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Encyclopedia > Ars nova

Ars nova was a stylistic period in music of the Late Middle Ages, centered in France, which encompassed the period from the publication of the Roman de Fauvel (1310 and 1314) until the death of Machaut (1377). Sometimes the term is used more loosely and refers to all European music of the 14th century, thereby including such figures as Landini, who was working in Italy. Occasionally the term "Italian ars nova" is used to denote the music of Landini and his compatriots (see Music of the trecento for the concurrent musical movement in Italy). The term ars nova means "new art" or "new technique", and was first used in a publication by Philippe de Vitry of the same name (c.1322). Dante by Michelino The Late Middle Ages is a term used by historians to describe European history in the period of the 14th and 15th centuries (1300–1500 A.D.). The Late Middle Ages were preceded by the High Middle Ages, and followed by the Early Modern era (Renaissance). ... The Roman de Fauvel was first published in Paris in 1314, in a climate of political instability. ... [edit] Events May 11 - In France, 64 members of the Knights Templar are burned at the stake for heresy Abulfeda becomes governor of Hama. ... Events June 24 - Battle of Bannockburn. ... Guillaume de Machaut (around 1300 – 1377), was a French composer and poet of the late Medieval era. ... // Events January 17 – Pope Gregory XI enters Rome. ... This 14th-century statue from south India depicts the gods Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right). ... for the tractor manufactorer, see Landini (tractor) Landini playing a miniature organ (illustration from the 15th century Squarcialupi Codex) Francesco Landini or Landino (around 1325 – September 2, 1397) was an Italian composer, organist, singer, poet and instrument maker. ... Landini, the most famous composer of the trecento, playing a portative organ (illustration from the 15th century Squarcialupi Codex) The trecento was a period of vigorous activity in Italy in the arts, including painting, architecture, literature, and music. ... Philippe de Vitry (October 31, 1291 – June 9, 1361) was a French composer, music theorist and poet. ... Events September 27/September 28 - Battle of Ampfing, often called the last battle of knights, in which Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor defeats Frederick I of Austria Births January 11 - Emperor Komyo of Japan (died 1380) Deaths January 3 - King Philip V of France (born 1293) March 16 - Humphrey de...


Ars nova is generally used in conjunction with another term, ars antiqua, which refers to the music of the immediately preceding age, usually extending back to take in the period of Notre Dame polyphony (therefore covering the period from about 1170 to 1320). Roughly, then, the ars antiqua is the music of the thirteenth century, and the ars nova the music of the fourteenth; many music histories use the terms in this more general sense. Ars antiqua is a term which refers to the music of Europe of the late Middle Ages between approximately 1170 and 1310, covering the period of the Notre Dame school of polyphony and the subsequent years which saw the early development of the motet. ... The group of composers working at or near the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris from about 1170 to 1250, along with the music they produced, is referred to as the Notre Dame school, or the Notre Dame School of Polyphony. ... Polyphony is a musical texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice (monophony) or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords (homophony). ... Events December 29: Assassination of Thomas Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury, in Canterbury cathedral City of Dublin captured by the Normans According to folklore, the Welsh prince Madoc sailed to North America and founded a colony. ... Events January 20 - Dante - Quaestio de Aqua et Terra January 20 - Duke Wladyslaw Lokietek becomes king of Poland April 6 - The Scots reaffirm their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath. ...


Controversial in the Roman Catholic Church, the music was starkly rejected by Pope John XXII, but embraced by Pope Clement VI. The monophonic chant, already harmonized with simple organum, was becoming altered, fragmented, and hidden beneath secular tunes. The lyrics of love poems might be sung above sacred texts, or the sacred text might be placed within a familiar secular melody. It was not merely polyphony that offended the medieval ears, but the notion of secular music merging with the sacred and making its way into the liturgy. Pope John XXII, né Jacques dEuse (1249 - December 4, 1334), was elected to the papacy in 1316 and reigned until his death in 1334. ... Clement VI, né Pierre Roger (1291 - December 6, 1352), pope (1342-1352), the fourth of the France, and he further evinced his French sympathies by refusing a solemn invitation to return to Rome, and by purchasing the sovereignty of Avignon from Joanna, queen of Naples, for 80,000 crowns. ...


Stylistically, the music of the ars nova differed from the preceding era in several ways. Rhythm was used much more freely, shunning the straitjacket of the rhythmic modes, which prevailed in the thirteenth century; secular music acquired much of the polyphonic sophistication previously found only in sacred music; and new techniques and forms, such as isorhythm and the isorhythmic motet, became prevalent. The overall aesthetic effect of these changes was to create music of greater expressiveness and variety than had been the case in the thirteenth century. Indeed the sudden historical change which occurred, with its startling new degree of musical expressiveness, can be likened to the introduction of perspective in painting, and it is useful to consider that the changes to the musical art in the period of the ars nova were contemporary with the great early Renaissance revolutions in painting and literature. In medieval music, the rhythmic modes were patterns of long and short durations (or rhythms) imposed on written notes which otherwise appeared to be identical. ... Isorhythm (iso or same) consists of an order of durations or rhythms, talea (cutting, plural taleae), which is repeated within a tenor melody whose pitch content or series, color (repetition), varied in the number of members from the talea. ... In Western music, motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions. ... A square in two-point perspective. ... Raphael was famous for depicting illustrious figures of the Classical past with the features of his Renaissance contemporaries. ...


The greatest practitioner of the new musical style was undoubtedly Guillaume de Machaut, who also had an equally distinguished career as a priest and poet. The ars nova style is nowhere more perfectly displayed than in his considerable body of motets, lais, virelais, rondeaux, and ballades. It was in 1364, during the pontificate of Avignon Pope Urban V, that Machaut composed the first polyphonic setting of the mass called Le Masse de Notre Dame. Guillaume de Machaut (around 1300 – 1377), was a French composer and poet of the late Medieval era. ... A Lai was a song form composed in northern Europe, mainly France and Germany, from the 13th to the late 14th century. ... A virelai is a form of medieval French verse used often in poetry and music. ... A Rondeau is a form of French poetry with 13 lines written on two rhymes, as well as a corresponding musical form developed to set this characteristic verse structure. ... The ballade was a verse form consisting of three (sometimes five) stanzas, each with the same metre, rhyme scheme and last line, with a shorter concluding stanza (an envoi). ... View over the Rhône River to North-East with Mt Ventoux at the rear Palais des papes Square below the Palace of the Popes Paul Vs coat-of-arms on the Palais des papes The Notre Dame des Doms cathedral is located in the heart of Avignon, near... Urban V, né Guillaume de Grimoald (1310 - December 19, 1370), pope from 1362 to 1370, was a native of Grisae in Languedoc. ...


Towards the end of the fourteenth century a new stylistic school of composers and poets centered around Avignon in southern France developed; the highly mannered style of this period is often called the ars subtilior, though some scholars choose to consider it a late development of the ars nova rather than breaking it out as a separate school. This strange but interesting repertory of music, limited in geographical distribution (southern France, Aragon and later Cyprus), and clearly intended for performance by specialists for an audience of connoisseurs, is like an endnote to the entire Middle Ages. View over the Rhône River to North-East with Mt Ventoux at the rear Palais des papes Square below the Palace of the Popes Paul Vs coat-of-arms on the Palais des papes The Notre Dame des Doms cathedral is located in the heart of Avignon, near... Ars subtilior (more subtle art) is a musical style characterized by rhythmic and notational complexity, centered around Avignon in southern France, at the end of the fourteenth century (Hoppin 1978, p. ... Capital Zaragoza Area  â€“ Total  â€“ % of Spain Ranked 4th  47 719 km²  9,4% Population  â€“ Total (2005)  â€“ % of Spain  â€“ Density Ranked 11th  1 269 027  2,9%  26,59/km² Demonym  â€“ English  â€“ Spanish  Aragonese  aragonés Statute of Autonomy August 16, 1982 ISO 3166-2 AR Parliamentary representation  â€“ Congress seats  â€“ Senate...

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References and further reading

  • Article "ars nova", in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1-56159-174-2
  • Richard H. Hoppin, Medieval Music. New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 1978. ISBN 0-393-09090-6
  • Harold Gleason and Warren Becker, Music in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Music Literature Outlines Series I). Bloomington, Indiana. Frangipani Press, 1986. ISBN 0-89917-034-X

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