Master's Thesis

In june 2012 I graduated from the University of Utrecht.

My thesis is currently being reworked for publication so I will not be publishing it on my website. However, here is a short summary.

In my thesis I interpreted a motet from the Roman de Fauvel. The final goal is showing that dissonance (in the structural parts of the counterpoint) in medieval music is not by definition a mistake, as counterpoint rules would suggest, but could be a tool for composers in the relation between music and text. The thesis contains the following chapters:

  1. Interpreting medieval music: Machaut as analogue;
  2. The search for a subject;
  3. Interpreting Fortune: tenor;
  4. Interpreting Fauvel: motetus;
  5. Interpreting medieval advisors: triplum;
  6. A dissonant conundrum;
  7. Conclusion.


Chapter 1 will explain the method of musico-textual interpretation that I will use throughout chapters 3-5, the interpretation of the motet. Chapter 2 is the search for a general subject matter and references in the motet, moreover this will provide a context for the interpretations. Chapter 6 will be the main argument for the defense of the dissonance in the triplum and a proposition to see dissonance as a musico-textual tool (if it is applicable).