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polyphonic choral work that was one of the most important musical forms from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries and was commonly used in the Roman Catholic Church

ex: Phillippe de Vitry, In arboris/Tuba sacre fidei/Virgo Sum


a succession of numerous pitches sung per syllable of text

ex: featured prominently especially in the beginning of "Viderunt omnes" by Perotinus


The verse or verses of a psalm, traditional passage, or portion of the liturgy, chanted or sung by alternating choirs

ex: Kyrie from the Mass for Christmas Day


The term originated in reference to medieval French motets. Hocket could be identified as a single melody, shared between two (or occasionally more) voices, which alternate in such a way that one voice sounds while the other rests. Hocket was used primarily in vocal music of the 13th and early 14th centuries. It was a predominant characteristic of music of the Notre Dame School, during the ars antiqua, in which it was found in sacred vocal music.

The term hocket is derived from the French word <hoquet> which means "hiccup". In the 14th century, hocket technique was used to punctuate recurrences of the talea in isorhythmic motets.

Pieces that made extensive use of the hocket technique were actually called hockets.

Explained by: Johannes de Groucheo in his musical treatise around 1300


The act of adding of adding words to a piece of already existing music. Originally, this text was sacred, but as time went on, secular text became more and more common.


means "time"

cantus firmus

a pre-existing melody, "fixed melody", usually of very long notes, often based on a fragment of Gregorian chant that served as the structural basis for a polyphonic composition

Ex: the Tenor voice in Factum est salutare/Dominus


French. a term referring to a technique that results in three voices singing basically in first inversion chords; employed frequently by Dufay.

formes fixes

forms that affected musical forms of song setting during 14th and 15 centuries. Involved complex repetition patterns with a refrain.
(Machaut) Virelais, Rondeau, Ballade


literally means "held voice"

originally, composers would take a piece of sacred text such as "Do" from "Dominus" and have the tenor hold it for almost, if not the whole piece.

Ex: the Tenor voice in Factum est salutare/Dominus


the first book of polyphonic music printed for movable type.



division of the semibreve into 2 or 3 minims, and then so on and so forth

free organum

Style of ORGANUM in which the ORGANAL voice moves in a free mixture of contrary, oblique, parallel, and similar motion against the CHANT (and usually above it).

substitute clausula

Clausula written seperately from a piece to substitute an older discant section.

Musica Enchiriadis

music theory treatise describing a type of polyphonic singing called Organum. 9th century

Ars Subtilior

style of polyphony from the late 14th or very early 15th centuries in southern France and northern Italy, distinguished by extreme complexity in rhythm and notation

literally means "subtle art"

liturgical drama

Early medieval church drama, written in Latin and dealing with biblical stories. Church drama in the early period, trope and such included and added to in order to make plays.

isorhythmic motet

Medieval and early Renaissance motet based on a repeating
rhythmic pattern throughout one or more voices

double leading-tone cadence

leads to tonic and 5th

discant clausula

a substitute clausula using discant style in which all voices follow one of the rhythmic modes


the addition of text/music to the standard liturgy, often to extend a short work

Ars Nova

"new art"

Title of a 14th century treatise on musical notation. Gave the ability to subdivide, and for the most part, this is how we view rhythm today. This treatise gave us rhythmic flexibilty and sbtly that we had not had before this point.

Written by: Phillipe de Vitry

rhythmic modes

system of six durational pattersn for late 12th and 13th centuries used as the basis of the rhythmic notation of the notre dame composers

psalm tone

a piece of sacred text, normally taken from the mass that is later used in the tenor voice as a sort of pedal


secular song introduced in italy that became popular in england as well. polyphonic in texture and expressive in mood, madrigals are written in the vernacular

parallel 3rds and 6ths are very noticable

Ex: Non al suo amante by Jacopo da Bologna


Italian, literally "three hundred"; it refers to the 1300s — the fourteenth century, especially in reference to Italian art of that century (the Middle Ages).

mass ordinary

The prayers with texts that remain the same throughout the year.


The prayers are the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei

mass cycle

Ordinary: KGCSA

Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei

Proper: IGAOC

Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion

mass propers

The parts of the Mass that are sung on specific important days in the liturgical year. Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion.


The mostly wandering minstrels, many times nobility- often composer, poet and performer in the same person - who entertained the courts of the nobility in Northern France in the 12th and 13th Centuries.


earliest kind of polyphonic music, which developed rom the custom of ading voices above a plainchant. ran parallel to the fifth or fourth of the voice of the plainchant.

ex: Viderunt omnes- Leoninus
Viderunt omnes- Perotinus


in notre dame polyphony a self-contained section of an organum that closes with a cadence

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