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Recent Researches in the Music of the Renaissance

Gioseffo Zarlino
Motets from 1549 Part 1:  Motets Based on the Song of Songs
Edited by Cristle Collins Judd
R145 ISBN 0-89579-598-1 (10-digit) (2006) xxvi + 106 pp. $90.00
ISBN 978-0-89579-598-4 (13-digit)

Gioseffo Zarlino was without doubt the most highly regarded music theorist of the sixteenth century. Although also a published composer, his present-day reputation rests on his status as a theorist and position as maestro di capella at the basilica of San Marco in Venice. Insofar as Zarlino is known as a composer at all, it is primarily through his self-citation of his compositions in his theory treatise Le istitutioni harmoniche (Venice, 1558). The present edition brings together motets Zarlino published in 1549. Part 1 comprises, in their original order, ten motets for five voices that were composed as part of a single continuous cycle setting the Song of Songs; Part 2 contains the remaining eleven motets of his Musici quinque vocum moduli, ranging from antiphon settings to newly composed texts. Dispersed among three motet prints from 1549, the recovery of Zarlino's previously unknown Song of Songs cycle offers the opportunity to witness the intersection of theoretical and compositional priorities in the work of a single composer-theorist as well as insight into musical, theoretical, and theological questions that impinge on our understanding of sacred music in Venice from the 1540s.

Music Sample

The Composer
Zarlino’s Motet Cycle Based on the Song of Songs
The Reception of Zarlino’s Song of Songs Motet
Texts and Translations
Motets Based on the Song of Songs
  1.  Osculetur me
  2.  Nigra sum, sed formosa
  3.  Si ignoras
  4.  Ecce tu pulchra es
  5.  Ego rosa saron
  6.  Capite nobis
  7.  In lectulo meo
  8.  Adjuro vos filiae Jerusalem
  9.  Ferculum fecit sibi rex Salomon
10.  Ego veni in hortum meum
Critical Report
Editorial Methods
Critical Notes

Part 2 of Zarlino's Motets from 1549 is available as R149.