Johan Sebastian Bach was born on this day in 1685

Word of the Day – Wednesday, March 21st



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A composition based on a sacred text and usually sung without accompaniment
Common clues: Palestrina piece;
Choral work; Church composition; Sacred song; A cappella composition; Liturgical song; Contrapuntal choral composition
Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year
Frequency in English language: 44383 / 86800
Mozart Motet Part 1

In Western music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions.

Johann Sebastian Bach also wrote six surviving works he called motets.

The name comes either from the Latin movere, ("to move") or a Latinized version of Old French mot, "word" or "verbal utterance." The Mediaeval Latin for "motet" is "motectum". If from the Latin, the name describes the movement of the different voices against one another.

According to Margaret Bent (1997), "'a piece of music in several parts with words' is as precise a definition of the motet as will serve from the thirteenth to the late sixteenth century and beyond. This is actually very close to one of the earliest descriptions we have, that of the late thirteenth-century theorist Johannes de Grocheio." Grocheio was also one of the first scholars to define a motet. Grocheio believed that the motet was "not intended for the vulgar who do not understand its finer points and derive no pleasure from hearing it: it is meant for educated people and those who look for refinement in art."

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Motet".