Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Kenneth Fulton


Adrian Willaert was a pivotal figure in Renaissance music. As a composer, he contributed significantly to the secular repertories of the madrigal, canzone villanesca, and chanson. He was possibly the first madrigal composer outside of the genre's Roman/Florentine origins. In sacred music, Willaert contributed to the development of cori spezzati, the split-choir technique, generally associated with the Venetian School, composed at least nine masses, polyphonic settings of hymns, and approximately 173 motets. In addition to his compositions in the major vocal forms of the period, Willaert made considerable contributions to the teaching of music and music theory, establishing St. Mark's as a major musical teaching and performance center. His students included Nicola Vicentino, Andrea Gabrieli, Cipriano de Rore, and Gioseffe Zarlino. The collection Musica Nova was published in 1559 in Venice by Antonio Gardano. It includes twenty-seven motets and twenty-five madrigals set for four, five, six, and seven voices. The collection is the culmination of Willaert's work and served as a paradigm of a new style of text setting. This project reviews the musical significance of Adrian Willaert, presents a survey of his choral music and describes the collection Musica Nova. It also considers the editing paramenters necessary for the preparation of performance editions of Domine, quid multiplicati sunt; Dilexi, quoniam exaudiet; Miserere nostri; Beati pauperes; Veni sancte spiritus; Alma redemptoris mater; Benedicta es, coelorum: and Te deum patrem from Musica Nova, and offers suggestions for their performance. Finally it presents performance editions of the selected motets.