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Lloyd, Catherine

Ars Antiqua -- Ars Nova

Ph.D. King's College, London, 2002

Ars antiqua -- ars nova explores change, continuity and complexity in motet and song c1280-1320. The late thirteenth century, during which many long-standing conventions began to be phased out and new trends emerged, is recognised as a period of innovation in its own right. It will be argued that some of its innovations form part of the transition to ars nova, and that the current view of Fauvel as the earliest document of ars nova is therefore inappropriate. The approach is flexible and inclusive, and unlike existing studies the ars nova is considered from the late-thirteenth century perspective rather than that of Vitry.

More specifically the thesis examines some late-thirteenth century motets that show early use of ordered, large-scale designs, many of which are comparable with those found in Fauvel. It seeks to explain how they came about by exploring changes in melodic setting and text handling. The late-thirteenth century motet also initiated an expansion of melodic and contrapuntal language that had significant implications for ars nova. Changes to melody, sonority and counterpoint, facilitated by the new florid style tripla and slower moving tenors, are also explored. Selected motets from Fascicles 7 and 8 of the Montpellier Codex are compared with Fauvel's modern motets in an attempt to understand both change and continuity between these repertories. In addition, a more coherent view of late-thirteenth century song and its relationship with the songs of Fauvel and Lescurel is sought. The changing structures evident in the Douce balettes, and the new melodic style of the Fauvel and Lescurel songs, are examined in relation to the wider repertory of thirteenth-century monophony in an attempt to identify the genres from which they took shape, and in order to draw conclusions as to where some of their musical influences lie. In dealing with musical aspects of both motet and song emphasis has been placed on accounting for the changes and continuities that lie beyond the surface level; to this end reductive analysis has been used.