Though recent discoveries have improved our understanding of big, melismatic hockets from the late thirteenth century, there remains a pervasive uncertainty as to how hockets should be defined and identified on the small scale at which they characteristically manifest in thirteenth-century motets. In revisiting the mensural theorists up to Franco of Cologne, it was found that only Franco defines hockets as multi-voice phenomena: earlier texts define the hocket at the level of a single perfection, and as it reveals itself in the breaking of a single performing voice. Under a revised definition, 138 motet texts that use hockets have been identified in the Ars antiqua repertory. It was also found that another way of hearing the hocket, compatible with the first, is implied by Lambertus and pursued at length by the St. Emmeram Anonymous. These writers acknowledge but depart from the consensus that the hocket is sonically fragmented, also hearing it as a promise of the coordination achievable when musical time is measured. For St. Emmeram especially, the hocket has a dual character: its sonic fragmentation is contrived through integrated planning. To hear hockets integratively is difficult, and requires an effort of will that for this theorist has moral stakes.
The final sections of the article analyse the musicopoetic games of the motet Dame de valour (71)/Dame vostre douz regart (72)/Manere (M5). Similarly to the St. Emmeram theorist, the piece self-consciously highlights the difficulty and worth of close listening (a theme inspired by its tenor’s scriptural source), and does so with a hocket that marks a complementarity of breaking and integration, of a formal sort, several decades before Lambertus and St. Emmeram would reflect on the hocket’s dual character theoretically. The motet poses artfully some of the same questions about the audibility of form that preoccupy modern scholarship. These voices from the thirteenth century might remind us that ethical debates about correct listening are much older than current disciplinary concerns. But recognising the longevity of the debates does not force us to agree with old positions.