Ars antiqua

Ars antiqua, also called ars veterum or ars vetus, is a term used by modern scholars to refer to the Medieval music of Europe during the High Middle Ages, between approximately 1170 and 1310.[citation needed] This covers the period of the Notre-Dame school of polyphony (the use of multiple, simultaneous, independent melodic lines), and the subsequent years which saw the early development of the motet, a highly varied choral musical composition. Usually the term ars antiqua is restricted to sacred (church) or polyphonic music, excluding the secular (non-religious) monophonic songs of the troubadours, and trouvères. Although colloquially the term ars antiqua is used more loosely to mean all European music of the 13th century, and from slightly before.

Pérotin, one of the few composers of Ars Antiqua who is known by name, composed this Alleluia nativitas in the third rhythmic mode.

The term ars antiqua is used in opposition to ars nova (meaning "new art", "new technique" or "new style"). The transition from ars antiqua into ars nova is not clearly defined, recent interpretation has described the transition to be a gradual evolution rather than an abrupt revolution with the period being between the 13th–14th centuries.[1]


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