Session 30 (Themed Papers): Ave festiva ferculis revisited

Wednesday, July 7, 14.30-16.30, Room 209 | Respondent: Kenneth Kreitner (University of Memphis)

Session Abstract

One of the most controversial attributions to a motet in early sixteenth-century Iberian sources is Ave festiva ferculis, a unicum in manuscript Tarazona 2/3 (one of the most important manuscripts with Iberian sacred music from the beginning of the sixteenth century). The motet is attributed there to ‘Jusquin’. In an article published in 2003, Kenneth Kreitner concludes that it is surely not the work of Josquin. His view has been generally acknowledged and the piece excluded from the NJE. Recently, an Iberian origin for this motet has been hypothesised, even though its style is somewhat difficult to reconcile with the usual style of early sixteenth-century Iberian motets.

Kreitner will introduce the current state of affairs, and the papers will re-examine the motet through the use of untapped tools [philology (Alvarenga) and computer- assisted analysis (Rodríguez-García & McKay)], whereas Nelson will contribute some reflections on its style. A final discussion will ensue. The score can be downloaded here:

The Ave festiva ferculis problem | Kenneth Kreitner

Mapping the responsory Ave festiva ferculi | João Pedro d’Alvarenga (CESEM, NOVA FCSH)

The motet Ave festiva ferculis in Tarazona 2/3 sets the text of a rather rare responsory invariably assigned to Marian offices and feasts, the tradition of which remains unstudied. As a contribution for the reassessment of the motet, this paper will examine the possible origins of the responsory Ave festiva ferculi and the different verses attached to it, the variants in the wording of their texts, and their geographical distribution, considering eleventh- to sixteenth-century liturgical and musical-liturgical sources mostly from southern France and the Iberian Peninsula.

Ave festiva ferculis: Exploring attribution by combining manual and computational analysis | Esperanza Rodriguez-Garcia (CESR-Université de Tours) & Cory McKay (Marianopolis College)

Ave festiva ferculis is a motet with a complex contextual background full of contradictory elements. The majority of the attributions in the manuscript are deemed reliable, and one could be inclined to believe the attribution to ‘Jusquin’ to be certain; however, neither the circulation of Josquin works nor the style of the motet fit comfortably within either the Iberian or the Franco-Flemish world. In order to shed light on this fascinating incongruence, the music of this motet will be compared systematically with representative samples of Iberian and Franco-Flemish music of the time. Hundreds of quantitative features extracted from each piece by Cory McKay’s jSymbolic software will be processed using statistical analysis and machine learning, and the results will be juxtaposed with a traditional musicological analysis. This work is intended both to narrow down the motet’s attribution and to demonstrate the ways in which computational and traditional analysis can be combined to produce insights beyond what either could provide alone.

Why by ‘Jusquin’? – Towards a stylistic contextualisation of Ave festiva ferculis | Bernadette Nelson (CESEM, NOVA FCSH)

What lies behind an attribution to a well-known composer in an otherwise peripheral MS for his surviving repertory? Whilst the current consensus is that Ave festiva ferculis – an unusual setting of a Marian responsory – was misattributed to Josquin in Tarazona 2/3, this paper will attempt to contextualise its style and structure by showing a number of contrapuntal and even intriguing motivic relationships with music composed outside the Iberian Peninsula during the later decades of the 15th century, including by Josquin himself. This enquiry further, therefore, brings forward the question of how and where the composer might have known this music, and when and where the motet might have been written.