Mass (music)

Mass ( Missa ) is called a genre of music compositions, which the texts of the Mass of the Catholic liturgy is based. In addition to the constant texts ( Ordinary ) often also variable according to the church year or occasion texts ( proprium ) set to music.

The Lutheran liturgy remained largely at the Ordinary. The typical Lutheran Mass consists of the parts Kyrie and Gloria. Johann Sebastian Bach wrote four Latin Lutheran fairs. Towards the end of his life he added Kyrie and Gloria from 1733 to a full fair, the B minor mass. Many other Lutheran composers composed German Lutheran fairs. The analog setting Anglican worship hot service.

While the individual parts of the Mass are named after their opening words, ie, the fair itself after its closing words " Ite, missa est " (literally as: "Go, now is ( off ) program" ).


The early Western Church singing, from which the polyphonic and orchestral fairs developed, is in the Missal, containing the Kyriale and Antiphonarium. It is called Gregorian chant because it, Pope Gregory I..

By the end of the 18th century mass compositions were created almost exclusively for liturgical use in high office. In the 19th century the genre of concert fairs that blow through their scope and performance requirements liturgical framework developed (for example, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis ). Up to the present, but continue to emerge, new compositions of the text for the service.

The classical measurement of composition using the Latin or ( at Kyrie ) Greek text that was in the Catholic liturgy until the Second Vatican Council, the only approved. In addition, there were and are also increasingly vernacular fairs. Franz Schubert set to music in his Deutsche Messe seals, paraphrasing the parts of the Proper and Ordinary of the Mass, such as the Sanctus represents the famous " Holy, holy, holy." Leoš Janáček set to music in his Glagolitic Mass, the Ordinary of the Mass in the Czech language.

The early trade

Starting from Gregorian chant were in the Carolingian period va the Proprium expanded. For this purpose, use was made of two means of composition: the trope and sequence. But still no Masses are composed as a self-contained whole, but only certain parts. So, in the traditions just collections of individual pieces according to their liturgical function, so Kyrie, Gloria, etc. A first step toward a multi-part composition is gone in the 13th and 14th centuries, where, for example, Gloria and Credo or the Sanctus and Agnus Dei summarizes as pairs. Finally, collections that consist of musical settings of all mass movements arise. However, these are passed on anonymously and it is not clear whether the different parts go back to a single composer.

A turning point is the Messe de Nostre Dame by Guillaume de Machaut to 1364. This is the first extant setting of a complete Mass Ordinary, who comes from a particular well-known composers, and also the oldest known fair in four -part harmony. Special musical means is the Isorhythmie in this composition.

During the Renaissance, especially the Franco-Flemish polyphony, is the composition of related fairs, meant is since that time the Ordinary, the rule. Most of the composition is a cantus firmus based, but here the " L' homme armé " special popularity. ( For composition means cf. counterpoint. ) Then counted to the most outstanding composers of competence include Guillaume Dufay and Johannes Ockeghem.

In 1500, this music reaches with Josquin Desprez its first climax. He developed, inter alia, the parody Mass, in which a template, such as a motet, is taken up and is used in parts for the fair. It also extended passages of polyphony can be parodied.

The Council of Trent from 1545 calls from church music then a return to simple forms. It was thought that the word is too obscure in complex polyphonic compositions. Even the strong influence of secular music as a template is the liturgical use inappropriate. Some voices even want to return to the unanimous Gregorian chant. In this context then is historically not guaranteed, but later emerging in the form of a legend rescue of modern church music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's " Missa Papae Marcelli ".


Typically, the solid constituents of the Mass ( Ordinary ) are set to music, named after the opening words of the text. In some measuring compositions in addition parts are set to music, which belong to the proprium, the according to the occasion changing pieces of the fair. This is often the case with the Requiem, the Introit of the Mass celebrated for the dead.

Order and membership are as follows:

The centerpiece of the exhibition, the Eucharistic Prayer with the institution narrative was spoken softly to the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council by the priest. In the two sets of " Sanctus " and " Benedictus " split - The High Mass with choir music the Sanctus was - initially due to time constraints. The Sanctus was the liturgical place immediately after the Preface, making music, the Benedictus was moved to a place after the conversion since the 16th century and began after the accomplished in silence elevation. In the classical compositions the Benedictus therefore is often particularly " mystical " and long designed.

Originally the term Missa brevis was used as evidence to denote a (complete ) Exhibition of shorter duration or without Gloria, Credo and the Propriumteile. The opposite in the Catholic tradition, the Missa Solemnis, which did not have to necessarily take longer, but was provided with great effort.

In the Protestant tradition, the Missa brevis, also called Lutheran Mass, a composition of Kyrie and Gloria. The counterpart to this is the Missa tota, which, however, not too common and it probably culminating in Bach's B Minor Mass. Bach composed four Lutheran fairs in Latin. Gottfried Heinrich Stolzel composed a German trade fair in the German language.

Major compositions

Today most famous composition measurement of the Ars nova is the Messe de Nostre Dame by Guillaume de Machaut. From Renaissance fairs are a number of us survived. Important composers are about Palestrina ( Missa Papae Marcelli ), Orlando di Lasso, Guillaume You Fay ( Missa Sancti Jacobi ), Josquin Desprez ( Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae ), Hans Leo Hassler and Jacobus Gallus.

From the 17th century the original unity of song waned in favor of independent instrumental accompaniment and the use of vocal soloists. Such fairs composed, among other things: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber ( Missa Salisburgensis ), Johann Sebastian Bach ( B minor Mass), Jan Dismas Zelenka, Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, Antonio Salieri, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert ( German Mass), Luigi Cherubini, Gioacchino Rossini, Joseph of Eybler, Anton Bruckner, and a v.