Music theorists labelled the musical art of the 1330s and 1340s as 'new' and 'modern'. A close reading of writings on music theory and the polyphonic repertory from the first half of the fourteenth century reveals a modern musical art that arose due to specific innovations in music notation. The French ars nova employed as its theoretical fundament a new system for arranging musical time proposed by the astronomer and mathematician Jean des Murs. Challenging prevailing accounts of the ars nova, this book presents the 'new art' within the intellectual context of its time, revises the datings of Jean des Murs's writings on music theory, and presents the intersection of theory and practice for a crucial era in the history of music. Through contemporaneous accounts, Desmond explores how individuals were involved in 'changing' music in early fourteenth-century France, and the technical developments they pursued that precipitated this stylistic change.
1. Introduction; 2. Subtilitas and the ars nova; 3. Jean des Murs, Quadrivial Scientist; 4. Arts old and new; 5. From trees to degrees; 6. Notational dots and the line of musical time; Epilogue; Appendix 1: list of transitional ars nova motets and concordances; Appendix 2: key dates in the biography of Jean des Murs; Appendix 3: key dates in the biography of Philippe de Vitry; Appendix 4: sources of Jean des Murs's notitia and conclusiones; Appendix 5: edition of Apta/Flos; Appendix 6: works list for Jean des Murs.
Karen Desmond is Assistant Professor of Music at Brandeis University, Massachusetts, and in 2018 was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Harvard University. She has published her research on thirteenth- and fourteenth-century music, theory, and notation in the leading journals of her field. Desmond was awarded an NEH Research Fellowship and an SSHRC Banting Fellowship for this book project.
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Dimensioni: 245 x 20 x 170 mm Ø 900 gr
Illustration Notes:27 b/w illus. 13 tables 22 music examples
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