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Dufay: Nuper Rosarum Flores

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: An over-arching structure

This motet was written at the end of an era of musical composition. It is composed in the isorhythmic style which arranges fixed pitches with a repeating rhythmic pattern, but it also incorporates the new contrapuntal style, developed by Dufay and others in the ensuing years. Nuper rosarum flores also holds a unique place in architectural history. It was commission for the consecration of the new cathedral, the Duomo, in Florence that featured a particularly fancy dome by Filippo Brunelleshi. Because of the immense size of the space the Duomo would cover, it required two domes, one built on top of the other. In his composition Dufay replicated this double-arch, by mimicking the proportions in the music itself.

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