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Contents

Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century

“FRANCONIAN” NOTATION

Chapter:
CHAPTER 7 Music for an Intellectual and Political Elite
Source:
MUSIC FROM THE EARLIEST NOTATIONS TO THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin
“Franconian” Notation“Franconian” Notation

ex. 7-1 Double motet on Ex semine (transcription of Fig. 7-3)

As one can see at a glance, the manuscript from which Fig. 7-3 has been reproduced uses a different kind of notation from the one that had been devised at and for Notre Dame. It is a notation specially tailored to the requirements of motets, that is musica cum littera. (It would have served nicely for conductus, too; but by mid-century the conductus was moribund.) It supplies the very thing that Notre Dame notation lacked, namely a means of specifying the rhythmic significance of individual “graphemes,” or written shapes. Notation that does this is called “mensural” notation, from mensura, Latin for measurement. Its invention was a watershed, not only in the history of notation but in the wider history of musical style. The new resources of mensural notation greatly lessened the dependency of “literate” music (here, literally, the music of the literati) on oral supplements. From now on, literate genres could pursue a relatively autonomous line of development. We will never finish discussing the consequences of this turning point—some foreseen, others not; some indubitably “progressive,” others more equivocal. Their repercussions continue to affect musical composition, musical practice, musical attitudes, and musical controversies right up to the present day.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 7 Music for an Intellectual and Political Elite." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-007003.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 7 Music for an Intellectual and Political Elite. In Oxford University Press, Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 19 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-007003.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 7 Music for an Intellectual and Political Elite." In Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 19 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-007003.xml
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