Part 5: How to play “divers ways upon the Plainsong Miserere”

This is the fifth of a multi-part post. (Please see previous post below for earlier instalments.)

Example 6a is a version (on a simple plainsong) of a Kyrie verset by Philip ap Rhys (d. 1566, organist at St Mary-at-Hill, London; St Paul’s Cathedral, London). The Kyrie descant has a more complex point than Burton’s (in Example 5b), and the occurrences of it are not separated by rests. Nevertheless, the point is constructed in a similar way, in that it usually includes a leap up (minim—dotted minim) followed by stepwise descending crotchets that lead to a consonance against a note of the plainsong. Only two errors occur when Philip’s descant is applied to a simple plainsong: at note 9 the note of plainsong (G) is broken into two minims, G—E, to avoid a dissonant 4th that lasts a minim, since repetition of a point does not excuse dissonance of that length; and at note 14, G is broken into two minims, G-A, again to avoid a dissonant 4th with the duration of a minim.

Example 6a  A version of Philip ap Rhys’s Kyrie on a simple plainsong:

Example 6a

Example 6b Philip ap Rhys, [Kyrie] Tu theos (29996, fol. 2):

Example 6b

Examples 6c-d demonstrate my application of Philip ap Rhys’s point to Miserere using a simple plainsong and plainsong figuration, respectively.

Example 6c Jane Flynn, Miserere 4: One way of using Philip ap Rhys’s point:

Example 6c

Example 6d Jane Flynn, Miserere 5: Another way of using Philip ap Rhys’s point:

Example 6d

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