this one

I'm currently reading about the Renaissance and this is a picture of (according to my book) the first Fauxbordon composition. But the thing I'm actually wondering about is: what does vos mean? I thought of something like "melody/main voice" but I can't find anything.

  • 3
    It is simply the first word, "Vos qui secuti estis" etc. Perhaps your actual question is why it is written in its own bar before the clefs?
    – user48353
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 17:26
  • Oh, guess your right^^
    – user45165
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


As replete says in the comments, "vos" is actually just the first word of this part of this mass: listen here.

In the context of a mass, we call this type of opening the intonation:

Intonation. The first pitches of a psalm tone or other form of plainchant, which have the function of establishing the correct pitch for what is to follow and are thus often sung by soloists in preparation for the entrance of the choir. See also Intonatione.

(Source: The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music)

  • 1
    I'm always amazed how some questions with obvious answers can still have interesting aspects to them!
    – Tim H
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 7:17

The word vos in latin and some other latin-based languages means : you.

This may simply be the way the sheet music was attempting to indicate that this is the part that "you" sing, while the other parts are assigned to others fauxbourdon and tenor.

In other words, if you are not singing the other parts then this is your part. However, I do see how that seems simplistic and this is a bit ambiguous.

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