Title page for ETD etd-0828103-132935

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Black, Jr., George H.
URN etd-0828103-132935
Title Matthaeus Pipelare's "Fors seulement Chanson (II)" and Its Related Motet and Mass: Performance Editions and Commentary
Degree Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)
Department Music
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
W. Kenneth Fulton Committee Chair
Alison McFarland Committee Member
Sara Lynn Baird Committee Member
William Grimes Committee Member
Joseph Ricapito Dean's Representative
  • renaissance
  • little known
  • low vocal range
  • low countries
  • netherlands
  • choral
Date of Defense 2003-07-23
Availability unrestricted
Matthaeus Pipelare was a composer from the southern Netherlands who flourished in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Except for the little more than two years he spent as choirmaster for the Confraternity associated with the Cathedral of St. John in 's Hertogenbosch, located in Northern Brabant, almost nothing is known of his professional or personal life. Yet writers of the period hailed his skill and placed him in the same company as such well-known composers as Josquin, la Rue, Brumel, and Isaac.

A small but excellent body of the composer's works survive in manuscripts and early prints housed in libraries and archives of eleven countries throughout Europe, stretching from Russia to Spain, with 26 sources found in Italy. The surviving corpus consists of eight secular works (four Flemish songs and four French chansons, one doubtful), nine motets, nine Masses, and a Credo. From the large scale Masses to the exquisite gem of the Fors seulement (II) chanson, Pipelare's music exhibits masterful design and an engaging quality for both performer and listener. He and his compositions deserve to be more widely known and performed.

Unfortunately, the only current editions of his works are available in scholarly editions, the main goal of which is study rather than performance, and which are usually larger and heavier than most performance editions. The primary purpose of this project is to produce modern-day performance editions of three related works by Pipelare: Fors seulement (II), Exortum est in tenebris, and Missa Fors seulement. Each of the editions is based on one of the surviving manuscripts. Copies of these manuscripts were obtained from libraries and archives in Florence, Segovia, and Jena. The editions are intended to be accurate transmissions of the source documents while presenting the music in a form which modern-day singers and conductors will find easy to use. A secondary purpose of the study is to provide adequate background on Pipelare and his works, particularly those included in the editions, which will both create interest in this unfortunately obscure composer and provide the conductor with pertinent information for successful performance.

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