Motett a term applied to two different forms of Church musical composition. 1. A sacred cantata, consisting of several unconnected movements, as a solo, trio, chorus, fugue, etc. 2. A choral composition, generally also of a sacred character, beginning with an introduction in the form of a song, perhaps with figurative accompaniment; after which follow several fugue subjects, with their expositions, the whole ending either with the exposition of the last subject, a repetition of the introduction, or a special final subject. A motett differs in this respect from a double or triple fugue, that the subjects never appear simultaneously, but are introduced one after the other. In one form of the motett, the successive phrases of an entire chorale are treated as so many fugal subjects. The subject is taken from the psalms or hymns of the Church. "Motett" seems to have been originally synonymous with anthem, and was then probably accompanied only by the organ, which is now no longer the case in Roman Catholic churches, all kinds of musical instruments being used in it.

Definition of mote

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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