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Symbol and Ritual in Josquin's "Missa Di Dadi"

Michael Long
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Vol. 42, No. 1 (Spring, 1989), pp. 1-22
DOI: 10.2307/831416
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/831416
Page Count: 22
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Symbol and Ritual in Josquin's "Missa Di Dadi"
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Abstract

The author examines one of Josquin's earliest cantus firmus Masses, the Missa Di dadi, composed on a tenor drawn from Robert Morton's rondeau, N'aray je jamais mieulx que j'ay. Surviving only in Petrucci's third book of Josquin Masses, the work is distinguished by its use of pictures of dice as proportional canons in the Tenor voice. This study demonstrates that the dice images and the original chanson text associated with the cantus firmus melody form a metaphorical ground plan for the composition, and are linked to contemporary liturgical ritual and to fifteenth-century readings of the Mass text. Musical relationships between Di dadi and the later Missa Pange lingua establish the authenticity of the early work, and illuminate the evolution of Josquin's musical personality and style over some thirty to forty years.

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