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 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, "In Italy, a case for music to return to concert halls," 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, "Before Bach, He Was Germany’s Greatest Composer," 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, "Classical concerts fill the performance calendar through March 7," 27 Feb. 2020 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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Motet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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