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 The Byrd motets luxuriate in eddies, cross-currents and great waves of sound. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Elegant program, stirring singing from Incarnatus," 25 Jan. 2020 Under the direction of Artistic Director Suzanne Gates, CitySingers will present a program of international carols and motets from across the centuries, some sung a cappella--others accompanied by woodwinds, harp, percussion and organ., "Community News For The Manchester Edition," 6 Dec. 2019 Later that week, Belgium’s Vox Luminis follows up its standout debut at this June’s festival with a program of motets by the Bach family up to Johann Sebastian (Nov. 2). Zoë Madonna,, "Boston’s 15 must-see classical music groups for fall," 5 Sep. 2019 So, all that music was in the house, but then there was this other stuff: four-part motets, usually in sort of old-fashioned 19th-century editions. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "Scotland, Suffering, and Silence: An Interview with Sir James MacMillan," 30 Aug. 2019 Milwaukee Opera Theatre teams with vocal ensemble Aperi Animam and Cadance Collective for a music-theater production about ancient Greek oracles that blends Orlando de Lassus' Renaissance motets with contemporary composer Amanda Schoofs' music. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Hamilton' and 23 other shows to see during Milwaukee's 2019 performing arts season," 15 Aug. 2019 Tao arranged a pair of Bruckner motets — one for Vocaloid (a vocal synthesizer), the other for himself at the piano and Teicher tap dancing. David Weininger,, "BSO soloist built a classical music career that resists ‘sound bites’," 14 Aug. 2019 The program of motets should sound especially stunning in Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "Friends of Chamber Music announce a ‘Transcendant’ 2018-19 season," 2 June 2018 His 1925 double-choir motet is suffused with the lush reticence of the Anglican choral tradition., "Cantata Singers perform a heavenly masterpiece," 3 May 2018

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.

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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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Time Traveler for motet

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

29 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Motet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on motet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with motet Encyclopedia article about motet

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