Lament for the Fall of Constantinople

Lament for the Fall of Constantinople


            The Lament for the fall of Constantinople, whose full name is Lamentatio sanctae matris ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae, that means Lament of the Holy Mother Church of Constantinople, is a motet by the French Renaissance composer Guillaume Dufay. Its topic is a lament of the fall of Constantinople under the Ottoman Turks in 1453. It is clasified in the Byzantine music, in the Greek Orthodox music. The motet probably belongs to a series of four Lamentations for the fall of Constantinople composed by Dufay
The piece is a four-voice chanson-motet. It follows the structure of a motet insofar as it has a cantus firmus line based on Gregorian plainchant in its tenor voice, but the structure of a chanson insofar as there is only one other text sung, in French, in the upper voices. The text is a poem in Middle French, presenting the voice of a mother lamenting the sufferings of her son and addressing God as her son's father – evoking both the image of the Virgin Mary in the Lamentation of Christ, and the personification of the Church as the mythical mother of the faithful

            A motet is a polyphonic composition born in the XIII century to be sung in churches, commonly with biblical text. Byzantine music is owned by the Greek Orthodox Church. It is related to the Gregorian chant because it has monodia vowel. It differs from the Gregorian chant that is sung in Greek or Arabic, and is associated with deep vocal sound called ison. A Byzantine partiture must always be interpreted beyond the strict notation, as it is a simple skeleton to guide the interpreter.
About the Fall of Constantinople, it occurred in 1453 and it ended the Eastern Roman Empire. Even today you can see parts of the city wall.

             In conclusion, the Lament for the Fall of Constantinople is a very inspiring piece, which clearly reflects the sadness and the suffering because the fall of the city of the Orthodox Christians.

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