Talk:A solis ortus cardine a 4 (Gilles Binchois)

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To Hymn or not to Hymn?

I'm not so sure I agree with reclassifying this to motet. perhaps adding to classification so it could be grouped with motets and hymns depending on the search. The text is a poem, all editions on CPDL are classified as a hymn and hymns were quite specifically defined in the Liber Usualis, distinctly different from graduals, responsories etc. The category which defines them is the text and liturgical application, not the type of setting. i have returned the page to its former version. Marchesa 08:43, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Reply by: Vaarky 04:45, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


This should at least show up under Motet and perhaps also Hymn, but not only Hymn. Here's my thinking.

Someone looking for this sacred polyphonic Renaissance composition in Latin (even if its text is from the Liber Usualis) would look for a Renaissance motet, not a hymn, especially when they see that there is an option for Renaissance and motet in the Multiple Category Search function. Nobody talks of Renaissance hymns. Similarly, someone looking for Tudor Anthems would look for Anthems. Since the specific category exists for Motet or Anthem, it would not occur to most users that they do not have complete results and should re-run the query using Hymn as a variant. Using the more generic Hymn instead of the more specific terms such as Motet or Anthem guts these more specific genres of their usefulness.

So I think it needs to at least include the more specific genre, possibly also in addition to Hymn if we want to convey some kind of broad information about liturgical function for people who want to request all Hymn texts, regardless of whether they are a Renaissance motet or not.

What do you and/or others think of this reasoning? -- Vaarky 04:45, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Reply by: Chucktalk Giffen 04:54, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


Actually, not all editions of settings of this text are classified as hymns. The 3vv Binchois (also a setting of the first stanza) is classified as a motet. The closest to being a setting of the complete hymn text is the Palestrina, which sets stanzas 1,3,5,7 with the stanzas 2,4,6,8 left to be sung in chant. The Coclico also sets only the first stanza. My personal opinion is that a single stanza setting is better styled as a motet than a hymn, although the longer Palestrina setting (with the even stanzas sung in chant) might also seem to be more of a motet because of its multipart (actually multistanza) nature. Originally, I classified (my edition of) the Palestrina as both a motet and a hymn, while I classified (my edition of) the 3vv Binchois as a motet.

Reply by: Paul Marchesano 29 January 2010


I frankly agree that it should be classified in both categories. Since the aim here is to make things easily and most findable by people who search in a myriad of ways, there is no harm in listing it in both categories. I will add hymn to the already listed categories so it turns up in lists of both.

I've been trying to get a discussion started on the forums and some talk pages about these cats, as yet to no avail, so I'm happy to see a start here. We classify (some) scores according to their liturgical season, although no-one would argue that any concert program based on other criteria might use pieces randomly without taking that particular characteristic into account. I think the same reasoning should apply to liturgical use: regardless of how and when you sing it, there is still an 'official' qualification as to its role in liturgy. A gradual is not an introit or a hymn, and vice versa. The Liber is a valid source of information in this respect. The mere fact that a piece is shortened does not alter its function. The problem with 'motet' is of course that basically, any polyphonic work in Latin would answer to this definition. Since its related search terms (renaissance and Latin) are still valid characteristics, but do not by far cover the ins and outs of a particular text, I would favour labelling pieces under multiple categories. joachim 13:18, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Reply by: Chucktalk Giffen 17:28, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


Hi joachim. Did you mean his topic at the forums? I'm guessing that what we have here is the contrast between musical genre (musical) and liturgical function (textual) which also have some overlap, at least some of which may be due to having tried to cram the liturgical function of the text into the shoe that is musical genre. Moreover, while the Liber is valid for works of its period, liturgical reforms and other sects (eg. protestant, reformation, Eastern rites) add to the confusion in some cases. Hymns have a particularly confusing meaning, depending upon ones perspective and historical era. I would indeed like to see a deeper discussion of this. As a point of discussion, I'm wondering if (for sacred works) there should be a separate Liturgical use (or function) classification that is apart from the (musical) Genre. I hope we might make this discussion more widely accessible, perhaps in the forums, as joachim mentioned; otherwise, perhaps on the talk page for the Genre template?

I've opened a topic on these issues at the forums. – Chucktalk Giffen 02:21, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Text placement

The edition by Erik Kaashoek makes the claim that the underlay is improved and "leading for the text placement has been the Gregorian version and the structure of the music." While this is a noble gesture, the underlay in my edition follows the Gregorian chant syllabic patterns and Binchois' own stylistic examples which we have. However, as with all works of this period, the underlay was fairly loose and often not discernable as originally notated, with judgement deferring to the singers for the most part as to what was "natural" under the normal practice of the region. Note, however, that early 15th century settings often have the text notated in only one voice leaving the rest to follow the pattern. Also the extended melismas and occasional odd feel of placement to our modern ears was the norm, with various voices being played on instruments as often as sung. The Latin language accents were known and attention to this as second only to direct quotes from the chant was the commonplace practice. Also, note that the revision edition is a third lower than mine.