Never-ending canon. Didactical Approaches to Two-part Imitational Passages from Josquin’s Masses
In Josquin’s masses, two-part imitation is a regular feature of composition that can be found at various positions, most frequently in the Crucifixus, Pleni sunt coeli or Benedictus sections. Some of these imitative duos deserve special attention for their length and rigorousness, in particular when the two voices appear as a “never-ending canon” throughout a whole passage. Those examples may be used with benefit in music theory, counterpoint and analysis classes. This paper aims to illustrate multiple ways of access to Josquin’s bicinia, referring to examples from the Missa Pange Lingua and Missa Hercules dux Ferrariae, and showing ways how the music can be employed as convenient tool for ear training lessons, counterpoint studies and analytically-based performance.