The Mensural Structures of Busnoys's 'L'homme arme' Mass

Christian Goursaud

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article offers an analysis of the mensural structures of Antoine Busnoys?s 'L?homme arm�' mass. The premise of this analysis is that the mensural structure of the mass?s proportional tenor necessarily imposes its patterning on the three non-tenor polyphonic voices, hence minor modus in the proportional tenor relates to major modus in the other voices, and major modus in the proportional tenor is reflected at what might be termed a ?macro-mensural? level of organization in the non-tenor parts. Busnoys?s contrapuntal phrase structure, cadential points, and melodic patterning are shown variously to articulate the prevailing mensural structure and also at times to subvert it. This article attempts to explain how Busnoys used modus of both kinds not only as an abstract quality governing the application of imperfection and alteration, but as a creative compositional tool.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of the Alamire Foundation
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 1 Apr 2022


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