Ars subtilior Latin for 'subtler art' is a musical style characterized by rhythmic and notational complexity, centered on Paris, Avignon in southern France, and also in northern Spain at the end of the fourteenth century. Often the term is used in contrast with ars nova , which applies to the musical style of the preceding period from about to about ; though some scholars prefer to consider the ars subtilior a subcategory of the earlier style. Musically, the productions of the ars subtilior are highly refined, complex, difficult to sing, and probably were produced, sung and enjoyed by a small audience of specialists and connoisseurs. Hoppin suggests the superlative ars subtilissima , saying, "not until the twentieth century did music again reach the most subtle refinements and rhythmic complexities of the manneristic style. Daniel Albright  compares avant-garde and modernist music of the 20th century 's "emphasis on generating music through technical experiment" to the precedent set by the ars subtilior movement's "autonomous delight in extending the kingdom of sound.
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The development of the idiom chiefly encountered in grandes ballades may be traced in successive, roughly chronological stages. You do not currently have access to this article. Please login to access the full content. Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Grove Music Online. Advanced search. Highlight search term Email Share This.
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Sign in with your library card Please enter your library card number. Search within Article contents Bibliography See also. Show Summary Details Ars Subtilior. You do not currently have access to this article Login Please login to access the full content. Subscribe Please subscribe to access the full content. Oxford University Press. Sign in to annotate. Delete Cancel Save. Close Save. Musica disciplina. Oxford, Bodleian Library. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century.