L'"Ars musica" attribuée à maître Lambert / Aristote

Abstract : The treatise on music of ca 1270 attributed to Magister Lambertus/Aristoteles of which we propose a new edition and English translation occupies a singular place in the history of music theory of the last third of the thirteenth century. Whereas most of the treatises on music written at this time – with the exception of that of ca 1280 by Franco – reach us in only a single copy, this treatise is distinguished by a relatively substantial and long-lived manuscript tradition. This treatise is also singular in its ambition to lay out a musical art embracing at the same time the rudiments of the practice of liturgical chant and the principles of the notation of polyphony. In addition, it presents, in a dense and consistent manner, like few music treatises of its time, a conceptual framework and rigor of expression sustained by the university culture of the thirteenth century. Finally, certain aspects of this teaching, in particular the theory of the nine rhythmic modes, seem to have been known in their time and in the immediate future, a certain fortune to judge from the reservations or criticisms that made it their object. For want of other historical indices, one should no doubt retain for the time being the hypothesis that this treatise was composed in a milieu near the university of Paris and by a Magister Lambertus, whose pedagogical «seed» is consigned to the versified treatise on the nine rhythmic modes and who would have been the author, all things considered, of the present Musica mensurabilis. Then, a listener or a pupil of the latter would perhaps have taken the initiative to compose a complete exposition of the ars musica, articulating a Musica plana and the Musica mensurabilis of Magister Lambertus.
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Christian Meyer. L'"Ars musica" attribuée à maître Lambert / Aristote. 2012. ⟨hal-01118867⟩

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