Date of Award

Summer 6-1985

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)



First Advisor

Kay Hoke


Four composers have been chosen for this study. They were the leaders of four successive generations of composers influential in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Their masses were written between the years 1420 A.D. and 1560 A.D. Many significant changes took place during this period of one hundred forty years. Older compositional techniques such as the use of formes fixes and isorhythm all but disappeared. Cantus firmus technique was transformed and extended to unify the mass cycle. Aesthetic considerations became more important to the composer than liturgical canons, and composers began to regard themselves as artistic creators not mere servants to the Church. The rise of humanism placed man at the center of his music, making it more expressive and personal then ever before.

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