Chapter 6: A History of Western Music

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Philippe de Vitry

developed idea of ars nova; student and teacher at University of Paris

Ars nova

french musical style started by Vitry characterized by mensural rhythm, use of duple and triple note divisions, smaller note values, syncopation

ars antiqua

"ancient art"; there was dispute among musicians about new vs old forms of music

mensuration signature

ancestors to time signatures; see p 118

tempus

smallest unit of musical time (beat)

prolation

division of semi-breves into minums

isorhythm

repetition in a voice part (usually the tenor) of an extended pattern of durations throughout a section or an entire composition

talea

repeated rhythmic pattern in tenor

color

repeated melodic pattern in tenor

Roman de Fauvel

allegorical narrative poem satirizing political and religious corruption; main character (horse) embodies seven deadly sins

formes fixes

3 main forms that characterize 14th century French music (ballade, rondeau, virelai)

ballade

consists of 3 stanzas; form of each stanza is aabC (aabC-aabC-aabC) with stanzas usually ending in open cadences except for the third and final one

virelai

3 stanzas; refrain uses same music as the last section of the stanza melody
(Abba-Abba-Abba-A)

rondeau

has only one stanza; first half of refrain returns midway through the piece between the a sections (AB a A ab AB)

double leading tone cadence

cadence popular in which the bottom voice moves down a whole tone and the upper voices move up a semitone

musica ficta

"feigned music;" notes outside the standard gamut

escape tone cadence (Landini cadence)

cadence in which tenor descends by a step, upper voice descends a step then jumps up a third

Guillaume de Machaut

leading composer of French Ars Nova; wrote Messe de Notre Dame (first surviving complete polyphonic ordinary setting of the mass)

Messe de Notre Dame

first surviving complete polyphonic ordinary setting of the mass; by Machaut

plainsong Mass

brought together chants which did not originally go together

contratenor

"against the tenor"; voice in same range as tenor

mannerism

...

ars subtilior

style of polyphony characterized by complexity in rhythm and notation; more intricate and chromatic than ars nova

trecento

name for thirteen hundreds in Italian; music accompanied all aspects of life; polyphony enters Italy as secular music

Squarcialupi Codex

contains 345 pieces by composers of the trecento; rich illustrations

Francesco Landini

leading composer of ballata; used the escape tone cadence a lot

madrigal

song for 2-3 voices without accompaniment; all voices sing same text; pastoral topics; consist of 2 or more three line stanzas followed by a ritornello

ritornello

last 2 lines of a madrigal

ballata

"to dance;"
form AbbaA

cantilena

polyphonic song not based on a cantus firmus

ripresa

refrain section of a ballata (AbbaA where A=ripresa)

piedi

First part of a stanza in a ballata

volta

second part of a stanza in a ballata

caccia, chace

"to hunt"; when a popular melody is set in strict canon to lively, graphically descriptive words; Tosto che l'alba

hocket

French "hiccup"; two voices alternate, one continuing melody while the other rests

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