Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music


Gilles Rico, Music in the Arts Faculty of Paris in the Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Centuries (DPhil, University of Oxford, 2005)

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In the thirteenth-century, the city of Paris witnessed the birth of the
University, the gradual penetration of the new philosophical paradigm of
Aristotelianism and the emergence of a new theoretical discourse dealing with
the measurement and notation of musical time. Scholars have attempted to find
correlations between these three distinct phenomena. Focusing on music theory
sources and on other indirect testimonies, they have never satisfactorily
approached the central question of the teaching of music in the Arts faculty of
Paris. The objective of the present study is precisely to explore this terra
. This exploration will take as a point of departure a
multiplicity of hitherto unpublished sources, produced by the Parisian masters
of Arts, likely to yield insightful information about the form and the content
of the teaching of music in the Arts faculty of Paris in the thirteenth and
early fourteenth centuries. It will be asserted that the teaching of music in
the institution was confined to musica as an intellectual discipline.
It involved commenting a textbook and discussing scholastic questiones
about musical issues and was profoundly influenced by the gradual change of
epistemé brought about by the study of Aristotelian natural
philosophy. Reconstructing the nature and function of music teaching in the Arts
faculty will lead to the reassessment of the role played by the institution in
the developments of musica mensurabilis. It will be demonstrated that,
contrary to what has been asserted, the University authorities do not seem to
have fostered the cultivation of measured polyphony. Correlatively it will also
be shown that influence of the Arts faculty and of its intellectual orientations
on the elaboration and shaping of the theoretical discourse on rhythmic notation
has been largely overestimated.

Table of Contents

  • Acknolowledgements
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1
    • Teaching Music at the Arts Faculty of Paris: A Reappraisal
  • Chapter 2
    • Thirteenth- and Early Fourteenth-Century Glosses on Boethius’ De institutione musica
  • Chapter 3
    • Music in Parisian Commentaries on Aristotle
  • Chapter 4
    • Scholastic Questions on Music from the Arts Faculty of Paris
  • Chapter 5
    • Polyphony, Musica Mensurabilis and the Arts Faculty
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix A
  • Bibliography