Trope, Response

A troped Kyrie (Orbis Factor):

The nine tropes are interspersed between each line of a nine-line ‘Kyrie eleison; Christe eleison; Kyrie eleison’:

  1. Orbis factor rex aeterne, eleison.
    Maker of the world, King eternal, have mercy upon us.
  2. Pietatis rex immense, eleison.
    O great King of pity, have mercy upon us.
  3. Noxas omnes nostras pelle, eleison.
    Drive off all our evils: have mercy upon us.
  4. Christe qui lux es mundi dator vitae, eleison.
    Christ, who art the light of the world and giver of life, have mercy upon us.
  5. Arte laesos daemonis intuere, eleison.
    Consider the wounds produced by the devil’s art: have mercy upon us.
  6. Confirmans te credentes conservansque, eleison.
    Confirming and keeping thy believers, have mercy upon us.
  7. Deum scimus unum atque trinum esse, eleison.
    We know that God is one and three; have mercy upon us.
  8. Patrem tuum teque flamen utrorumque, eleison.
    Thou and thy Father, an equal light, have mercy upon us.
  9. Clemens nobis adsis paraclite ut vivamus in te, eleison.
    Thou, merciful unto us, be present with the Helper that we might live in thee: have mercy upon us.

The tropes introduce and contextualize the calls of Kyrie eleison. These are simple interlinear glosses cast in responsorial form (as in a litany), but much more can be done with the tools of polyphony, because polyphony makes it possible to reduce the time lag when this is desirable. This can sharpen focus for monophonic or homorhythmic sections, as it does in the Agnus Dei of Byrd’s Mass for five voices (at 1:47 in the video).

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