Motet title page


  • Period: Jan 1, 1100 to


  • Jan 1, 1150


    Leoninus born
    Died: 1201
    Influential person: create Magnus liber, important collection of organum, worked in France
  • Jan 1, 1160


    Perontinus born
    Died: 1230
    Influential Figure: modernized Leoninus's Magnus liber, composer in France in style of Ars Antiqua
  • Jan 1, 1200

    13th century motet developments

    Loosening of tenor rhythms
    Formulation of the system of rhythmic modes
    Introduction of the vernacular
  • Jan 1, 1200

    Motet Development: rhythmic redistribution

    Repetition of Gregorian melisma to displace the pitch in the second statment became a favorite compositional procedure
  • Jan 1, 1200

    Motet Developments: rhythm

    Loosening of tenor rhythms
    Formulation of the system of rhythmic modes
    Introduction of the vernacular
  • Nov 21, 1200

    Early English Motet

    Textual troping of melismatic polyphony in clausula, organum, and conductus
    Latin motets primary focus
  • Nov 21, 1200

    Rondellus and voice-exchange

    Single text tossed back and forth among parts
    Hallmark of large-scale troped chant settings
  • Jan 1, 1230

    Development of French motet

    Increase in prominance of French motet over Latin motet
    Cultivation of witty, punning lyrics
  • Nov 21, 1230

    French Double Motet

    Popular for most of the 13th century
    Increase in rhythmic quality of the tenor
    Demonstrate secularization of motet genre
  • Nov 21, 1250

    Bilingual 'macaronic' double motet

    Demonstrate musical trend towards complexity
    Utlized two languages in one song: typically Latin and French
  • Nov 21, 1250

    French Double motet: evolution

    Rhythmic modes no longer successful: increasing subdivision of brevis
    Franconian rhythmic dictation
  • Nov 21, 1250

    Notre Dame: the end of a trend

    Notre Dame tradition ceased to be a leader in music: clausulas no longer necessary
  • Nov 21, 1250

    Franconian motet style

    Complicated phrase structure
    Inescapable regularity of neutral beats of the breve
    Mechanical way of measuring time
  • Nov 21, 1250

    Pes motets

    Chain of melodic elements repeated in pairs
    Only one melodic element stated more than twice creates a melodic ostinato
  • Nov 21, 1275

    Petronian motet

    Late 13th century
    Lively tenor
  • Nov 21, 1290

    Motet end of 13th century

    Concise tonal, temporal, and poetic form
    superstrucutre designed proportionately to structure
  • Nov 21, 1300

    Isomelic Motets

    Musical repetitions in tenor and uper voices
    Could have five-voices
  • Nov 21, 1314

    Ars Nova motet

    2 independent upper voices with nearly equal range and rhythmic activity
    Tenor moves slower, rigid pattern
  • Nov 21, 1370

    Johannes Ciconia

    Ciconia born
    Died: 1412
    Influential person: used equal discantus from Italy
  • Nov 21, 1370

    Leonel Power

    Leonel Power born
    Died: June 5, 1445
    Influential person: wrote motets address the cult of the Virgin - Marian antiphons
    Traditional plainchant
  • Nov 21, 1375

    Mensuration/Isorhythmic Motet

    Motet development
  • Jan 1, 1390

    John Dunstable

    John Dunstable born
    Died: December 24, 1453 wrote isorhythmic motets: Ven Sancte Spiritus
  • Aug 5, 1397

    Guillaume Du Fay

    Guillaume Du Fay was born
    Died: November 27, 1474
    Influential person: composer of Renaissance motets
  • Nov 21, 1400

    French motet

    Include isomelism and imitation - increase in importance
  • Nov 21, 1400

    Italian motet

    Subject matter: ceremonial
    Charactistically for 3 voices (upper voices equal in range and rhythmic-melodic activity)
  • Nov 21, 1400

    Renaissance begins

    Begin in 15th century
  • Nov 21, 1400

    Shift in function of motet

    Musical trend: motet return to primarily liturgical and devotional purpose
  • Nov 21, 1400

    Johannes Brassart

    Brassart born
    Died: October 22, 1455 Wrote: Summus secretanrius
    Equal-discantus style
  • Nov 21, 1400

    Secular chanson

    all 3 voices newly composed
    Triadic harmony
  • Nov 21, 1400

    Motet Development: treble-dominated style

  • Nov 21, 1400


    Juxtaposition of choirs with varying numbers and different ranges
    use of imiation after 1500
  • Nov 21, 1405

    Nicolas Gombert

    Nicolas Gombert born
    Died: 1560
    Influential person: thicker sonorities, use 5-6 voices in many motets, like full contrapuntal textures
  • Nov 21, 1410

    Equal-discantus style

    Upper voices (two) have equal melodic weight, often have close imitation
    Tenor: faster rhythms, newly composed
    Divided into two halves
  • Nov 21, 1410

    Johannes Ockeghem

    Johannes Ockeghem born
    Died: February 6, 1497
    Influential person: coposer 15th century motet
  • Nov 21, 1414

    Council of Konstanz

    Encouraged wide travel of composers and exchange of music
    Lots of church councils at time
    Drew bishops and musicians from England
  • Nov 21, 1420

    Vasilissa ergo gaude

    Youtube Link Composer: Du Fay
    Equal discantus style
  • Nov 21, 1420

    Flos florum

    Youtube Link Composer; Du Fay
    Simple homophony in English discant sytle
    CHanson format
    equal discantus
    Full isorhythm
  • Nov 21, 1425

    Cultural/Musical Trends: favoured texts

    Texts were no longer like to cantus firmus of the gradual of the Mass.
    Cult of the Virgin
  • Nov 21, 1425

    Ave regina celorum

    Youtube Link
    Date unknown
    Composer: Du Fay Tenor cantus firmus
    Four voices spread more evenly over ranges of standard human voice
  • Nov 21, 1425

    Johannes Regim

    Johannes Regim born
    Died: 1496 Cantus firmi
  • Nov 21, 1430

    Antoine Busnoys

    Antoine Busnoys born
    Died: November 6, 1492
    Influential person: composer 15th motet
  • Nov 21, 1432

    Arnold de Lantins

    Died: 1432
    Composer of equal-discantus style
    Tota pulchra es
  • Nov 21, 1440

    Isorhythmic composition

    Isorhythmic motets decrease in popularity as isorhythmic composition increase in cyclic mass Ordinary settings
  • Nov 21, 1459

    Jean Mouton

    Youtube LinkJean Mouton born
    Died: October 30, 1522
    Contemporary of Josquin: France
    Influential person: balanced melodic lines, clear formal structures
  • Nov 21, 1460

    Mort tu as navre

    Youtube Link
    Composer: Ockeghem
    Establish new genre - motet-chanson
  • Nov 21, 1460


    top voice in vernacular
    Use of pre-existing melody as tenor cantus firmus
  • Nov 21, 1470

    Motetti missales

    Scored for four voices (not five)
    No cantus firmus
    Predominantely syllabic style
  • Nov 21, 1470

    Josquin des Prez

    Born: exact date unknown
    Died: August 27, 1521
    Influentiel person: key in development late 15th - early 16th
  • Nov 21, 1475

    Motet development: Imitation

    Late 15th century
    Josquin des Prez
    successive points of imitation
  • Nov 21, 1484

    Ave Maria...virgo serena

    Youtube link
    Composer: Josquin Imitation!
    Successive points of imitation, homophonic declamation, free contrapuntal writing, contrasting textures and timbres from alternation of duos and trios, rhythmic variety from shift binary meter to ternary
  • Nov 21, 1490


    Manuscript choirbook
    Includes 41 motets
  • Nov 21, 1495

    Nicolas Gombert

    Nicolas Gombert born
    Died: 1560
    Influential person: contemporaries of Josquin, used syntactic imitation, had thick sonorities
  • Nov 21, 1495

    Constanzo Festa

    Constanzo Festa born
    Died: April 10, 1545
    Influential person: Italy, contemporary Josquen
    Practice of writing motets for divided choir
  • Nov 21, 1500

    Miserere mei, Deus

    Youtube Link
    Composer: Josquin
    No definite date
    Use of musical text-setting
  • Nov 21, 1500


    Leading composers: Juan de Anchieta & Francisco de Penalosa
    Write similar to Netherlanders style
    Use of cantus firmus, syntactic imitation, fuller sonorities and homophonic texture
  • Nov 21, 1500


    Characteristics of Franco-Flemish musicians
    Enjoyed Josquin
    Protestant: sing in vernacular
  • Feb 3, 1525

    Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

    Palestrina born
    Died: February 2, 1594
    Influential person: 16th century motet composer
    Conservative style: chant important melodic element, use contrasting pairs, alternate between imitative polyphony and homophony
  • Nov 21, 1532

    Orlande de Lassus

    Orlande de Lassus born
    Died: June 14, 1594
    Influential person: style freer than Palestrina, wide repertory of rhetorical gestures
  • Nov 21, 1548

    Tomás Luis de Victoria

    Born: 1548
    Died: August 20, 1611
    Influential person: 16th century composer motets, "Spanish Palestrina"
  • Nov 21, 1554

    Giovanni Gabrieli

    Giovanni Gabrieli born
    Died: August 12, 1612
    Influential person: development of the split chorus, 'mixed concertato' style of the large motet using solo voices, instruments, full choir, and orchestra
  • Nov 21, 1560

    Lodovico Grossi da Viadana

    Lodovico Grossi da Viadana born
    Died: May 2, 1627
    Influential person: first to use organ continuo, advocates smallgroups
  • Heinrich Schütz

    Died: November 6, 1672
    Influential person: renounce madrigalism emphasis
    Sought balance between contrapuntal organization and musical interpretation of text
    Late style: emphasis on detached, harmonically orientated sound
  • Alessandro Grandi

    Died: 1630
    Influential person: led small motets to popularity in Venice
  • Polychordal

    Polychordal style develop in Italy in early 16th century
  • Concertato Motet

    Rise of concertato motet to high artistic level thanks to the compositions of Grandi, Donati, Anerio, Agazzari, and Cifra
  • Lutheran Motets

    Chorale motet
  • Exsultate Justi

    Youtube Link
    Composer: Viadana
  • Small motets

    In vogue in Venice
    1-2 voices with violins and continue
  • Sacred Madrigals

    The addition of madrigal elements to motets resulting in what came to be known as 'sacred madrigals'
  • Development of Double-chorus concertato motet

    Key composers: Jean Veillot, Thomas Gobert, and Nicolas Forme
    Instruments used to double the chorus
    This form of motet was the groundwork for the grand motet
  • Marc-Antoine Charpentier

    Died: February 24, 1704
    Influential person: used conservative harmonic vocabulary and uses primarily homophonic textures BUT used 4-part voices instead of 5-part
    Composer of grands motets and petit motet
  • Motets move to the opera house

    Sonatas and concertos replaced motets in the church
    Motets moved to opera houses and were written by composers such as Cavalli, Legrenzi, and Ziani who were as well known for their sacred music as their secular
  • Orchestral Motet

    Created by Scarlatti, Durante, and Leo - the orchestral motet assumed elements of opera including recitative and da capo aria schemes.
    Handel wrote orchestral motets while in Rome
  • Concertato Solo Motet

    Developed to offer a less demanding and more practical alternative to the large vocal concerto
  • Petit motet and Grands motets

    Du Mont introduced these two types of motet to France between 1652-1671.
    Petit motet: 1-3 voices and continuo, light polyphony, echo effect, dialogue techniques, word-painting, and Italianate chains of suspensions
    Grands motets: very long, have weighty homophonic choruses with unceasing speech rhythms, and are a secularized ‘concert spirituel’ without liturgical function
  • Michel-Richard de Lalande

    Died: 18 June 1726
    Influential person: composer of French grands motets in late 1600s
    Known for sensitive interpretation of the texts of Latin psalms, expressed through harmonies and melodic figures
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Johann Sebastian Bach
    Johann Sebastian Bach born
    Died: July 28, 1750
    Influential person: composed many motets including those using cantus firmus and a double chorus
  • Decline of the motet

    As a result of changing public preferences, the motet fell from popularity
  • J.B. Eberlin

    J.B. Eberlin
    J.B. Eberlin born
    Died: June 19, 1762
    Influential person: Latin motets prior to 1830, composed over 300 motets
    Located in Salzburg, Austria
  • J.F. Doles

    I was unable to locate date of birth or death
    Influential person: student of J.S. Bach, composed Protestant 18th century motet, works demonstrated modest achievements of 18th century motets
    Work included 15 double chorus motets
  • G.A. Homilius

    G.A. Homilius
    G.A. Homilius born
    Died: June 2, 1785
    Influential person: student of J.S. Bach, composed Protestant 18th century motet, works demonstrated modest achievements of 18th century motets
    Works included 60+ motets after 1755
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
    Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
    Died: December 14, 1788
    Influential person: composer of 18th century Protestant motet
  • J.H. Rolle

    J.H. Rolle
    [Youtube Link](December 23, 1716, Quedlinburg, GermanyDied: December 29, 1785)J.H. Rolle born
    Died: December 29, 1785
    Influential person: wrote over 60 Protestant 18th century motets, includes "Alles Fleisch ist wie Gras"
  • Lobet den Herrn - BWV 230

    Lobet den Herrn - BWV 230
    Youtube Link Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
    Importance: composition by Bach, example of Protestant motet
  • Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden

    Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden
    Youtube Link
    Composer: J.S. Bach
    Exact date unsure
  • Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach

    Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach
    Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach born
    Died: January 26, 1795
    Influential person: composer of Protestant 18th century motet
  • Michael Haydn

    Michael Haydn
    Michael Haydn born
    Died: August 10, 1806
    Influential person: writer of Latin motets prior to 1830, influenced style of Mozart
    Style: brightly coloured, extrovert works, with little aspects of strong personal faith
  • Stylistic Developments

    Stylistic developments in secular music resulted in a far removal from the tradition of church music
  • Musical Developments: Instrumentation

    Development of four-part chorus, orchestra, and sometimes solo voices in Latin motet prior to 1830
  • Cultural/Musical Trend: Anglican churches

    Anglican churches sing in translation the music of Tallis and Byrd
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart born
    Died: December 5, 1791
    Influential person: composer of Latin motets prior to 1830
    Style: brightly coloured, extrovert works, little emphasis on strong personal faith
    Most works: four-part chorus with orchestra of symphonic preportion (some solo voices)
  • Ave verum corpus

    Ave verum corpus
    Youtube link Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Exception to Mozart's typical style: intimate, expressive homophony, simple accompaniament of strings and continuo
  • Franz Liszt

    Franz Liszt
    Franz Liszt was born.
    Death: July 31, 1886
    Influential composer on 19th century Latin motet
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Giuseppe Verdi
    Giuseppe Verdi
    Death: January 27, 1901
    Influential Person: Latin motet composer of 19th century
  • Institution Royale de Musique Classique et Religieuse

    Founded by Alexandre Choron
    Location: France
    Studies: performnce of Reanissance music, Gregorian chant, and 16th-century polyphony
  • Charles Gounod

    Charles Gounod
    Charles Gounod born
    Died: October 18, 1893
    Influential person: composer of Latin motets in the 19th century in France
    Works include: Motets solennels 1856-66, three volumes of Chants sacres (1878)
  • Anton Bruckner

    Anton Bruckner
    Anton Bruckner born
    Died: October 11, 1896
    Influential person: composer of Latin, 19th century motets, revived style of Viennese school in some motets, most motets unaccompanied or only organ
    Motets: peak in Catholic motet of late 19th century
  • Cultural/Musical Trend: Cecilian movement

    The Cecilian movement sought a rejection of the symphonic church music of the early 19th century and desired a return to the simpler a cappella motets of the late Renaissance. Results: Renewed interest in music of Palestrina, Tallis, Byrd, and Lassus
  • Johannes Brahms

    Johannes Brahms
    Johannes Brahms
    Death: April 3, 1897
    Influential person: Composer of Protestant motet during 19th century
  • Pope Pius X

    Pope Pius X born
    Died: August 20, 1914
    Influential person: influnced musical trends of the 20th century
  • Charles Villier Stanford

    Charles Stanford born
    Died: March 29, 1924 Influential person: composer of 20th century Latin motets
  • Locus iste

    Locus iste
    Youtube link Composer: Anton Bruckner
  • Ave verum corpus

    Ave verum corpus
    Youtube link Composer: Franz Liszt
    Importance: contrasts sharply with typical flamboyant piano works. Uses only chorus and organ
  • Fest- und Gedenksprüche, Op. 109 - 3. Wo ist ein so herrlich Volk

    Fest- und Gedenksprüche, Op. 109 - 3. Wo ist ein so herrlich Volk
    Youtube Link Composer: Brahms
    Importance: use of biblical text (not mass text), in German, important place in 19th century German motet, uses Brahms's personal style
    Uses double chorus
  • Cultural/Musical Trend: Latin motets in Anglican churches

    Anglican churches began to sing Latin motets in their original words Motet took second place to the anthem in original church music
  • Cultural/Musical Trend: Motu proprio

    Motu proprio: established by Pope Pius X Importance: favored Gregorian chant and Palestrina's style as model for sacred music
    Advocated the avoidence of the fullness of motet
  • Op. 38 - Justorum animae, Coelos ascendit, Beati quorum

    Youtube Link Composer: Charles Stanford
    Importance: Repertory of most English cathedrals
  • Bernard Naylor

    Bernard Naylor born
    Died: May 19 or 20, 1986
    Influential person: composer of English 20th century motets
  • Nine motets of 1952

    Sample Link Composer: Naylor
    Importance: landmark in the development of the motet in England