Dufay's music flows more smoothly than the characteristically complex rhythmic textures of the late medieval period, and is marked by graceful melodies and a compelling sense of direction. As his career progressed and his fame grew, Dufay increasingly took up the four-voice vocal texture which was to be characteristic of the early Renaissance as a whole. His four cantus firmus masses Se la face ay pale, L'homme arme, Ecce ancilla domini, and Ave regina caelorum are landmarks in what was to become the dominant style of mass composition. Se la face ay pale is probably the earliest surviving mass based on a secular theme, previous cantus firmus masses having been based on liturgical chant.
Today, we value Dufay's music not only for its grace and invention, but also for its significant historical position in the quickly evolving style of the early Renaissance. The fact that the life of so cosmopolitan a character from this period has been preserved so well in documentation lends invaluable insight on the musical developments of the time. ~ Todd McComb, Rovi