Josquin Des Prez

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Josquin des Prez:
A Master of Sixteenth Century Counterpoint

Analysis of Josquin’s Miserere
[pic]
(only known surviving picture of Josquin des Prez)[1]

Josquin des Prez:
A Master of Sixteenth Century Counterpoint

In the following paper, I will prove that Josquin’s Miserere is that of “typical” sixteenth century piece. While the Miserere has been noted as anything but typical, for use in this paper “typical” will be defined as “possessing all the qualities” of a sixteenth century five-voiced motet. I will demonstrate that Josquin adhered to the “typical” counterpoint rules in the sixteenth century.

Josquin’s life For all of his musical fame, Josquin des Prez still remains a “surprisingly elusive historical figure.”[2] Because there are many periods in Josquin’s life where his specific activities and involvement cannot be traced exactly, there is dispute between historians about the exact chronology of Josquin. The most recent research into the life of Josquin reports that he was born between 1450 and 1455 in an unknown place. He was also educated in an unknown location, possibly Saint-Quentin or perhaps in residence at Conde-sur-Escaut, France. From 1475 to circa 1480 he was believed to be a member of the chapel of King Rene of Anjou in Aix-en-Provence. From 1484- 1485 he was a member of the household of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza in Milan and Rome, Italy. It is believed that he was a member of the ducal chapel in Milan from 1489 to circa 1495, then member of the papal chapel in Rome. From 1498 - 1499 he was in the household of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza in Rome. In 1502 he was recruited by Ercole d’Este and became a member of the chapel of Ercole d’Este in Ferrara. From 1504- 1521 he had a residence in Conde-sur-Escaut as provost of the collegiate church of Notre-Dame. In 1521, he died in Conde-sur-Escaut. At present, this seems to be the most academically accepted timeline of Josquin’s life.[3]
[pic][4]
Once a



Bibliography: 2. Macey, Patrick Paul. Josquin’s “Miserere Mei Deus”: Context, Structure, and Influence. Diss. University of California, Berkeley, 1985. University Microfilms International: 1985. 4. Graue, Jerald Curtis. “The Milanese Motets of Josquin des Prez.” Diss. U of Illinois, 1996. [2] Richard Sherr, ed. The Josquin Companion. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000) 21 [3] Sherr 11 [20] Patrick Paul Macey. Josquin’s “Miserere Mei Deus”: Context, Structure, and Influence. Diss. University of California, Berkeley: University Microfilms International, 1985) 85 - 87 [21] Grout 149 [28] Edawrd E. Lowinsky, ed. Josquin des Prez. (London: Oxford University Press, 1976) 315

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