- a vocal composition in polyphonic style, on a Biblical or similar prose text, intended for use in a church service.
Origin of motet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for motet
The character and scope of the German motet are thus described by Spitta, vol.
On no account would they use the organ to accompany a motet.The Boy's Voice
J. Spencer Curwen
It is in contrapuntal style, like the motet, and is usually sung a capella.Music Notation and Terminology
Karl W. Gehrkens
A motet of Kuhnau's was given at Zittau under his direction.The Pianoforte Sonata
The text is taken from the Old Testament, together with part of a hymn or a chorale, and Bach called it a motet.
- a polyphonic choral composition used as an anthem in the Roman Catholic service
C14: from Old French, diminutive of mot word; see mot 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for motet
"choral composition on a sacred text," late 14c., from Old French motet (13c.), diminutive of mot "word" (see mot).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper