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Picture of Guillaume de Machaut

About Ars nova

Ars nova (Latin for new art) refers to a musical style which flourished in France and the Burgundian Low Countries in the late Middle Ages: more particularly, in the period between the preparation of the Roman de Fauvel (1310s) and the death of composer Guillaume de Machaut in 1377. The term is sometimes used more generally to refer to all European polyphonic music of the fourteenth century. For instance, "Italian ars nova" is sometimes used to denote the music of Francesco Landini and his compatriots (although Trecento music is the more common term for 14th-century music in Italy). The "ars" in "ars nova" can be read as "technique", or "style". The term was first used in two musical treatises, titled Ars novae musicae (New Technique of Music) (c. 1320) by Johannes de Muris, and a collection of writings (c. 1322) attributed to Philippe de Vitry often simply called "Ars nova" today. However, the term was first used to describe an historical era only by Johannes Wolf in 1904.The term "ars nova" is often used in juxtaposition to 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 (from about 1170 to 1320). Roughly, then, "ars antiqua" refers to music of the thirteenth century, and the "ars nova" that of the fourteenth; many music histories use the terms in this more general sense.The period from the death of Machaut (1377) until the early fifteenth century, including the rhythmic innovations of the ars subtilior, is sometimes considered the end of, or late, ars nova but at other times an independent era in music. Other musical periods and styles have at various times been called "new art." (Tinctoris used the term to describe Dunstaple); however, in modern historiographical usage, it is restricted entirely to the period described above.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Ars nova , which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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