MUSV3121 - New thinking - new Art: European Music 1300 - 1500


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2023/2024

Course content

In music historiography the period between 1300 and 1400 is usually called "Ars Nova" / New Art. Indeed: we observe a breathtaking renewal of European music during this century and developments which have a tremendous impact up to the 15th century. The period transmits for the first time regularly the names of famous composers, and we find their works carefully written down in representative collections. Music notation reaches a first peak of accuracy and makes it possible to compose works with a rhythmical complexity which reminds us of compositions from the 20th century. We find the first comprehensive sources of instrumental music. In circles of the nobility and the upper middle class blossoms secular music particularly, not only as an element of entertainment but also of education. In short: the period leads us from the Middle Ages to the modern era.The lecture-series gives an introduction into this politically extremely troubled and at the same time artistically awesome time with visiting famous European music centres: among others Paris, Reims (Machaut), Avignon (and the papal court), Florence where early Renaissance finds its first climax in the compositions of Francesco Landini.We focus on single works in their historical context. We hear, analyze and discuss them. Emphasis is laid upon the most important vocal and instrumental forms, and their cultural and political function, and upon questions of historically based modern performance of this music from original documents.

Learning outcome

Knowledge:An examinee with a completed qualification in MUSV3121- has in-depth knowledge of European music in the 1300's and 1400's, its stylistics and its cultural and political backgrounds.- has general knowledge about political, cultural, and musical developments in the time period- has knowledge about important theories, research methods and analytical tools within vocal- and instrumental music in the time period- has knowledge about central problems within the music from 1300-1400 (vocal and instrumental forms and cultural-sociological functions)Skills:An examinee with a completed qualification in MUSV3121- can express his/her deepened knowledge in a convincing way, both in writing and speech- can make his/her own reflections based on, and in the extension of the acquired knowledge-can utilize the acquired knowledge about analytical tools and research methods on material new and unknown for the examinee- can reflect about his/her own scientific work within music from the 1300's and 1400's and to develop it under guided supervision

Learning methods and activities

The course is given in the form of lectures and seminars. Participation in both is mandatory (minimum 80% attendance). An essay during the semester, on a selected topic from the syllabus, is a prerequisite for examination.

Compulsory assignments

  • Satisfactory participation in compulsory instruction
  • Essay / oral presentation

Further on evaluation

3-days home exam. If the course is not passed, the student must retake the whole assessment.

Specific conditions

Required previous knowledge

Requires admission to one of the Bachelor's programmes or Master's programmes in Musicology, Music Technology or Music Performance Studies.

Course materials

The syllabus consists of selected articles and chapters from secondary and note-literature. Listening curriculum.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level



Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Music History
  • Music Theory
  • Social History
  • Cultural History
  • Analysis
  • Dance Studies
  • History
  • Latin
  • Comparative Literature
  • Musicology
  • Music Performance Studies
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Music


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