The theme of syntactic imitation is exemplified by each strophe in the poem, comparable and balanced in length with the others.

Local details in texture and counterpoint often directly relate to the syntactic affect of the text, like the sudden expanse of homophonic harmonies during "solemni plena gaudio".

Polyphonic imitation was a common technique in motets of the period. Any use is subject to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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This climax quickly gives way to an imperfect, deceptive cadence.

Josquin treats each strophe of the main body of the poem as a syntactic unit unto itself, roughly comparable and balanced in length with the others.

The opening section declaims the four phrases of text, in order.

Clear and unobstructed imitation of each phrase (as if in a litany) occurs dramatically from the highest voice to the lowest; the imitated melody resembles a Gregorian chant version of "Ave Maria." Though the phrases of this section are completely balanced in length, the counterpoint increases in density, producing a strong climax at the first juncture where all four voices sing together.

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It is regarded as Josquin's most famous motet and one of the most famous pieces of the 15th century.

The piece rose to extreme popularity in the 16th century, even appearing at the head of the first volume of motets ever printed.

Twentieth century theorists use the term "syntactic imitation" to describe the characteristic musical structure of High Renaissance vocal pieces.