Feb 1 – Music in the 14 Century: France: the ars nova
French Music in the 14 Century
– Up to now, pan-European style (Spain, England etc.)
– *Ars Nova “new art” style – always associated with 14th century French
– de Vitry's treatise on the style is called ars nova. New rhythmically
enhanced style of writing.
– Johannes de Muris (ca. 1300-1350) also wrote a music theory treatise: Ars
novae musicae (the new art of music).
– Increased use of minims and semi-minims – the long is no longer relevant.
– Duple metre is as legitimate as triple due to notation shift – focus on smaller
– Imperfections created by notes not 'next' to each other in value eg. A minim
imperfects a breve, etc. Relating two notes or more apart creates rhythmic
– Using red ink (colouration) to imperfect a note value.
– Circle/half-circle: indicates how many semibreves in a breve
– Circle: 3 ('perfection')
– Half-circle: 2 ('imperfection')
Dot/No dot: indicates how many minims in a semibreve.
– Dot: 3 ('Major')
– No Dot: 2 ('Minor')
The 'Tempus' corresponds to semibreve-breve ratio (eg. Circle/half-circle sign)
The 'Prolatio' corresponds to the minim-semibreve ratio (eg. Dot/no dot sign). pg
76 eg. 3-1
Perfect Tempus, Perfect Prolation: circle, dot – worth 3 semibreves, 3 minims. 9/8
b/c 9 beats divided into 3 pulses.
Perfect Tempus, Imperfect Prolation: circle, no dot – 3 semibreves, 2 per minims,
Imperfect Tempus, Perfect Prolation – half-circle, dot – 2 semibreves, 3 minims, 6/8
Imperfect Tempus, Imperfect Prolation – half-circle, no dot – 2 semibreves, 2
minims 2/4 – cut time
C does not stand for cut – it stands for imperfect tempus, imperfect prolation
Le Roman de Fauvel (1316)
– Satirical allegory about a donkey who rises from the stable to be ruler of a
– One of the 12 manuscript sources for this includes music
– Some of this music was probably written by Philippe de Vitry himself. – Garrit gallus/In nova fert/Neuma is in the Roman and is also used in de
Vitry's treatise. Refers to the type of piece – three different text
Compositional technique used between 1300-1459
'Iso' = 'same'
Talea: rhythmic pattern, repeated throughout the voice part from start to finish.
Color: melody, usually repeated, not necessarily the same length as the talea.
Another Rhythmic Complexity...
– To reduce note values by 1/3, write them in red ink.
– When this happens in Garrit gallus, the