Obrechts Gloria, the mirrored tenor cantus firmus is also

a central structural feature of the Credo. This time, however, Obrecht starts by quoting the

second half of the tenor c.f. in retrograde, and then writes the first half of the c.f. in prograde.

Not only does this flip the direction of the cantus firmus from the preceding movement, but it

also makes the cantus firmi for both the Gloria and Credo proportionally equal. Thus, the

beginning of each of the four segments of the palindrome tenor cantus firmus occur at bars 1, 55,

110 and 164 in both the Gloria and the Credo. (Graph 1) The use of a segmented cantus firmus is

one of the hallmarks of Obrechts mature style, and it is this particular compositional feature that

led many researchers to believe that Missa Fortuna desperata was a product of Obrechts later

years, (a claim that has come under fire from some researchers).23

The Gloria and Credo of Obrechts Missa Fortuna desperata demonstrate the peculiarity

of the composers writing during this particular time, and the ways in which Obrecht subverts the

cantus firmus point towards future musical developments. Josquins homonymous mass plays a

similar role, but the focus in his work is on creating what can be considered a prototypical

version of a parody mass. This brings up an important question: in comparison to Obrechts

Missa Fortuna desperata, does Josquins similar mass offer an equally unique perspective on

21
Richard Staines, Obrecht at 500: Style and Structure in the Missa Fortuna Desperata, In The Musical Times,
Vol. 146, No. 1891 (Summer, 2005), 30.
22
Ibid., note 27.
23
Rob C. Wegman, Born for the Muses: The Life and Masses of Jacob Obrecht, (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1994), 220-21.
8

cantus firmus masses during the late 15th century? To answer that, it will be helpful to look at

the ways in which Josquin utilized parody techniques in the composition of Missa Fortuna

desperata.

By the end of the 15th century, two new compositional procedures would be utilized in the

construction of cantus firmus masses: the merging of cantus firmus techniques and parody

procedures, and the permeation of motifs from the cantus firmus in all voices within the

mass.24 The gradual move towards the inclusion of parody techniques is demonstrated in

Josquins Missa Fortuna desperata by the insistent parodying of all three voices of the source

song, especially at the beginning of the Kyrie, Gloria and Credo. By doing so, the mass follows a

type of head-motive, seen at the beginning of every movement except the Agnus Dei. Josquin

appeared to have been most familiar with the version of Fortuna desperata found in the source

Paris 4379, and it is this version that supplied the majority of the opening material for the first

four movements of Josquins cantus firmus mass (minor changes and additional accidentals

notwithstanding).25 In the Kyrie, Josquin begins the work with what basically amounts to a direct

quote of the first two bars of the original song, the three voices being distributed among the

superius, altus and bassus in score order. (Example 3) After this introductory head-motive, the

first Kyrie moves forward with freely composed polyphony, containing only the occasional

reference to material from Fortuna desperata. In comparison to Obrechts mass, the tenor cantus

firmus is treated in a much more orthodox fashion; the tenor melody from Fortuna desperata is

cut into three roughly equal sections and distributed among the Kyrie I, Christe and Kyrie II in

Josquins mass.

24
M. Jennifer Bloxam, Cantus firmus, In Grove Music Online,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/04795, (accessed April 15, 2012).
25
Honey Meconi, Fortuna desperata: thirty-six settings of an Italian song, (Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2001),
xix-xxv.
9

The opening of Josquins Gloria, like the movement before it, begins with a parody of the

original three voices of Fortuna desperata. (Example 5) Far from being a direct copy of the first

movements opening, though, the entrances of the three parodied voices are stretched out,

delaying the start of the cantus firmus until the ninth bar. On top of this, Josquin merges the

superius and contratenor melodies from Fortuna desperata, with the superius in this movement

starting with the songs contratenor melody before switching to a paraphrased version of the

original superius melody. Because of this, the contratenor melody from Fortuna desperata is

displaced at the start of the Gloria, disturbing the head-motive. In the Qui tollis, the tenor from

Fortuna desperata is sung twice by the tenor of the mass, with the second appearance written at

twice the speed of the preceding statement.26 Throughout the Qui tollis, as in the section before it,

Josquin parodies entire segments of counterpoint from Fortuna desperata; an example is in bars

73-79 of the movement, where the songs contratenor and tenor are quoted in the tenor and

bassus of the mass.27 (Example 6)

In the Credo of Josquins Missa Fortuna desperata, the superius takes over the

responsibilities of the tenor voice, and the quoted cantus firmus is likewise switched from the

tenor of Fortuna desperata to the superius. As with the previous movements, the beginning of

the Credo contains a parody of the first few bars of Fortuna desperata, this time being carried by

the altus, tenor and bassus. (Example 7) The superius cantus firmus is sung straight through four

times in the Credo, with each subsequent statement undergoing a change in mensuration. As

Sparks describes the structure of the superius c.f., the first statement is in doubled values, the

26
Edgar H. Sparks, Cantus Firmus in mass and motet, 1420-1520, (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press,
1963), 318-19.
27
Ibid.
10

second (Et incarnatus) in unit values, the third (Et in Spiritum) in unit values and triple meter,

and the final one (Confiteor) in halved values.28

By using the superius of Fortuna desperata as a cantus firmus, Josquin follows the late 15th

century trend of using all voices of the cantus firmus in the composition of a mass; not only does

he quote all three voices of the original song at the beginning of the Kyrie, Gloria and Credo, he

also uses those voices as interchangeable cantus firmi throughout the entire mass (with the

contratenor from the canzonetta being used as a cantus firmus in the Sanctus). In this way,

Josquins Missa Fortuna desperata can be seen as an important indicator of the stylistic changes

that were affecting the cantus firmus mass at the end of the 15th century, especially within the

context of the composers later contributions to the genre. The same can be said of Obrechts

take on the Missa Fortuna desperata. In particular, his use of segmented cantus firmi signifies a

move towards an increasingly unorthodox use of the cantus firmus within the structure of a

unified mass. It is no small wonder, then, that his mass was long thought to be a product of

Obrechts later years; in Rob Wegmans seminal work on Obrecht, Born for the Muses, the

author claims that, Despite its early date, Fortuna desperata already seems to be the

culminating achievement of [Obrechts] mature period.29 Although modern research casts some

severe doubts on this theory, it does appear that Obrechts Missa Fortuna desperata exhibits

some of the stylistic features that will become commonplace in his later works (and in the works

of some of his successors).

Looking at both versions of Missa Fortuna desperata together, one can see how two highly

influential composers approached writing a cantus firmus mass on the same polyphonic song.

28
Edgar H. Sparks, Cantus Firmus in mass and motet, 1420-1520, (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press,
1963), 318-19.
29
Rob C. Wegman, Born for the Muses: The Life and Masses of Jacob Obrecht, (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1994), 221.
11

Furthermore, these homonymous masses contain stylistic features that would become

commonplace in later compositions, both in each composers respective oeuvre and in the wider

musical establishment of the early 16th century. Whether or not this was due to the musical

peculiarities of Fortuna desperata itself, or to the Italian provenance possibly shared by the two

masses, the fact still remains that both works offer a glimpse of a formative time in each

composers musical development. That these masses would also demonstrate the shifts occurring

in the wider musical landscape at the end of the 15th century is merely an indication of the rapid

pace at which musical innovation occurred, even among musicians of such disparate

backgrounds.
12

Bibliography

Resources consulted:

Bloxam, M. Jennifer. Cantus firmus. In Grove Music Online,


http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/04795
(accessed April 15, 2012).

Higgins, Paula, ed. Antoine Busnoys: method, meaning, and context in late medieval music.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Hudson, Barton. Two Ferrarese Masses by Jacob Obrecht. The Journal of Musicology Vol. 4,
No. 3 (Summer, 1985-Summer, 1986): 276-302.

Meconi, Honey, ed. Fortuna desperata: thirty-six settings of an Italian song.


Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2001.

Sherr, Richard, ed. The Josquin Companion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Sparks, Edgar H. Cantus Firmus in mass and motet, 1420-1520. Berkeley, CA: University of
California Press, 1963.

Staines, Richard. Obrecht at 500: Style and Structure in the Missa Fortuna Desperata. In The
Musical Times Vol. 146, No. 1891 (Summer, 2005): 19-45.

Wegman, Rob C. Born for the muses: the Life and Masses of Jacob Obrecht. New York: Oxford
University Press, 1994.

Scores:

Hudson, Barton, ed. Masses based on secular polyphonic songs. 2. Vol. 5 of New Josquin
Edition. Utrecht: Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis, 1995.

Maas, Chris. Missa De tous biens playne; Missa Fors seulement; Missa Fortuna desperata. Vol.
4 of New Obrecht Edition. Utrecht: Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse
Muziekgeschiedenis, 1983-1999.
13

Manuscript sources cited:

(Manuscript information excerpted from Honey Meconis survey Fortuna desperata: thirty-six settings of an Italian
song, Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2001.)

Berlin 40021. Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz, MS Mus. 40021 (olim Z 21).
paper dated 1489-93, Germany.

Casanatense 2856. Rome, Biblioteca Casanatense, MS 2856 (olim O.V. 208). ca. 1479-81,
Ferrara.

Florence 121. Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, MSS Magliabechi XIX. 164-67. ca.
1520, Florence.

Leipzig 1494. Leipzig, Universittsbibliothek, MS 1494. ca. 1490-1504, possibly Leipzig.

Modena M.1.2. Modena, Biblioteca Estense e Universitaria, MS .M.1.2 (Lat. 457; olim VI.H.1).
ca. 1505, Ferrara.

Paris 4379. Paris, Bibliothque Nationale, Dpartement de Manuscrits, Nouvelles Acquisitions


Franaises, MS 4379. ca. 1470-85, probably Naples, possibly Rome.

Paris 676. Paris, Bibliothque Nationale, Dpartement de la Musique, Fonds du Conservatoire,


MS Rs. Vm7 676. 1502, Ferrara or Mantua.

Perugia 431. Perugia, Biblioteca Communale Augusta, MS 431 (G.20). 1480-90, probably ca.
1485, Naples or vicinity.

Segovia. Segovia, Archivo Capitular de la Catedral, Ms. s.s. northern repertoire probably pre-
1497, Spain.
14

Score Examples

Example 1

The oldest extant source for Fortuna desperata, Paris 4379


15
16

Example 2

The first 12 bars of Jacob Obrechts Missa Fortuna desperata: Kyrie I


17

Example 3

The first 9 bars of Josquin Des Prezs Missa Fortuna desperata: Kyrie I
18

Example 4

The first 18 bars of Obrechts Missa Fortuna desperata: Gloria


19

Example 5

The first 11 bars of Josquins Missa Fortuna desperata: Gloria


20

Example 6

Bars 73-82 of Josquins Qui tollis


21

Example 7

The first 11 bars Josquins Missa Fortuna desperata: Credo

Graphs

Graph 1

Distillation of the 8 paired entrances for the palindrome tenor cantus firmus in Obrechts Gloria
and Credo. RG=retrograde, PG=prograde. The tied Fs represent the Fs that signal the beginning
of each cantus firmus segment. Top line=Gloria, Bottom line=Credo.