Explain the melody in Josquin Desprez classic Ave Maria...Virgo Serena in one paragraph.

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The melody Ave Marina Virgo Serena is what they call a "motet for 4 steps" or a piece of melody that has a lot of different movements and instruments within playin at the same time, broken into several parts, and also uses voice and lyrics. It was the most famous composition Josquin and it was composed during the height of the Italian Renaissance (just a few years after Columbus discovered America!) in 1495.

This piece, being that it uses voice, has high pitches which correspond to specific words on the phrases it is reciting, which is very typical of High Renaissance, and it is commonly referred to as a "syntactic imitation." It is also called that because the text is repeated throughout exactly in the same way. You see this in the first four verses and they are all balanced in terms of length, and intensity, so it is a balanced melody. There are also elements of heaven and earthly resonnance, and they are both mentioned in the lyrics. In. all, it convincingly conveys the message of worship and chanting that was typical of the Gregorian monks but gives it a special placing given that it is a hymn dedicated to the Virgin Mary.


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