Music, poetry and dance in the XIV century

Edited by L’Offerta Musicale di Venezia

Interpreters: gruppo “Ars Cantus mensurabilis”

Music of:
F, Landini, G. de Machaut, P. de Vitry, P. da Firenze, N. da Peruia and anonymous of the XIVth Century


Poetry in the Trobadour tradition finds its outlet in Italy in the ‘Dolce Stil Novo’ (Sweet New Style) in the oevre of Guinizzelli, Cavalcanti and in the early works of Dante. Indeed it is Dante, who places Italian Literature on its way to supremecy over other European literary contexts. Courtly Love (even if now firmly placed in an absolute urban context) however, remains the topos of poetry in music.
We will compare French Music of the 1300s, whose zeitgeist (Spirit of the time) was still Gothic, to its equivalent in Italy, which was already projected towards a Renaissance manner of thinking.
Of the dance of the period, we have no precise information of choreography, but we can be certain that different specific dances did take place. Boccaccio and Giovanni da Prato vividly present us with Florentine society of the times and in analogy, we can be sure that in the Italy of the Signorie (and not only in Italy); dance, song and poetry found themselves in union as in the Mousiké of Ancient Greece.
Of music, the fourteenth century is the time of the Ars Nova; the moment when measured musical notation develops and is perfected. The need to compose music for more than one part playing or singing at a time, already strongly felt in the preceding century, meant a need to perfect musical notation in regards to duration of the notes. Leaving behind the concept of composing to the rhythms of speech, which had dominated singing in the previous centuries, music now took the dominant position in respect to its text thus we can, without doubt, speak of musical compositions in the fullest sense of the word.


Event included in the cost of the museum ticket – Full € 8.50, reduced € 4.25