Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Baroque Music Glossaries
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- Ars nova: Latin for "New Art", now used as a synonym for French 14th-century polyphony. The term comes from Phillippe de Virty's title of his treatise, Ars nova Musical themes of the ars nova period became increasingly freer, and less religious. [JW]
- Ars subtilior
- Ballade: in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century French vocal music, one of the formes fixes of Trouvère music and poetry. Guillaume de Machaut composed at least fort-two ballades. In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Germany the term was used to describe poetry set as a through-composed narrative song, and later was applied to extended narratives involving music for chorus and soloists. [KJB, GJC]
- Ballata: Italian dance-song, and poetic and musical form used from the second half of the thirteenth century untill the fifteenth century and longer. A form of the ballata consists of the scheme A (ripresa, or the choral refrain), BB (two symmetrical piedi), A (volta), followed by a return of the ripresa as voltaof the A (ripresa). Hence, the structure is similar to that of the French virelai. The texts are often love songs. The music was commonly based on oral tradition. A leading composer of ballata was Landini, with 141 surviving ballate. Other important composers of polyphonic ballate are Gherardello da Firenze, Lorenzo da Firenze, and Jacopo da Bologna. [SJK, GJC]
- Chantilly manuscript
- Color: (Latin) used from mid-thirteenth century to mid-fifteenth centuries to describe adding embellishments to a melody line; also used to describe the use of musica ficta. In descriptions of isorhythm, the term refers to the repetition of series of pitches, usually the cantus firmus. [SLL, GJC]
- Descant: the same as Discant.
- Double Leading Tone Cadence
- Isorhythm; Isorhythmic
- Ivrea manuscript
- Lai; Leich
- Landini cadence
- Lydian cadence
- Messe de Notre Dame
- Papal schism
- Portative; Organetto
- Robertsbridge manuscript
- Roman de Fauvel
- Rondeau: from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, one of the secular formes fixes of poetry and song composition. The musical compositions originally were dance-songs, performed with instrumental accompaniment. Adam de la Halle was the first composer of polyphonic rondeaux. The early form, found-for example-in the polyphonic rondeaux of Adam de la Halle and Guillaume de Machaut, was an eight-line poem with the first two used as a refrain: A-B-a-A-a-b-A-B (uppercase letters being the refrain). [BW, GJC]
- Rondellus: (Latin) a method of composition for three voices originating in England in the thirteenth century, in which the contrapuntal lines (especially in the two upper parts) alternate among the singers, in regular rotation, using voice exchange; a piece completely composed in this manner. [DGS]
- Saltarello: (from Italian, "little hop") in music this term is used for a variety of moderatly fast Italian jumping dances, from the fifteenth century usually written in triplet metre, generally with much use of hemiola. Fourteenth-century examples (all in a single manuscript, GB–Lbl Add. MS 29,987) appear in a variety of meters, and are very much like the estampie. Later examples, surviving from as early as ca. 1400, are a type of basse danse. In the sixteenth century, the saltarello is essentially a calmer version of the galliard, and usually is found paired as the triple-meter after dance to a duple-meter dance, most often a pavane or passamezzo. The two dances often share musical material.
- Squarcialupi codex
- Talea: In isorhythmic music, the repeating rhythmic pattern, usually applied to the tenor, that defines the units of the isorhythmic structure. [See color.] [MLD; GJC]
- Wait; wayte
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This page last updated: 7 October 2001.
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