• WordNet 3.6
    • n motet an unaccompanied choral composition with sacred lyrics; intended to be sung as part of a church service; originated in the 13th century
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Motet (Mus) A composition adapted to sacred words in the elaborate polyphonic church style; an anthem.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n motet In music:
    • n motet A vocal composition in somewhat strict polyphonic style, having a Biblical or similar prose text, and intended to be sung in a church service. Originally the motet was designed as a contrast to the plain-song of the remainder of the service, and probably it often possessed something of the graceful intricacy of the madrigal. The earliest motets date from about 1300. The use of an instrumental accompaniment is usually limited, and often avoided altogether.
    • n motet Any vocal work in harmony intended for use in a church service; an anthem. Strictly speaking, a motet is in medieval style, and an anthem in modern style; but the distinction is often ignored.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Motet mo-tet′ a sacred cantata of several unconnected movements, as a solo, trio, chorus, fugue, &c.: a choral composition having a biblical or similar prose text
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., a dim. of mot, word; cf. It. mottetto, dim. of motto, word, device. See Mot Motto
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—It. mottettomotto, saying.


In literature:

Madam Bruna, an Italian singer, sung the motet, and was well accompanied.
"The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete" by Jean Jacques Rousseau
Who would have ventured to apply this motet to the brave and clever Saxon, high as he, too, towered above most of his peers?
"Barbara Blomberg, Complete" by Georg Ebers
His most poignantly impressive motets seem to have been written under the anguish of Lucrezia's death.
"The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 2" by Rupert Hughes
Delsarte was present; the church was so hung with black that the choristers were alarmed for the effect of their motets.
"Delsarte System of Oratory" by Various
There is no difference between the sacred motets and the secular madrigals of the early polyphonists.
"Purcell" by John F. Runciman
A motet of Kuhnau's was given at Zittau under his direction.
"The Pianoforte Sonata" by J.S. Shedlock
Another most striking instance is in the same master's motet, "Sing ye to the Lord," which is written for two choirs of four parts each.
"How to Listen to Music, 7th ed." by Henry Edward Krehbiel
Palestrina died in 1594, but hymn-tunes adapted from his motets and masses are sung today.
"The Story of the Hymns and Tunes" by Theron Brown and Hezekiah Butterworth
It is in contrapuntal style, like the motet, and is usually sung a capella.
"Music Notation and Terminology" by Karl W. Gehrkens
Marie Anne Quinault was another eighteenth century composer who devoted her talents to the writing of motets and other church music.
"Woman's Work in Music" by Arthur Elson
A sixth motet has an obligato figured-bass accompaniment.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1" by Various
Foville and Motet, Professors Hitchcock, Ball, Tamburini, Dr. Mueller, and Dr. Whitmer.
"Chapters in the History of the Insane in the British Isles" by Daniel Hack Tuke
The motet of the Lutheran church is invariably unaccompanied.
"The Boy's Voice" by J. Spencer Curwen
His vocal pieces, madrigals, motets, canons, &c., are admirable, and prove him to have been a great master of pure polyphony.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 8" by Various
I should however prefer the cantatas: he already has the "Magnificat" and the Motets, and others.
"Letters of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy from Italy and Switzerland" by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
His compositions at this time chiefly consisted of motets, masses, cantatas and songs.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 13, Slice 1" by Various
So Deering's Motets were laid to rest again for nearly 100 years.
"Twelve Good Musicians" by Frederick Bridge
The two books of Pianoforte Pieces, which, with the two Motets, Op.
"The Life of Johannes Brahms (Vol 2 of 2)" by Florence May

In news:

He studied with Ingegneri, "maestro di cappella" at Cremona Cathedral, and published several books of motets and madrigals before going to Mantua in about 1591 to serve as a string player at the court of Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga.
's kicks off a brand new series called Global Jams with improvisational music visionaries, The Motet and guitar virtuoso Fareed Haque of the jam super-group Garaj Mahal.
The Motet delivers Afrobeat, funk and electronic fusion to Breckenridge.
The Motet brings their signature sound, layering electronica with Afrobeat and funk, to the stage at three20south Thursday in Breck.
But despite his penchant for variety, Watts recently closed the Motet 's revolving door and has maintained the group's lineup for more than a year.
Yet overall the album grooves hard, showcases the Motet 's chops and is a positive testament to what consistency can bring.
Along with the "Requiem," Mozart composed the "Ave Verum Corpus," the third motet on the Oratorio 's program.
Motet, O Domine Jesu Christe.
Motet, Assumpta est Maria in caelum Into Heaven is Mary received.
Motets John Eliot Gardiner, conductor.
Mass and motet Dixit Maria by Hassler.
The Motet brings P-Funk tribute and Halloween dance party to Beaver Creek.
The Boulder-based ensemble The Motet plays the Vilar Center at Beaver Creek on Sunday as part of the Underground Sound Series.
The Motet Instrumental Dissent
The Motet is notorious for shuffling through band members and collaborators.