Linking your favorite traveling artists across the globe
From France came the composer de Machaut, whose long phrases evoked a lover's reluctance to leave his beloved, and his three-part harmonies ushered in a variety of new forms of songs: rondeaux, virelais, and ballades, the forms fixes. This composer was so revolutionary that his music was termed ars nova, to distinguish it from the ars antiqua of Leonin and Perotin. Italian composers added caccias (hunting songs, where one part chases another). In England, rounds, carols and country dances were popular and dance forms quickly spread to France, Germany and beyond.
In the early 1400s, a new style of composition called fauxbourdon was introduced almost simultaneously by three composers: Guillaume Dufay, Gilles Binchois, and John Dunstaple (sometimes spelled Dunstable). Fauxbourdon was part-writing, with one voice accompanied by a part a fourth below it, and another part a sixth below the top voice. Faburden, the English variant, was full triadic harmony, with the melody in the middle voice.
At the end of every stylistic era, composers are often fascinated by the theoretical underpinnings of music, and the end of this era was marked by ars subtilior, which originated in Modena, Italy. This was a highly manneristic style of writing, which involved complex mensural themes, extreme chromaticism and syncopation, and even scores notated for the eye rather than the ear.