This monograph offers a comprehensive study of the topos of the malmariée or the unhappily married woman within the thirteenth-century motet repertory, a vocal genre characterized by several different texts sounding simultaneously over a foundational Latin chant. Part I examines the malmariée motets from three vantage points: (1) in light of contemporaneous canonist views on marriage; (2) to what degree the French malmariée texts in the upper voices treat the messages inherent in the underlying Latin chant through parody and/or allegory; and (3) interactions among upper-voice texts that invite additional interpretations focused on gender issues.

Part II investigates the transmission profile of the motets, as well as of their refrains, revealing not only intertextual refrain usage between the motets and other genres, but also a significant number of shared refrains between malmariée motets and other motets. Part II furthermore offers insights on the chronology of composition within a given intertextual refrain nexus, and examines how a refrain’s meaning can change in a new context. Finally, based on the transmission profile, Part II argues for a lively interest in the topos in the 1270s and 1280s, both through composition of new motets and compilation of earlier ones, with Paris and Arras playing a prominent role.

chapter |13 pages


part I|45 pages

Malmariée Motets in Relationship to Their Tenors

chapter 1|9 pages

Paschal Season Liturgy

chapter 2|14 pages

Assumption Liturgy

chapter 3|12 pages

Other Liturgical Tenors

chapter 4|6 pages

French Tenors and French Text Only

part II|53 pages

Malmariée Motet Refrains within an Intertextual Nexus

chapter 5|24 pages

Motet Refrains Shared with Other Genres

chapter 6|27 pages

Motet Refrains Shared with Other Motets

chapter |12 pages