Methods Of Analysing Early Tudor Sacred Polyphony: The Works Of Robert Fayrfax (1464–1521)
Collingwood, Benjamin David
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This study explores the different ways in which music of the early-Tudor period can be analysed. Approaching the analysis first from a performer’s perspective, it takes the surviving works of Robert Fayrfax (1464–1521) as a case study. Fayrfax was chosen both because of the important rôle he plays within the chronology of changing style in early Tudor England, and because of the lack of a convincing analytical survey of his surviving works. Various analytical methods are developed by drawing upon three areas of investigation: (1) previous analyses of renaissance polyphony; (2) sixteenth-century music theory; and (3) hermeneutics. The basic issues and problems encountered when approaching early Tudor works from an analytical perspective are addressed in the Preface, and discussed in more detail in Chapters 1-3. These chapters form a theoretical basis for the work as a whole. Chapters 4-8 provide a detailed analytical interrogation of Fayrfax’s works, addressing five areas of investigation: the selection and development of pre-compositional material; rhythm and metre; mode and cadential planning; texture and tessitura; and motif, imitation, and free counterpoint. Whilst this study focuses specifically on the works of Robert Fayrfax, it is hoped that works by other early Tudor composers can also be examined using the analytical methods developed.
Arts and Humanities Research Board
PhD in Music