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Contents

Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century

PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE

Chapter:
CHAPTER 8 Business Math, Politics, and Paradise: The Ars Nova
Source:
MUSIC FROM THE EARLIEST NOTATIONS TO THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

So much for the theory, which like all scholastic theory had to be exhaustive. The implications of all this tedious computation for musique sensible, by appealing contrast, were simple, eminently practical, and absolutely transforming. To begin with, maximodus was pretty much a theoretical level (except in the tenors of some motets) and can be ignored from here on. Moreover, in practical music it was the breve, rather than the minim, that functioned as regulator. Its position in the middle of things made calculations much more convenient. Lengths could be thought of as either multiples or divisions of breves. But then, as the “tempus” value, it had long been the basic unit of time-counting. Petrus de Cruce’s use of “division points” (puncta divisionis) had already established it as the de facto equivalent of the modern “measure” (or bar, as the British say, and as we say when we aren’t being too fastidious). It was this measure and its divisions, then, rather than the unit value and its multiples, that defined mensurations for practical musicians and those who instructed them.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 8 Business Math, Politics, and Paradise: The Ars Nova." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-008003.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 8 Business Math, Politics, and Paradise: The Ars Nova. In Oxford University Press, Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 21 Nov. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-008003.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 8 Business Math, Politics, and Paradise: The Ars Nova." In Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 21 Nov. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-008003.xml
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