L'homme armé

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    L’homme armé Surviving today in music manuscripts of the late fifteenth century and beyond are more than thirty-five polyphonic Masses built on the popular tune of L’homme armé. Wright & Simms (2010) reported that composers borrowed this melody more often for religious purposes than any other piece of music. Pierce (2011) asserted that the composer of the original monophonic melody L’homme armé, while unknown, created the piece around the 10th century near Burgundy, east-central France and later discovered in the 14 century. Although the cantus firmus L’homme armé formed the basis for masses of the renaissance era, this French secular song continues to inspire composers of the 21st century. Guillaume DuFay (c.1397- 1474), a native of the Cambrai…

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    settings of chant. Parallel writing known as ‘fauxbourdon’ was a harmonization technique that Du Fay made great use of. This can be heard in Du Fay’s setting of Ave maris stella. This Marian antiphon features “fauxbourdon” that is designated to the middle line which follows the top line, a paraphrase of the chant, at the exact interval of a perfect fourth below. The embellished bottom line is usually a sixth below the top line and arrives at cadences on the octave. It is believed that Du Fay was…

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