Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A polyphonic composition based on a sacred text and usually sung without accompaniment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A composition adapted to sacred words in the elaborate polyphonic church style; an anthem.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A composition adapted to sacred words in the elaborate polyphonic church style; an anthem.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In music:
  • n. A vocal composition in somewhat strict polyphonic style, having a Biblical or similar prose text, and intended to be sung in a church service.
  • n. Any vocal work in harmony intended for use in a church service; an anthem.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an unaccompanied choral composition with sacred lyrics; intended to be sung as part of a church service; originated in the 13th century

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, diminutive of mot, word; see mot.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • It is from "Il Ritorno di Tobia" that the so-called motet, "Insanae et Vanae Curae," is adapted, and the "Storm Chorus" immediately follows a fine soprano air in F minor and major, sung by Anna in the original work, a portion of which forms the beautiful second subject (in F) of the "Insanae."

    Joseph Haydn

  • That evening's magnificent de Victoria concert culmi nated in Mr. Kyr's electrifying polychoral motet for chorus, soloist and strings, "A Time for Song."

    Modern Echoes of the Renaissance

  • It's a pity because, a few moments of unruliness apart, the performances of both the masses here are thoughtful and beautifully shaped, and neither the plainchant-based Missa de Beata Maria Virgine nor the parody mass Missa Surge Propera, based upon a Palestrina motet, has been recorded many times before.

    Victoria: Missa de Beata Maria Virgine; Missa Surge Propera etc – review

  • It was a great moment near the end of the colloquium when it became clear that the three-choir polyphonic complexity scheduled for the last motet was not really viable.

    250 Sing Liszt's Ave Maris Stella

  • Countless treasures await us, including lectures by Dr. William Mahrt and Fr. Frank Phillips, an organ recital by Brother Jonathan Ryan of St. John Cantius, a new motet by Chicago's own Kevin Allen, not to mention fellowship with old friends and new.

    CMAA Summer Programs Filling Up

  • Two of his choral pieces were performed at Sunday's Cantate Chamber Singers and Maryland State Boychoir concert at St. Paul's Lutheran Church - the oratorio "A Crown of Stars," which the CCS commissioned and first performed in its premiere, in 2006, and a short motet, "Sing, O Daughter of Zion," premiered here by the boychoir.

    Composer-pianist Simpson shines at St. Paul's Lutheran Church

  • It is now ready for on-line viewing, minus the Vespers and one motet but it still comes in at 200 pages.

    Colloquium Packet (Prelim) is done (for now)

  • Note: the Vespers service, one Psalm, and one motet are missing, so the packet will be more than 200 pages once complete.

    Colloquium Packet (Prelim) is done (for now)

  • Most impressively, the ensemble switched effortlessly between the flowing, unmetered style of chant and the measured harmonies of unaccompanied polyphony, like William Cornysh's gorgeous motet "Ave Maria Mater Dei."

    Folger's music presentation is fit for King Henry's court

  • Here is a recording of a motet, Let Thy Merciful Ears, by Thomas Mudd, from the first Mass of the Colloquium, sung by all attendees with about 5 mins of rehearsal on the night when everyone arrived.

    Let thy merciful ears

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