Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Monday, 12 August 2013

Missa Gloria Tibi Trinitas. John Taverner (1490 - 1545).

Text and Illustration from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

File:Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.jpg

Interior of Christ Church Cathedral, Christ Church, Oxford, England.
In 1526, Taverner became the first Organist and Master
of the Choristers at Christ Church, Oxford,
and was appointed by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.
Photo: 16 December 2007.
Source: Own work.
Permission: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.5.
Please attribute using name and website URL (as per the author line, below).
Author: Photograph by Mike Peel (
(Wikimedia Commons)

Several of Taverner's other Masses use the widespread Cantus Firmus technique, where a Plainchant melody, with long note values, is placed in an interior part, often the tenor. Examples of Cantus Firmus Masses include "Corona Spinea" and "Gloria Tibi Trinitas". Another technique of composition is seen in his Mass, "Mater Christi", which is based upon material taken from his motet of that name, and hence known as a "derived" or "parody" Mass.

The Mass, "Gloria Tibi Trinitas", gave origin to the style of instrumental work known as an In Nomine. Although the Mass is in six parts, some more virtuosic sections are in reduced numbers of parts, presumably intended for soloists, a compositional technique used in several of his Masses. The section at the words "in nomine...", in the Benedictus, is in four parts, with the Plainchant in the alto. This section of the Mass became popular as an instrumental work for viol consort. Other composers came to write instrumental works modelled on this, and the name, "In nomine", was given to works of this type.

Missa Gloria Tibi Trinitas.
John Taverner (1490 - 1545).
Available on YouTube at

The following Text is on the Video on YouTube.

Taverner's Festal Mass, "Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas", is some of his most elaborate and beautiful music. It was hugely influential, both on his contemporaries and successors. In fact, it gave rise to an entire new genre of music, the "In Nomine". Every English composer, upto and including Purcell, himself, tested their mastery of contrapuntal techniques by basing music on the 'In Nomine' section of the Benedictus of this Mass - Taverner's "Missa Gloria Tibi Trinitas". That is a unique achievement in the history of English music.

This music Video includes the Cantus Firmus and a troped Kyrie. I've included the Cantus Firmus so that you can hear it and recognise it as it occurs throughout the Mass. The troped Kyrie (in this case Kyrie Deus creator omnium) was widely used in the Sarum Rite Masses, said and sung in England at that time. I've created this Video for purposes of an article to be published on discussing Taverner's music. The direct link to that article is here:


  1. Thank you Gerry Davila for spotting that "typo".

    Have now corrected the error.


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