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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


smallest unit of musical time (beat)


division of semi-breves into minums


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


repeated rhythmic pattern in tenor


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)


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


3 stanzas; refrain uses same music as the last section of the stanza melody


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


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



ars subtilior

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


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


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


last 2 lines of a madrigal


"to dance;"
form AbbaA


polyphonic song not based on a cantus firmus


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


First part of a stanza in a ballata


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


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

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