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a polyphonic vocal piece, with multiple texts (and often borrowing from
another source).

cantus firmus

replaces “tenor” for the original melody (although
occasionally “tenor” is still used)

Franconian notation

a rhythmic innovation; because voices grew to be
increasingly independent, needed to expressing rhythm precisely. Franco of
Cologne incorporated shapes for neume heads, to mark relative proportion for


(“new art ” / “new technique”) by composer Philippe de Vitry (1291-1361) who
penned a treatise Ars Nova (in 1320) on this new way of composing
Ars Nova innovations:
1) duple meter: introduction of duple meter (symbolically, this can be read as the introduction
of rational thought entering the sacred realm). triple = “perfect” duple = “imperfect”
2) isorhythm: a structuring method for motets: sections of musical material
repeated at different rates and lengths during the piece
talea: rhythmic repetition, color: pitch repetition
Hocket: (“hiccup” - rapid exchange of voices)

Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377)

1) composed more than 140 pieces, both sacred and secular
2) supported by aristocracy/royalty, while also working as a canon (cleric working
with law)
3) ** Machaut famous for hocket/syncopation, so much that music history
nerds have made memes about this:

Francesco Landini

composer, working in Florence
NAWM 30 – Landini, a caccia (‘chase’) – like the English rota, a musical
game of imitation between the parts

Landini cadence:

6th (still seen as dissonant) resolving out
(contrary motion) to an octave, but first dropping to a 5th.


Prolific Burgundian composer who traveled extensively (even to the Italian courts).
Exposed to musical styles of many places, fused several styles in his own work. He
wrote many Masses, which were kind of strange because many used a previously
composed secular melody (chansons, ballades) as the basis for the Mass texts (at
times the tenor source wasn’t chant -the official music).