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date: 20 September 2019

Ars Subtiliorlocked

  • Nors S. Josephson


(Lat.: ‘more subtle art’) The highly refined musical style of the late 14th century, centred primarily on the secular courts of southern France, Aragon and Cyprus. The term was introduced to musicological vocabulary by Ursula Günther and derives from references in (?)Philippus de Caserta's Tractatus de diversis figuris to composers moving away from the style of the Ars Nova motets ‘post modum subtiliorem comparantes’ and developing an ‘artem magis subtiliter’ as exemplified in the motet Apta caro (CoussemakerS, iii, 118); similarly Egidius de Murino referred to composition ‘per viam subtilitatis’ in his Tractatus cantus mensurabilis (CoussemakerS, iii, 127). The development of the idiom (chiefly encountered in grandes ballades) may be traced in successive, roughly chronological stages. Of these, the post-Machaut generation – De Landes, Franciscus, Grimace, Pierre de Molins, Solage, Susay (A l'arbre sec) and Vaillant – was largely engaged in developing the classical ballade style of Machaut....

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Musica disciplina
Archiv für Musikwissenschaft
Oxford, Bodleian Library
Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century