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Title: The transmission and reception of the Marian antiphon in early modern Britain
Authors: Gibbs, Daisy May
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: A substantial proportion of extant pre-Reformation sacred music by English composers survives only in Elizabethan manuscript sources. The evident popularity of this music among copyists and amateurs after it became obsolete in public worship remains largely unexplained, however. Using the Marian votive antiphon as a case study, exemplified by the surviving settings of the popular antiphon text Ave Dei patris filia, this thesis comprises a reception history of pre-Reformation sacred music in post-Reformation England. It sheds light on the significance held by pre-Reformation music to Elizabethan copyists, particularly in relation to an emergent sense of British nationhood and the figure of the composer as a category of reception, in doing so problematising the long-standing association between the copying of pre-Reformation sacred music and recusant culture. It also uses techniques of textual filiation to trace patterns of musical transmission and source interrelationships, and thereby to gauge the extent of manuscript attrition during the sixteenth-century Reformations. Chapters 1 and 2 discuss the production of the Ave Dei patris antiphon corpus, particularly the ways in which its meanings were shaped by composers in the decades before the English Reformations. Chapter 3 concerns the transformations undergone by the Marian antiphon during the 1540s and 1550s and following the Elizabethan Settlement. The remaining chapters discuss the post-1559 afterlife of pre-Reformation polyphony. Chapter 4 investigates the career of the music copyist William Forrest, and his role in reshaping and transmitting pre-Reformation music in the mid- to late-sixteenth century. Chapters 5 and 6 explore, respectively, the motivations for copying pre-Reformation music in Elizabethan England, and the means by which Marian votive antiphons circulated in manuscript after 1559. The three appendices comprise a translation of Ave Dei patris; critical editions of the settings by Fayrfax, Tallis, and Johnson; and a series of commentaries on three principal manuscript sources.
Description: PhD Thesis Vol. 2 contains sheet music and must be consulted by requesting the print version (via the library catalogue) for copyright reasons.
Appears in Collections:School of Arts and Cultures

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