minstrel: OMOT: Some polyphony questions

Vanessa Layne dagoura at MIT.EDU
Tue Jun 6 10:31:20 PDT 2000

[OMOT == Only Marginally On Topic]

For lack of a better place to ask, I would trouble this list with some
questions pertaining to period polyphony.  If this is too off-topic,
let me know, and we can take it private.

Question 1: 

In the 15th century and early 16th century it was relatively common to
set a melody (cantus, llano, tenor, etc.) in the bass of a polyphonic
piece.  To the best of my knowledge (and in all my examples) at the
end of the 16th century, melodies were set in the top or inner lines.

Does anyone know of any examples of arrangements of popular monophonic
tunes in the late 16th century where that tune is put in the bass
(that is, the lowest part, not necessarily for male voices)?  Ideally
in (I'm sorry, I really am) Scandinavia?  Or really, anywhere in
western Europe would be fine.  Target date is 1598.

Question 2:

Does anyone know of any precident for reusing the lyrics (all or part)
of an Italian Laude in a later polyphonic work?  If any, in what genre
of polyphonic work?

Question 3:

Does anyone know of any actual evidence that *secular* Medieval music
was ever acutally sung in organum?  Does anyone know of any evidence
for the practice of accompaning a secular song with a second voice
singing the same words and rhythms on a drone note (as opposed to a
constant drone)?

Thanks for any help you can lend.

-- Tibicen

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