Saturday, November 10, 2007

1180 – 1205 Perotin Organum

1180- 1223 Phillip Augustus, King of France
c. 1190 University of Paris founded
1189-99 Richard Coeur de Lion, King of England
1205 Perotin's composition ended

The Perotin generation, the second Notre Dame generation, is the period when texture in polyphony increased to three voices and text was first added to create the motet. Trouvères began here.



Veni Sancte Spiritus, Penticost, by Innocent III (1161-1216), pope from 1198).


Poet musicians from northern France who wrote medieval French (langue d'oil), the first trouvère was Blondel de Nesle (b.c. 1155) of Richard Coeur de Lion legend. 1400 melodies and about 4000 poems of the trouvères are extant. Song types were:

  1. aube, see albe of the troubadours,
  2. chanson de toile, on the sufferings of a lovesick girl or unhappy wife,
  3. jeu parti, see partimen,
  4. tenso, a debate about politics, and
  5. pastourelle, see pastorela.


Organum purum

Organum purum|------- modal—Triplum
|------- modal—Duplum
|------- very slow—Tenor

Two (occasionally three) upper equal voices in modal rhythm were supported by a very slow drone tenor below, up to 100 measures to each tenor note.

Discant clausula

Discant clausula |------------ faster modes—Triplum
|------------ faster modes—Duplum
|------------ mode 5—Tenor

Two upper equal voices (middle voice called duplum, upper voice called triplum) in the faster modes were over the mode five tenor which repeated short rhythmic patterns (ordo, pl. ordines). When the upper voices exchanged melodies, it is called Stimmtausch; a cadenza or ornament called copula sometimes appeared between the discant and organum purum sections. Perotin (c. 1160-1220) revised the Magnus liber of Leonin, expanded to three-voice texture, then to four voices (2 examples).

Polyphonic conductus

This generation composed conductus in three voices with longer caudae: Perotin.


Around 1200 Latin text was added to the upper voices of Perotin clausulae. When both voices had the same text it is called a conductus motet. More commonly, each voice had a different text.

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