Giovanni Palestrina's "Pope Marcellus Mass" Term Paper by Quality Writers

Giovanni Palestrina's "Pope Marcellus Mass"
An analysis of the historical context of Giovanni Palestrina's "Pope Marcellus Mass" and its contribution to the evolution of Renaissance music.
# 101166 | 1,589 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Feb 20, 2008 in Music Studies (History)

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This paper explores the significance of Giovanni Palestrina's "Pope Marcellus Mass" to the history and evolution of Renaissance music. The paper first discusses the musical tradition which preceded the Council of Trent and the completion of Palestrina's composition and then details the objections the Council of Trent had with regards to the polyphonic music that was so popular across Europe at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Finally, the paper delineates the criteria the Council established for church music and how Palestrina's work successfully met these requirements while simultaneously invoking stirring elements of the polyphonic tradition.

From the Paper:

"Still, there was widespread consensus among Catholic reformers that the "pagan" music of di Lasso and the earthy themes of Josquin were ill-suited to the mass. Even before the Council had concluded its work, Savonarola - a man whose stubborn insistence upon thumbing his nose at the "ecclesiastical status quo" in the fifteenth century eventually cost him his life (Matter, 795) - proclaimed that the secular, pagan and polyphonic compositions popular in his own time were nothing more than "figured music" that charmed the ear and senses while distracting from the worship of God (Mullett, 211). This view was shared by Erasmus who, while his interests tended more towards re-interpreting the Bible using the new-fangled historical-critical method (Pabel, 63-75) nonetheless felt moved enough by the scandalous church music of his time to condemn it as being sensuous, agitated and - for all intents and purposes - not at all Christian (Mullett, 211)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Barker, John W. "Guide to Records: Josquin." American Record Guide, 65.1 (2002): 120-121.
  • Bergquist, Peter. "A Tribute from Johannes Eccard to Orlando di Lasso at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis." Notes, 60.3 (2004): 603-612.
  • Carter, Tim. Music in Late Renaissance and Early Baroque Italy. London: Batsford Press, 1992.
  • Janelle, Pierre. The Catholic Reformation. Milwaukee: Collier-MacMillan, 1971.
  • Matter, E. Ann. "Bonfire Songs (Book)." Church History, 70.4 (2001): 795.

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