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Music 1711F/G Lecture Notes - Roman De Fauvel, Philippe De Vitry, Johannes De Muris

Course Code
Music 1711F/G
Kate Helsen

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Feb 1 – Music in the 14th Century: France: the ars nova
French Music in the 14th 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).
Ars Nova
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
notation divisions.
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.
Mensural Signs
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
noble household.
One of the 12 manuscript sources for this includes music
Some of this music was probably written by Philippe de Vitry himself.
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