Mass (music)

Mass (music)

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The Mass, a form
Musical form
The term musical form refers to the overall structure or plan of a piece of music, and it describes the layout of a composition as divided into sections...

 of sacred musical composition, is a choral
Choir
A choir, chorale or chorus is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform.A body of singers who perform together as a group is called a choir or chorus...

 composition that sets the invariable portions of the Eucharist
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

ic liturgy
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 (principally that of the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

, and the Lutheran Church) to music. Most Masses are settings of the liturgy
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

 in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, the liturgical sacred language of the Catholic Church's Roman liturgy, but there are a significant number written in the languages of non-Catholic countries where vernacular worship has long been the norm. For example, there are many Masses (often called "Communion Services") written in English for the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

. Musical Masses take their name from the Catholic liturgy called "the Mass" as well.

Masses can be a cappella
A cappella
A cappella music is specifically solo or group singing without instrumental sound, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It is the opposite of cantata, which is accompanied singing. A cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato...

, for the human voice alone, or they can be accompanied by instrumental obbligato
Obbligato
In classical music obbligato usually describes a musical line that is in some way indispensable in performance. Its opposite is the marking ad libitum. It can also be used, more specifically, to indicate that a passage of music was to be played exactly as written, or only by the specified...

s up to and including a full orchestra. Many Masses, especially later ones, were never intended to be performed during the celebration of an actual mass.

Form of the Mass


Generally, for a composition to be a full Mass, it must contain the following sections, which together constitute the ordinary of the Eucharist:

I. Kyrie


The Kyrie
Kyrie
Kyrie, a transliteration of Greek κύριε , vocative case of κύριος , meaning "Lord", is the common name of an important prayer of Christian liturgy, which is also called the Kýrie, eléison ....

 is the first movement of a setting of the Ordinary of the Mass:
Kyrie eleison; Christe eleison; Kyrie eleison (Κύριε ελέησον. Χριστέ ελέησον. Κύριε ελέησον)
Lord have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.


This is from the ancient (Biblical New Testament) Greek language, unlike the rest of the mass which is Latin.

Kyrie movements often have a structure that reflects the concision and symmetry of the text. Many have a ternary (ABA) form
Ternary form
Ternary form, sometimes called song form, is a three-part musical form, usually schematicized as A-B-A. The first and third parts are musically identical, or very nearly so, while the second part in some way provides a contrast with them...

, where the two appearances of the phrase "Kyrie eleison" consist of identical or closely related material and frame a contrasting "Christe eleison" section. Or AAABBBCCC' form is also found later on. Famously, Mozart sets the "Kyrie" and "Christe" texts in his Requiem Mass
Requiem (Mozart)
The Requiem Mass in D minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was composed in Vienna in 1791 and left unfinished at the composer's death. A completion by Franz Xaver Süssmayr was delivered to Count Franz von Walsegg, who had anonymously commissioned the piece for a requiem Mass to commemorate the...

 as the two subjects of a double fugue.

II. Gloria


The Gloria
Gloria in Excelsis Deo
"Gloria in excelsis Deo" is the title and beginning of a hymn known also as the Greater Doxology and the Angelic Hymn. The name is often abbreviated to Gloria in Excelsis or simply Gloria.It is an example of the psalmi idiotici "Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Latin for "Glory to God in the highest")...

 is a celebratory passage praising God and Christ:
Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te, gratias agimus tibi
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will. We praise You, we bless You, we adore You, we glorify You, we give thanks
propter magnam gloriam tuam, Domine Deus, Rex caelestis [coelestis], Deus Pater omnipotens.
to You for Your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God the Father.
Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe, Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Lord Jesus Christ, only begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who taketh away the sins of the world,
miserere nobis; qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram. Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.
Have mercy on us; You who take away the sins of the world, hear our prayers. Who sits at the right hand of the Father, have mercy upon us.
Quoniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.

For You are the only Holy One, the only Lord, the only Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father, Amen.


In Mass settings (normally in English) composed for the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

 liturgy, the Gloria is commonly the last movement, because it occurs in this position in the text of the service. In Order One of the newer Common Worship
Common Worship
Common Worship is the name given to the series of services authorised by the General Synod of the Church of England and launched on the first Sunday of Advent in 2000. It represents the most recent stage of development of the Liturgical Movement within the Church and is the successor to the...

 liturgy, however, it is restored to its earlier place.

III. Credo


The Credo
Credo
A credo |Latin]] for "I Believe") is a statement of belief, commonly used for religious belief, such as the Apostles' Creed. The term especially refers to the use of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in the Mass, either as text, Gregorian chant, or other musical settings of the...

, a setting of the Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed is the creed or profession of faith that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.The Nicene Creed has been normative to the...

, is the longest text of a sung Mass:
Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem,
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty
factorem cœli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.
Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible:

Et in unum Dominum, Jesum Christum,
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
Filium Dei unigenitum, et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula.
the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds;
Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero,
God of God, Light of Light, very [true] God of very [true] God;
genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri;
begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father,
per quem omnia facta sunt.
by Whom all things were made;
Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de cœlis.
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven.
Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est.
and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man:
Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est,
He was also crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried:
et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas,
And (on) the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures:
et ascendit in cælum, sedet ad dexteram Patris.
And ascended into Heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father:
Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos,
And He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead:
cuius regni non erit finis;
Of His Kingdom there shall be no end;

Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem,
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life,
qui ex Patre Filioque procedit.
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son
Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur:
Who, with the Father and the Son, is similarly adored and glorified,
qui locutus est per prophetas.
Who has spoken through the Prophets.
Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam.
And I believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church,
Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum.
I confess one Baptism for the remission of sins.
Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum,
And I expect the Resurrection of the Dead:
et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.
And the Life of the world to come. Amen.


Since the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

 composers have mostly ignored writing melodies for the Credo in vernacular languages. Today, the Creed is usually recited by the congregation.

Organizers of international celebrations, such as World Youth Day
World Youth Day
World Youth Day is a youth-oriented Catholic Church event. While the event itself celebrates the Catholic faith, the invitation to attend extends to all youth, regardless of religious convictions....

, have been encouraged by Rome to familiarize congregants in the Latin chants for the Our Father and the Credo, specifically Credo III (17th century, Fifth Mode) from the Missa de Angelis (the Mass of the Angels). The purpose of singing these two texts in Latin is to engender a sense of unity in the faithful, all of whom thus sing the prayer of Jesus and the shared belief of the universal Church in the same language.

IV. Sanctus


The Sanctus
Sanctus
The Sanctus is a hymn from Christian liturgy, forming part of the Order of Mass. In Western Christianity, the Sanctus is sung as the final words of the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, the prayer of consecration of the bread and wine...

 is a doxology
Doxology
A doxology is a short hymn of praises to God in various Christian worship services, often added to the end of canticles, psalms, and hymns...

 praising the Trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth; pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts; Heaven and earth are full of Your glory.
Hosanna in excelsis
Hosanna in the highest.


A variant exists in Lutheran settings of the Sanctus. While most hymnal settings keep the second person pronoun
Pronoun
In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun , such as, in English, the words it and he...

, other settings change the second person pronoun to the third person. This is most notable in J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor, where the text reads gloria ejus ("His glory"). Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

's chorale
Chorale
A chorale was originally a hymn sung by a Christian congregation. In certain modern usage, this term may also include classical settings of such hymns and works of a similar character....

 Isaiah, Mighty in Days of Old, and Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Barthóldy , use the form 'Mendelssohn' and not 'Mendelssohn Bartholdy'. The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians gives ' Felix Mendelssohn' as the entry, with 'Mendelssohn' used in the body text...

's setting of the Heilig! (German Sanctus) from his Deutsche Liturgie also use the third person.

V. Benedictus


The Benedictus is a continuation of the Sanctus:
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord


Hosanna in excelsis is repeated after the Benedictus section, often with musical material identical to that used after the Sanctus, or very closely related.

In Gregorian chant the Sanctus (with Benedictus) was sung whole at its place in the mass. However, as composers produced more embellished settings of the Sanctus text, the music often would go on so long that it would run into the consecration
Consecration
Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups...

 of the bread and wine. This was considered the most important part of the Mass, so composers began to stop the Sanctus halfway through to allow this to happen, and then continue it after the consecration is finished. This practice was forbidden for a period in the 20th century.

VI. Agnus Dei


The Agnus Dei is a setting of the "Lamb of God" litany:
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
miserere nobis.
have mercy upon us.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
miserere nobis.
have mercy upon us.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
dona nobis pacem.
grant us peace.


In a Requiem Mass, the words "miserere nobis" are replaced by "dona eis requiem" (grant them rest), while "dona nobis pacem" is replaced by "dona eis requiem sempiternam" (grant them eternal rest).

Other sections


Following the distribution of the Sacrament, it is customary in most Lutheran churches to sing the Nunc Dimittis
Nunc dimittis
The Nunc dimittis is a canticle from a text in the second chapter of Luke named after its first words in Latin, meaning 'Now dismiss...'....

.

In a liturgical Mass, there are other sections that may be sung, often in Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic liturgical music within Western Christianity that accompanied the celebration of Mass and other ritual services...

. These sections, the "Proper" of the Mass, change with the day and season according to the Church calendar, or according to the special circumstances of the Mass. The Proper of the Mass is usually not set to music in a Mass itself, except in the case of a Requiem Mass
Requiem
A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead or Mass of the dead , is a Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular form of the Roman Missal...

, but may be the subject of motet
Motet
In classical music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions.-Etymology:The name comes either from the Latin movere, or a Latinized version of Old French mot, "word" or "verbal utterance." The Medieval Latin for "motet" is motectum, and the Italian...

s or other musical compositions. The sections of the Proper of the Mass include the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia or Tract (depending on the time of year), Offertory and Communion.

Middle Ages


The earliest musical settings of the Mass are Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic liturgical music within Western Christianity that accompanied the celebration of Mass and other ritual services...

. The different portions of the Ordinary came into the liturgy at different times, with the Kyrie probably being first (perhaps as early as the 7th century) and the Credo being last (it did not become part of the Roman mass until 1014).

In the early 14th century, composers began writing polyphonic versions of the sections of the Ordinary. The reason for this surge in interest is not known, but it has been suggested that there was a shortage of new music since composers were increasingly attracted to secular music, and overall interest in writing sacred music had entered a period of decline. The non-changing part of the mass, the Ordinary, then would have music which was available for performance all the time.

Two manuscripts of the 14th century, the Ivrea Codex
Ivrea Codex
The Ivrea Codex is a parchment manuscript containing a significant body of 14th century French polyphonic music....

 and the Apt Codex, are the primary sources for polyphonic settings of the Ordinary. Stylistically these settings are similar to both motet
Motet
In classical music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions.-Etymology:The name comes either from the Latin movere, or a Latinized version of Old French mot, "word" or "verbal utterance." The Medieval Latin for "motet" is motectum, and the Italian...

s and secular music of the time, with a three-voice texture dominated by the highest part. Most of this music was written or assembled at the papal court at Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

.

Several anonymous
Anonymous work
Anonymous works are works, such as art or literature, that have an anonymous, undisclosed, or unknown creator or author. In the United States it is legally defined as "a work on the copies or phonorecords of which no natural person is identified as author."...

 complete masses from the 14th century survive, including the Tournai Mass
Tournai Mass
The Tournai Mass is a polyphonic setting of the mass from 14th-century France. It is preserved in a manuscript from the library of the Tournai Cathedral.-Background:...

; however, discrepancies in style indicate that the movements of these masses were written by several composers and later compiled by scribes into a single set. The first complete Mass we know of whose composer can be identified was the Messe de Nostre Dame
Messe de Nostre Dame
Messe de Nostre Dame is a polyphonic mass composed before 1365 by the French poet, composer and cleric Guillaume de Machaut...

 (Mass of Our Lady) by Guillaume de Machaut
Guillaume de Machaut
Guillaume de Machaut was a Medieval French poet and composer. He is one of the earliest composers on whom significant biographical information is available....

 in the 14th century.

Renaissance

Main articles: Cyclic Mass
Cyclic mass
In Renaissance music, the cyclic mass was a setting of the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Mass, in which each of the movements – Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei – shared a common musical theme, commonly a cantus firmus, thus making it a unified whole...

 or Cantus firmus Mass, Paraphrase Mass
Paraphrase mass
A paraphrase mass is a musical setting of the Ordinary of the Mass, using as its basis an elaborated version of a cantus firmus, typically chosen from plainsong or some other sacred source...

, Parody Mass
Parody mass
A parody mass is a musical setting of the mass, typically from the 16th century, that uses multiple voices of another pre-existing piece of music, such as a fragment of a motet or a secular chanson, as part of its melodic material. It is distinguished from the two other most prominent types of...



The musical setting of the Ordinary of the Mass was the principal large-scale form of the Renaissance. The earliest complete settings date from the 14th century, with the most famous example being the Messe de Nostre Dame
Messe de Nostre Dame
Messe de Nostre Dame is a polyphonic mass composed before 1365 by the French poet, composer and cleric Guillaume de Machaut...

 of Guillaume de Machaut
Guillaume de Machaut
Guillaume de Machaut was a Medieval French poet and composer. He is one of the earliest composers on whom significant biographical information is available....

. Individual movements of the Mass, and especially pairs of movements (such as Gloria-Credo pairs, or Sanctus-Agnus pairs), were commonly composed during the 14th and early 15th centuries. Complete Masses by a single composer were the norm by the middle of the 15th century, and the form of the Mass, with the possibilities for large-scale structure inherent in its multiple movement format, was the main focus of composers within the area of sacred music; it was not to be eclipsed until the motet and related forms became more popular in the first decades of the 16th century.

Most 15th century Masses were based on a cantus firmus
Cantus firmus
In music, a cantus firmus is a pre-existing melody forming the basis of a polyphonic composition.The plural of this Latin term is , though the corrupt form canti firmi is also attested...

, usually from a Gregorian chant, and most commonly put in the tenor voice. The cantus firmus sometimes appeared simultaneously in other voices, using a variety of contrapuntal
Counterpoint
In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm and are harmonically interdependent . It has been most commonly identified in classical music, developing strongly during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period,...

 techniques. Later in the century, composers such as Guillaume Dufay
Guillaume Dufay
Guillaume Dufay was a Franco-Flemish composer of the early Renaissance. As the central figure in the Burgundian School, he was the most famous and influential composer in Europe in the mid-15th century.-Early life:From the evidence of his will, he was probably born in Beersel, in the vicinity of...

, Johannes Ockeghem
Johannes Ockeghem
Johannes Ockeghem was the most famous composer of the Franco-Flemish School in the last half of the 15th century, and is often considered the most...

, and Jacob Obrecht
Jacob Obrecht
Jacob Obrecht was a Flemish composer of the Renaissance. He was the most famous composer of masses in Europe in the late 15th century, being eclipsed by only Josquin des Prez after his death.-Life:...

, used secular tunes for cantus firmi. This practice was accepted with little controversy until prohibited by the Council of Trent in 1562. In particular, the song L'homme armé
L'homme armé
L'homme armé was a French secular song from the time of the Renaissance. It was the most popular tune used for musical settings of the Ordinary of the Mass: over 40 separate compositions entitled Missa L'homme armé survive from the period....

 has a long history with composers; more than 40 separate Mass settings exist.

Other techniques for organizing the cyclic Mass
Cyclic mass
In Renaissance music, the cyclic mass was a setting of the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Mass, in which each of the movements – Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei – shared a common musical theme, commonly a cantus firmus, thus making it a unified whole...

 evolved by the beginning of the 16th century, including the paraphrase
Paraphrase mass
A paraphrase mass is a musical setting of the Ordinary of the Mass, using as its basis an elaborated version of a cantus firmus, typically chosen from plainsong or some other sacred source...

 technique, in which the cantus firmus was elaborated and ornamented, and the parody
Parody mass
A parody mass is a musical setting of the mass, typically from the 16th century, that uses multiple voices of another pre-existing piece of music, such as a fragment of a motet or a secular chanson, as part of its melodic material. It is distinguished from the two other most prominent types of...

 technique, in which several voices of a polyphonic source, not just one, were incorporated into the texture of the Mass. Paraphrase and parody supplanted cantus-firmus as the techniques of choice in the 16th century: Palestrina alone wrote 51 parody masses.

Yet another technique used to organize the multiple movements of a Mass was canon
Canon (music)
In music, a canon is a contrapuntal composition that employs a melody with one or more imitations of the melody played after a given duration . The initial melody is called the leader , while the imitative melody, which is played in a different voice, is called the follower...

. The earliest Masses based entirely on canon are Johannes Ockeghem's Missa prolationum
Missa prolationum
The Missa prolationum is a musical setting of the Ordinary of the Mass, by Johannes Ockeghem, dating from the second half of the 15th century...

, in which each movement is a prolation canon
Prolation canon
In music, a prolation canon or mensuration canon is a type of canon, a musical composition wherein the main melody is accompanied by one or more imitations of that melody in other voices. Not only do the voices sing or play the same melody, they do so at different speeds...

 on a freely-composed tune, and the Missa L'homme armé of Guillaume Faugues
Guillaume Faugues
Guillaume Faugues was a French composer. Very little is known of his life, however a significant representation of his work survives in the form of five mass settings...

, which is also entirely canonic but also uses the famous tune L'homme armé
L'homme armé
L'homme armé was a French secular song from the time of the Renaissance. It was the most popular tune used for musical settings of the Ordinary of the Mass: over 40 separate compositions entitled Missa L'homme armé survive from the period....

 throughout. Pierre de La Rue
Pierre de La Rue
Pierre de la Rue , called Piersson, was a Franco-Flemish composer and singer of the Renaissance. A member of the same generation as Josquin des Prez, and a long associate of the Habsburg-Burgundian musical chapel, he ranks with Agricola, Brumel, Compère, Isaac, Obrecht, and Weerbeke as one of the...

 wrote four separate canonic masses based on plainchant, and one of Josquin des Prez
Josquin Des Prez
Josquin des Prez [Josquin Lebloitte dit Desprez] , often referred to simply as Josquin, was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance...

's mature Masses, the Missa Ad fugam, is entirely canonic and free of borrowed material.

The Missa Sine nomine
Missa Sine nomine
A Missa sine nomine, literally a "Mass without a name", is a musical setting of the Ordinary of the Mass, usually from the Renaissance, which uses no pre-existing musical source material, as was normally the case in mass composition...

, literally "Mass without a name", refers to a Mass written on freely composed material. Sometimes these Masses were named for other things, such as Palestrina's famous Missa Papae Marcelli
Missa Papae Marcelli
Missa Papae Marcelli, or Pope Marcellus Mass, is a mass by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. It is his most well-known and most often-performed mass, and is frequently taught in university courses on music...

, the Mass of Pope Marcellus, and many times they were canonic Masses, as in Josquin's Missa Sine nomine
Missa Sine nomine (Josquin)
The Missa Sine nomine is a setting of the Ordinary of the Mass by Renaissance composer Josquin des Prez. It is a work of his maturity, probably dating from the period after he returned to Condé-sur-l'Escaut in 1504...

.

Many famous and influential masses were composed by Josquin des Prez
Josquin Des Prez
Josquin des Prez [Josquin Lebloitte dit Desprez] , often referred to simply as Josquin, was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance...

, the single most influential composer of the middle Renaissance. At the end of the 16th century, prominent representatives of a cappella choral counterpoint
Counterpoint
In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm and are harmonically interdependent . It has been most commonly identified in classical music, developing strongly during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period,...

 included the Englishman William Byrd
William Byrd
William Byrd was an English composer of the Renaissance. He wrote in many of the forms current in England at the time, including various types of sacred and secular polyphony, keyboard and consort music.-Provenance:Knowledge of Byrd's biography expanded in the late 20th century, thanks largely...

, the Castilian Tomás Luis de Victoria
Tomás Luis de Victoria
Tomás Luis de Victoria, sometimes Italianised as da Vittoria , was the most famous composer of the 16th century in Spain, and one of the most important composers of the Counter-Reformation, along with Giovanni da Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso. Victoria was not only a composer, but also an...

 and the Roman Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music and the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition...

, whose Mass for Pope Marcellus is sometimes credited with saving polyphony
Polyphony
In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords ....

 from the censure of the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

. By the time of Palestrina, however, most composers outside of Rome were using other forms for their primary creative outlet for expression in the realm of sacred music, principally the motet
Motet
In classical music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions.-Etymology:The name comes either from the Latin movere, or a Latinized version of Old French mot, "word" or "verbal utterance." The Medieval Latin for "motet" is motectum, and the Italian...

 and the madrigale spirituale
Madrigale spirituale
A madrigale spirituale is a madrigal, or madrigal-like piece of music, with a sacred rather than a secular text...

; composers such as the members of the Venetian School preferred the possibilities inherent in the new forms. Other composers, such as Orlande de Lassus
Orlande de Lassus
Orlande de Lassus was a Franco-Flemish composer of the late Renaissance...

, working in Munich and comfortably distant from the conservative influence of the Council of Trent, continued to write Parody Mass
Parody mass
A parody mass is a musical setting of the mass, typically from the 16th century, that uses multiple voices of another pre-existing piece of music, such as a fragment of a motet or a secular chanson, as part of its melodic material. It is distinguished from the two other most prominent types of...

es on secular songs. Monteverdi composed Masses in stile antico
Stile antico
Stile antico, literally "ancient style", is a term describing music from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries. It refers to a manner of composition which is historically conscious, as opposed to stile moderno...

, the Missa in illo tempore was published in 1610, one Messa a 4 da cappella in 1641 as part of Selva morale e spirituale
Selva Morale e Spirituale
Selva morale e spirituale is the short title of a collection of sacred music by the Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi, published in Venice in 1640 and 1641. The title translates to "Moral and Spiritual Forest"...

 along with single movements of the Mass in stile concertato, another Messa a 4 da cappella was published after his death, in 1650.

Baroque through Romantic


The early Baroque era initiated stylistic changes which led to increasing dispartity between masses written entirely in the traditional polyphonic manner (stile antico), whose principal advancements were the use of the basso continuo and the gradual adoption of a wider harmonic vocabulary, and the mass in modern style with solo voices and instrumental obbligatos. Composers such as Henri Dumont
Henri Dumont
Henri Dumont was a Franco-Belgian composer.- Life :Dumont was born to Henry de Thier and Elisabeth Orban in Looz . The family moved in 1613 to Maastricht, where Henri and his brother Lambert were choirboys at the church of Notre-Dame...

 (1610–1684) continued to compose plainsong settings, distinct from and more elaborate than the earlier Gregorian chants.

A further disparity arose between the missa solemnis and the missa brevis
Missa Brevis
Missa brevis literally means "short mass" and can refer to different types of musical setting of the Mass. Modernly, Missa brevis is generally understood as a setting of parts of the ordinary mass...

, a more compact setting. Composers like Fux in the 18th century continued to cultivate the stile antico mass, which was suitable for use on weekdays and at times when orchestral masses were not practical or appropriate, and in 19th century Germany the Cecilian movement kept the tradition alive. The Italian style cultivated orchestral masses including soloists, chorus and obbligato instruments, spread to the German-speaking Catholic countries north of the Alps, and used instruments for color and created dialogues between solo voices and chorus that was to become characteristic of the 18th century Viennese style. The so called “Neapolitan” or “cantata” mass style also had much influence on 18th century mass composition with its short sections set as self-contained solo arias and choruses in a variety of styles.

The 18th century Viennese mass combines operatic elements from the cantata mass with a trend in the symphony and concerto to organize choral movements. The large scale masses of the first half of the century still have Glorias and Credos divided into many movements, unlike smaller masses for ordinary churches. Many of Mozart’s masses are in missa brevis form, as are some of Haydn’s early ones. Later masses, especially of Haydn, are of symphonic structure, with long sections divided into fewer movements, organized like a symphony, with soloists used as an ensemble rather than as individuals. The distinction between concert masses and those intended for liturgical use also comes into play as the 19th century progressed.

Major works


After the Renaissance, the mass tended not to be the central genre for any one composer, yet some of the most famous of all musical works of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods are masses. Many of the most famous of the great masses of the Romantic era were Requiem
Requiem
A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead or Mass of the dead , is a Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular form of the Roman Missal...

 masses.

Among the Masses written for the Ordinary of the Mass
Ordinary of the Mass
The ordinary, in Roman Catholic and other Western Christian liturgies, refers to the part of the Eucharist or of the canonical hours that is reasonably constant without regard to the date on which the service is performed...

 are:
  • Messa Concertata by Cavalli
    Francesco Cavalli
    Francesco Cavalli was an Italian composer of the early Baroque period. His real name was Pietro Francesco Caletti-Bruni, but he is better known by that of Cavalli, the name of his patron Federico Cavalli, a Venetian nobleman.-Life:Cavalli was born at Crema, Lombardy...

     (1656)
  • Missa Scala Aretina by Francesc Valls (Barcelona, 1702)
  • Mass in B minor (Flash) and four Missae
    Missa (Bach)
    A Missa of Johann Sebastian Bach is in general a composition of the Latin Mass by the German Baroque composer.More specifically, Missa refers to one of his four short masses in F major, A major, G minor and G major, BWV 233 to 236...

     by Bach
    Johann Sebastian Bach
    Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

  • masses by Czech Baroque composer Jan Dismas Zelenka
    Jan Dismas Zelenka
    Jan Dismas Zelenka , baptised Jan Lukáš Zelenka and previously also known as Johann Dismas Zelenka, was the most important Czech Baroque composer, whose music was notably daring with outstanding harmonic invention and mastery of counterpoint.- Life :Zelenka was born in Louňovice pod Blaníkem, a small...

  • Great Mass in C minor and 18 others by Mozart
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

     (1782)
  • Requiem Mass in D Minor
    Requiem (Mozart)
    The Requiem Mass in D minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was composed in Vienna in 1791 and left unfinished at the composer's death. A completion by Franz Xaver Süssmayr was delivered to Count Franz von Walsegg, who had anonymously commissioned the piece for a requiem Mass to commemorate the...

     by Mozart and Franz Xaver Süssmayr.
  • 12 masses of Joseph Haydn
    Joseph Haydn
    Franz Joseph Haydn , known as Joseph Haydn , was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms...

    , including Nelson Mass
    Missa in angustiis
    The Missa in Angustiis or "Nelson Mass" , is one of fourteen masses written by Joseph Haydn. It is one of the six masses written near the end of his life which are now seen as a culmination of Haydn's liturgical composition.- Background :Haydn's chief biographer, H. C...

     and Mass in Time of War
    Missa in tempore belli
    Missa in tempore belli is Joseph Haydn’s tenth, and one of the most popular, of his fourteen settings of the mass.This mass is catalogued Mass No. 10 in C major, , and is sometimes known as the Paukenmesse due to the inclusion of the timpani in its orchestration...

  • Mass in C major
    Mass in C major (Beethoven)
    Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his Mass in C major, Op. 86, to a commission from Prince Nikolaus Esterházy II in 1807. In fulfilling this commission, Beethoven was extending a tradition established by Joseph Haydn, who following his return from England in 1795 had composed one mass per year for the...

     and Missa Solemnis in D Major
    Missa Solemnis (Beethoven)
    The Missa solemnis in D Major, Op. 123 was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven from 1819-1823. It was first performed on April 7, 1824 in St. Petersburg, under the auspices of Beethoven's patron Prince Nikolai Galitzin; an incomplete performance was given in Vienna on 7 May 1824, when the Kyrie,...

     by Beethoven
    Ludwig van Beethoven
    Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...

  • Missa Choralis and Hungarian Coronation Mass by Liszt
    Franz Liszt
    Franz Liszt ; ), was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher.Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age...

  • Mass in G Major
    Mass No. 2 (Schubert)
    Mass No. 2 in G major by Franz Schubert, D.167 was composed in 1815.This is the best known of the three "shorter" mass compositions which Schubert composed between the more elaborate first and fifth masses...

     and 5 others by Schubert
    Franz Schubert
    Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer.Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies , liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music...

  • Mass in D Minor
    Mass No. 1 (Bruckner)
    Mass No. 1 in D minor, WAB 26 by Anton Bruckner, is a setting of the Mass ordinary for soloists, mixed choir, orchestra and organ.Bruckner composed it in 1864, and revised it in 1876 and 1881/82...

    , Mass in E Minor
    Mass No. 2 (Bruckner)
    The Mass No. 2 in E minor, WAB 27, by Anton Bruckner is a setting of the mass ordinary for vocal soloists, chorus and wind band. Bruckner wrote it to celebrate the construction of a new church....

     and Mass in F Minor
    Mass No. 3 (Bruckner)
    The Mass No. 3 in F minor WAB 28 by Anton Bruckner is a setting of the mass ordinary for vocal soloists, chorus, orchestra and organ. After the 1867 success of Bruckner's Mass No...

     by Bruckner
    Anton Bruckner
    Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer known for his symphonies, masses, and motets. The first are considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, complex polyphony, and considerable length...

  • Messe Solennelle, Caecilienmesse, and 13 others by Gounod
    Charles Gounod
    Charles-François Gounod was a French composer, known for his Ave Maria as well as his operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette.-Biography:...

  • Messa
    Messa (Puccini)
    Giacomo Puccini's Messa or Messa a quattro voci is a Mass composed for orchestra and four-part choir with tenor, bass and baritone soloists...

     by Puccini
    Giacomo Puccini
    Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was an Italian composer whose operas, including La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire...

  • Petite Messe Solennelle
    Petite Messe Solennelle
    Gioachino Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle was written in 1863, "the last", the composer called it, "of my péchés de vieillesse" .....

     (1863) by Gioachino Rossini
  • Requiem
    Requiem (Fauré)
    Gabriel Fauré composed his Requiem in D minor, Op. 48 between 1887 and 1890. This choral–orchestral setting of the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead is the best known of his large works. The most famous movement is the soprano aria Pie Jesu...

     by Gabriel Fauré
  • Requiem
    Requiem (Verdi)
    The Messa da Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi is a musical setting of the Roman Catholic funeral mass for four soloists, double choir and orchestra. It was composed in memory of Alessandro Manzoni, an Italian poet and novelist much admired by Verdi. The first performance in San Marco in Milan on 22 May...

     by Giuseppe Verdi
  • Mass in D major, Op. 86 (1887) by Antonin Dvorak
    Antonín Dvorák
    Antonín Leopold Dvořák was a Czech composer of late Romantic music, who employed the idioms of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. Dvořák’s own style is sometimes called "romantic-classicist synthesis". His works include symphonic, choral and chamber music, concerti, operas and many...


20th and 21st century


By the end of the 19th century composers were combining modern elements with the characteristics of Renaissance polyphony and plainchant, which continued to influence 20th century composeres, possibly fueled by the Motu Proprio
Motu proprio
A motu proprio is a document issued by the Pope on his own initiative and personally signed by him....

 (1903) of Pope Pius X. The revival of choral celebration of Holy Communion in the Anglican Church in the late 19th century marked the beginning several liturgical settings of Mass texts in English, particularly for choir and organ. The movement for liturgical reform has resulted in revised forms of the Mass, making it more functional by using a variety of accessible styles, popular or ethnic, and using new methods such as refrain and response to encourage congregational involvement. The requirements of a pastoral liturgy offered little opportunity for musical creativity at the end of the 20th century, creating a seemingly permanent tension between the liturgical purpose and creative treatment of the texts of the Mass Ordinary.

Major Works


20th century

In the 20th century, composers continued to write masses, in an even wider diversity of style, form and function than before.
  • Requiem Mass by Herbert Howells
    Herbert Howells
    Herbert Norman Howells CH was an English composer, organist, and teacher, most famous for his large output of Anglican church music.-Life:...

  • Requiem
    Requiem (Duruflé)
    The Requiem, op. 9, by Maurice Duruflé was commissioned in 1947 by the French music publisher Durand and is written in memory of the composer's father. The work is for SATB choir with mezzo-soprano and baritone soloists...

     by Maurice Duruflé
    Maurice Duruflé
    Maurice Duruflé was a French composer, organist, and pedagogue.Duruflé was born in Louviers, Eure. In 1912, he became chorister at the Rouen Cathedral Choir School, where he studied piano and organ with Jules Haelling...

  • Missa Brevis by Francis Poulenc
    Francis Poulenc
    Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc was a French composer and a member of the French group Les six. He composed solo piano music, chamber music, oratorio, choral music, opera, ballet music, and orchestral music...

  • Messe Solennelle by Jean Langlais
    Jean Langlais
    Jean Langlais was a French composer of modern classical music, organist, and improviser.- Biography :Jean Langlais was born in La Fontenelle , a small village near Mont St Michel, France...

  • Mass of Life by Frederick Delius
    Frederick Delius
    Frederick Theodore Albert Delius, CH was an English composer. Born in the north of England to a prosperous mercantile family of German extraction, he resisted attempts to recruit him to commerce...

  • Mass in G Minor
    Mass in G Minor (Vaughan Williams)
    The Mass in G minor is a choral work by Ralph Vaughan Williams written in 1921. It is perhaps notable as the first mass written in a distinctly English manner since the sixteenth century. The composer dedicated the piece to Gustav Holst and the Whitsuntide Singers at Thaxted in north Essex, but...

     by Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...

  • Mass
    Mass (Stravinsky)
    Igor Stravinsky composed his Mass between 1944 and 1948. This 19-minute setting of the Roman Catholic Mass exhibits the austere, Neoclassic, anti-Romantic aesthetic that characterizes his work from about 1923 to 1951. The Mass also represents one of only a handful of extant pieces by Stravinsky...

     by Igor Stravinsky
    Igor Stravinsky
    Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky ; 6 April 1971) was a Russian, later naturalized French, and then naturalized American composer, pianist, and conductor....

  • Mass by Leonard Bernstein
    Leonard Bernstein
    Leonard Bernstein August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim...

  • War Requiem
    War Requiem
    The War Requiem, Op. 66 is a large-scale, non-liturgical setting of the Requiem Mass composed by Benjamin Britten mostly in 1961 and completed January 1962. Interspersed with the traditional Latin texts, in telling juxtaposition, are settings of Wilfred Owen poems...

     by Benjamin Britten
    Benjamin Britten
    Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to...

  • Requiem
    Requiem
    A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead or Mass of the dead , is a Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular form of the Roman Missal...

     by Andrew Lloyd Webber
    Andrew Lloyd Webber
    Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber is an English composer of musical theatre.Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success in musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of...

  • Mass in F Minor
    Mass in F Minor
    Mass in F Minor is the third studio album by The Electric Prunes, released in 1968, consisting of a musical setting of the mass sung in Latin and arranged in the psychedelic style of the band...

     by The Electric Prunes
    The Electric Prunes
    The Electric Prunes are an American rock band who first achieved international attention as an experimental psychedelic group in the late 1960s. Their song "Kyrie Eleison" was featured on the soundtrack of Easy Rider...

  • Mass by David Maslanka
    David Maslanka
    David Maslanka is a U.S. composer who writes for a variety of genres, including works for choir, wind ensemble, chamber music and symphony orchestra....

  • Berliner Messe
    Berliner Messe
    Berliner Messe is a mass setting by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. It was originally written for SATB soloists and organ in 1990, and was later revised for chorus and strings...

     and Missa Syllabica by Arvo Pärt
    Arvo Pärt
    Arvo Pärt is an Estonian classical composer and one of the most prominent living composers of sacred music. Since the late 1970s, Pärt has worked in a minimalist style that employs his self-made compositional technique, tintinnabuli. His music also finds its inspiration and influence from...

  • Mass by Frank Martin
    Frank Martin (composer)
    Frank Martin was a Swiss composer, who lived a large part of his life in the Netherlands.-Childhood and youth:...

  • A Symphonic Mass by George Lloyd
    George Lloyd
    George Lloyd may refer to:*George Lloyd, 1st Baron Lloyd , British politician*George Lloyd , member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly*George Lloyd , Bishop of Sodor and Man and Bishop of Chester, 1605–1614...

  • Missa Laudate Pueri by Bertold Hummel
    Bertold Hummel
    Bertold Hummel was a German composer of modern classical music.- Life :Bertold Hummel was born November 27, 1925 in Hüfingen . He studied at the Academy of Music in Freiburg from 1947 to 1954, taking composition with Harald Genzmer, and cello with Atis Teichmanis...

     http://www.bertoldhummel.de/english/commentaries/opus_98B.html
  • Mass of the Children
    Mass of the Children
    Mass of the Children is a major work of English composer John Rutter. It is a non-liturgical Missa Brevis, with the traditional Latin and Greek Mass text interwoven with several English poems.Mass of the Children consists of five movements:#Kyrie...

    , Requiem
    Requiem (Rutter)
    The Requiem by John Rutter is a musical setting of an adaptation of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, completed in 1985. The setting utilises a choir with an orchestral accompaniment, along with a soprano soloist. The Requiem was first performed on 13 October 1985 at Lovers' Lane United Methodist...

    , and Gloria by John Rutter
    John Rutter
    John Milford Rutter CBE is a British composer, conductor, editor, arranger and record producer, mainly of choral music.-Biography:Born in London, Rutter was educated at Highgate School, where a fellow pupil was John Tavener. He read music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the...

  • Jazz Mass by Steve Dobrogosz
    Steve Dobrogosz
    Steve Dobrogosz is an American pianist and composer.Dobrogosz was born in 1956 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and attended Jesse O. Sanderson High School. He studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and afterwards moved to Stockholm, Sweden in 1978, where he began...

  • Mass To Hope by Dave Brubeck
    Dave Brubeck
    David Warren "Dave" Brubeck is an American jazz pianist. He has written a number of jazz standards, including "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Duke". Brubeck's style ranges from refined to bombastic, reflecting his mother's attempts at classical training and his improvisational skills...

  • Misa Criolla by Ariel Ramírez
    Ariel Ramirez
    Ariel Ramírez was an Argentine composer, pianist and music director. He was considered "a chief exponent of Argentine folk music" and noted for his "iconic" musical compositions....

  • Misa by Rodrigo Prats
    Rodrigo Prats
    Rodrigo Prats was a Cuban composer, violinist, pianist and orchestral director. The son of a musician, Jaime Prats, Rodrigo began to study music at the age of nine...

  • New Plainsong Mass by David Hurd
    David Hurd
    David Hurd is a composer, concert organist, choral director and educator.He is a Professor of Sacred Music and Director of Chapel Music at the General Theological Seminary, Chelsea, New York City. He is also the Music Director at the Church of the Holy Apostles, also in Chelsea.Dr. Hurd attended...

  • Mass in Honor of St. Cecilia by Lou Harrison
    Lou Harrison
    Lou Silver Harrison was an American composer. He was a student of Henry Cowell, Arnold Schoenberg, and K. P. H. Notoprojo Lou Silver Harrison (May 14, 1917 – February 2, 2003) was an American composer. He was a student of Henry Cowell, Arnold Schoenberg, and K. P. H. Notoprojo Lou Silver Harrison...



21st century
  • Missa Latina
    Missa Latina
    Missa Latina is a classical music composition written by the Puerto Rican composer Roberto Sierra. The work was written for SATB chorus with two soloists , and a symphonic orchestra. It was co-commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra and The Choral Arts Society of Washington and was written...

    : pro Pace by Roberto Sierra
    Roberto Sierra
    Roberto Sierra is a composer of contemporary classical music.Sierra studied composition in Europe, notably with György Ligeti in Hamburg, Germany...

  • Missa pro Pace (Mass for Peace) by Kentaro Sato
    Kentaro Sato
    For the manga character see Kentaro Osada., aka Ken-P, is a Los Angeles-based award-winning composer/conductor/orchestrator/clinician of media music and concert music . His works have been broadcast, performed, and recorded in North and South America, Asia, and Europe by well-known groups...

  • The Armed Man
    The Armed Man
    The Armed Man is a Mass by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, subtitled "A Mass for Peace". The piece was commissioned by the Royal Armouries Museum for the Millennium celebrations, and to mark the museum's move from London to Leeds, and it was dedicated to victims of the Kosovo crisis...

    : A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins
    Karl Jenkins
    -Other works:*Adiemus: Live — live versions of Adiemus music*Palladio *Eloise *Imagined Oceans *The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace...

  • Son of God Mass by James Whitbourn
    James Whitbourn
    - Biography :James Whitbourn was born in Kent and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was a choral scholar and gained a degree in Music. His international reputation as a composer for concert hall and screen, developed from his early career as a programme maker at the BBC, during which...

  • Missa Carolae (Mass from Christmas Carols) by James Whitbourn
    James Whitbourn
    - Biography :James Whitbourn was born in Kent and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was a choral scholar and gained a degree in Music. His international reputation as a composer for concert hall and screen, developed from his early career as a programme maker at the BBC, during which...

  • Bright Mass with Canons by Nico Muhly
    Nico Muhly
    Nico Muhly is a contemporary classical music composer, who has worked and recorded with classical and pop/rock musicians. He currently lives in the Lower East Side section of Manhattan in New York City.-Early years:...

  • A Little Jazz Mass by Bob Chilcott
    Bob Chilcott
    Robert "Bob" Chilcott is a British choral composer, conductor, and singer, based in Oxford, England.Born in Plymouth, Chilcott sang in the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, both as a boy and as a university student. He performed the Pie Jesu of Fauré's Requiem on the 1967 recording. In 1985 he...

  • Misa Flamenca by Paco Pena
    Paco Peña
    Paco Peña is a Spanish flamenco guitarist. He is regarded as one of the world's foremost traditional Flamenco players.Born in Córdoba, Spain as Francisco Peña Pérez, Paco Peña began learning to play the guitar from his brother at age 6 and made his first professional appearance at 12...


Masses written for the Anglican liturgy


These are more often known as 'Communion Services', and differ not only in that they are settings of English words, but also, as mentioned above, in that the Gloria usually forms the last movement. Sometimes the Kyrie movement takes the form of sung responses to the Ten Commandments, 1 to 9 being followed by the words 'Lord have mercy upon us and incline our hearts to keep this law', and the tenth by 'Lord have mercy upon us and write all these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee'. Since the texts of the 'Benedictus qui venit' and the 'Agnus Dei' do not actually feature in the liturgy of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

, these movements are often missing from some of the earlier Anglican settings. Charles Villiers Stanford
Charles Villiers Stanford
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford was an Irish composer who was particularly notable for his choral music. He was professor at the Royal College of Music and University of Cambridge.- Life :...

 composed a Benedictus and Agnus in the key of F major which was published separately to complete his service in C.

With reforms in the Anglican liturgy, the movements are now usually sung in the same order that they are in the Roman Catholic rite, leading, according to some, to the musical integrity of the settings being somewhat compromised. Choral settings of the Creed, the most substantial movement, are rarely performed in Anglican cathedrals now.

Well known Anglican settings of the Mass, which may be found in the repertoire of many English cathedrals are:
  • Darke
    Harold Darke
    Dr Harold Edwin Darke was an English composer and organist.Darke was born in Highbury, London the youngest son of Samuel Darke & Arundel Bourne...

     in F
  • Darke
    Harold Darke
    Dr Harold Edwin Darke was an English composer and organist.Darke was born in Highbury, London the youngest son of Samuel Darke & Arundel Bourne...

     in E
  • Ireland
    John Ireland (composer)
    John Nicholson Ireland was an English composer.- Life :John Ireland was born in Bowdon, near Altrincham, Manchester, into a family of Scottish descent and some cultural distinction. His father, Alexander Ireland, a publisher and newspaper proprietor, was aged 70 at John's birth...

     in C
  • Stanford
    Charles Villiers Stanford
    Sir Charles Villiers Stanford was an Irish composer who was particularly notable for his choral music. He was professor at the Royal College of Music and University of Cambridge.- Life :...

     in C & F
  • Stanford
    Charles Villiers Stanford
    Sir Charles Villiers Stanford was an Irish composer who was particularly notable for his choral music. He was professor at the Royal College of Music and University of Cambridge.- Life :...

     in B flat
  • Sumsion
    Herbert Sumsion
    Herbert Whitton Sumsion was an English musician who was organist of Gloucester Cathedral from 1928 to 1967...

     in F
  • Oldroyd
    George Oldroyd
    Dr. George Oldroyd was an English organist and composer of Anglican church music. He was organist of St. Alban's Church, Holborn from 1919 to 1920, and then of St Michael's Church, Croydon from 1920 until his death in 1956. Both are churches firmly rooted within the Anglo-Catholic tradition in the...

    , Mass of the Quiet Hour
  • Jackson in G
  • Howells
    Herbert Howells
    Herbert Norman Howells CH was an English composer, organist, and teacher, most famous for his large output of Anglican church music.-Life:...

    , Collegium Regale
  • Leighton
    Kenneth Leighton
    Kenneth Leighton was a British composer and pianist. His compositions include much Anglican church music, and many pieces for choir and for piano as well as concertos, symphonies, much chamber music and an opera. He wrote a well-known setting of the Coventry Carol...

     in D
  • Noble in B minor
  • Harwood
    Basil Harwood
    Basil Harwood was an English organist and composer.-Life:Basil Harwood was born in Woodhouse, Gloucestershire on 11 April 1859. His mother died in 1867 when Basil was eight. His parents were Quakers but his elder sister Ada, on reaching 21 in 1867, converted to the Anglican Church...

     in A flat
  • Wood
    Charles Wood (composer)
    Charles Wood was an Irish composer and teacher.Born in Armagh, Ireland, he was the fifth child and third son of Charles Wood Sr. and Jemima Wood. His father was a tenor in the choir of the nearby St. Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh , and later worked as the Diocesan Registrar of the church...

     in the Phrygian Mode
    Phrygian mode
    The Phrygian mode can refer to three different musical modes: the ancient Greek tonos or harmonia sometimes called Phrygian, formed on a particular set octave species or scales; the Medieval Phrygian mode, and the modern conception of the Phrygian mode as a diatonic scale, based on the latter...


Musical reforms of Pius X


Pope St. Pius X initiated many regulations reforming the liturgical music of the Mass in the early 20th century. He felt that some of the Masses composed by the famous post-Renaissance composers were too long and often more appropriate for a theatrical rather than a church setting. He advocated primarily Gregorian plainchant and polyphony. He was primarily influenced by the work of the Abbey of Solesmes. Some of the rules he put forth include the following:
  • That any Mass be composed in an integrated fashion, not by assembling different compositions for different parts
  • That all percussive instruments should be forbidden
  • That ideally the choir should be all male
  • That the congregation itself should ideally be trained to sing the various modes of Gregorian chant along with the choir.


These regulations carry little if any weight today, especially after the changes of the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

. Quite recently, Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 has encouraged a return to chant as the primary music of the liturgy, as this is explicitly mentioned in the documents of the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

, specifically Sacrosanctum Concilium 116.

Missa Brevis (Short Mass)


In addition, a number of composers wrote shorter masses, Missae Breves
Missa Brevis
Missa brevis literally means "short mass" and can refer to different types of musical setting of the Mass. Modernly, Missa brevis is generally understood as a setting of parts of the ordinary mass...

, shorter in words or duration.

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