The dissertation Jacobus de Kerle, Leben und Werke, by Otto Ursprung was published in Munich in 1913. In it, Ursprung reintroduced Jacobus de Kerle (1531/1532–1591), a nearly forgotten Franco-Flemish composer of the post-Josquin generation to the musical world. In 1926, Ursprung's edition of Kerle's Preces speciales, a set of polyphonic devotional responsoria written for the Council of Trent (1545–1563), was published in Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Bayern with a substantial preface. With these two works, Ursprung challenged the widely circulated legend that Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli was the piece that kept sacred polyphony from being banned by the musical reforms of the Council of Trent. Both of these publications date from nearly a century ago. Many later sources, including Lang's Music in Western Civilization,1 the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians,2 and Reese's Music in the Renaissance3 corroborate Ursprung's hypothesis that Kerle, not Palestrina, was the "saviour of church music." If this is the case, why are college undergraduates still taught about Palestrina and the Missa Papae Marcelli?
 In this article, using examples from Palestrina's Missarum Liber Primus and Missarum Liber Secundus and Kerle's Preces, I shall add support to Ursprung's hypothesis that with the Preces speciales of 1562, Kerle, not Palestrina, influenced the debates on musical reform at the Council of Trent, and allowed sacred polyphony to continue. Beginning with a brief review of the Tridentine musical reforms, we shall then examine Kerle's work and its effect at the Council before finally looking at Palestrina's masses, particularly the Missae Papae Marcelli, Ecce sacerdos magnus, and de Beata Virgine (Missarum Liber Secundus), and problems they present to the scholar.
 Despite the importance that the Council of Trent holds for music, music was discussed only in its twenty-second, twenty-fourth, and twenty-fifth sessions, which were held during its third period of meetings (1559–1563).4 In the twenty-second session, the oft-cited Canon 8 was originally drafted by the council, but never actually approved. It reads as follows in Craig Monson's translation:
Canon Eight. Since the sacred mysteries should be celebrated with utmost reverence, with both deepest feeling toward God alone, and with external worship that is truly suitable and becoming, so that others may be filled with devotion and called to religion: … Everything should indeed be regulated so that the Masses, whether they be celebrated with the plain voice or in song, with everything clearly and quickly executed, may reach the ears of the hearers and quietly penetrate their hearts. In those Masses where measured music and organ are customary, nothing profane should be intermingled, but only hymns and divine praises. If something from the divine service is sung with the organ while the service proceeds, let it first be recited in a simple, clear voice, lest the reading of the sacred words be imperceptible. But the entire manner of singing in musical modes should be calculated, not to afford vain delight to the ear, but so that the words may be comprehensible to all; and thus may the hearts of the listeners be caught up into the desire for celestial harmonies and contemplation of the joys of the blessed.5
After deliberation, only fifteen words on music remained in the decree concerning the celebration of the Mass. Again in Monson's translation: "Let them keep away from the churches compositions in which there is an intermingling of the lascivious or impure, whether by instrument or voice."6 As Monson points out, these two statements were conflated by Gustave Reese in his Music of the Renaissance, and later quoted in their conflated version in Grout and Palisca's History of Western Music and Atlas's Renaissance Music.7 No mention of textual intelligibility, which was the central argument of the original, unapproved Canon 8, remains in the final decree of the twenty-second session, promulgated on 17 September 1562.
 By the twenty-fourth session, in 1563, a new papal legate, Giovanni Morone, had been appointed to the council, and he and Gabriele Paleotti, a papal official, were set on reform.8 Despite their efforts and desire to ban polyphony, this would not occur, not least because of Emperor Ferdinand I, who strongly opposed the ban of polyphony. In the end, the only pronouncement on music was that in Canon 12:
Canon Twelve. … Let them all be required to attend divine services and not by substitutes; and to assist and serve the bishop when celebrating or carrying out other pontifical functions, and to praise the name of God reverently, clearly and devoutly in hymns and canticles in a choir established for psalmody. … With regard to the proper direction of the divine offices, concerning the proper manner of singing or playing therein, the precise regulation for assembling and remaining in choir, together with everything necessary for the ministers of the church, and suchlike: the provincial synod shall prescribe an established form for the benefit of, and in-accordance with the customs of, each province. In the interim, the bishop, with no less than two canons, one chosen by himself, the other by the chapter, may provide in these matters as seems expedient.9
Again textual intelligibility is not mentioned in the decree. The importance lies in the fact that decisions regarding music reform were to be made at the local level by the bishop. In that regard, this is the decree from which the issue of textual intelligibility ultimately stems, in allowing bishops concerned with textual intelligibility to rule locally in favor of the original Canon 8 from the twenty-second session.
 Finally, the twenty-fifth session, often overlooked in the past, was the one in which the Council came close to abolishing polyphony altogether. Only ten days after the promulgation of the decrees of the twenty-fourth session, the Council attempted to ban all musicians and polyphony from convents. Fortunately, the nuns found support from the ecclesiastical hierarchy; decisions regarding their music were to be made by the heads of their orders or the local bishops (as stated in the decrees of the twenty-fourth council).10 This last decision was made in late November 1563 and was the last set of decrees from the council, which ended 4 December 1563. It was out of this rather meager evidence that the legend surrounding the Missa Papae Marcelli arose.
 The view of Palestrina's saving sacred polyphony was first suggested in 1607 by Agostino Agazzari, an Italian composer, theorist, and innovator of basso continuo. According to Agazzari:
When all parts are sung, it is impossible to understand either the sentences or their meaning, since they are interrupted and covered up by the imitations, which cause different words to be sung simultaneously by the various voices. This displeases intelligent connoisseurs, and thus it came to pass that a pope was on the point of banishing music from the Holy Church, when Giovan Palestrino took things in hand and pointed out that not music but the composers deserved to be blamed; to prove his contention he composed the Mass called Missa Papae Marcelli.11
This legend was upheld through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and made its way into Giuseppe Baini's widely circulated 1828 biography of the composer.12 Baini was the first to call Palestrina Il Principe della Musica (The Prince of Music), and was quick to hail him as the "savior of church music." While Baini may have exaggerated Palestrina's role in the post-Tridentine period to a certain extent, he did much to reawaken interest in the music of the Renaissance among musicians of the nineteenth century. Indeed, Palestrina was made into a hero and an icon by several authors. Hans Pfitzner even composed his 1915 opera Palestrina: musikalische Legende on the subject.13 As one can see, Palestrina's legend was fostered and maintained for well over three hundred years. To this day, many students come out of their music history courses thinking that this composition single handedly changed the minds of the delegates to the Council. In fact, several pieces of evidence would speak to the contrary.
 As far as is known, the only piece that was certainly performed in any of the sessions of the Council of Trent was Kerle's Preces speciales. According to Ursprung:
Meanwhile, Kerle's Preces speciales, which were composed in a mixed and tempered, polyphonic-homophonic modern, expressive style … arrived at the Council of Trent; they were performed "almost three times each week in the council organized for the general intercession [of God]" (with a procession through the Cathedral Square), were considered … "edifying as well as modern" and "found plenty of applause."14
The Preces speciales15 were composed by Kerle at the request of his patron, Cardinal Otto Truchseß von Waldburg, the Bishop of Augsburg and one of the greatest opponents of a ban on polyphonic music.16 They are not liturgical music, but rather devotional music, in this case a sung prayer to God for the Council [of Trent] (preces I-III), the Union of Christian People (preces IV-V), the Remission of Sins (preces VI), or Against Hostile Enemies of the Church (preces VII-X). Kerle began working on the pieces in mid-1561, setting a series of ten scripture-based poems by Petrus de Soto.17 De Soto, a Dominican monk and professor of theology at the Academy of Dillingen, had written the set of six poems (Responsoria I-VI) by 1551 at the latest, when they were first printed. They were meant to be prayers for the Council of Trent which was convening in that year for the second period. The remaining four poems (Responsoria VII-X) were written especially for Cardinal von Waldburg by Soto in 1561.18
 The Preces are set as ten responsoria, following the form of Soto's poems. Each responsorium has an introductory verse (Corpus), three verses with shortened repetitions of the introductory verse (Versus primus, Repetitio prima, Versus secundus, Repetitio secunda, Versus tertius, Repetitio tertia), the lesser doxology (Versus), and Preces (Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, repeat first Kyrie eleison). The texts of the repetitiones are set to almost exactly the same music as the corresponding text in the introductory verse, therefore acting as a refrain. Responsoria I-IX are composed for four voices. Many versi secundi, tertii, and doxologies from these responsoria are set for three voices (cantus, altus, tenor or altus, tenor, bassus) and four versi (the secundus of the second, the secundus and tertius of the seventh responsory and the tertius of the eighth responsory) set for two voices (cantus, altus or, in the tertius of the seventh, tenor, bassus). This shift in texture creates a well-planned and aurally pleasing contrast of sonority from section to section. The tenth responsory is set for five voices (cantus I and II, altus, tenor, bassus), with a three-voice (altus, tenor, bassus) versus secundus and versus (doxology) and a four-voice (cantus I and II, altus, tenor) versus tertius.
 The pieces are essentially in a motet-style, and feature alternating sections of imitation and homophony. Kerle's use of chromaticism is sparing, but enlightening when present. He does not make use of cantus firmi but rather uses original melodies in the Corpus of each responsory, on which the melodies of each successive piece of the responsory are thematically based.19 This can be viewed as a restoration of thematic unity found in the masses of his forbearers Ockeghem and Obrecht, or, perhaps, a foreshadowing of the unity that was found a century later in the great fugues of the Baroque Era. The Preces reflect Kerle's position as a Flemish composer in Rome, and make it clear that his goal is to please the exponents of polyphony as well as the purists demanding textual intelligibility. Kerle has presented both the contrapuntal imitative tradition found in the works of Ockeghem, Obrecht and Josquin, and married it to the new Roman ideal of the seconda prattica, by emphasizing the text over the music and consciously heeding the metric rhythm of the text. Leichtentritt describes Kerle's style well: "There is a perfect balance between polyphonic and homophonic writing and an absence of artifices of canon and subtleties of counterpoint."20
 As documented by Ursprung, whom I have quoted above, the delegates at the Council of Trent were delighted by Kerle's Preces, and as they were performed several times a week, they would have no doubt had an effect on the decisions that were made regarding liturgical music. Reese agrees that Kerle's Preces, "predisposed the delegates to look favorably on contrapuntal church music."21 According to Christian Thomas Leitmeir, both Kerle's Preces and Sex Missae, also commissioned by Waldburg for the Council, enjoyed a wide dissemination after the Council.22
 In comparison with the clear place of Kerle's Preces at the Council of Trent, the position of Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli at the Council raises a number of questions. The major problem with Palestrina's work in mass composition is dating the works. Palestrina's Missarum Liber Primus was first published in 1554 by Valerio and Aloysio Dorico in Rome. Thus, we can safely assume that the masses present in this first book of masses were composed by 1554. The Missarum Liber Secundus was not published until 1567.23 The works present in the second book of masses therefore could have been written at any point during the thirteen-year interim period between publications, or even earlier. The Missa Papae Marcelli, critical to this article and first printed in the Missarum Liber Secundus, has been dated anywhere from 1547–1555 to 1564–1565. Despite these wide variances in dating Palestrina's masses, the great Palestrina scholar Jeppesen has suggested 1562–1563 as the date of composition, and Lewis Lockwood has agreed.24 This dating allows for the possibility of a performance at the Council, but does not guarantee it. Karl-Gustav Fellerer suggests that Palestrina created the Missa Papae Marcelli as a reaction to the Council's reforms.25 Furthermore, as Jeppesen and Lockwood, among other scholars, have noted, the Missa Papae Marcelli stands apart from the rest of Palestrina's masses in terms of its textual intelligibility.26 Jeppesen notes that it is the simplest of Palestrina's works, that is, it exhibits less complex polyphony than any of his other works.27 Lockwood adds it is the mass devoted par excellence "to chordal writing and simultaneous, syllabic declamation."28 The Missa Ecce sacerdos magnus, a mass of the young Palestrina, presents a rather different style.
 The Missa Ecce sacerdos magnus, a tribute to Pope Julius III, is the opening mass of the Missarum Liber Primus, a volume of masses dedicated to the pontiff. The two men were acquainted, as Julius III was bishop of Palestrina (the town) before he became pope and Palestrina (the composer) was organist at San Agipito, the cathedral of Palestrina (the town) and Episcopal See.
 Ecce sacerdos magnus, likely one of Palestrina's earliest masses, is a four-voice cantus firmus mass using the antiphon from second vespers in the Common of a Confessor Bishop. While this piece was written early by the young composer, still in his twenties, in the Pre-Tridentine Era, it is representative of his early style, which is quite different from the later stile antico Palestrina, with which most are familiar. Palestrina sets the cantus firmus three times in the Kyrie, three times in the Gloria, twice in the Credo, and once each in the Sanctus, and Agnus Dei (I, II, and III), always with the original text of the chant. The cantus firmus is not employed in the Pleni, Benedictus, or the Osanna II. While the use of the original text for a cantus firmus is known to have occurred, it is surprising to find it in the works of a composer noted for his textual clarity. Additionally, the near-homophonic standard of the longer texts of the Ordinary found in later Palestrina masses is entirely absent in the Gloria, and only used sparingly in the Credo. The Missa de Beata Virgine provides an example of a mass contemporary with, and drastically contrary in approach to, the Papae Marcelli.
 In his Missa de Beata Virgine,29 Palestrina uses more points of imitation, but the entrances are closer together, especially in the longer texts, creating a greater intelligibility of the text than is present in Ecce sacerdos magnus. In the Credo, the statement "Et incarnatus est" is set homophonically. Word painting is also present in the Credo, where Palestrina sets the "descendit" to a descending scale. I would be remiss to not mention that the Gloria contains music for textual tropes, which are italicized below, in honor of Mary, as is typical in a setting of the Missa de Beata Virgine.30 While the text of the trope is not printed in the Missarum Liber Secundus, the music is present for the tropes, texted with repetitions of the previous lines of text. The troped texts with the same music are printed in Palestrina's later six-voice setting of the same work, which appeared in the Missarum Liber Tertius of 1570, odd considering the near elimination of tropes after the Council of Trent. Regardless of whether the troped texts were sung or not, they would not have encumbered the listener, as the troped text is the only text set in these parts.
 Beyond the few masses I have examined here, a quick glance through the Missarum Liber Secundus provides insight to the development of Palestrina's later style. One sees more near-homophonic sections of music, especially in the Gloria and Credo, and less overlapping of syllables between voices, which allows for greater textual intelligibility, a key for composers in the post-Tridentine Era. While Palestrina shows clear development toward his later style in his Missarum Liber Secundus, the lack of secure compositional dating of the masses it contains and the long interim period between the Primus and Secundus, make it difficult to ascertain how much or little influence he held over the musical reforms at the Council of Trent.
 Although it is often clearly referred to as an old legend in current music history textbooks, including Stolba's The Development of Western Music and A History of Western Music by Grout, Palisca and Burkholder,31 it seems that many music historians, both students and professors, have mentally turned the myth surrounding Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli into history. While Richard Taruskin fails to mention even Kerle's name in his monumental The Oxford History of Western Music, he gives extensive treatment to the Missa Papae Marcelli.32 While some may suggest that the only way to clear this up this legend may be to leave it out of the history books, the legend must be included because it is a part of history. Indeed the legend shaped how Palestrina scholarship was done for well over three centuries. While the Missa Papae Marcelli was an important step toward an increase in textual intelligibility, and should be studied for that purpose, Kerle's Preces speciales deserves a place in the classroom too. Ursprung goes so far as to suggest Kerle be named the "savior of church music."33
 The groundwork for a new historical view of Kerle is being laid even now. Christian Thomas Leitmeir has written a new monograph on Kerle for his dissertation (2003, Karl-Eberhards-Universität Tübingen), incorporating nearly ninety years of research since Ursprung's, and is working on a new critical edition of the complete works of Kerle, to be published in six volumes in Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Baden-Württemberg. I am hopeful that the contributions of these new studies regarding Kerle's work will help us to know more about this often overlooked composer and provide an answer as to what precisely occurred at the Council of Trent.