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The duo cantus cum tenor comes from Musica Duorum Rome, 1521, a collection of forty-five textless duets,or bicinia by the frottola composer Eustachio Romano.
When compared with other famous 16th-century collections of duos such as those of Gero or of Lupacchino – both of them sets that were reprinted so often as to leave no doubt about their pedagogical usefulness – Lassus’s psalm settings and textless bicinia are surprising in their individuality of style: they are not generic counterpoint but rather illustrations of his own contrapuntal practice.