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Definition of "motet" [mo•tet]

  • A polyphonic composition based on a sacred text and usually sung without accompaniment. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "motet" in a sentence
  • "It is from "Il Ritorno di Tobia" that the so-called motet, "Insanae et Vanae Curae," is adapted, and the "Storm Chorus" immediately follows a fine soprano air in F minor and major, sung by Anna in the original work, a portion of which forms the beautiful second subject (in F) of the "Insanae.""
  • "That evening's magnificent de Victoria concert culmi nated in Mr. Kyr's electrifying polychoral motet for chorus, soloist and strings, "A Time for Song.""
  • "It's a pity because, a few moments of unruliness apart, the performances of both the masses here are thoughtful and beautifully shaped, and neither the plainchant-based Missa de Beata Maria Virgine nor the parody mass Missa Surge Propera, based upon a Palestrina motet, has been recorded many times before."