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Musica ficta [musica falsa] (Lat.: ‘false, feigned or contrived music’; synonymous with falsa mutatio, coniuncta)locked

  • Margaret Bent
  •  and Alexander Silbiger


These terms were used by theorists from the late 12th century to the 16th, at first in opposition to musica recta or musica vera, to designate ‘feigned’ extensions of the hexachord system contained in the so-called Guidonian hand. Most scholars accept that notated polyphony of this period required performers to interpret under-prescriptive notation in accordance with their training (by contrapuntal and melodic criteria about which scholars disagree), ensuring the perfection of consonances, and approaching cadences correctly. These requirements could often be met within the ...

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