mo·​tet | \ mō-ˈtet How to pronounce motet (audio) \

Definition of motet

: a polyphonic choral composition on a sacred text usually without instrumental accompaniment

Examples of motet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As well as hymns, a motet and a sermon, the solemn vespers would include a gigantic two-part oratorio composed by the church’s Cantor—the director of music—with a text taken from St. Matthew’s gospel. Boyd Tonkin, WSJ, 14 Apr. 2022 The ceiling is tall and arched, like the hallways of a cloister, and offers acoustics befitting a motet. Gregory Barber, Wired, 10 Feb. 2022 But the motet ends with the calm assurance of a Lutheran hymn. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 4 Oct. 2021 After this is a setting of a Whitman poem for chorus a cappella in the style of a sixteenth-century madrigal, followed by a section in which a line from Dante’s Inferno is sung by a vocal trio in the style of a medieval motet. Walter Simmons, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021 Conducting a joyful Mozart motet, Riccardo Muti sent a resounding message Sunday night, that live classical music has returned to the Italian stage after the coronavirus lockdown. Colleen Barry, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 June 2020 In 1990, the conductor Craig Smith and the chorus of Emmanuel Music in Boston recorded a superb album of 21 Schütz motets. New York Times, 20 Mar. 2020 The Orpheus Chamber Singers perform a Bach motet and Gregorio Allegri’s famous Miserere with modern responses by Ted Hearne and Alexander Campkin. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 27 Feb. 2020 The Byrd motets luxuriate in eddies, cross-currents and great waves of sound. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 25 Jan. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'motet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of motet

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for motet

Middle English, from Middle French, diminutive of mot

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The first known use of motet was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Motet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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