Quaeramus cum pastoribus (Jean Mouton)

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Editor: Andrew Fysh (submitted 2019-03-18).   Score information: A4, 7 pages   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Original pitch. Original note values retained. Transcribed and edited from the earliest published and earliest hand-copied sources that have all parts digitised, and seven other sources (see Editorial Notes). This edition corrects an error in the 1529 Attaingnant publication, as described below and in the Editorial Notes. A full list of non-concordances of the nine consulted sources is available on request.
  • CPDL #12916:        (Finale 2005)
Editor: Charles H. Giffen (submitted 2006-10-25).   Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 205 kB   Copyright: CPDL May be freely copied, distributed, and performed for nonprofit purpose.
Edition notes: Original pitch and note values. Musica ficta clearly indicated. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Quaeramus cum pastoribus (2.p. Ubi pascas, ubi cubes?)
Composer: Jean Mouton

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredMotet for Christmastide

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

Published: 1521 in Antico, Motetti libro primo [Venice, 1521] and Antico, Motetti et carmina gallica [?Rome, c.1521]. These are the earliest published sources, though the many hand-copied sources of this work date from as early as c.1505–13. The later publication by Pierre Attaingnant, XII. Motetz musicaulx a quatre et cinq voix... [Paris, 1529] has all parts digitised and therefore seems to be a popular source for modern editions; however, the second half of the 39th breve is missing in all four part books, which results in a 'leftover' half-bar in modern notation. This error appears to be unique to this source.

Description: This motet by Mouton was the basis for a number of parody works by later composers, including parody masses by Morales and Willaert as well as motets by Crecquillon, Pedro de Cristo and Giovanni Croce (the Morales mass and the latter two motets being available at CDPL).

It was so popular in its day that it was sung everywhere from the Sistine Chapel to Guatemalan frontier missions.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at Quaeramus cum pastoribus.