Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Willaert, Music, Choral, Renaissance, Civic Motet, Virgil, Aeneid

Major Advisor

Dr. James Spillane

Co-Major Advisor

Dr. Eric Rice

Associate Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Renshaw

Associate Advisor

Dr. Glenn Stanley

Associate Advisor

Dr. Peter Kaminsky

Field of Study



Doctor of Musical Arts

Open Access

Open Access


In addition to a large body of extant works including masses, hymns, psalm settings, motets, chansons, madrigals, canzone villanesche, and instrumental ricercares, sixteenth-century composer Adrian Willaert (1490 – 1562) also wrote nine settings of secular Latin texts. These nine works can be divided into three categories: five civic motets (Adriacos numero, Haud aliter, Inclite Sfortiadum princeps, Si rore Aonio, and Victor io salve); three settings of excerpts from Virgil’s Aeneid (O socii and two settings of “Dulces exuviae”); and one unique, enigmatic outlier (Flete oculi). These pieces are rarely considered in the existing literature, and many scholars conflate the two “Dulces exuviae” settings as a single work. The texts of six of the nine pieces have never been translated into English before. This study examines these nine pieces through their text, musical material, and cultural-political background in order to determine their function and context.

The first chapter of this study consists of a brief summary of Willaert’s life and an examination of the extant sources of his work. In the next chapter, I discuss the genre of the civic motet and examine Willaert’s five contributions to it. Chapter 3 consists of an exploration of the Aeneid's place in the Renaissance and an analysis of Willaert’s three settings. The fourth chapter is a musical analysis of Flete oculi and an exploration of its enigmatic text. The concluding section explores some connections between these nine pieces and places them within the context of Willaert’s entire output.