Rethinking Ars Subtilior: Context, Language, Study and Performance

Smilansky, Uri

PhD, University of Exeter, 2010

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This dissertation attempts to re-contextualise the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century musical phenomenon now referred to as the Ars subtilior, in terms of our modern understanding of it, as well as its relationship to wider late medieval culture. In order to do so I re-examine the processes used to formulate existing retrospective definitions, identify a few compelling reasons why their re-evaluation is needed, and propose an alternative approach towards this goal.